Woodstock Scholarship: An Interdisciplinary Annotated Bibliography/Culture & Society
Culture & Society[edit | edit source]
Books[edit | edit source]
- Arrigo, Bruce A., Dragan Milovanovic, and Robert Carl Schehr. The French Connection in Criminology: Rediscovering Crime, Law, and Social Change. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2005.
Explores the sociology of crime. Describes the systems theory of “self-similarity” in which “behavior never repeats itself because it does not precisely follow the same path twice.” Claims attempts to replicate events never completely duplicate the original because “there is always a degree of sensitivity to the initial conditions that established the behavior in the first place.” Offers the attempts to replicate the social and cultural experiences of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair through Woodstock ’94 and Woodstock ’99 are examples of problems associated with iteration and self-similarity. Notes failure occurred in these instances even after attempts to invoke the same conditions of location, time of year, etc.
- Bennett, Andy, ed. Remembering Woodstock. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2004.
Collects nine essays examining the mythological and iconic status of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as well as using the event as a starting point for broader analyses of popular culture, music, and nostalgia. Looks both forwards and backwards from the festival with sociological, historical, and musicological perspectives. Provides contexts for appreciating the event’s “socio-cultural significance.” Examines multiple topics, including Woodstock’s influence on the music industry and its role regarding the power of music to influence political activities. Includes an introductory essay by the editor providing a sense of the various social and political streams (e.g., Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement) collectively symbolized in cultural history by the Woodstock festival.
- Brokaw, Tom. Boom! Voices of the Sixties. New York: Random House, 2007.
Focuses on individuals who helped shape or were shaped by the political and cultural nature of the 1960s. Comments briefly on the experience of Tim Russert, Washington D.C. bureau chief for NBC News and host of the television show Meet the Press, attending the Woodstock Music and Art Fair with his three buddies and eight cases of beer. Relates a rumor heard by Russert alleging Johnny Carson was going to make an appearance at the festival. Includes a timeline of key events from the decade.
- Casale, Anthony M., and Philip Lerman. Where have all the Flowers Gone?: The Fall and Rise of the Woodstock Generation. Kansas City, MO: Andrews and McMeel, 1989.
Explores baby boomers and the idealism of their generation as manifested symbolically at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Suggests that, after two decades of having been submerged, the ethos will resurface in the 1990s. Explains how the idealism was born out of the nation’s effort to accommodate the sudden population growth created by the baby boomers. Focuses on Abbie Hoffman’s involvement with the planning process for Woodstock and his activities on and off stage during the concert. Provides numerous stories of individuals and how they experienced the festival as both attendees and non-attendees. Delves into Michael Lang’s involvement, or lack thereof, in several attempts to re-create Woodstock through tenth and twenty anniversary events.
- Curry, Jack. Woodstock: The Summer of our Lives. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989.
Provides a qualitative look at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in response to what the author claims are decades of writings emphasizing “sociology, crowd psychology, the weekend’s cultural relevance” and perhaps irrelevance. Attempts to recapture the personal stories lost to the many mass movement analyses that typically consider the individuals at the festival as only particles in a larger social structure. Acknowledges time has affected the accuracy of some recollections, but characterizes this as reflecting the looseness and fluidity of the event itself. Emphasizes the unique emotional impact of the concert on individuals, rather than serving to document the event for the historical record. Asserts that for attendees, Woodstock “created memories that still hold a primary place in their personal autobiographies.” Begins and ends with Penny Stallings, a Woodstock Ventures employee, and includes numerous individuals in between, such as Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian, and less well known individuals. Includes some photographs from the festival.
- Denisoff, R. Serge. Tarnished Gold: The Record Industry Revisited. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1986.
Touches on the politicization of rock music and the demise of rock music culture. Claims the importance of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair cannot be overstated. Notes the festival “generated an ethos, a mythology.” Reports the dire conditions at the festival created a “gemeinschaft or communal aspect of the gathering.” Observes “Woodstock transcended the most far-fetched dreams of nineteenth-century utopian-anarchist writers,” but suggests this image was perhaps mostly a media contrivance. Quotes several publications, such as Rolling Stone magazine (available at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/it-was-like-balling-for-the-first-time-19690920), to illustrate the hyperbole in the immediate aftermath of the event. Continues by contrasting Woodstock with the infamous Altamont Speedway concert held several months later, citing the latter as “the nail in the coffin of the rock culture of the sixties.”
- Echols, Alice. Shaky Ground: The ‘60s and its Aftershocks. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.
Articulates pithily a significant impact of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair; the discovery by both managers and musicians of the commercial benefits behind playing one large concert as opposed to many smaller ones. Notes one result was the beginning of the end to many “hippie ballrooms” of the era, such as the Avalon Ballroom, the Fillmore, and the Fillmore East.
- Eliot, Marc. Rockonomics: The Money Behind the Music. New York: Franklin Watts, 1989.
Provides insight on rock music as a commodity. Discusses the full history of the production, marketing, and consumption of rock music. Offers the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a symbol of “the selling of progressive idealism for corporate profit.” Relates how Albert Grossman, manager of notable popular performing artists, went to the festival to ensure his clients were paid and discovered John Roberts, one of the promoters, knew even then the event would not be the financial disaster it appeared. Notes “although the financial mismanagement of the festival wound up in several court cases,” the motion picture Woodstock went on to gross more than $50 million. Suggests the reason the “magic” of the original Woodstock festival has not been repeated is because of economics, noting the fees charged by performers increased substantially as a result of Woodstock.
- Ennis, Philip H. The Seventh Stream: The Emergence of Rocknroll in American Popular Music. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press (University Press of New England), 1992.
Studies the confluence of art, commerce, and politics. Notes the success of Country Joe and the Fish and other San Francisco bands of the 1960s when performing at large outdoor rock music festivals. Claims this feat was due to their experiences at numerous earlier Golden Gate park concerts. Contends the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was a “startling and energizing affirmation of rock culture.” Offers the festival represented a break within the youth culture between the political and the apolitical. States Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of The Star Spangled Banner was implicitly a collective “assertion of opposition to the war in Vietnam.” Concludes the Altamont Speedway concert killed any counterculture momentum emanating from Woodstock.
- Fine, Gary Alan. Tiny Publics: A Theory of Group Action and Culture. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2012.
Demonstrates the connection between small group cultural and large-scale civic engagement. Argues the building blocks of society are born in small group behavior in which meaning is created and beliefs shared. Offers the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as an example of a “macrogathering” in which community is “intense, extensive, and transitory.” Claims the festival was able to create an active identity recognized beyond the confines of the group. Notes how once a communal identity is created, it can shape society if “linked to causes and beliefs.” Suggests Woodstock and other rock music festivals, such as Burning Man, represent groups with a desire to “control their own spaces” with the ability to establish “authority to set the rules for action in the face of external control.” Acknowledges in these instances “identity is salient within the framework of the gathering, but its impact swiftly dissipates.” States the challenge rests with keeping the identification created during the event from becoming just a nostalgic latency.
- Gair, Christopher. The American Counterculture. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
Investigates the relationship between the counterculture and American popular culture. Looks at the appropriation of counterculture ethos by the film and record industries. Offers an interdisciplinary account of the economic and social reasons leading to an emergence of the counterculture. Discusses the motion picture Woodstock more than the event itself, noting the movie is “constructed to represent a particular version of events that offers a summary of many of the central tenets of countercultural identity in the late 1960s, and the selection of musicians that it includes contributes to the narrative structure, rather than merely accompanying it.” Claims that the Altamont Speedway concert is often used to establish “a bipolar opposition to Woodstock” but this is “reductive and misleading.” Uses scenes from the Woodstock film to demonstrate the illusion of the counterculture “offering genuine alternatives to dominant American life-styles.” Devotes text to an interpretation of Jimi Hendrix’s performance at the festival, concluding his “emergent racial consciousness exposes tensions at the heart of countercultural practice.”
- Goffman, Ken, and Dan Joy. Counterculture through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House. New York: Villard, 2004.
Provides a history on the concept and manifestation of countercultures. Uses in passing the Woodstock Music and Art Fair to highlight the contradictory values held among the self-proclaimed members of the 1960s youth movement, especially between the commercialism of the rock music industry and the rank-and-file societal dropouts. Quotes Andy Warhol’s comment on the audience at Woodstock. Foreword by Timothy Leary.
- Grossman, Lloyd. A Social History of Rock Music: From the Greasers to Glitter Rock. New York: David McKay, 1976.
Invokes the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as an example of counterculture idealism quickly tainted after-the-fact by the commercialization of the Woodstock “product.”
- Hamelman, Steven L. But is it Garbage?: On Rock and Trash. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2004.
Claims “American culture is trash culture.” Observes trash, both literal and figurative, as a catalyst for the transformation of musicians, critics, and consumers. Refers to both the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair and Woodstock ’99 as examples of producing garbage that is a by-product of large-scale rock music events. Notes the 1969 festival displayed a care-free and playful attitude toward the waste produced, using it to create “peace” messages without regard for its ultimate destiny. Points to Woodstock ’99 where massive amounts of trash and unsanitary conditions became newsworthy. Speculates that “perhaps the deluge of waste complemented the sound of a civilization going into the dumpster.” States both concerts teach us that garbage produced at these types of events is “staggering” in its volume and “live rock ‘n’ roll and trash are symbiotic.”
- Harrington, Joe S. Sonic Cool: The Life & Death of Rock ‘n’ Roll. New York: Hal Leonard, 2002.
Asserts rock music culture no longer exists as a socio-political entity. States the Woodstock Music and Art Fair presented contradictions for the revolutionary aspects of the 1960s youth movement. Notes the commercialism behind the staging of the event, the use of “machines manufactured by General Motors” to bring 500,000 people together, and the acceptance of food handouts from “the opposing forces” (i.e., the establishment).
- Henderson, Simon. Sidelined: How American Sports Challenged the Black Freedom Struggle. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2013. https://doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813141541.001.0001
Explores the ways in which African-American athletes utilized college and professional sports during the 1960s to communicate the struggle for civil rights. Focuses on the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico City where Tommie Smith and John Carlos protested by raising their fists on the podium after receiving their Olympic medals. Mentions several uses of The Star Spangled Banner to invoke controversy and make political statements. Asserts Jimi Hendrix’s performance of the national anthem at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was “largely regarded as a reflection of the loss of faith in American ideals and a call for redemption amid the turmoil of the Vietnam era.”
- Hoffman, Abbie. Woodstock Nation: A Talk-Rock Album. New York: Vintage Books, 1969.
Provides a first-person account from one of the vanguard leaders of the 1960s counterculture political front. Uses the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as the cornerstone event in a tour de force conceptualization of the “Woodstock Nation.” Postulates on the relationship between rock music and politics. Dedicated to Lenny Bruce.
