Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: woodstock (Page 1 of 2)

Don’t Eat The Brown Acid, Especially If You’re A Monkey

Hey, Woodstock Monkey. Whatcha doing?

“Catching PTSD. I am in the middle of traumatization.”

Anything in particular?

“What was it again that you called me?”

Woodstock Monkey.

“There you go. That explains the entire problem. I am a monkey…and I am at Woodstock.”

I guess.

“Absolutely should not be here under any circumstances. If you believe in God, then God didn’t want this. If you prefer evolution, then evolution did not prepare me for this.”

You should be in a jungle.

“At the very least, thick forest.”

Yeah, you’re a squirrel monkey. Or a spider monkey.

“I should be swinging from tree to tree like…who’s that racist trope with the cool name?”

Tarzan.

“Him. I got arms like rubber bands, man. Boing boing boing, tree to tree. But I’m not doing that.”

No, you’re at Woodstock.

“I’m not doing great, man. You ever hear Tim Hardin? Just awful.”

You’re not wrong.

“Also, I’m surrounded by half-a-million people. Not optimal.”

Dude, run away. There’s woods all over the place.

“Yeah, I’m completely incapable of living out in the wild. Rollerskate raised me from birth.”

Rollerskate?

“The girl I own. She calls herself Rollerskate.”

No, she doesn’t.

“Hey, man: it’s 1969, and she’s the type of person who brings a monkey to Woodstock. Of course her name is Rollerskate.”

Let’s move on. Anything I can do for you?

“Is anyone here selling churros?”

I don’t know. I could check.

“If there’s a churro guy, get me one. That would help a lot.”

Gotcha. Listen, Woodstock Monkey: I apologize on behalf of the whole human race for this.

“Just get the fucking churro, dude.”

Okay.

Twelve Thoughts On Woodstock

ONE

My father said he was there, but none of us believed him. Dad also told us that he was at the final game of the 1969 World Series; we did believe that. His Woodstock story consisted did consist entirely of “We walked around, and it was disgusting, so we went back to the bungalow colony.” That did sound like him.

TWO

A golf course. Woodstock was birthed on the second green, fleshed out by the turn, and the papers were signed at the 19th Hole. A couple rich kids, and then a guy who worked at a head shop. Not one clue between the three.

THREE

Woodstock caused Altamont just as the First World War One caused the Second World War Two. The presence of the former necessitated the existence of the latter. In a lot of ways, Sha Na Na’s set can be likened to the Treaty of Versailles.

FOUR

Here’s some film of the Dead in Bethel.

Woodstock was not in Woodstock. There was no location suitable for the crowds in Woodstock, so the concert was to be held in Wallkill, which is around 40 miles from Woodstock, but the good people of Wallkill chased the hippies out, and so the festival was held in a town called Bethel, which is around 40 miles from Wallkill. All of these towns are in the Catskill Mountains.

Air conditioning beat back the summer, but cities used to simply surrender. Paris still does. Your only chance in the heat was to flee the concrete oven with her radiating tenements and sizzling stoops. Get out of town! The folks in Philly took the train to Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore. Bostonians trekked out to the Cape. But New Yorkers had vacation options. Class-based of course. The rich folks went to the Hamptons. Still do. The Jews went to the Catskills, where it was cool and there was a lake every twenty feet. (Minnesota gets all the attention when it comes to lake-having, but I feel like New York State gets slept on. Unbelievable number of lakes Upstate.)

There were Communist summer camps for the kids; and bungalow colonies for the broke, or outdoorsy, or artistic; and boarding houses (most of them thoroughly Communist, as well). The hotels were king; they were the absolute and unquestioned center of Jewish life in New York for two or three generations. My parents courted at the most expensive hotel my dad could afford at the time, which was the Nevele. There was Kutsher’s, and the Concord, and Brown’s, and a dozen other resorts, each self-contained of its own food, lodging, and fun. This was necessary, as most of the guests had taken trains up, and were forced to stay on your property.

