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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Woodstock - 1090 words
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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 2the 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 reminisces, 'They were kind of preppy. Today, I guess they'd be yuppies' (Landy, Festival 29). The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was the name that they came up with. The four had decided to have a little party- inviting only rich stars that could afford the giant cover charge to gain entrance. By the end of their third meeting to discuss the event, the party had snowballed into a 'bucolic concert for 50,000 people, the world's biggest rock-n-roll show' (Obst 42).
The four partners formed a corporation in March- Woodstock Ventures, Inc (Tiber 3). The Woodstock Ventures team scurried around to find a site (Makower 42). The 300-acre Mills Industrial Park in Wallkill, New York, would have been perfect, but Roberts interjected, 'The vibes aren't right here. This is an industrial park. We gotta have a site now' (Smith 28).
Finally, Max Yasgur's pasture in Sullivan County, appeared. He was a prominent dairy farmer, and was pleased to Fanning 3receive that $10,000 to rent out his fields for 4 days (Tiber 1). The location had been chosen. Now the fearless foursome was on to bigger and better things.'In the cultural-political atmosphere of 1969, Kornfeld and Lang knew it was important to pitch Woodstock in a way that would appeal to their peer's sense of independence' (Tiber 3). By early April, the promoters were carefully cultivating news of Woodstock in publications such as the Village Voice and Rolling Stone.
The group settled on the slogan 'Three Days of Peace and Music' (Young 53). They figured that 'peace' would link the anti-war sentiment to the concert (Young 53). The Woodstock dove is actually a catbird; originally, it perched on a flute (Tiber 4). 'As soon as Ira Arnold (a copywriter on the Woodstock crew) called with the copy- approved 'Three Days of Peace and Music,' I just took a razor blade and cut that catbird out of the sketchpad I was using. First, it sat on a flute.
I was listening to jazz at the time, and I guess that's why. But anyway, it sat on a flute for a day, and I finally ended up putting it on a guitar' (Landy, Festival 60).Advertising was coming along well, and the boys looked to the future for the bands to sign. Woodstock Ventures was trying to book the biggest rock-n-roll bands in America, but the bands were reluctant to sign with an untested company that might be unable to deliver (Obst 103). Ventures solved the problem by handing out rather hefty paychecks. The Jefferson Airplane received $12,000; they usually received $5-6,000 for a gig.
Creedence Clearwater Revival signed for $11,500, The Who for $12,500. Most bands were signed for $5,000; Ventures offered twice that amount (Young 102). After a much-anticipated wait, Friday, August 15, 1969 arrived. So many more people than expected came, and ticket sales ceased (Tiber 13). The traffic was so bad on all the roads Fanning 4leading to Sullivan County, food, medicine and doctors, and the artists performing were flown in by helicopter to the concert-site.
Woodstock organizers blamed the state police for the traffic jams. An expected turnout of 50,000-100,000 people turned into a ludicrous number of 200,000-400,000, bigger than the four original partners had ever expected (Landy, Spirit 45). On Friday, Joan Baez was the headliner, preceded by Tim Hardin, Arlo Gutherie, Sweetwater, the Incredible String Band, Ravi Shankar, Bert Sommer and Melanie, and Sly and the Family Stone. A no-name musician who was there for the show named Richie Havens was forced to go on first (Tiber 15). No other bands were there yet, and he had to play for two hours.
Country Joe McDonald was another to play without prior notice. Bands still were not set up, so he played, with an acoustic guitar, ...
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