- Issitt, Micah L. Hippies: A Guide to an American Subculture. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, 2009.
Attempts to provide an informed view of a hippie, beyond the general notion of “a cultural rebel who advocates liberalism in both politics and lifestyle.” Uses occasional mentions of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a cultural reference point. Asserts that the widely repeated belief that two babies were born at the festival has not been proven. Includes a timeline, biographical sketches, and an annotated bibliography.
- Jacobs, Ron. The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground. London: Verso, 1997. https://libcom.org/files/32709343-Way-the-Wind-Blew-A-History-Of-The-Weather-Underground.pdf
Notes the Woodstock Music and Art Fair signaled to the rest of the world just how widespread the counterculture ethos had become, forcing political attention on this demographic. Includes a list of acronyms associated with the Weathermen, a chronology of significant events, and short biographies of key individuals.
- Johnson, Bruce, and Martin Cloonan. Dark Side of the Tune: Popular Music and Violence. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2009.
Argues music, a fundamentally sonic phenomenon, has a relationship to violence. Examines the transformation of this relationship as caused by the introduction of technology. Offers the “most pervasive function of music in generating violence appears to be in everyday life” (as opposed to state-sponsored). Uses the riots at Woodstock ’99 as an example of a mob seeking revenge for being denied what they perceived as entitlements. Recounts specific events from the concert, beginning with the group Limp Bizkit working the crowd into a frenzy and cumulating through the full-scale rioting. Details the lack of sanitation and water, excessive use of drug and alcohol, and capitalistic opportunism. Claims the mythology of the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair was an impossible and unreal standard to replicate at Woodstock ’99. Notes music often offers to emancipate but its failure to do so creates a “point of angry focus” to “the accumulated force of all those other promises that consumerism fails to deliver.” Concludes capitalism impinges on musical performance.
- Jones, Landon Y. Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1980.
Considers the impact of baby boomers over the decades, starting with early expectations of them becoming the best educated generation in history, born in an environment of continuous economic growth. Traces their influences: first creating a youth-centered culture, then becoming a political force based on idealism, and finally producing societal concerns regarding housing, medical care, and Social Security. Describes baby boomers as a “generational tyranny” because of the exceptional size of this particular demographic and its resulting impacts, both positive and negative, on a society that has no choice but to address. While discussion of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair is limited, this book does place the festival within the context of larger social issues surrounding baby boomers. Woodstock is characterized as being the cumulating event of all the major experiences uniquely defining the baby boom generation’s evolution to that point.
- Klein, Naomi. No Logo. New York: Picador, 2002.
Articulates the cultural and economic conditions that create oppositional forces to the corporate takeover of society. Highlights in brief Woodstock ’94 and the associated news media coverage while lamenting the overtly commercialization of the Woodstock ethos. Notes “the debate revolved around the sanctity of the past, with no recognition of present-tense cultural challenges.” Observes news media focused on the significance of Woodstock ’94 to aging baby boomers instead of on members of the youth market for which the event was organized. States there was no exploration of the meaning commodification created for today’s youth. Offers those attending Woodstock ’94 had their generational identity prepackaged and marketed long before arriving at the concert.
- Mercer, Kobena. Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies. New York: Routledge, 1994.
Invokes very succinctly the Woodstock Music and Art Fair to illustrate the concept of an “ambiguous appropriation of black expressive culture.” Suggests the festival exemplifies the notion of an “imagined community,” in this case one of white middle-class youth separate from society (i.e., Woodstock nation). States Jimi Hendrix’s deconstruction of The Star Spangled Banner questioned the validity of the imagined community’s “conditions of representability.”
- Miles, Barry. Hippie. New York: Sterling, 2004.
Presents an illustrated and exhaustive commentary on the counterculture movement of the 1960s. Places numerous milestone events in political, historical, and cultural contexts. Dedicates some text to the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair, the subsequent film, and related anniversary events.
- Miller, Timothy. The Hippies and American Values. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2011.
Explains how the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was, despite initial unfavorable press, “quickly mythologized by the counterculture as the epitome of joy and peace.” Offers the festival’s meaning to the counterculture was as “a cataclysm, a political event, a religious experience, a glimpse of communal solidarity, the pinnacle of passive consumerism, and the first free dope territory in America.” Claims Woodstock and other rock music festivals of the same time period created a tremendous sense of community and a desire for ongoing communal experiences that could be created almost spontaneously. Asserts counterculture membership came to be defined by self-sacrifice for the greater communal good. Connects the festival to the then growing counterculture desire to be free from the concept of money being a necessity for life. Also connects Woodstock with a confirmation among members of the counterculture that a drug revolution favoring greater freedoms was in full strength.
- Pell, George, Cardinal. God and Caesar: Selected Essays on Religion, Politics, & Society. Ed. M. A. Casey. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2011.
Draws upon the author’s essays concerning key issues for Christians in “determining the future of modern democratic life.” Contends Woodstock ’99, with its rioting, arson, and rapes, was an inevitable progression from the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes participants at both festivals were rejecting their parent’s values, thus Woodstock ’99 was the act of 1960s pacifism being spurned. Suggests the Woodstock concept of liberty only traps people into a chaos derived from suppressed emotions with negative consequences.
- Pettman, Dominic. After the Orgy: Toward a Politics of Exhaustion. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2002.
Ponders the Dionysian cult of the 1960s as manifested in the sexual revolution and the possible underlying cause of its social acceptability (i.e., a “profound fear of apocalypse” caused by an atomic bomb-inspired cold war and the Vietnam War). Offers how the often used symbolism attributed to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair of representing a 1960s degenerating utopia fails to “take into account the horror and panic that encouraged the ‘free love’ in the first place.”
- Powers, Devon. Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013.
Presents a history of key rock music critics and their legacy. Highlights an analysis of Craig Karpel’s critique of “hip capitalist” in the music business who tried to profit from the anti-capitalistic values of the counterculture. Offers the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as the “best example of the mutable relationship among capitalism, music, and the counterculture.” Asks why the event is considered a triumph over capitalism when, in fact, it was a capitalistic undertaking from the very beginning. Explores whether an underlying ambivalence of the youth movement to consumerism allowed a co-opting of hippie ethos.
- Pratt, Ray. Rhythm and Resistance: Explorations of Political Uses of Popular Music. New York: Praeger, 1990.
Interprets the political uses of popular music over the last two-hundred years of American history. Defines popular music as an attempt to create community in the face of social transformations. Refers to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as being the apex of “explicitly political popular music.” Notes the festival was a symbol of “oppositional popular culture” and fed into a fantasy of creating a new type of self-sufficient community based on the joy of music.
- Rosenman, Joel, John Roberts, and Robert Pilpel. Young Men with Unlimited Capital. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974.
Chronicles the business machinations leading up to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Provides narrative first-hand details on forming personal partnerships, dealing with the banks, attempting to secure a site, working with complicating zoning laws, handling building permits, managing third parties trying to get in on the action (or at least profit from it), and following the money (or at least trying to). Describes the first meeting of the four key promoters: Michael Lang, Artie Kornfeld, Joel Rosenman, and John Roberts. Narrates key meetings, such as with the Wallkill Zoning Board of Appeals, occurring along the way to solidifying the logistics for the festival. Introduces key personnel of Woodstock Ventures, the company formed to marshal resources for the event. Details how the festival site was eventually finalized on the farm of Max Yasgur. Mentions Abbie Hoffman attempting to extort money from the promoters. Relates how the Hog Farm commune came to be engaged “for peace-keeping, medical, and general assistance purposes.” Conveys how a local performance by the Earthlite Theater in White Lake, New York, nearly derailed the festival because the actors stripped on stage. Offers day-to-day perspectives on the actual event from both Rosenman and Roberts. Explains the crisis created when the Grateful Dead’s manager demanded payment upfront before his band would take the stage. Includes a somewhat humorous profit/loss statement as of December 31, 1973.
- Rubin, Jerry. Do it!: Scenarios of the Revolution. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970.
Represents a counterculture political manifesto, somewhat. Makes a passing reference to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a “spontaneous triumph of anarchy.” Introduction to the book by Eldridge Cleaver.
- Ruiz, Teofilo F. The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781400839421
Contemplates the “human response to the terror of history” and how humanity seeks to create meaning of the world and events. Considers the ways in which this is done, through embracing religious experiences to pursuing material wealth. Believes these are attempts at escapism. Mentions the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as an example of how many live vicariously through the actions of others (i.e., many claim to have attended the festival although they, in fact, did not). States the idealized combination of music, peace, and nonviolence provided a “slim possibility to dehistoricize our lives” and this is why the concept of Woodstock still resonates.
- Smith, Chas. From Woodstock to the Moon: The Cultural Evolution of Rock Music. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2001.
Serves as a middle-school textbook and is included here mostly as an artifact. Discusses the notion of tribalism that evolved in the 1960s among members of the counterculture. Offers the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as the cumulating tribal event. Claims the drenching rain storms provided a sought after “moment of pure egalitarianism.”
- Street, John. Rebel Rock: The Politics of Popular Music. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986.
Explores the ways in which political bodies make use of popular music to pursue their agendas, the ways in which popular music is created and managed by the music industry, and how popular music acquires meaning through consumption. Describes the calculated methods used to exploit the counterculture ethos in producing the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Compares and contrasts the 1969 festival with the Live Aid concert in the 1985.
- Sylvan, Robin. Traces of the Spirit: The Religious Dimensions of Popular Music. New York: New York University Press, 2002.
Reports on continuity from religious revival camp meetings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969. Suggests the festival and the ones following represented a larger religious transformation. Claims by the late 1960s, rock music had become an “important voice in the political and cultural changes” sweeping America. Notes that a cultural transformation, however, did not occur, despite Woodstock having demonstrated “the ability of the counterculture to create what seemed to many a workable alternative community on an unprecedented scale based on the values of peace and love” and founded on rock music.
- Weiner, Rex, and Deanne Stillman. Woodstock Census: The Nationwide Survey of the Sixties Generation. New York: Viking Press, 1979. https://erowid.org/library/books_online/woodstock_census.pdf
Surveys self-selected members of the Woodstock generation regarding their experiences during the 1960s and the 1970s. Reports 17% of respondents consider the Woodstock Music and Art Fair to be “one of the best experiences of the era.” Presents several comments on the festival, mostly positive, from respondents who reported attending the event. Includes a copy of the survey instrument and data results.
- Werner, Craig. A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America. New York: Plume, 1999.
Explores relationships between popular music and racial politics. Comments briefly on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in the context of rock music festivals of the 1960s and their overall lack of significance to the African-American community. Suggest even the black performers at Woodstock did not perform soul music. Focuses on Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding as representatives of African-American music to white audiences.
- Wiener, Jon. Come Together: John Lennon in His Time. New York: Random House, 1984.