Grossinger’s was the biggest, and–like all the others–was full service. Dining room sat 3,000. Bill Graham waited tables there as a kid. Two mammoth swimming pools, indoor and out. Tennis and golf and all that shit, obviously. Summertime ice rink, which was impressive in the 1950’s, and a huge staff featuring employees whose sole job it was to entertain you. Bingo caller. Each hotel had a star Bingo caller. There was also a job called a tummeler, which is Yiddish for “pain-in-the-ass, but funny.” The hotel would pay someone just to hang around the pool cracking jokes and starting games of Simon Says.

(Simon Says was incredibly important at resorts in the Catskills. I can’t explain it. Put a bunch of Jews in nature, and intensely competitive games of Simon Says will break out. Jews fucking love Simon Says.)

And the showroom. The greats played the Borscht Belt. Duke Ellington, and all of the Rat Pack, and Ella Fitzgerald. Broadway producers sent their swing corps up the Hudson to put on condensed versions of the latest musicals. Comedians, too. Jews like Simon Says and stand-up comedy. Everyone you can think of started in the Catskills, and then came back when they got big.

It was Vegas, but kosher.

I wonder who was headlining the showroom of Grossinger’s on the weekend of Woodstock. Maybe it was Desi Arnez and his Orchestra.

Neither the Dead nor any other rockyroll types were permitted entrance to Grossinger’s, and instead stayed in the Holiday Inn right next door. The hippies couldnot be barred, though. The concert started an influx of crunchy-types into the area; this, combined with the onset of affordable air travel and ubiquitous air conditioning, led to the demise of the grand hotels. Some of ’em hung around through the 80’s and 90’s, but the rot had set in and the resorts were just big ol’ passing-for-white elephants.

35 buildings at Grossinger’s at its height, and the last one remaining got knocked down last year. Maybe some rich asshole will put a house on the land, maybe condos, maybe a casino. Nothing but maybe.

FIVE

Joan Baez should be launched into the sun. I’m sure she’s a personally lovely woman. She actively supports many wonderful causes. She is kind to animals, children, and old people. Shoot her into the sun.

SIX

Look at this bullshit:

See the bathrooms? No? That’s because there weren’t any. It is an absolute miracle that Woodstock didn’t see a dysentery outbreak. Or cholera. The idiot promoters should have been jailed, or keelhauled. Michael Lang should have been brought to the nearest deep-sea harbor, somewhere one might find a ship with a large enough keel to make being hauled under it a punishment, and then keelhauled. It is unconscionable to create this situation without adequate preparation. All that kept Woodstock from being a humanitarian disaster was luck.

SEVEN 

And not hiring the Hells Angels to be the security. Luck, and an excellent staffing decision kept Woodstock from being a disaster. Michael Lang and the other two guys made many, many poor choices, but deputizing a criminal organization comprised of hyper-violent psychopaths was not one of them. Good call, guys.

EIGHT

I always get Sweetwater, which was a real band, confused with Stillwater, which was not.

FEEEEE-VUH DAWG!

I should watch Almost Famous again.

NINE

Zep wasn’t there, man. (They did go to Vegas to catch Elvis’ show at the International on the 12th of August, though.) Beatles, obviously. Dylan didn’t show. Byrds weren’t there, and neither was Zappa. (He would have hated it.) The Doors were too busy being terrible in Los Angeles. KISS had not been formed yet. Buddy Holly was dead. None of Hitler’s clones knew how to play guitar.

TEN

There were no standards. Look at this bullshit:

That’s not a stage, that’s a platform. Woodstock was the jankiest shit I’ve ever seen.

ELEVEN

Yeah, yeah, Country Joe and his stupid chant, and Wavy Gravy and his stupid nose, and The Who and their stupid opera. and Jimi and his stupid musical metaphors. God I’m bored of Woodstock.

TWELVE

Hey, Garcia. Whatcha doing?

