I watched the movie ‘Woodstock’ last night. All of the footage of the late-60s young people, sometimes called hippies, made me uncomfortable. I think it was their aimlessness, pretending to be fine when they weren’t, and looking for something in all the wrong places that got under my skin.
Obviously there wasn’t three days of music on the movie, usually just one song from a bunch of people, but it was interesting how many of them were playing old stuff. Joe Cocker singing British popster song, ‘with a little help from my friends’—not very counter-culture if you get what I mean. I know I like Jefferson Airplane, but the song from them on it wasn’t that good. The only two bits that had a sound that was pushing into the future were Sly and the Family Stone (I love their horn section. And they were so dancey they were almost electronic before electronics were invented) and Jimi. He’s still light years ahead of the game even today. The way they edited it, he comes out onto the stage, just for a moment looks out into the dried-mud disaster area, says “I see that we meet again”, like Kung Fu and launches.