Surveys the political life of John Lennon. Touches quickly on the role of rock music festivals as political expressions. Observes the Woodstock Music and Art Fair highlighted the extent to which the political radicals of the 1960s were weak within the overall counterculture movement. Relays a rejection by the promoters of Woodstock of an offer by John Lennon to play the festival after he said he could not deliver the Beatles.
- Zolov, Eric. Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999.
Shows the influence of rock music on Mexico’s social, cultural, and political environments. Uses the 1968 student movement and the Mexican regime’s “crisis of authority” as a point of reference. Discusses the 1971 Avandaro rock music festival that used the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a model. Claims Avandaro “represented the appropriation of a vanguard image of modernity borrowed from Woodstock and fused with local cultural practice,” but Woodstock itself borrowed and romanticized elements of Mexican folk culture. Explains how the Woodstock festival had become “a parable for the story of the United States itself.” Notes Woodstock symbolized a productive relationship between public culture and private enterprise. Suggests the “urban middle-class youth around the world were eagerly appropriating the images, language, music” of Woodstock for their own purposes of rebellion. Observes unlike ongoing cultural influences of Woodstock, Avandaro’s legacy has been “repressed in the name of cultural imperialism.”
Chapters[edit | edit source]
- Ambrose, Joe. “White Riot&# 160;—&# 160;Woodstock ‘99.” Moshpit: The Violent World of Mosh Pit Culture. London: Omnibus Press, 2001. 15–26.
- Anderson, Terry H. “Counterculture.” The Movement and the Sixties. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. 241–291.
Attempts to define and explain the social activism of the 1960s. Examines the youth movement which evolved in response to the political and social environment of the cold war era. Describes membership in the counterculture as being an individualistic journey. Covers the Civil Rights Movement, the drug culture, and the Vietnam War. States the somewhat isolated rural setting of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair resulted in participants establishing “their own culture with their own rules, rituals, costumes, and standards of behavior.” Observes the festival’s various potential disasters associated with poor sanitation and lack of food generated a growing sense of community which, in turn, created an “an unforgettable countercultural experience.” Explains how Woodstock as a phenomenon led underground cultural figures to view it as a beginning of a political youth movement. Continues by noting major concurrent events of 1969, the Manson murders and the disastrous Altamont Speedway concert, quickly sidetracked the utopianism created by Woodstock.
- Baritz, Loren. “Culture War.” The Good Life: The Meaning of Success for the American Middle Class. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. 225–288.
Articulates the potential power of the 1960s youth movement and uses concisely the Woodstock Music and Art Fair to illustrate. Claims many individuals assumed the festival unleashed generational pressures that “would finally free America.” Concludes the cultural upheaval was based on “the force of irrationality.”
- “Between Paradise and Apocalypse.” Interviews with Northrop Frye. Ed. Jean O’Grady. v. 24. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2008. 367–399. https://doi.org/10.3138/9781442688377-043
Transcribes an interview with literary critic Northrop Frye conducted in February 1978 by Don Harron. Converses on a diverse religious awakening emergent from the 1960s counterculture. Comments on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in a comparison of religious revivals with political rallies. Frye offers “Woodstock was the most obviously Dionysiac phenomenon that there’s been in modern society.” States that the festival was “a rather pathetic illusion that somehow or other you could, again, break through the crust of history and get into a different way of existence altogether by a kind of emotional release.”
- Bloustien, Gerry. “Still Picking Children from the Trees? Reimagining Woodstock in Twenty-First-Century Australia.” Remembering Woodstock. Ed. Andy Bennett. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2004. 127–145.
Demonstrates how the legacy of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair “still reverberates in time and space, far from its original source.” Uses WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) as an example of a manifestation of nostalgia for a “return to the Woodstock dream, if not the reality.” Contends a desire for shared experience is fulfilled through the dramatization of myth (i.e., re-enacting the spirit of Woodstock).
- Brackett, David. “Festivals: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. 223–229.
Devotes an essay to rock music festivals. Comments on J. R. Young’s “review” of the album Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More appearing originally in Rolling Stone magazine (July 9, 1970). Notes the review highlights self-delusion within the counterculture of the 1960s. Incorporates a reprint of the review. Includes a section on the infamous Altamont Speedway concert featuring the Rolling Stones.
- Chapple, Steve, and Rebee Garofalo. “The Expanded Industry.” Rock ‘n’ Roll is here to Pay: The History and Politics of the Music Industry. Chicago: Nelson Hall, 1977. 123–169.
Begins with the premise of rock music being the “the most important cultural expression in the United States today.” Covers the topics of agents, managers, and promoters before launching into a discussion on the staging of rock concerts. Mentions the value of the Monterey International Pop Festival in bringing to the attention of record companies many up and coming rock acts. Focuses on the financial mess created by the disorganization of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes the relatively young age of the festival’s promoters. Highlights in what ways the event was a good example of the counterculture profiting off of the counterculture. Explains the actual profits came from the subsequent Woodstock film and sound recordings. Suggests Woodstock attendees were merely “the largest unpaid studio audience in history.” Continues with a discussion of the Altamont Speedway concert. Concludes with a commentary on the rock music press and its relationship with, and role within, the rest of the industry.
- Dessner, Lawrence J. “Woodstock: A Nation at War.” Things in the Driver’s Seat: Readings in Popular Culture. Ed. Harry Russell Huebel. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1972. 245–251.
Suggests participants in the Woodstock Music and Art Fair represent a coming together of a new community, later reproduced and enlarged through the motion picture Woodstock. Offers this new community has repudiated violence by virtue of their expressed moral opposition the Vietnam War, yet has reproduced itself in the “mirror images of the very war they oppose.” Supports this assertion by noting approximately the same number of persons attending the festival, an invading force into rural America, equaled the number of Americans who went to Vietnam. Notes the natives of Bethel, New York, supplied basic necessities but did not engage with the “invaders.” Continues by drawing numerous parallels between the invading American military and the invading Woodstock audience and promoters, including the eventual abandoning of the scarred battlefield. Concludes Woodstock was a manifestation of “a paradigm of the military culture.”
- Diltz, Henry. “Jimi Hendrix Playing at Woodstock.” Government, Politics, and Protest: Essential Primary Sources. Eds. K. Lee Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner. Detroit, MI: Thomson, 2006. 20–22.
Focuses on the significance of Jimi Hendrix’s performance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes how Hendrix did not get to perform until Monday morning, thus the audience was lethargic due to three days of exhaustion. Adds his band was poorly rehearsed. Considers it to be, in the end, “one of history’s most important rock performances.” Summarizes the 1969 festival‘s place in contemporary culture.
- Dotter, Daniel. “Rock and Roll is here to Stray: Youth Subculture, Deviance, and Social Typing in Rock’s Early Years.” Adolescents and their Music: If it’s Too Loud, You’re Too Old. Ed. Jonathan S. Epstein. New York: Garland, 1994. 87–114.
Studies the relationship between rock music and deviant behavior in the early years (1950s) of the genre. Looks at the facilitating role of mass media and the social construction of deviance. Contrasts with the evolution to the 1960s when lifestyle deviance married with political deviance. Discusses the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as being the zenith of such deviance. Suggests the festival was both “a celebration of and also an obituary for the 1960s.” Continues by noting the further evolution of these two types of deviance (lifestyle and political) into commercial commodities through positive presentation in the media.
- Fischer, Klaus P. “Countercultural Protest Movements.” America in White, Black, and Gray: The Stormy 1960s. New York: Continuum International, 2006. 295–335.
Questions whether the youth movement of the 1960s represented a true counterculture. Focuses on the rise of the hippie culture as a reaction to the previous generation’s middle-class conventions and the demands for a more inclusive and liberal society. Includes a section on “The Myth of the Woodstock Nation.” Claims the Woodstock Music and Art Fair “gave the world a visual sense of the new lifestyle in action.” Describes the new lifestyle as primitive tribal bonding with Woodstock being a metaphor for a state of mind. States both positive and negative views of the festival are overblown, noting the event did not, in fact, signal a cultural paradigm shift in any direction. Acknowledges Woodstock was a heightened “split between Dionysian protest and a decaying form of Apollonian mainstream.” Argues the counterculture rebellion against capitalism, in the end, strengthened the economic model.
- Glausser, Wayne. “Santana.” Cultural Encyclopedia of LSD. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011. 141.
States the defining moment for the music group Santana was their performance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Reports Carlos Santana later admitting to being under the influence of LSD during their set, claiming it was “beyond scary.”
- Gordon, Andy. “Satan & the Angels: Paradise Loused.” Altamont: Death of Innocence in the Woodstock Nation. Ed. Jonathan Eisen. New York: Avon Books, 1970. 30–71.
Traces the lead up to the Altamont Speedway concert through a discussion grounded in the traditions of the harvest festival and the town jester (“sanctioned release for anarchic and satanic impulse”). Starts with the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, then moves through the mid-1960s San Francisco scene and the 1968 Chicago riots, to 1969’s Woodstock Music and Art Fair and then to Altamont Speedway. Likens the Woodstock myth to Huckleberry Finn contrasted with Altamont Speedway being like Lord of the Flies. The remainder of the book is built around this chapter.
- Klein, Pip. “A Woodstock Festivalgoer Explains Why the Experience Cannot be Reproduced.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 199–203.
Recounts the author’s attendance in 1998 at a Woodstock commemorative concert held at Monticello Raceway near the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Articulates the differences between the two events, including the ease of parking, selling of expensive t-shirts, and presence of ATMs. Describes attending the 1969 festival as an “eclipse” because one was “there watching it, you know that it’s an incredible coming together of cosmic forces&# 160;—&# 160;and it’s never going to happen again.” Notes the nostalgia value of attending these more recent happenings because “you can dream, even if you can’t go home again.” Includes a humorous chart contrasting the 1969 and 1998 events.
- Kopkind, Andrew. “Coming of Age in Aquarius.” Takin’ it to the Streets: A Sixties Reader. Eds. Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. 511–516.
Presents a politicized account of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Compares it to the French revolution and the San Francisco earthquake. Claims the festival “defied categories and conventional perceptions.” Focuses on the cooptation and commercialization of the counterculture ethos, suggesting the event was “a test of the ability of avant-garde capitalism at once to profit from and control the insurgencies which its system spawns.” Declares the event to represent a new culture of opposition.
- Laing, Dave. “The Three Woodstocks and the Live Music Scene.” Remembering Woodstock. Ed. Andy Bennett. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2004. 1–17.
Uses the three Woodstock concerts (1969, 1994, and 1999) as well as other major rock music festivals to illustrate an increasingly corporatization of live music presentations. Compares and contrasts the three events. Focuses on three elements: a) the evolution of music festivals as carnival, where the attraction is to be part of an event as opposed to seeing and hearing any one particular performer, b) the evolution of the music festival business from entrepreneurial to corporate enterprise, and c) the “deterritorialization” of live music events due to increased access via technology. Views the original 1969 Woodstock festival as the “fatal moment” when idealism and commercialism became disentwined.