“Taking in the sights, man.”

Right on.

Real-Time Thoughts On The Dead’s Woodstock Set

  • I hate this already.
  • Damn you all, damn you all to hell.
  • I had a ’73 on.
  • A SEVENTY-THREE!
  • Eh, this is not so bad.
  • St. Stephen, doodley-doo.
  • They could start singing any time.
  • Any time at…there you go.
  • Strong start.
  • WHAMMO
  • Holy shit, that was an “>”.
  • That was the hardest > I’ve ever encountered in the wild.
  • The setlist makes no sense.
  • Woodstock was a TC show, and that is a rare show, indeed.
  • They do not 100% know Mama Tried yet.
  • The Dead took–at minimum–18 months to learn a song, and Mama Tried wasn’t there yet.
  • And now there’s what is generally referred to in the parlance as “banter,” and it’s…oh, holy shit ten fucking minutes?
  • Ten minutes in between songs?
  • I cannot sanction this buffoonery.
  • Oh, no.
  • Is that Ken fucking Babbs?
  • THAT FUCKER NEARLY RUINED VENETA.
  • No.
  • I’m skipping ahead to Dark Star.
  • Fuck this noise; I am in the last half of my life, and I will not give it to Ken Babbs’ drug-drenched nonsense.
  • My God, the bush league of it all.
  • John Fogerty is right to be mad at you, Grateful Dead.
  • He laid out his expectations, that you kept on choogling.
  • He did not ask that you choogled poorly for a bit, then took a ten-minute smoke break, and then choogled a little bit more.
  • Dark Star.
  • I have not ever to my knowledge listened to the Woodstock set before.
  • Although I would have sworn that The Band did not play that weekend, so my memory is suspect.
  • But I bring to the show all the baggage of the expectation, so perhaps I’m picking apart the music with a butcher’s ear.
  • This is, we are told, the worst show the Grateful Dead ever played.
  • But they’re just playing Dark Star.
  • TC’s leading the way.
  • Heavy TC presence on this Upstate evening.
  • Is Garcia even on stage?
  • Where’s the Big Guy?
  • “Don’t call me that.”
  • Oh, there he is.
  • Who’s afraid of the Woodstock set?
  • It’s Dark Star!
  • Everybody loves a Dark Star, even the crappy ones.
  • And this is not crappy.
  • To us, Enthusiast.
  • Because we, you and I, love a spacey, shakey, sketchy Dark Star that falls apart once or twice.
  • But they’re literally playing Jazz Odyssey for a festival crowd.
  • Aw, they’re being all quiet and thoughtful.
  • The Dead simply could not have been more ill-prepared.
  • Think of how rarely they played outside the hippie circuit before 1969.
  • This is delightful music for a theater full of tripping kids.
  • But there’s 500,00 people there.
  • Not all of whom were Deadheads.
  • Lots of people hate this kind of bullshit.
  • We don’t.
  • But we are a minority.
  • Most people wanna hear songs.
  • And sing along with choruses.
  • If you can write a chorus that folks wanna sing along to, you will make great deals of money in the music industry.
  • Dark Star does not have a chorus.
  • And has now petered out into High Time, and there is all sorts of commotion from the crowd.
  • Settle down, teens!
  • Calm your tits.
  • Here is music to soothe yourselves to: High Time, which I think I hate.
  • Obviously, I’ve tried to like the song, but it’s a dirge with an awkward melody and clunky lyrics.
  • Billy’s going for it, though.
  • THA-THUMP.
  • “Billy, it’s a ballad song.”
  • THA-THUMP THUMP.
  • Why?
  • Why High Time?
  • This was not the time for High Time.
  • Casey Jones might have filled the spot in a more crowd-rousing fashion.
  • Cosmic Charlie!
  • Dead was kicking the shit out of Cosmic Charlie in the Summer of ’69.
  • Whoa, yeah.
  • No, no: High Time.
  • The slow one that nobody knows.
  • Sweet monkey Jesus, who is that?
  • Why has a rando been given a mic?
  • WHERE IS PARISH?
  • WHY HAS THIS MAN NOT BEEN ASSAULTED?
  • Unacceptable.
  • Okay, it was pretty cool in the end, but the general principle remains: randos do not get microphones.
  • The guy’s wrong, anyway: there are not three coasts.
  • There are infinite coasts.
  • Maaaaaaan.
  • Hey, Pig!
  • It’s the ol’ Pig, everybody!
  • Love me a good Lovelight.
  • Oo-ee, when the Lovelight is right, and she starts up to pumping on your johnson: that’s when you knew the nitties are properly box-backed.
  • Sometimes we get nitties that are carton-backed.
  • Can’t use those.
  • Not funky enough.
  • Oh, no, he’s back.
  • SOMEONE BEAT THIS RANDO TO DEATH.
  • There are rules!
  • Where was the Road Crew?
  • This is 1/3rd of their job.
  • They unload the shit.
  • They protect the shit.
  • They load the shit back up.
  • This falls under the umbrella of “protecting the shit.”
  • Okay, he’s gone.
  • Gonna settle me into a nice, tight Lovelight.
  • Gonna eeeeease on in here.
  • Forty minutes?
  • For fuck’s sake, Grateful Dead.
  • I have told you this before: Lovelight only contains 12 or 15 minutes worth of music.
  • Dark Star contains multitudes, and may last for hours; it is a magickal invocation, and therefore subject to its own whims and becomes irritated at attempts of steering.
  • Dark Star c’est le roi.
  • Lovelight is a Bobby “Blue” Bland number.
  • Tom Jones did it in his Vegas act.
  • Pause the Dead and listen to this:

