Sunday, August 30, 2009

How Much Wood would a Woodstock Stock if a . . .

We offered the best compliment a movie goer can. We stayed in the parking lot for at least 20 minutes after the credits had rolled discussing what we had seen, what we hadn't, and how the film had engaged each of us in a different way.

I hadn't planned on exploring "The Road to Woodstock" but a friend opted for it over finding out more about that Time Traveler's Wife. At one point, I laughed aloud, leaned over and whispered, "If someone asks what kind of movie this is, how will you answer?"

Funny . . . but not a comedy. About music . . . but not a musical. Serious . . . but see previous remark about funny. About history but plays with the truth for dramatic purposes.

All in all, a surprise and a pleasure.

I realized, while watching, how little I knew about this pivotal cultural phenomenon. I did recently learn that one of the volunteers I work with was from Woodstock and had dated the son of the man who provided the farm. I knew Hendrix played (but I didn't know that he was last and only about 45,000 heard the Star Spangled Banner as only he could do it). I knew mud, drugs, and nudity had all played a part. But that was about it.

I mean, really, I was 8 years old and living in Greenfield, TN!

What I didn't know and wanted to find out as soon as the flick concluded and we had dissected it thoroughly in a parking lot review:
- did they make money? (not on the concert but on the movie and everything else)
- did the farm owner suffer from the loss of grass for his cows, etc? (The townspeople sued him, he sued the organizers and finally got money for restoring everything, but he loved the experience. He also sold the farm within two years, moved to Florida and died.)
- did Bob Dylan show up? (no)
- did it really happen the way the movie explains it? (According to who you ask)
- did they clean it up? (yes and no but eventually)
- did the town benefit? (They actually fought the notoriety for decades but have recently embraced it.)

I could find all this info because I now have the Internet at home AND because the History Channel was actually featuring a Woodstock documentary when I arrived back at the house.

The one thing they couldn't tell me . . . did the folks who attended the "three days of peace and love" ever figure out a way to find the harmony without a soundtrack?

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