- Lieberman, Paul. “Some Festivalgoers Continue to Promote the Ideal of the Woodstock Generation.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 111–121.
Reprints an August 15, 2009, article from the Los Angeles Times in which the author admits to using government anti-poverty funds to purchase a bus in order to haul himself and his frustrated social-activists associates “over the Berkshires” to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in the summer of 1969. Profiles his comrades and details the circumstances leading to the adventure. Relates their experience at the concert. Provides an update on each participant and describes how they continue to address social issues. Includes a sidebar on Wavy Gravy.
- Lytle, Mark Hamilton. “The Uncivil Wars: Woodstock to Kent State.” America’s Uncivil Wars: The Sixties Era from Elvis to the Fall of Richard Nixon. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 334–356.
Suggests the positive outcome of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was it being viewed as a “revolution in consciousness,” referencing Charles Reich’s bestseller The Greening of America. Then claims this was a naïve perspective because the festival was a unique occurrence due to a confluence of circumstance and any attempts to repeat it would likely be corrupted by commercialism. Offers the Altamont Speedway concert as evidence. Comments on the symbolic links that have been made between the Manson murders and Altamont. Claims commercialism is the “most defining quality of American culture.” Asserts the deteriorating drug culture and associated violence helped destroy the counterculture. Continues with an analysis of Richard Nixon’s politics, his presidency, the Vietnam War opposition, and how this political unrest climaxed symbolically with the Kent State shootings.
- Meade, Marion. “The Degradation of Women.” The Sounds of Social Change. Eds. R. Serge Denisoff and Richard A. Peterson. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1972. 173–177.
Starts with conveying the author’s reaction to the motion picture Woodstock. States she found the film disturbing because all the performers shown, except for Joan Baez, were men. Notes men are depicted in the movie “building the stage, directing traffic, shooting the film, and running the festival.” Offers women are portrayed cooking, feeding babies, or “sprawled erotically in the grass.” Uses the film to confirm the notion of rock music culture being degrading to women.
- Moore, Allan F. “The Contradictory Aesthetics of Woodstock.” Remembering Woodstock. Ed. Andy Bennett. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2004. 75–89.
Theorizes the phrase “Woodstock Nation” implies a relationship between music and society that may be, in fact, illusionary&# 160;—&# 160;that “certain musical practices acted as a universalizing social force.” Seeks to connect the attributions of a “Woodstock Nation” to selected musical performances at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Itemizes the varied musical styles represented at the festival as: acoustic singer, retro rock and roll, progressive blues, blue-eyed soul, psychedelia, country rock, soul funk, straight-ahead rock, and unrestrainedly exotic (Ravi Shankar). Concludes contradictory performances “both in terms of stylistic parameters and in terms of their expression of social values” did reflect the counterculture and a conflict inherent in maintaining both individuality and social structure.
- Mottram, Eric. “Dionysus in America.” Blood on the Nash Ambassador: Investigations in American Culture. London: Hutchinson Radius, 1989. 181–220.
Collects essays written by the author representing studies on American culture. Traces the experimental art forms emerging in the 1950s and 1960s to America’s nineteenth-century past. Describes rock music as a specifically American art with social and political implications challenging traditional forms. Explores the impact of electronically produced music on the emergence of rock music. Focuses on the music group The Doors as representing an expression of the Dionysus experience. Offers the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the Altamont Speedway concert as “Dionysian energy polarized finally between two distinct events.” Discusses the Dionysian context of Woodstock. Follows by contrasting the ethos of Altamont Speedway concert’s “working class” audience with Woodstock’s “middle class” attendees as a possible explanation for the very different experiences.
- Myers, Alice. “Woodstock Concerts.” The Nineties in America. Ed. Milton Berman. v. 3. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2009. 933–935.
Contrast both Woodstock ‘94 and Woodstock ‘99 with the original 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes Woodstock ‘94 was markedly different due to the presence of heavy corporate sponsorship and overt commercialism. Observes Woodstock ‘99 was marred by violence due to a shift in social norms among the youth culture. Comments the 1999 concert also introduced use of the Internet as a promotional means. Claims the significance of the two events in the 1990s was the “the appropriation of counterculture by marketing” and the evolution of rock festivals into “global media events.”
- Rand, Ayn. “Apollo and Dionysus.” The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution. New York: New American Library, 1970. 57–81. https://campus.aynrand.org/works/1969/01/01/apollo-and-dionysus
Contains Rand’s treatise on Apollo and Dionysus in which she evokes the Apollo moon landing and the Woodstock Music and Art Fair to illustrate reason versus emotions. Delves into how the news media portrayed and discussed both events. Offers the moon landing as an example the highest of ideals and Woodstock as the lowest. Claims these two events from 1969 demonstrate “specific forms in which philosophical abstractions appear in our actual existence.”
- Rectanus, Mark W. “Sponsoring Events: Culture as Corporate Stage, From Woodstock to Ravestock and Reichstock.” Culture Incorporated: Museums, Artists, and Corporate Sponsorship. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2002. 132–168.
Examines the relationships of corporations, art institutions, and foundations and the effects on culture. Explores corporate sponsored cultural events and associated implications. Holds the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as one of two examples of unsponsored events “represented in the media as expressions of resistance to or subversion of commodified culture.” Acknowledges Woodstock was not intended to be a rejection of commodified culture, it was, rather, a failed commercial venture. Explains how a sense of community arose spontaneously as a reaction to the unexpected magnitude of the festival combined with the adverse weather conditions. Points to Woodstock ’94 and Woodstock ’99 as demonstrating how “institutionalized production and signification of the event by the media and sponsors assumes a pivotal position.” Notes the original 1969 Woodstock festival had to be deconstructed and reconfigured in order to market Woodstock ’94 in terms of serving “apolitical, environmentally friendly, and technological conscious consumerism.” Describes Woodstock ’99 as the opposite of the 1969 concert in terms of greed and violence, noting the primary objective of the former was purely profit motivated. The second example highlighted in this chapter is the art piece Wrapped Reichstag by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Suggests both Woodstock and Wrapped Reichstag accumulated cultural capital by signifying a political ethos.
- Rodrick, Stephen. “The Woodstock 1994 Festival Reflects Cultural Changes.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 171–175.
Reprints an article first appearing in The New Republic (September 5, 1994). Discusses marketing excesses of Woodstock ‘94 and the aggressive audience backlash. Describes violence in the mosh pit as “terrorism.” Contrasts with the peacefulness of attendees at the original 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
- Schuman, Howard, Robert F. Belli, and Katherine Bischoping. “The Generational Basis of Historical Knowledge.” Collective Memory of Political Events: Social Psychological Perspectives. Eds. James W. Pennebaker, Dario Paez, and Bernard Rime. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1997. 47–77. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203774427
Hypothesizes one is likely to have accurate knowledge of events occurring prior to birth and knowledge of past events declines gradually; adolescence provides a unique time in one’s life to acquire knowledge of large-scale events outside of one’s own life and, therefore, adults who were older when an event occurs will have less knowledge of the event than adolescents; and gender and race affect knowledge of events when they have a personal meaning in relation to it. Includes the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as one of eleven events used to test the hypotheses. Notes that the Holocaust and Woodstock were described adequately by more than 60% of respondents, compared to less than 15% for the Marshall Plan. Notes the Woodstock results show “clear evidence of the predicted curvilinear relations to age.” Suggests openness to new knowledge and the imprint of first experiences during adolescence accounts for the conclusion.
- Sobran, Joseph. “The Fans at Woodstock were Outcasts Looking for Belonging.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 102–110.
Asserts hippies, as represented by those attending the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, “were positively hungry for authority” and they settled for it in the only available form of peer pressure. Claims the stereotypical image of hippies was a realistic portrayal in that they all looked and talked alike. Insists Woodstock proved “when their numbers reach critical mass, they become a market, and you can herd them together and tell them things they desperately want to hear,” such as how all their unresolved personal problems are really only one big political problem that can be solved instantaneously. Originally published in National Review (September 1, 1989). Includes a sidebar on the history of the iconic Woodstock poster.
- Stern, Jane, and Michael Stern. “Woodstock.” Encyclopedia of Pop Culture: An A to Z Guide of Who’s Who and What’s What, from Aerobics And Bubble Gum to Valley of the Dolls and Moon Unit Zappa. New York: Harper Perennial, 1992. 567–569.
Asserts the Woodstock Music and Art Fair represented attitudes and beliefs that still have “towering resonance.” Notes the festival is still used to benchmark the baby boomer generation’s successes and failures. Recounts the difficulties in securing a location for the festival. Observes while the concert was a celebration of peace and love, many of the attendees made the journey to Bethel, New York, as a political statement. Comments the site resembled a battlefield with tents and makeshift medical accommodations.
- Street, John. “‘Invisible Republics’: Making Music, Making History.” Music and Politics. Cambridge, U.K.: Polity Press, 2012. 98–117.
Investigates the way in which music provides a perspective on history and the associate invested political meanings. Highlights two examples, the box set of recordings known as Anthology of American Folk Music and the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes Woodstock is a prominent marker in “the mythology of music” and the festival both writes history and creates politics (i.e., politics being encoded in cultural contexts). Comments on the “notoriously fuzzy” history of Woodstock, citing conflicting data and perspectives. Observes the Woodstock festival exists today as remembered through a “multiplicity of incarnations.” Surveys the life of the event on the worldwide web, mostly as utopian idealism and focused on its socio-political significance. Contrasts with the meaning ascribed by mass media, which is a shorthand for mass gatherings and/or life-changing culture happenings, a historical marker, and an aesthetic. Contrast further with the festival’s debated significance in the history of rock music. Offers four narratives on the “politics of representing Woodstock” (regulatory enlightenment, radical engagement, cynical commercial exploitation, and the melding of politics and music).
- Street, John. “This is Your Woodstock: Popular Memories and Political Myths.” Remembering Woodstock. Ed. Andy Bennett. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2004. 29–42.
Compares the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair to the 1985 Live Aid concert in terms of political change and legacy. Begins by looking at the ways in which Woodstock continues to live “not as a historical entity, but as a multiplicity of symbols and signs.” Notes the often made references to Woodstock when describing other things (e.g., Woodstock-like) in order to convey sometimes conflicting ideals. Reports on a study conducted by the author in 1999 in which college students were asked what the word “Woodstock” signaled to them. Notes responses indicated the music “seemed relatively insignificant” compared to images of the counterculture. Comments on how historical texts place varying emphasis on the Woodstock festival, if any at all. Argues Live Aid had a more significant and lasting impact on the collective political conscious. Points toward many socio-political similarities between the two concerts, but notes their legacies are quite different. Concludes the lasting mythology of Woodstock may contribute to “the history and character of popular music,” but perhaps not as much to the connection between music and politics.