  • Tom Jones literally has Big Dick Energy.
  • (Those Vegas bands could swing, man, and they were enormous. Elvis’ assemblage was no anomaly. Full rock band + full orchestra + backup singers. That was for every singer in every showroom. And a smaller combo in the lounge. A good drummer who showed up on time and sober could make himself a lot of money in Las Vegas back then.)
  • Anyway, notice the time stamp?
  • Two minutes and twelve seconds.
  • And twenty seconds of that is Tom getting introduced.
  • The verse.
  • Then the part that goes BAH-BAH-BAH and the chords go down.
  • And you yell LET IT SHINE for a little bit.
  • Then the song is over.
  • That’s all there is to Lovelight.
  • You can’t build castles out of taffy, brother.
  • No one can see any of this, of course.
  • There were no video screens.
  • (Would someone PLEASE do some research about the introduction of video screens to rock shows? I’m fascinated, but don’t wanna do the homework.)
  • Thirty rows?
  • Forty?
  • How close do you have to be to the stage to see what’s happening on it?
  • Because most of Woodstock was farther away than that.
  • The lack of facilities cannot be overstated, but I suppose the promoters cannot be blamed for the lack of a Jumbotron.
  • I don’t even know if a Jumbotron was possible in 1969.
  • Obviously, it would have been impossible for Michael Lang and the other two rich kids who lured all those innocent youths into that barren, foodless field in Bethel.
  • Hey, guys, are the roads gonna be able to handle the volume?
  • “HERPY DERP! PEACE AND LOVE!”
  • Fellows, have you hired a medical staff?
  • “WHOOPITY-SCOOP! NO RAIN NO RAIN!”
  • A lot of the other festivals ended in violence, not just Altamont.
  • The crowd at the Miami Pop Festival tore down the bleachers and stage, burned them in a pyre, sacrificed the soft-tittied boys.
  • Jesus, are they still playing Lovelight?
  • It’s a lot of repetition.
  • Gotta be honest with you, Enthusiasts.
  • I get it.
  • There’s pleading.
  • And Pig demands to be my rider.
  • Fine, Pig.
  • You can be my rider.
  • Just play something else.
  • Lovelight is not a portal to sonic wavelengths beyond both our beck and ken; it is a soul single from 1961.
  • It should not be forty minutes long.
  • Meals aren’t forty minutes long.
  • 12 to 15 minutes is the perfect length for a Lovelight.
  • 30 to 50 is the perfect number of feral hogs, and 12 to 15 minutes etc.
  • Lotta repetition.
  • Again: being honest.
  • Not my cup of Lovelight.
  • Too much Lovelight in my Lovelight.
  • WAIT!
  • It’s over.
  • There is a God.
  • No, Garcia won’t let the Lovelight stop.
  • The man refuses to not solo.
  • THERE!
  • Ha ha, a rando yelled at the Dead.
  • “Do you guys know any more that two songs?”
  • Epic burn, rando.

