Muddled Thoughts of Woodstock Remembered

Twang…twang…buzz… Twang

My older brother George went to Woodstock back in 1969. He was 21 and I remember him just up and leaving one day to go to some concert in NY. I never paid much attention to it and it wasn't until recently with the upcoming 40th anniversary of Woodstock that I reflect on it. I talked to George recently (now 61) and he seemed to remember mainly one thing about it...mud.
I suppose many who were there have their own faded memories....

oh hello, didn’t see you there. I was just flubbing around here on the old guitar trying to remember that song by that group… what was there name? They were at Woodstock. Country Joe and something. Canned Tuna?
A Tin of Tuna? Mmmm.. that sounds delicious. Something about a fish. I forget how it goes. twang…buzz…
This guitar here, I’ve had it for over forty years. It’s the size of a baby cello. twang…bzzz...twang. Cliff, one of my friends in high school, made it in shops class. He wasn’t very good at math or deciphering scale measurements. He was more of an abstract thinker. Psychedelics I remember. I’ve been practicing this opening riff to the old Who song, “I’m Going to Explain” or whatever it was called. “I’ll Explain Later”, that’s it. Remember…Bah!…Bah-ba!… Bahhh! Bah-ba! I think they did it at Woodstock.

Oh boy, yeah Woodstock. August 1969. twang…twang…buzzzz…This year is the 40th anniversary but it seems like it was just yesterday. Or the day before. What is today, by the way? Wow those memories come seeping back man. Three days of peace, music and mud. A lot of mud. That’s what I remember…the mud. And the music, it was something else. It was muddied too and distant but I still heard them all… Jimi, Janis, the Who, Canned Tuna, Santa Anna, the Doors, Dylan. twang…twang…hummm…

I was, let’s see, ha, the mind seems to be slipping some these days, oh about eighteen back then…. twang…twang…
I do remember looking up through my parent’s basement window and seeing my best friend, Jorge on his knees growling, “hey Desieldorfor, grab some dough and a sleeping bag. Yasgur’s farm awaits!” I was puzzled because it looked like a large cat with a rat’s face peering in at me. I had just dropped some acid.
“Farm?” Okay I told him.

We took off with some guy Jorge knew from school who had wheels. I think his name was Roscoe or Rothco, something like that. Off we went on this unplanned adventure to New York and an ‘Aquarian Festival’. It was the ‘Age of Aquarian’ or some crazy thing. Remember that song?… twang…twang…hummm… it is a drowning of the age of Aqu…anyway, it was a chance to get away from the SS back on the home front there in Manitoba. The ol’ Herr Fuhrer and Frau never said anything. I don’t think they knew I was gone. I did say bye to my little brother Mark who came chasing up behind Romeo’s car with my sleeping bag. Thanks Mark. I don’t know what I’d do without you.

To tell the truth, I don’t remember much about the trip having just dropped that acid. twang…twang…twang…buzz… We dropped another tab just as we were leaving the city. I do remember lying in a field and it was raining pretty hard. I was trapped in my mudbag, damn that cheap bag and zipper… twang… and I could hear music playing off somewhere down a hill. Mostly I recall some farmer guy plowing by in a tractor, zig-zagging around a couple of us sleepy people. He was yelling at us, “fuck hippie, git outta here!” then,“OOOOH SHIT.” The rest is foggy. Twang…twang…buzz…

I guess Woodstock was a huge happening and there were drugs and music and plenty of bands to see and a ton of them got even more famous but I didn’t see them. I didn’t see anybody.
We never did get to Yasgur’s farm. We got as far as old farmer Rawley’s potato field about five miles from my house. Appears that acid was a real mind-bender.

I remember waking up in a rather comfortable bed…my own. And there was little Mark standing beside it holding my muddy sleeping bag. He told me I had been gone a day. twang… twang…Old Rawley had called the cops. Seems he ran over Jorge in his sleeping bag. The ground was so wet and mucky; he sunk into it like a log in quicksand. He was okay. Not a dent. And apparently all that music I heard…KCSN-92.5 FM blaring from Roy’s car, which had somehow found its way into Rawley’s ditch. Man those were some crazy times but I think most of us turned out okay. Twang…twang…buzz…twang

My little brother Mark called last week and asked if I wanted to go out to New York to celebrate the 40th anniversary. A lot of things have changed since the 60’s but not Mark. He’s still looking out for me. He’s like that Who’s song, “The Kid is Alright”. He even bought me that Woodstock DVD for Christmas. He said he didn’t want me to ever forget the experience. twang…twang…hummm…twang…buzz…

I’m now just a regular family man and I don’t need too many drugs these days to enjoy myself. I mostly get my high at my job landing airplanes. Maybe Mark’s right. We should go to the celebration and I’ll bring along Janine and the kids too.
And when they ask, “Gee, were you really here?” I’ll pull out this baby cello and twang that wonderful old riff from that Who song, “I Can Explain”.
I really can.
Twang…twang…buzz… Twang…twang…buzz


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