- Waksman, Steve. “Popular Culture in the Public Arena.” Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History. v. 2. Eds. Mary Kupiec Cayton and Peter W. Williams. New York: Charle’s Scribner’s Sons, 2001. 143–150.
Touches quickly on Jimi Hendrix’s performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Proclaims Hendrix’s rendition was “at once a supreme act of defamiliarization and a stunning political critique.”
- Weinstein, Deena. “Youth.” Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture. Eds. Bruce Horner and Thomas Swiss. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999. 101–110.
Addresses questions of how vocabulary shapes one’s thinking about popular music. Mentions the Woodstock Music and art Fair as having “demonstrated youth’s cohesiveness as a social group defined by age” and a “myth of eternal youth.” Contends the festival was as much about youth as it was rock music.
- Whiteley, Sheila. “’1, 2, 3 what are we Fighting 4?’ Music, Meaning and ‘the Star Spangled Banner’.” Remembering Woodstock. Ed. Andy Bennett. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2004. 18–28.
Analyses Jimi Hendrix’s performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair from a historical perspective in order to comment on the use of music in political protest, social criticism, and especially in opposition to the Vietnam War. Introduces the Civil Rights Movement in order to contextualize the state of the urban African American experience during the 1960s. Claims the reactions to Hendrix’s rendering of the national anthem and how it has come to be “considered by so many to be the most complex and powerful work of American art to deal with the Vietnam War and its effects on successive generations of the American psyche.” Contends Hendrix’s performance was an intentional personal statement about the turbulence of the times.
- Wiener, Jon. “Woodstock Revisited.” The Age of Rock 2: Sights and Sounds of the American Cultural Revolution. Ed. Jonathan Eisen. New York: Vintage Books, 1970. 170–172.
Scrutinizes the claimed profits, or lack thereof, from the Woodstock Music and Art Fair against the actual expenses. Reports the amounts some of the musical acts were paid. Concludes the festival was not a revolutionary victory over capitalism, but instead was a success for those seeking to profit through exploitation of the counterculture. Calls for a ban on multi-day rock festivals and demands “free music in the parks every week.”
- Willis, Ellen. “Cultural Revolution Saved from Drowning.” Beginning to See the Light: Sex, Hope, and Rock-and-Roll. Minneapolis. MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2012. 45–50. https://doi.org/10.5749/minnesota/9780816680788.001.0001
Reprints New Yorker article (September 6, 1969) written by music critic, Ellen Willis, shortly after the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Applauds the festival promoters for creating the illusion of the concert hardships as being “a capricious natural disaster rather than a product of human incompetence” resulting from their “sheer hubris.” Calls for Woodstock Ventures to make its financial books public. States that the success of Woodstock was due mainly to the fact that the massive amounts of attendees were determined to enjoy themselves regardless of the conditions. Claims the rebelliousness of rock music does not automatically translate into a single unifying political agenda and “there can’t be a revolutionary culture until there is a revolution.” Concludes by noting rock music is “bourgeois at its core,” being mass-produced and technology dependent, thus controlled by power and money.
- Willis, Ellen. “Million Man Mirage.” The Essential Ellen Willis. Ed. Nona Willis Aronowitz. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2014. 339–342. https://doi.org/10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.003.0037
Comments on how the news media’s coverage of the Million Man March in 1995 reminded the author of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Observes during the Woodstock festival, news media ignored the “incompetence and dangerous irresponsibility of its promoters” and other significant negative social issues surrounding the event and, instead, focused on the more positive “spectacular exercise of collective will to live out a utopian moment.” Acknowledges to have done the opposite would have meant the news media missed the major story of the event. Suggests utopian moments without a particular social vision or goals can lead to unpredictable consequences, not all favorable. Original published in the Village Voice (November 1995).
- “Woodstock.” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity. 2nd ed. v. 9. Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 120–121.
Asserts the Woodstock Music and Art Fair is the “quintessential symbol” of the 1960s counterculture. Provides some background on the festival. Claims “intellectuals, the press, popular entertainment, and the advertising industry have made Woodstock into the symbol of the cultural and political ideals of the late 1960s.” Argues the ethos of the festival continues, citing the bands such as the Grateful Dead and Phish who have large followings of fans evoking counterculture values and lifestyles. Offers the annual Bonnaroo music festival as the closest contemporary event with similarities to 1969’s Woodstock festival.
- “The Woodstock Generation and Rock Music are Dangerous to American Culture.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 79–85.
Reprints Wall Street Journal article from August 28, 1969. Warns of a dire future if hippies were to eventually take positions of power and influence. Suggests this would be a regression that “will be at best a culturally poorer America and maybe a politically degenerated America.” Points to the counterculture lifestyle as anarchic and thus counterproductive, even harmful. Concludes by stating “opting for physical, intellectual and cultural squalor seems an odd way to advance civilization.” Includes a sidebar on hippie fashion.
- Young, J. R. “Review of Various Artists, Woodstock.” The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. 225–227.
Attempts to “explore the interconnection between popular music, musical techniques, current events, and social identity.” Reprints of a record “review” of the album Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More. Originally appeared in Rolling Stone magazine (July 9, 1970). Serves more as a commentary on the more delusional elements of the 1960s counterculture.
Asserts Woodstock ’99 gave America “a wake-up call as stark as that which the original festival gave in ’69.” Notes the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair was about youth “making love” whereas Woodstock ’99 was about youth “making war,” referencing the violence associated with the latter. Reports on the “atmosphere of claustrophobic sexism” at Woodstock ’99 and how it was exhibited to the world through televised pay-per-view. Describes the contexts which led to the rioting. Places some of the blame on the performance by the band Limp Bizkit during which singer Fred Durst incited violent behavior. Relays specific instances of rape in the mosh pit. Suggests some of the events at the earlier Woodstock ’94 foreshadowed the Woodstock ’99 disaster. Offers the Woodstock ’99 rioters represented “middle-class white kids getting away with murder in situations where Black and Latino kids would have been crushed.” Quotes some of the performers’ observations about the violence.
Articles[edit | edit source]
- Bernstein, Abraham. “Cultural Clash, Crash, and Cash.” English Journal 60.6 (1971): 773–777. https://doi.org/10.2307/812992
- Bissell, Roger E. “Will the Real Apollo Please Stand Up? Rand, Nietzsche, and the Reason-Emotion Dichotomy.” Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 10.2 (2009): 343–369.
Evokes Ayn Rand’s treatises on emulation and David Keirsey’s theory of personality in order to explore the true nature of the Greek god Apollo. Notes these and other individuals think “they understand something essential about Apollo’s nature and character, either in terms of philosophical aspects of his personality, his behavioral traits, or his social persona.” Discusses, in particular, Rand’s essay on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair participants being irrational when contrasted with the rationality of the Apollo moon mission. Concludes Apollo is “the god of extraverted intuition” because he explores the world, making connections between nature and humans “and exercising creative invention, whether artistic or theoretical.”
- Browne, Robert M. “Response to Edward P. J. Corbett, ‘the Rhetoric of the Open Hand and the Rhetoric of the Closed Fist’.” College Composition and Communication 21.2 (1970): 187–190 https://doi.org/10.2307/356560
Responds to a previous article published in this publication by questioning “how relevant is the traditional framework of rhetoric to the new forms of persuasion and action.” Confesses to being “disturbed by the fact that one of the older rhetoric’s chief functions has been an essentially conservative one: to keep the political system going.” Points to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, as well as the 1969 Moratorium March on Washington, as demonstrating “new cultural styles and new politics” which utilize rhetorical strategies affirming identity. Claims rhetoric which assists in the building of a community “may well exploit means that are non-verbal, fragmentary, interlocutory, and alienating.” Concludes by noting this newer style of rhetoric is a better reflection of the social unrests in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
- Carlevale, John. “Dionysus Now: Dionysian Myth-History in the Sixties.” Arion 13.2 (2005): 77–116.
Examines extensively the frequent use of “Dionysus and the Dionysian” as metaphor in the 1960s. Refers to Ayn Rand’s commentary on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in which she illustrates a crisis of values. Criticizes Rand’s rhetoric and contents Rand’s “narrative proposes yet another mythologization of the moment: Dionysus, god of unreason, has come and taken over the mind of the intellectual elite.” Observes “Dionysus has a way of making the latest thing seem like the most ancient truth, of making what we have never seen seem like something we have always known or should have known.”
- Clecak, Peter. “The Revolution Delayed: The Political and Cultural Revolutionaries in America.” Massachusetts Review 12.3 (1971): 590–619.
Discourses on the political revolutionaries of the 1960s counterculture, claiming “the new radicals possessed no clear program, no viable organization, not even a formidable constituency.” Adds “they were innocent of the disastrous potentialities of moral vision insufficiently tempered by political realism.” Focuses on Abbie Hoffman’s attempt to articulate a “Woodstock nation.” States that Hoffman saw the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a model and “the birth of a nation.” Faults Hoffman for relying on his own fashioned social myth based on the Woodstock festival phenomenon and having “no need for elaborate theory, no need for social vision, and no need for a politics of transition.” Refers to Hoffman as being similar to the fictional character Holden Caufield from the novel Catcher in the Rye. Insists the real political revolution should not be side tracked by radicals lacking strategy.
- Corning, Amy, and Howard Schuman. “Commemoration Matters: The Anniversaries of 9/11 and Woodstock.” Public Opinion Quarterly 77.2 (2013): 433–454. https://doi.org/10.1093/poq/nft015
Studies the effect of commemorating the anniversaries of the Woodstock and Music and Art Fair and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 on the collective memory and knowledge of each event. Examines the eighth and tenth anniversaries of 9/11 and the fortieth anniversary of the Woodstock festival. Findings suggest commemorative activities heighten the importance and knowledge of the events and breakdown along socio-economic status and ethnicity. Claims the results “offer insights into the educative and evocative roles of commemoration.” Suggests commemorations that result in evoking identities may also shift collective memories.
- “Deadline Club Protests Police use of News Photos.” The Quill 87.6 (1999): 76.
Mentions use by New York State Police of copyrighted photographs taken during the riots that occurred at Woodstock ’99. Reports objections raised by the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
- Demers, Jason. “An American Excursion: Deleuze and Guattari from New York to Chicago.” Theory & Event 14.1 (2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/tae.2011.0007
Proposes French artist Jean-Jacques Lebel served as a connecting link between French and American political activism of the late 1960s, linking French theorists such as Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari to American anarchists. States Lebel attended the Woodstock Music and Art Fair with his friend Abbie Hoffman in order to liberate the festival via cutting open the fences. Offers Lebel’s interpretation of liberation was necessary because capitalism was “using the youth culture industry as a means to absorb the energies of young people, diverting the movement away from political engagement.” Reports Lebel realized that, more importantly, behind the capitalist were politicians wanting to dominate and control the social structure.