Little-Known Woodstock Facts

Cannibalism was rampant.

As many as 45 teens may have been at least partially consumed during the festival, primarily during Santana’s set. His soloing–laden with Latin-tinged emotion as it was–induced something like a hunger within the crowd, and then MONCHMONCHMONCH things got weird, and quickly.

About ten percent of the crowd were undercover FBI officers.

Or CIA. Or Soviets.Or MI6/double agent for the Queen’s Guard? (The Queen’s Guard answers directly to the Regent, and solve problems for her all over the world: sometimes quietly, other times with a bang. There’s a big guy and a smart guy and a computer guy and a guy who’s a hot chick, and they have bitchin’ gadgets, and they talk to the Queen via hologram, and then they go to exotic places and extra-legally kill exotic people.)

Or Raphaelites. (He was an angel that came to earth and started a vacuum cleaner company/cult. It’s a long story.) Anyway, a goodly portion of any festival crowd in the 60’s and 70’s were agents of one secret society or another.

Or the Thurr. (Perfect name for ’em. Look at those motherfuckers, just look at ’em. Your mind just goes “Thurr.” Jesus, look at ’em. Thurring it up like that. Oughta be a law against it.)

The Band was there.

This one’s not a joke. Was everyone else aware that The Band played Woodstock? I would have wagered in opposition not two days ago, so sure I was that the revered Americana group (that was 80% Canadian) did not attend the August ’69 festival. This is the Mandela Effect in action, Enthusiasts. What other false realities do I live in? Has there been a third Van Halen brother all this time?

The mud was doody.

Before the cows even got there, the fields were made of pure doody. Dirt is worm doody. When the teens were sliding in the mud, they were sliding in doody. Nothing but doody everywhere you looked. The whole weekend was made of doody.

Bands other than the Grateful Dead performed.

You would not know that fact from my social media feed. According to it, the story of Woodstock is: The Dead played poorly, and some other stuff happened. 

Woodstock 50©®™: A Timeline

Dead & Company, the perennial jam band mainstays whose members helped solidify and define the 1960s rock scene with their performance at the original Woodstock, are the latest casualties of organizers’ decision to try and stage the festival at Maryland’s Merriweather Post Pavilion next month.- “Dead & Company Drop Out Of Woodstock 50” – Rolling Stone

Dead & Company’s cancellation comes as little surprise to anyone following the travails of Woodstock 50©®™ (Brought  to you by Caliburn International) over this past year. The festival cannot be called a trainwreck, as no one involved is even remotely competent enough to be trusted with machinery as heavy as a train; also, tranwrecks come as a surprise. No one saw that coming, is often the refrain after two locomotives collide, except for that time some huckster bought two engines and charged the local rubes two bits to watch him crash ’em into each other, except the stands weren’t far back enough and two people died. (That’s a true story.)

In an effort to keep you, the loyal Enthusiast, abreast of all of the important music industry news of the day, TotD now presents the Official Timeline of Woodstock 50©®™:

January 10, 2019 Michael Lang, one of the co-creators of the original Woodstock, the one with the curly hair who looked like a muscular angel in his vest–announces that a 50th anniversary festival would be held in August of 2019. When asked where the three-day event would take place, Lang fakes a sneezing fit and runs from the room.

