play_arrow

keyboard_arrow_right

skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
playlist_play chevron_left
volume_up
chevron_left
play_arrow

Edutorials

Legacy of Woodstock

The Housing Hour August 7, 2019


Background

Special Guest

Terry Adams

Adams Law Firm

Terry Adams joins The Housing Hour this week to reflect on one of our countries most iconic weekends ‘ Woodstock ’69’. Terry, Kevin, and Mark discuss the ‘Legacy of Woodstock’ and the impact of the countercultural movement.

Terry has a unique background, having grown up in the Nashville music scene. His mother, Shirley Wood, was a well known and respected country music songwriter. It was not unusual for Terry to find famous musicians in his home growing up.

The Housing Hour reached out to a festival goer and got their first-hand account. Below is the letter that they sent for us to share with you!

Yes, I was at Woodstock that August in 1969. I was a college sophomore at the time. I remember our decision to go to Woodstock like it was yesterday. I was hanging out with a few of my friends at “The Coral”, a local watering hole on Philly’s Main Line on that Friday night of the concert weekend. I was freshly energized from my trip to the Atlantic City Pop Festival held less than 2 weeks prior. When Woodstock entered the conversation and the great groups that would be performing a snap decision was made. By early the next morning 4 of us were heading north on the PA Turnpike toward Bethel, NY. I recall that it was a warm, sunny day. The perfect day for a road trip – particularly in a GTO convertible with the top down. By the time we hit the NY Thruway it became apparent we were not alone. There was a steady stream of traffic and volume expanded with each mile. By the time we exited the Thruway and merged onto a 2 lane country road the traffic was slowed to a crawl, but honestly, no one seemed to mind. The parade in of itself was a sight to behold: Vans, Microbuses, campers, vehicles painted with all colors and patterns imaginable. American Flags that were in dayglow colors, repurposed school buses, motorcycles and pickup trucks – all loaded with concertgoers! It was when the traffic came to a complete halt, about 4 miles from the venue that we decided to bail on the car. We found a field where I could safely park my car away from the masses and joined in the march. The crowd was massive and like nothing I’d ever seen. No one seemed pushy or annoyed by the press of the people all around them. We all simply merged and moved  forward. By the time we arrived at the entrance the gates were non-existent. In fact there  were no fences or anyone to take tickets and all I could see was a sea of people. I could hear Carlos Santana in the distance. We continued walking toward the music for what may have been another mile before we actually reached our destination and heard that the concert was now “free”. The road was muddy and food vendors parked along the way had mostly closed, having sold out after the first day! I recall being thankful that we brought food & drink in our backpacks. I recall walking past a makeshift Red Cross field hospital that seemed well- organized & pretty low-key. I also recall somehow eventually ending up near the stage in amazement & seeing concertgoers that looked like they had been in a war zone – filthy, many covered in mud and still wet from Friday night’s rainstorm. I recall no one seemed to care & neither did I – we were all together there to enjoy this great music & have a great time!

I could not believe our luck at finding a spot at rear stage left – right under a catwalk where performers walked from the trailers across to the stage. We could both see the performers on stage & hear all of the music. Location, Location, Location & it was not long before we got to know everyone around us – Incredible experience. Canned Heat came on as the sun was setting. They were followed by Mountain, The Grateful Dead and CCR. Credence Clearwater Revival was one of my favorites so I was in my glory. Janis Joplin was followed by Sly & the Family Stone. By then I think it was after 4 am. I think I maybe got 2 hours sleep before The Jefferson Airplane came on & Gracie Slick woke us all up with, “Breakfast for 300,000!”.

During the music, everyone was engaged and euphoric (in more ways than one). It was only after Gracie & the group departed the stage across the catwalk that the massive reality of the event came into view. It would be several hours before the next group would come on – We decided to see if we could grab a spot at the top of the hill as a change of pace but realized pretty quickly this was a bad decision. By the time we did finally reach the top of the hill there was no place to sit. Even if a space could be found you couldn’t see the stage as it was literally standing room only.

So there we were. It was Sunday before noon. We were at the top of the hill and considered options. It was hot. It smelled. I don’t need to mention the thought of portable toilets that crews could not get near to service. No food – we had eaten all we had by Saturday night. And trash everywhere. We looked at each other and unanimously decided, “Time to go”. Well, not everyone. One of our group had run into friends who were staying – he opted to stay and ride home with them.

My car, alone in a field the day before, was now surrounded by a sea of vehicles. I was thankfully able to navigate it through the maze and back onto that country road that led to home. Exhausted with no regrets.

So much has been written about this event – my notes don’t include the kind of stories or insight that hasn’t been written before. Even though 50 years have passed I remain in awe and have to smile at the thought of it all. Nothing was like it ever before or ever since. Just think about it – over 400,000 people together for 3 days under conditions that most people today wouldn’t tolerate for an hour.

Woodstock’s theme was Love & Peace. There’s something to that.

David Crosby had it right: “Love is better than hatred, Peace is better than war”.

Thanks Mark, for asking me to share my Woodstock experience. It gave me an opportunity to put some thought into both my recollections and how much life has changed for us all.

All the best

Tagged as: .

Previous episode
Similar episodes