- “A Discussion: ‘The New Puritanism’ Reconsidered.” Salmagundi 106/107 (1995): 194–256.
Transcribes, in edited format, a discussion devoted to the Spring 1994 special issue of this journal on “The New Puritanism.” Reports on one of the speakers, Jean Elshtain, being reminded of a scene from the motion picture Woodstock in which a male attendee, with a female companion beside him, says he looks forward to having sex at the festival with many women. Observes “then you see the young woman’s face fall, as though a cloud crossed it.” States “this kind of distance between the sexes is something that needs to be addressed.”
- Dreyfus, Hubert L. “Comments on Jonathan Lear’s ‘Radical Hope’ (Harvard: 2006).” Philosophical Studies 144 (2009): 63–70. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-009-9367-9 http://escholarship.org/uc/item/60p3b5jx# page-8
Critiques a work on the effects and responses to cultural devastation. Invokes the writings of Martin Heidegger regarding culturally marginal practices. Offers the Woodstock Music and Fair as being representative of a new cultural sensibility that “almost coalesced into a cultural paradigm” where traditionally accepted norms were temporarily marginalized to make room for more “pagan practices.” Claims that if more people had recognized the hint of this as a potential cultural shift, then “a new understanding of being might have been focused and stabilized.”
- “Epidemiology of Substance Abuse at the 1994 Woodstock Music Festival.” Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology 33.5 (1995): 503.
Prints an abstract of a study conducted by the New York Poison Control Center intended to understand the nature and prevalence of illegal drug abuse at mass gatherings. Uses on-site interview methodology. Reports on the demographics of drug use at Woodstock ’94. Concludes there was common use of multiple drugs, with marijuana being the most widespread.
- Espen, Hal. “The Woodstock Wars.” New Yorker August 15 (1994): 70–74.
Writes on the eve of Woodstock ’94 about its commercial nature in relation to the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Comments on the original festival and notes “the actuality of the ecstatic, miserable, mud-soaked, beatific chaos of Woodstock was instantly turned into a consumable media image.” Offers the motion picture Woodstock and the triple-record album Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More as examples. Observes Woodstock Ventures, this time around, planned for a tightly managed Woodstock ’94 and engaged in “aggressive marketing and merchandising.” Discusses how the 1969 festival was more unsuccessful commercialism rather than anti-commercialism. States an efficiently produced Woodstock ’94 will not be able to capture the spirit of the original event because the hardships of the 1969 concert created sense of solidarity for the sake of survival. Concludes by noting an ongoing struggle to separate image (provided by mass media) from reality (provided by experience).
- Ethen, Michael. “The Festival is Dead, Long Live the ‘Festival’.” Journal of Popular Music Studies 26.2–3 (2014): 251–267. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpms.12076
Points to the security issues associated with the Monterey International Pop Festival, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, and the Altamont Speedway concert as an introduction to discussing “Woodstock Laws.” Highlights the Woodstock festival’s security strategies, such as self-policing, which resulted in a “calmer sense of conspiracy.” Notes in the early 1970s state and local governments enacted legislation (i.e., Woodstock Laws) to ensure greater security measures for both music festival attendees and the surrounding communities. States new laws were often punitive and too severe to be honored. Details several ways in which the laws were enacted and enforced, citing specific rock music festivals. Concludes “Woodstock Laws” resulted in a movement towards crowd containment and size control, and reducing the number of days over which the festivals would occur. Asserts the most significant impact was the eventual movement of the events into sports stadiums thus generating revenue for municipalities.
- Fiori, Umberto. “Rock Music and Politics in Italy.” Popular Music 4 (1984): 261–277. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0261143000006255
Delves into the history of politics surrounding public performances of rock music in Italy. Observes concerns about rock music emphasizing inter-generational conflict and would “conceal and act as a substitute for the class battle.” Notes when large-scale rock concerts were being increasingly organized and becoming politically aligned, the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair served as the model. Claims the tribal and universality mythology of the Woodstock festival served the desired imagery that could be modeled for Italian political agendas. Explains how Italian rock festivals differed from other large European concerts by including organized activities to facilitate political debate.
- Glass, Phyllis. “State ‘Copyright’ Protection for Performers: The First Amendment Question.” Duke Law Journal 5 (1978): 1198–1232. https://doi.org/10.2307/1372113 http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol27/iss5/3/
Examines conflict between the media’s ability to report newsworthy public performance events and an entertainer’s right to protect the performance from unauthorized media distribution. Footnotes a court case in which the musician who performed Mess Call on his flugelhorn at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair attempted unsuccessfully to prevent the film footage from being used in a documentary. The musician sued under the New York privacy statute, but the court held “the statute was not intended to provide a cause of action for the appropriation of a professional entertainer’s public performances.” The court also held the documentary was a “privileged account of a newsworthy event; and that, in any case, an appropriation of a 45-second performance must be considered de minimus or insignificant.” Concludes courts need to define newsworthiness “in a normative rather than a descriptive sense.”
- Gutmann, David. “The Premature Gerontocracy: Themes of Aging and Death in the Youth Culture.” Social Research 39.3 (1972): 416–448.
Expounds on the counterculture’s preoccupation with death, based on the psychological resemblances between very old members of the population and members of the counterculture youth. Claims youthful ego can be only overcome by revolutionary violence of illicit drugs because they bring on an “unboundaried state which is achieved naturally in later life.” Illustrates by claiming the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was a peaceful event because of marijuana and not due to the magic of love. Concludes in highly technological, secular societies youth become removed from meaningful labor by mass production and the lack of symbolic incentives to sacrifice, resulting is a spiraling towards gerontocracy.
- Hansen, Gary N. “Transportation Planning for a Large Special Event: The Woodstock ‘94 Experience.” ITE Journal 66.4 (1996): 34–36, 38–39.
Describes in detail the transportation logistical planning used to manage traffic during Woodstock ’94. Notes fifteen state and local agencies were involved in the efforts. Relates the early establishment of the goal of having no private vehicles travel to the site. Discusses all of the plan’s components: parking lot operations, shuttle and charter buses, traffic volume projections, capacity analysis, policy development, signage, and towing. Reports what actually happened during the festival, such as having 100,000 more attendees than planned. Concludes the transportation planning was a success, despite minor unanticipated behaviors by the attendees.
- Helfrich, Ronald. “’What can a Hippie Contribute to our Community?’ Culture Wars, Moral Panics, and the Woodstock Festival.” New York History 91.3 (2010): 221–243.
Delves into the political and cultural contexts surrounding the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Chronicles the difficulties the festival promoters had in securing a site for the event and their attempts at fostering positive community relations to that end. Describes the local political maneuvering used in attempts to stop the concert. Covers the local and state impact of the festival on elections, the legal system, and on legislation designed to prevent future large-scale events unless all issues of health, food, sanitation, crowd control, and safety are first addressed. Observes and articulates how the festival was viewed in moral terms, by both proponents and opponents. Notes “all sides in this ideological war used the same terms but gave them very different meanings.” Claims the debate paralleled the larger American cultural wars of the 1960s.
- Hill, Alfred. “Defamation and Privacy Under the First Amendment.” Columbia Law Review 76.8 (1976): 1205–1313. https://doi.org/10.2307/1121666
Studies in-depth the areas of common law defamation regarding court decision implications. Illustrates the idea of commercial appropriation not needing to involve advertising by noting concisely a suit brought by a latrine worker at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair who was featured conspicuously in the commercial documentary motion picture Woodstock. Highlights the court decision that merely being filmed “performing his duties at a public event, which the festival clearly was, he would have no claim for invasion of privacy; but he would have such a claim if he was deliberately drawn out by the film makers” thus making him a performer in the film.
- Holbrook, Emily. “Behind the Music: How Music Festival Organizers Manage the Risks of Burning Man, Lollapalooza, Coachella and More.” Risk Management June (2011): 18+. http://www.rmmagazine.com/2011/06/01/behind-the-music/
Poses the worst example of failed music festival risk management was Woodstock ‘99. Observes the same conditions that affected originally the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair resulted in a much different outcome in 1999. States with “oppressive heat, exorbitant food and water prices, lack of security and an insufficient number of facilities, the crowd of 200,000 turned to riot mode.” Reports property damage approached $1 million and there were fights and rapes. Offers recommendations on risk management for multi-day festivals.
- Howard, John A. “Troubled America.” Vital Speeches of the Day 62.11 (1996): 340–343.
Prints the text of a speech by the author given to the Wisconsin Forum in Milwaukee (January 23, 1996). Calls for new political leaders who will steer the Unites States away from being a society of rights and entitlement toward “resurrecting those virtuous norms of Christendom.” Claims the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was an insurrection against morality and decency. Asserts law enforcement’s failure to contain illegal drug use at the festival meant the drug culture was then forever uncontrollable. Declares the concert was the “seedbed for the gangs of lawless youth that have turned cities into battlegrounds.”
- Howard, Thomas. “Moral Order and the Humanities.” Journal of General Education 32.2 (1980): 135–148.
Considers the problem of making the humanities relevant to real world experiences, especially during periods of time in which the social order may be at risk. Theorizes “there is a fixed moral order, that tradition, convention, and law are the guardians and not the enemies of freedom, that no society can hold itself together without transcendent moral sanctions.” Offers as one example the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Reports mass media portrayed the participants as “untainted as they are with the original sin that has made capitalists and militarists and establishmentarians out of their fathers.” Speculates if the festival had continued indefinitely, a social order similar to contemporary society would have established itself with capitalistic mechanisms, policing rules, and corrupt citizens.
- Kiester, Edwin, Jr. “Woodstock and Beyond―Why?” Today’s Health July 1970 (1970): 20–25, 59–61.
Begins with a discussion on the mythology of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the increase in the number of outdoor rock music festivals. Notes the real purpose of these gatherings is not for the music, which just becomes background, but to “validate, reinforce, and illuminate the culture.” Compares these events to professional conferences where like-minded people gather. States the breakdown of adequate public health planning for Woodstock resulted in the creation of a New York state law governing large gatherings. Discusses the medical care provided at the festival. Suggests one reason Woodstock and other music festivals have been relatively peaceful is because law enforcement tends to be lenient regarding causal drug use, indecent exposure, etc. Offers these events tend to become nations unto themselves for the duration. Concludes these types of gatherings have a needed social role in contemporary society.