January 11, 2019 Michael Lang calls all of the journalists to tell them he meant to say Watkins Glen, and that everything was going well,  and that the bands were just about to be announced.

March 11, 2019 Michael Lang and the festival’s production company, Superfly, re-announce that they will announce the bands any minute now.

March 11, 2019 (Later that day) A new investor, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripskaya, signs on.

March 11, 2019 (Just after the Oleg thing) Deposits are wired into the accounts of Jay-Z, The Killers, Fogerty, Miley Cyrus, Dead & Company, etc.

March 11, 2019 (Just after the wire transfers are confirmed.) Jay-Z, The Killers, Fogerty, Miley Cyrus, Dead & Company, etc. post on their social media pages about how excited they are to be playing at Woodstock 50©®™, and how it was gonna be special, and all that.

March 22, 2019 Everyone sues everyone. Michael Lang sues Superfly, Superfly gets sued by Mario van Peebles, a shadowy Japanese corporation called the Dentsu Aegis Network slaps an injunction on the Ghost of Jimi Hendrix’ Headband. Judges cream their robes at the thought of being able to cram some Beatles lyrics into an opinion. All the paralegals dust off their boogie shoes, even the paraplegic paralegals.

April 2, 2019 The Black Keys back out of the festival, citing “scheduling difficulties.”

April 3, 2019 Dentsu Aegis Network dispatches ninjas to murder The Black Keys,

April 4, 2019 The ninjas are repelled handily by The Black Keys, who–and I would not have imagined this to be the case–are Batman-level martial artists.

April 5, 2019 Dentsu Aegis Network summons Dulok the Gnasher from the Cage With No Bars.

April 6, 2019 The Black Keys blow town. Ninjas are one thing, but Dulok the Gnasher is a helium-level threat and nunchucks are of no use against him. Dentsu Aegis Network neglects to recite any binding chants or cast a banishing spell, so Dulok is still in our reality. Check your hamper. He likes to hide in hampers.

April 19, 2019 The town of Watkins Glen issues a fatwa against Michaal Lang and, for some reason, the suriving members of Sha Na Na. Notified by the county’s lawyers that Islamic religious edicts were outside of their purview, the five-member town council issues a fatwa against the lawyers.

May 1, 2019 Superfly Productions pulls out, citing “general incompetence,” a “lack of time,” and they “just couldn’t look at Michael Lang’s fucking haircut anymore.”

May 8, 2019 42nd anniversary of Cornell.

May 9, 2019 Michael Lang is arrested in Pompano Beach, Florida, for stripping nude and communicating with the godhead at a Steak & Shake.

May 17, 2019 President Trump pardons Michael Lang.

May 29, 2019 Dentsu Aegis Network, Superfly, and Michael Lang meet in court, but–surprise–the judge has been gnashed by Dulok. All motions are tabled until the next day.

May 30, 2019 Nope, the demon is still in the courthouse.

June 4, 2019 Concerned citizens of Watkins Glen and the surrounding towns take their own children hostage, put guns to their heads, and threaten to pull the triggers if Woodstock 50©®™ takes place at the Speedway.

June 15, 2019 Positive news about the festival: it WILL happen. Also, they finally got Dulok off the bench and the new judge said that Dentsu and Superfly could take their money back, so there’s no money and no permit, but Jay-Z is still confirmed.

June 16, 2019 Jay-Z cancels. Michael Lang is re-arrested at the Steak & Shake, and re-pardoned that night.

June 23, 2019 New investors are found. When pressed on the identities of these investors, Michael Lang faked another sneezing attack and hung up the phone; reporters later received a call from a man who called himself “Rudy” and told them to “stop asking so many fucking questions.”

July 1, 2019 Woodstock 50©®™ applies for a location permit right outside of Vernon, New York. Citizens of Vernon immediately burn the town to the ground, and then sour the land with the blood of their young. The locals become a wandering and heartless mob, savage with grief, and they lay waste to Oneida County. Utica dies screaming.

