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Woodstock Essay

2210 words - 9 pages


The muddiest four days in history were celebrated in a drug-induced haze in Sullivan County, New York (Tiber 1). Music soared through the air and into the ears of the more than 450,000 hippies that were crowded into Max Yasgur's pasture. "What we had here was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence," said Bethel town historian Bert Feldmen. "Dickens said it first: 'it was the best of times, it was the worst of times'. It's an amalgam that will never be reproduced again" (Tiber 1). It also closed the New York State Thruway and created one of the nation's worst traffic jams (Tiber 1). Woodstock, with its rocky beginnings, epitomized the culture of that era through music, drug use, and the thousands of hippies who attended, leaving behind a legacy for future generations.

Woodstock was the hair brained idea of four men that met each other completely at random. It was the counterculture's biggest bash, which ultimately cost over $2.4 million, and was sponsored by John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld, and Michael Lang (Young 18). John Roberts was an heir to a drugstore and toothpaste manufacturing fortune. He supplied the money, for he had a multi-million dollar trust fund, a University of Pennsylvania degree, and a Lieutenant's commission in the Army (Tiber 1). Joel Rosenman, the son of a prominent Long Island orthodontist, had just graduated from Yale Law School (Makower 28). In 1967, he was playing guitar for a lounge band in motels from Long Island to Law Vegas. He and Roberts met on a golf course in the fall of 1966 (Tiber 1). By the next winter, Roberts and Rosenman shared an apartment and were trying to figure out what to do with their lives. One idea was to create a screw ball situation comedy for television (Landy, Spirit 62). "It was an office comedy about two pals with more money than brains and a thirst for adventure," Rosenman said. To get plot ideas for their sitcom, Roberts and Rosenman put a classified as in the Wall Street Journal and

Fanning 2

the New York Times in March of 1968 that read: "Young men with unlimited capital looking for interesting, legitimate investment opportunities and business propositions" (Tiber 1). Artie

Kornfeld was the vice-president of Capitol Records. He smoked hash in the office and was the Company's connection with the rockers that were starting to sell millions or records (Makower 32). Michael Lang's friends described him as a "cosmic pixie" (Makower 33). He had a head full of curly black hair down to his shoulders. At 23, he owned what may have been the first head shop in the state of Florida. In 1968, Lang produced one of the biggest rock shows ever, the two-day Miami Pop Festival, which drew 40,000 people (Tiber 1). At 24, Lang was the manager of a rock group called Train. He took his proposal for a record deal to Kornfeld at Capitol, and history began.

The four met to discuss their idea at a high-rise on 83rd Street (Young 37). Lang...

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