- Kimball, Roger. “Charles Reich and America’s Cultural Revolution.” New Criterion 13 September (1994): 12+. http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Charles-Reich---America-s-cultural-revolution-4992
Marvels at the “ridiculousness” of Woodstock ’94 which was “a commemoration of the counter-culture that boasted cash machines, promotional tie-ins with Pepsi Cola, and a security force of twelve hundred.” Notes the promoters were the same for both the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair and Woodstock ’94, with the only difference being the first time around inexperience and bad planning prevented the festival from becoming an immediate commercial success. Contends a defining element of the 1969 event was “the arrogant sense of entitlement that presupposed the very affluence and bourgeois economic largess that it pretended to reject.” Segues into a detailed commentary on Charles Reich’s book from 1970, The Greening of America, describing it as a paean to the cultural revolution of the 1960s. Discusses the initial impact of, and responses to, the publication. Admits Reich’s predictions came true, but offers the result was a catastrophe which still resides. Explains the reasoning through a detailed assessment of the work.
- Kohl, Paul R. “Looking through a Glass Onion: Rock and Roll as a Modern Manifestation of Carnival.” Journal of Popular Culture 27.1 (1993): 143–161. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-3840.1993.11256343.x
Uses the medieval European carnival as characterized by Mikhail Bakhtin to frame a study of 1960s rock music. Carnival is described as the place where juxtapositions are eliminated and social-political hierarchy is removed. Claims the major consequence of carnival is a positive degradation and debasement. Argues that the Beatles contributed significantly to this realization. Focuses on the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the dialectic response by Frank Zappa with the album We’re Only In It For The Money. Asserts that the Monterey International Pop Festival, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, and the Altamont Speedway concert most literally exemplify the “carnivalesque tradition.”
- Kozinets, Robert V. “Can Consumers Escape the Market? Emancipatory Illuminations from Burning Man.” Journal of Consumer Research 29.1 (2002): 20–38. https://doi.org/10.1086/339919
Explores “the emancipatory dynamics of the Burning Man project” as an anti-marketing event. Uses both Disneyland and Woodstock ’99 as counterpoints. Notes Woodstock ’99 was “nonparticipative and based upon a mutually exploitative foundation.” Contends the Burning Man events are ideologically outside the marketplace and free from related exploitations. Reveals communal practices at Burning Man which distance “consumption from broader rhetorics of efficiency and rationality.” Concludes escape from the market must be conceived of as “temporary and local.”
- “Laboratory Confirmation of Suspected Substance Abuse at the 1994 Woodstock Music Festival.” Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology 33.5 (1995): 502.
Prints an abstract of a study conducted by the New York Poison Control Center intended to understand the nature of substance abuse at mass gatherings. Uses on-site urine samples of persons with altered mental status taken at Woodstock ’94. Reports 52% of those tested revealed two or more substances. Concludes at mass gatherings the most critically ill individuals with altered mental status are likely suffering from polysubstance abuse.
- Losavid, Keri. “EMS at Woodstock ‘99.” JEMS: A Journal of Emergency Medical Services 24.11 (1999): 68–70. http://www.jems.com/articles/print/volume-35/issue-5/major-incidents/ems-woodstock.html
Explains the medical care provide for Woodstock ’99. Notes the planning for emergency medical services (EMS) began eight months before the event with a mandated goal of “zero impact on the local EMS system.” Describes the use and deployment of 1,200 volunteers, including doctors, nurses, and EMS personnel. Downplays the violence that occurred. Offers the lessons learned for future events are to have a dedicated security force for the medical team and to provide transportation between key points for all the volunteers (e.g., food tents, supply stations, medical facilities.
- McGiverin, Bruce J. “Digital Sound Sampling, Copyright and Publicity: Protecting Against the Electronic Appropriation of Sounds.” Columbia Law Review 87.8 (1987): 1723–1746. https://doi.org/10.2307/1122746
Explores sound sampling as a phenomenon where “perhaps for the first time a small aspect of a performance both is valuable and can, contrary to the policies underlying protection of performance value, undercut a performer’s ability to earn a living.” Footnotes a court case in which the musician who performed “Mess Call” on his flugelhorn at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair attempted unsuccessfully to prevent the film footage to be used in a documentary. Concludes that digital sound sampling is a threat but the current copyright law can handle extreme abuses.
- “Memories of Woodstock.” Society 27.1 (1989): 2.
Reports succinctly on results from a Gallop poll regarding the public’s memories of who performed at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes nearly all rock music fans under 25 years of age can name Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, as well as some other groups who have remained popular since the festival (e.g., Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jefferson Airplane, The Who). Observes rock music fans over the age of 30 are more likely to remember the folk music acts (e.g., Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Country Joe McDonald).
- Murchison, William. “The Worst Years of our Lives.” American Spectator 42.8 (2009): 16–21. http://spectator.org/40806_worst-years-our-lives/
Argues on the fortieth anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair the damage inflicted by the Woodstock era on institutions and moral understandings was enormous and lasting. Implies a reason the festival is mythologized is because history is written by the winners (i.e., the counterculture baby boomers who came to control the mass media in the 1970s).
- Nieburg, H. L. “Agonistics―Rituals of Conflict.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 391 (1970): 56–73. https://doi.org/10.1177/000271627039100106
Defines “agonistics” as “animal conflict behavior that is playful, symbolic, or ritualistic” and political. Suggests studying human agonistics is a legitimate area for theory and analysis, as evidenced by the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and other mass events of the 1960s. Asserts through agnostics, members of a social group “discover, learn, and communicate their place in an ordered set of relationships.” Observes Woodstock, as a large group event, inverted “the normal sense of danger and the reflexes of self-protection, liberating people from their usual private roles.” Offers the festival was the first mass ritual for many of the participants. Claims Woodstock served as a ritual of ceremony and a rite of passage. Offers the event changed attitudes and values without conflict, thus being “redressive, reconciling means of reaffirming loyalties, at times testing and changing them or offering new ones to replace the old.” Concludes the counterculture needs to be assimilated to avoid violent power struggles. Notes the process has already begun with the lowering of the voting age and reforming the military draft system, among other actions of the time.
- Nolan, Kenneth P. “Sorry.” Litigation 36.1 (2009): 55–56, 58.
Starts with a description of the author’s youthful journey to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Portrays the festival as a coming out party for a “generous, caring, peaceful” generation, yet at the same time as a hint of the excessive consumptions to come. Bemoans the evolution of the Woodstock generation into one equating happiness with material success. Claims baby boomers “were given a world where America was admired and loved” and turned it into one “where half the world wants to blow up the Statue of Liberty.”
- “Nostalgie De La Boue.” New Criterion 13 September 1994 (1994): 2–3.
Reflects on Woodstock ’94 as the heir to the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Describes as a fairy tale the common notion that in 1969 there was a “spirit of non-violence, anti-materialism, and brotherly love.” Notes, rather, there were drug overdoses and mindless political slogans. Regardless, the mythological images from 1969 were invoked to sell Woodstock ’94 to the public. Observes, in the end, Woodstock ’94 did mirror the reality of the 1969 event with heavy rains, numerous drug overdoses, and an underlying profit motive. Concludes by invoking Karl Marx and suggesting the two events were “a farcical tragedy that came back as a black comedy.”
- O’Rourke, John J., and John J. Murphy Jr. “Woodstock ‘94: Fire Planning for Large Public Events.” Fire Engineering 148.1 (1995): 74+. http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/print/volume-148/issue-1/features/woodstock-94-fire-planning-for-large-public-events.html
Describes the fire prevention planning for Woodstock ’94. Addresses fire protection for helicopter landing pads and temporary medical care facilities. Covers such issues as maintaining an adequate water supply, haz-mat preparations, and fireworks. Mentions difficulties in acquiring appropriate funding for the mission. Recommends planning begins at inception and includes access roads and staging a command center far away from the main stage.
- Panichas, George A. “The Woodstock in Ourselves.” Modern Age 37.3 (1995): 194–199.
Editorializes Woodstock ’94 as a negative representation of American culture because “we reveal ourselves through what we choose to celebrate.” States Woodstock ’94 personified and was emblematic of “that final phase in the modern age when romanticism slips into nihilism.” Criticizes the news media, and the New York Times in particular, for ignoring the larger social implications of the event (a compilation of the New York Times article on the event is available at http://woodstockpreservation.org/Gallery/NYTCompilation.html). Compares the concert attendees to Hitler’s Youth in terms of displaying similarly threatening attitudes. Concludes the lack of critique in the mass media means Woodstock ’94 symbolizes spiritual emptiness, social disorientation, and moral obtuseness.
- Peterson, Richard A. “The Unnatural History of Rock Festivals: An Instance of Media Facilitation.” Popular Music & Society 2.2 (1973): 97–123. https://doi.org/10.1080/03007767308591005
Identifies relevant environmental factors for a proper understanding of the rock music festival phenomenon. Asserts “a combination of external economic, political, and social forces” affected negatively the viability of holding large-scale rock festivals, all fostered with the assistance of the news media. Claims problems associated with rock festivals are not necessarily a function of their great sizes. Offers the Monterey International Pop Festival as the turning point where the potential for commercial exploitation was demonstrated. Follows by providing the planning for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as an example of promoters acting irresponsibly under concern for making a profit. Compares and contrast problems associated with urban versus rural festivals, including Woodstock, suggesting an inverse relationship. Delves into the ideological bias of the news media when covering rock music festivals. Explores the ways in which the legal system has been used to suppress festivals, through the courts, legislatures, and executive offices.
- Rahman, Ahmad A. “The Million Man March: A Black Woodstock?” The Black Scholar 26.1 (1996): 41–44. https://doi.org/10.1080/00064246.1996.11430771
Discusses unfavorable similarities between the Million Man March (1995) and the Woodstock Music and Art Fair (1969). Begins with the premise Woodstock has become no more that “a signpost on the way toward assimilation into white privilege and produced no lasting social or economic changes.” Notes attending the Woodstock concert conveyed that one was opposed to the Vietnam War, favored the legalization of marijuana, and supported the Civil Rights Movement. Claims the Woodstock festival did not, however, develop into a permanent counterculture movement due to a lack of leaders willing to establish an ideology and transform the energy of the event into political action. Argues the Million Man March parallels Woodstock in being an apex of a national voice suggesting that if it follows the same history as Woodstock, it will “reveal the limitations of cultural nationalism as a guiding political philosophy for bringing about social change.”
- Rauchway, Eric. “Santa Only Brought Me the Blues: Family Holidays, Old and New.” Reviews in American History 30.1 (2002): 98–105. https://doi.org/10.1353/rah.2002.0017
Utilizes Jimi Hendrix’s performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as an example of a syncretic event. States Hendrix both asserted his “Americanness” and maintained his ethnicity “by reinterpreting a dominant cultural custom in his own idiom.” Contrasts the 1969 festival with later incarnations (i.e., Woodstock ’94, Woodstock ’99) by offering that the original event was a holiday from the normal social order while the later ones were more carnivalesque.
- Reeves, Richard. “Mike Lang (Groovy Kid from Brooklyn) Plus John Roberts (Unlimited Capital) Equals Woodstock.” New York Times Magazine September 7 (1969): 34–35+.