July 5, 2019 Santana’s manager calls to cancel, and Michael Lang–like one of the agents in The Matrix–transports himself via the phone lines to Santana’s manager’s office, and straight-up kills the fucker. It’s amazing how many people have to die for a rockyroll festival.

July 11, 2019 Caliburn International signs on as sponsor, also takes over construction of temporary housing.

July 13, 2019 A scout from Woodstock 50©®™ is reported to be in downtown Monticello, New York. The mayor sets off a low-yield nuclear device upon hearing the news, rendering the area uninhabitable for 50,000 years.

July 20, 2019 Steak & Shake again.

July 21, 2019 On a dare from Camden Yards, Merriweather Post Pavilion agrees to host the festival, which is still slated for three days even though it’s only got around one day’s worth of acts left.

July 22, 2019 About eight more hours worth of pop stars cancel, but James Dolan’s band, JD & the Straight Shots, are still booked.

July 23, 2019 James Dolan is gnashed by Dulok; the Straight Shots pull out.

July 26, 2019 Billy realizes he isn’t getting a check, and Dead & Company cancel.

Tomorrow, 2019 Who can foretell the future?

Acrostic The Rio Grand-ee-oh

W is for water, as in rain, which was dripdripdroppifying all over the scalawags and reprobates and chickies at Woodstock, which is where this photo was taken.

O is for omelettes, which you couldn’t get because there was no food because it was just a fucking field with no amenities.

O is for opera, which is the plural of opus, which just means “work.” When you call something an opera, you’re literally saying “this thing someone made.” Lot less fancy when you know that.

D is for Dirty Dingus Magee. Sinatra was in it. He played a cowboy.

Because when you think “cowboy,” you think “Sinatra.” Blue-eyed Enthusiasts will note the luxurious toupee under the hat; Frank named all his hairpieces, and called that one Husky Boy.

S is for Sly Stone, or perhaps Sha Na Na, (PREDICTION: When the absurd “every single note of every single band” 38-disc Woodstock box set is released, Rock Nerds will all rediscover the Na’s brilliance. Pitchfork is already readying a thinkpiece on Bowser, I guarantee it.)

T is a drink with jam and bread, or crystal meth, or testosterone, or the mohawked muscle of the A-Team, or a square, or one of two events that stop play in a basketball game.

O is pissing me off, honestly. Three appearances in one word is too much, O. Let the other vowels get a chance to play.

C is for Country Joe and his Fish, and I’m gonna pass. Hard pass.

K is allowed to ask me about my business just this once, and also potassium.

It Was 50 Years Ago Today…

You can kill yourself by putting your head in an electric oven, Enthusiasts. You just also need to add your hand, and be holding a gun. You don’t need to know how to tie a proper noose to hang yourself, either. The traditional coiled knot exists to give the rope enough heft so that your neck can snap against it when you drop six feet; that’s why it’s placed to the side rather in back. Any knot will do if you’re just gonna choke.

And when you choose your end, please leave a note–it’s rude not to–outside the room you did it in. Don’t let family walk in on your fresh corpse. Having trouble finding the words? Let TotD help:

Dear Cruel World,

I just don’t have the strength for the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock. It’s going to be unbearable. One intuits such things.

Sincerely,
Lester Bangs

It’s gonna be dire, Enthusiasts. There will be documentaries and articles and lists and thinkpieces–the content, my God, the content–and you’ll get tricked into watching that moribound, stereoscopic slog of a film, and then ingesting content–CONTENT–about the film, and whoever’s still alive from the roster will be touring as hard as their hips can handle. The codgers, my God, the codgers. It’s gonna suuuuuuuck.

