The First Woodstock on was held on my seventeenth birthday.
Max Yasger, the farmer who owned the land we were on, told the crowd – “You young people have proven something to the world. This is the largest group of people ever assembled in one place. The important thing you have proven to the world, is that a half a million people can get together in one place and have three days of fun and music, and have nothing but three days of fun and music, and I God bless you for it.”
I heard over and over that we were onto something. We gave everyone hope for the future. Most of the people in the town were glad to be part of something they knew was going to be historic. They liked being able to watch young people of all colors having fun together. Most of them told me it was the most exciting event in their lives.
Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Sly and the Family Stone, and most of the band Santana, were some of the black groups. There were lots of black faces in the crowd: at the time I thought nothing of it. Integration of the groups and the crowd was not a factor, for me or for anyone who came there. We were all kindred spirits. It was nice for the bands, too, because they were able to mingle with the crowd.
Nowadays, If I held a Woodstock, We could have bands like Maroon 5, Kanye West, Blake Shelton, 50 Cent, Toby Keith, Beyonce’, Eminem, Mumford and Sons, Lady Antebellum, Black Eyed Peas, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, Adele, and Justin Timberlake. I’m pretty sure Maroon 5 is the only band in that group I haven’t written with.
There was a Woodstock on my birthday in 94 and 99. I knew many of the bands at the other Woodstocks. I was at the 94 one but by then the Moocs had taken over and made sure it wasn’t peaceful and it was very commercial. Also, there were Mooc bands invited that I had nothing to do with. If I held one again I’d have to run it and make sure I knew everyone invited.