Profiles John Roberts who provided the capital to fund the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Discusses his relationship with Michael Lang and the other two creators of the company Woodstock Ventures. Includes some biographical information on Roberts. Delves into the finances behind the event. Quotes Roberts expressing hope of making up the losses on the festival through the release of the motion picture Woodstock. Includes a sidebar describing what it was like to be at Woodstock as a reporter.
- Rodrick, Stephen. “Woodstock Postcard: Gone to Pot.” New Republic 211.10 (1994): 9.
Comments on the overt commercialism observed at Woodstock ’94.
- Russo, Elena. “1966: Morning in Baltimore.” Romanic Review 101.1/2 (2010): 167–189.
Draws a parallel between the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969 and a symposium on “the languages of criticism and the sciences of man” held at Johns Hopkins University in 1966. The symposium included invited French nihilists. States both events were portrayed as barbarian invasions and both events continue to be discussed forty years later.
- Salgado, Richard P. “Regulating a Video Revolution.” Yale Law & Policy Review 7.2 (1989): 516–537. http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1170&context=ylpr
Examines retail videotape rentals of motion pictures, a relatively new phenomenon in 1989. Observes how children may now have access to movies intended for adults, thus creating pressure for legislatures “to regulate which videotapes may be distributed and to whom.” Refers to a court case surrounding a statute restricting access for anyone under the age of eighteen to the motion picture Woodstock. Notes the “court struck down the statute on first amendment grounds as a prior restraint” because judicial supervision is “essential to the determination of whether particular speech is unprotected for the purpose of issuing a prior restraint.” Reports the court found fault with the judgment made by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) using unknown standards and procedures. Concludes that while legislatures may draft statutes classifying some videos inappropriate for minors, they cannot abdicate the responsibility to “private organizations which are virtually immune from judicial scrutiny,” such as MPAA.
- Samuels, David. “Rock is Dead: Sex, Drugs, and Raw Sewage at Woodstock ‘99.” Harper’s Magazine November (1999): 69–82.
Attempts to make sense, in some detail, of the conditions and attitudes that led to the riots at Woodstock ’99. Follows Michael Lang during the lead up to and through the event. Shows the festival unfolding through the perspective of one of the organizers, John Scher. Describes the concert as a “prepackaged Information-Age happening.” Concludes the riots were the result of something greater than the sum of the parts (e.g., poor planning, greed, personal irresponsibility). Offers America has yet to recover from the breakdown in society which occurred three decades early and was symbolized by the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
- Sisk, John P. “The Young and the Irreverent.” Georgia Review 43.3 (1989): 447–457.
Invokes the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as an example of a puerilist society in which childish behavior is observed in adults. States society corrupted by puerilism exhibits elders who “are inclined to take without question the expressed or implied social criticism of the young.” Suggests Woodstock participants expressed ideas about “sex, social and political arrangements, education, interpersonal relations, and war.” States the crowd at Woodstock was, in actuality, possessed by these ideas rather than having ownership over them. Suggests Woodstock represented nothing more than a temporary irreverence, an example of secular society worshiping youth.
- Smedinghoff, Gerry. “Deconstructing the Conservative Mind.” Vital Speeches of the Day 71.8 (2005): 234–242. http://www.gerrysmedinghoff.com/articles/DeconstructingTheConservativeMind.pdf
Prints a speech by the author given to the Economic Supper Club of Phoenix, Arizona (January 19, 2005). Declares time has proven the premise of the book The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk to be “a self-delusional lie.” Offers the German youth of the 1930s and the American counterculture youth of the 1960s as the “best example of Karl Marx’s dictum that history repeats itself: first as a tragedy, then as a farce.” Represents these two generations via the motion pictures Triumph of Will and Woodstock in which documented are mirror cohorts of youth expressing immature emotions and “shouting the same mindless slogans.”
- Sobieraj, Sarah, and Heather Laube. “Confronting the Social Context of the Classroom: Media Events, Shared Cultural Experience, and Student Response.” Teaching Sociology 29.4 (2001): 463–470. https://doi.org/10.2307/1318947 http://as.tufts.edu/sociology/sites/all/themes/asbase/assets/documents/sobierajSocialcontext.pdf
Asserts “student response to course content is contingent upon many factors, including the social context in which they interact with class materials.” Conveys a personal example of teaching on the topic of pornography and the use of a Time magazine article reporting on rape at Woodstock ’99. Relates students were focused more on the concept of blame being placed on the music group Korn, specifically mentioned in the article, than on the cause of the public rapes. Explores explanations for this reaction. Suggests reasons in light of recent debates on violence in media. Concludes teachers of sociology need to be mindful of the social context within the classroom in order to take advantage of important teaching moments.
- Stahl, Gerry. “Attuned to being: Heideggerian Music in Technological Society.” Boundary 2 4.2 (1976): 635–664. https://doi.org/10.2307/302157 http://gerrystahl.net/publications/interpretations/attuned.pdf
Posits contemporary art must embody a state of technology “in order to criticize its contemporary social form.” Asserts it is necessary to merge Martin Heidegger’s views on art with Karl Marx’s critical theory on capitalism. Applies Heidegger to a conceptualization of electronic music. Insists “art must relate to the historical context of its desired audience and appropriately interpret the truth of its own medium.” Offers as a prime example Jimi Hendrix’s rendering of The Star Spangled Banner at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Suggests the performance serves to comment, without words, on the United States involvement in the Vietnam War and Hendrix is “interpreting an historical text in a manner suited to a contemporary audience.”
- Torn, Jon Leon. “Taking Public Address Seriously: A Graduate Student’s Response.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 4.3 (2001): 515–524. https://doi.org/10.1353/rap.2001.0055
Conceptualizes rock music as a combination of “the transcendence over human suffering that exemplified the blues, the truth-telling emotional power of black gospel, and the ‘authentic’ social critique of folk music.” Notes the 1960s saw the rise of the musician as politician. Calls for more public discourse on the politics of rock music culture given the continuing “gender and racial politics of male sexual license and cultural appropriation” still in evidence. Cites the rioting and rapes at Woodstock ’99 as making evident a lack of sustained progress in this area.
- Vider, Stephen. “Rethinking Crowd Violence: Self-Categorization Theory and the Woodstock 1999 Riot.” Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 34.2 (2004): 141–166. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0021-8308.2004.00240.x
Evaluates a cognitive model of collective behavior known as Self-Categorization Theory (SCT) in order to understand crowd violence, using the riots at Woodstock ’99 because they have been described as both “social protest” and “irrational delinquency.” Specifically, examines “whether social identity was a significant factor in the emergence and spread of violence.” Describes the physical environment and conditions at Woodstock ’99. Explores motivations behind the rioting, including the use of illegal drugs. Offers there was a social purpose to the violence and some claimed the rioting was a “response to inflated prices, inadequate sanitation, and otherwise poor conditions.” Notes much of the action was aimed towards property representative of the promoters and other commercial entities as opposed to other individual concert attendees. Questions whether rioting was caused by a sense of economic injustice or was extreme commercialism simply used as a justification. Suggests the reality was a “behavioral unity with cognitive diversity.” Invokes Freud to describe the crowd’s psychological response to violent messages emanating from the stage. Claims SCT fails to account for the “attraction and excitement” of joining a violent crowd. Compares and contrasts the Woodstock ’99 events to a riot at Ohio State University in November 2002 following a football game, suggesting tradition as a source of behavioral norms, including crowd violence. Claims the news media helps to establish ritualized memory, as in the mythology of rebellion created from the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair held in 1969.
- Zito, Jack S. “Music Medicine.” MLO: Medical Laboratory Observer 32.2 (2000): 40–44. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Music+
Describes from a first-person perspective the management of medical services provided by Centrex Clinical Laboratories at Woodstock ’99. Discusses staff coverage, drug-screening arrangements, and supplies. Notes majority of patients were treated for dehydration, drug overdoses, and mosh pit injuries.
Discourses on the concept of “clash” and its use in democracies and in the classroom. Claims democracies employ deeply held adversarial stances and contention “dressed up, perfumed, decorated, and policed into decency.” Points to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as an example of “a quarter-million sheep gathered into one place at one time, who didn’t know they were being sheared, while praise and poetry arose from the young and even from the presumed enemies of the young.” Describes members of the 1960s counterculture as chumps because they were merely a “means of profit, and not much more, to promoters of Woodstock and the publishers of Jerry Rubin and Abbey Hoffman.”
Proceedings[edit | edit source]
- Cunha, Victoria. “The Medium is the (Rock) Message: A Mythic Comparison of Woodstock and Live Aid.” Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association. November 3–6, 1988, New Orleans, LA.
Seeks to discover a relationship between promotional media used for significant events and the nature of the post-event mythology. Compares the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair with the 1985 Live Aid concert by examining the ways in which the events were organized, promoted, and executed. Although Live Aid attempted to capitalized on the Woodstock mythology, it ultimately failed due to generational and philosophical differences.
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Mathewes-Green, Frederica. “Woodstock II: Regeneration Gap.” 1994. http://frederica.com/writings/woodstock-ii-regeneration-gap.html
- Sanjek, David. “Woodstock”, in Encyclopedia of American Studies. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.
Describes in a few words the Woodstock Music and Art Fair from a sociological perspective. States Woodstock was a manifestation of increasing corporate investment in the 1960s counterculture. Claims “large-scale musical gatherings such as Woodstock exist simultaneously in an industrial and an ideological dimension.” Asserts, therefore, events such as Woodstock force the exploration of a generation’s “aims and aspirations.” Touches on the failed attempts to “recapture the transient sensibilities” of 1969’s Woodstock event through Woodstock ‘94 and Woodstock ’99, noting popular music by then had become a consumer good as opposed to a “road to egalitarian aspirations.” Questions where contemporary youth can express their idealized futures.
Uses the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the subsequent Woodstock ’94 to comment on the differing values of the two generations (baby boomers vs. Generation X) served by the events. Notes the flaws associated with both generations and observes Generation X has “no defining passion, no idealism, no role except consumer.” Explores the current fascination with Charles Manson, citing the appropriation of his cult-like status by Generation X musicians (Guns N’ Roses, Evan Dando, and Trent Reznor). Describes Joe Cocker’s performances at Woodstock ’94. Comments on the violent stage antics of Nine Inch Nails and Blind Melon at the same event. Concludes the original Woodstock gave society “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” while Woodstock ’94 added “rage, contempt, and meaninglessness.
Videos[edit | edit source]
- The Sixties: The Years that Shaped a Generation. Paramount Home Entertainment, 2005. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUc2eLe-ruI
Features interviews with the notable persons from the 1960s, including: Daniel Ellsberg, Jesse Jackson, Tom Hayden, Arlo Guthrie, Henry Kissinger, Norman Mailer, Robert McNamara, Ed Messe, and Bobby Seale. Includes discussion of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the Altamont Speedway concert. Also covers the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, counterculture politics and associated events. Includes archival footage.