And I’ll get to it. I’ll do a big post about the festival and one of them real-time jerkoff posts about the movie. For now, we concern ourselves with the event announced this week, Woodstock50©®™. What’s left of the Grateful Dead (Touring Version) is headlining on Saturday night, preceded by every 50-year-old white guy’s favorite hip-hopper, those ugly guys who write songs for commercials, the fellow with the interesting name, and a Zeppelin cover band.

Also noted within the lineup:

  • The Earl Sweatshirt?
  • Pussy Riot is Quiet Riot’s cousin.
  • Common is the focus-grouped, corporate version of KRS-ONE.
  • Alternately, he is the male Alicia Keys.
  • In 20 years of knowing of Hot Tuna’s existence, I’ve never once been curious to listen to them.
  • Pick a non-disgusting name, Hot Tuna.
  • I’m never gonna not think that Vince Staples is a country artist.
  • No Ye?
  • Where the fuck is Ye?
  • Whoopity scoop?

There’s a website, of course, and there’s merch available, of course, and one piece is the Woostock Psychedelic Tube. You heard me.

The misspelling is not reassuring as to the item’s quality, nor is the fact that “tube” is not a recognized sub-category of clothing. No, what these mud-brained ninnies are selling is the makings of clothing.

Look at this bullshit:

Fuck you, Woodstock50©®™. Don’t sell me a piece of fabric and some instructions and try to pass it off as “clothes.” Also: one of the 13 ways to wear the Woostock Psychedelic Tube is as a blindfold. Are there to be executions during Imagine Dragons’ set? Will the undesirables receive a last cigarette in addition to their Woostock Psychedelic Tube?

Oh, hey, remember how I opened this post by telling you to kill yourself?

Seriously: kill yourself. This will be awful.

For those of you without the courage to end it all, here is Ray Charles singing Hank Williams. Neither man will be at Woodstock50©®™.

I Think Stock Would

My father said he was at Woodstock, but he also said he was at Game 5 of the ’69 World Series where the Mets beat the Orioles; my dad said a lot of things.

OR

This is one of not-very-many photos of the Dead playing Ol’ Man Yazgur’s farm on this date 49 years ago, and holy shit is next year’s 50th anniversary gonna be annoying. Get ready for a lot of interviews with Country Joe and/or the Fish.

OR

Woodstock wasn’t Curveball. There was no glamping section, as the portmanteau had not yet been invented, nor was there a free-form radio station broadcasting from the site over multiple media. No webcast, ATMs, sculpture gardens, or pop-up general stores. Also, there was no water, food, or medical staff. It was just a fucking field and no one was in charge and it’s astonishing that everyone didn’t die of cholera. The past was terrible.

OR

“Billy.”

OR

The problems began with the stage. The production crew had built a circular contraption; instead of having to strike and reset the gear in between each band, one could play out front with the roadies set up the next group backstage. When it came time to switch acts, the stage would rotate 180 degrees. Repeat until Jimi Hendrix.

Except, of course, the Grateful Dead brought every amplifier in the world and the back half of the round stage sunk two feet into the mud. Which meant the production crew had to strike and reset the gear. This resulted in a delay of around an hour.

Then came the rain, which wouldn’t have been such a hassle had most of the band not had electrical equipment strapped to their chests. Or literally anything been grounded properly.

And the wind, which–again–wouldn’t have been a big deal had the Dead not strung up a giant sheet behind them for the light show. A giant sheet, Enthusiasts will realize, is also called a “sail.” The stage threatened to tip over before Parish and Ramrod clambered up, Captain Blood-like, to shred the canvas with their knives.

Also, their sound man was the Most Famous Drug Dealer In America, so they were way too fucking high.

OR

Speaking of knives: What the fuck, Mickey?

OR

I’d link their set, but they played Lovelight for 45 minutes and I’m not rewarding that behavior. 45-minute Dark Star? Yes, please. 45-minute Other One? This gives the Deadhead a boner. 45-minute Lovelight? Why do you hate America?

Here’s the only worthwhile performance from that muddy self-suck:

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