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Research paper topic: Woodstock:a Peacful Rock Revolution - 1326 words
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.. apes, no assaults, no robberies, not even one fight was reported (Tired Rock 2). This theme of peace prevailed at the concert, and was later remembered to be the single thing that set Woodstock apart from the rest of the concerts, making it the most successful and the most remembered. The Bethel scene demonstrated more clearly than ever before the pervasiveness of a national drug culture. At least 90 percent of those present at the festival were smoking marijuana.
In addition, narcotics of all kind and description, from hash and acid, to speed and horse, were freely available (Peace Mecca 3). Woodstock was said to be the greatest group of musicians ever assembled. In total, 28 world-famous musicians gathered to play at this festival. Among them were acts such as the Grateful Dead, The Who, Janis Joplin and the Creedence Clearwater Revival. The festival began Shakoor 6 on the afternoon of August 15th, with a performance by Joan Baez. She set the mood for the rest of the musicians who were to play over the next few days.
The music continued throughout the weekend and finally ended with Hendrix giving a psychedelic performance of the Star-Spangled Banner. Considering the diversity of the bands, the musicians dealt well with one another, and many became friends. Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane commented on the harmony between the groups playing at Woodstock: It brought everyone down to a common reality. That was the most precious thing about the festival. All egos all melted away (Ewen 644-48).
Although Woodstock was deemed a success, as a result of few people paying admission, there was a reported deficit of over one million dollars. Eventually, this was made up by the sale of film and book rights. The financial gain for the promoters was, however, nothing. The Woodstock movie released in 1970 proved to be a success. It depicted the festival as a major love and drug fest.
The Woodstock album, released the same year was also a major financial success. On the album was the anthem for Woodstock, We Can Be Together, by the Jefferson Airplane band. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was now officially an event that marked a decade, symbolizing the music and ideals of the youth in the sixties (Woodstock). Several attempts were made to relive the success of Woodstock. None compared to the unique and intense feeling of love and peace that signified the Woodstock success.
Many attempts ended with violence, bad drug stories, police fights, and lost money. The most notorious was the rock festival held in Watkins Glen, New York. Over 600,000 people attended, making it the largest rock festival ever. There were mass riots at this festival, over 1500 people were hospitalized, and several died. Drugs were consumed by over 95 percent of the concert-goers, and that large scale drug use resulted in several deaths due to overdose.
Barely five percent of the Shakoor 7 attendees paid for their ticket, and in the end, it was considered a failure (All Nature 200-01). Woodstock and Watkins Glen were not the first attempts at successful rock festivals. Between 1967 and 1970, more than 2.5 million people attended some 30 rock festivals. Eighteen others had been planned or announced, but were canceled (Fass 8). Before, rock and roll was the music for stoners and hippies, but with the event of Woodstock, rock music became widely heard by the mass public market. Just as Elvis had ruled the music scene in the 50s, the Beatles became the music phenomenon of the 60s.
These four mop-haired rock singers from England revolutionized the style and techniques of rock. Their influence over the young was tremendous, as they became one of the primary trendsetters of the 60s. The four singers: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, had become rock legends by 1967 (Hertsgard 19). For the first time since Elvis, music stirred the youth into a frenzy and caused mass hysteria. Anywhere the foursome went, they were followed by screaming mobs of young girls. The Beatles though were not the only group to draw large crowds of fans.
The Rolling Stones, The Who and Alice Cooper also had their share of young following. Most parents of the time were unaware of the youth reaction to music. The ones who did know were shocked to see their sons and especially daughters so obsessed with the new music culture. The Church also became disturbed by the growing popularity of rock music. Rock music was viewed as an instrument of the devil that was leading Americas youth to a sinful orgy of sex, drugs, and communism (Ewen 653).
Musicians such as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles were accused of being immoral and promoting communist beliefs. As the decade continued, problems between rock music and the Church grew. In 1965, Pope Paul VI censured teenagers Shakoor 8 for admiring rock singers. He condemned the Beatles and pressured parliament to ban rock and roll (Ewen 672). Despite the religious pressures, rock music flourished in England, as did the music scene in the U.S.
San Francisco immediately became the heart of it. Known as the Liverpool of the West, San Francisco was bursting with rock activity in the 60s. Embedded in this citys rock scene were such groups as the Grateful Dead, Sly and the Family Stone, and the Byrds. The music of these groups began the infamous Acid Rock movement. It symbolized and portrayed the drug abuse of the decade. The widespread use of mind altering drugs such as marijuana and LSD provided the inspiration for the creation of this music (Grunwald 254). The music of the sixties was diverse and colorful in its nature.
The different sounds of sixties rock included folk, reggae, acid, blues, soul, punk, and countless others that helped shape the music of this period. Compared to the fifties, it had become subtler and more sophisticated. Songs of this decade reached for the poetic, the symbolic, and the mystical in an effort to better pinpoint the moods of the times. Through such varied means, rock music became an art that appealed to the youth of America This music provided a support during the turbulent times of the sixties. It stood firmly while the mushroom cloud of the atom bomb and the smoke from the devastation in Vietnam hung menacingly over America, and it remained a support throughout the antiwar movement which deeply involved the young.
In revolt to the war, the youth of America had become flower children, or hippies. They rebelled against a society whose morals they held in disdain. They symbolized the universal need for love and harmony. Finding an outlet in music, they created songs that expressed their need for personal freedom and societal peace - crying out to give peace Shakoor 9 a chance (Hertsgard 309). The music festival of Woodstock was a prominent event of their time that was viewed as a celebration of life in the sixties, during which Hundreds of thousands of kids came together to enjoy each other in the presence of music, and of peace.
They knew about art and nature. They lived for a weekend in the still eye of the hurricane (Woodstock). Bibliography Works Cited All Nature is but Art: Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Vogue. December 1969:194-201.
Big Woodstock Rock Trip. Time. August 1969:14b-22. Ewen, David. All the Years of Popular Music. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.,1977.
Fass, Don. The Sixties. http://www.sixties.net (19 March 1999). Frike, David. Minor Epiphanies and Momentary Bummers. Rolling Stone.
August 1989:62-91. Grunwald, Henry. Youth Trip. This Fabulous Century: 1960-1970. 1986 ed. Hertsgard, Mark.
A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles. New York: Dell Publishing Groups Inc.,1995. Huges, Rupert. Music Lovers Encyclopedia. New York: Doubleday Inc.,1984.
Rock Audience Moves to Dusk-to-Dawn Rhythms. New York Times. 18 August 1969:25. Tired Rock Fans Begin Exodus From Music Fair. New York Times.
20 August 1969:1-3. What Happened in the Sixties?. http://www.bbhq.com/sixties2.htm (19 March 1999). Woodstock: Dawn of the Bigtime. Economist. August 1989:75. Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
Newsweek. August 1969:88. Woodstock: Peace Mecca. Billboard. August 1969:1,10. Music Essays.
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