The Woodstock Nation: RIP? Or just MIA?

From August 15th thru 18th, 1969… while festival goers were reveling within their newly established Bethel, NY, Woodstock Nation… I was stuck at home… back in Michigan… stuck in my early teens, too. The only way I could’ve ever counted myself amongst Woodstock’s estimated 500,000 souls, would’ve been to run away from home, hitchhike and… upon my eventual return… REALLY face the music… a.k.a. parental repercussions / getting “grounded for life”. Bummer! <—Now, there’s a word in desperate need of carbon dating!

Mom and dad’s (understandable) protectionism… in a sense… had already been grounding me… and for doing nothing wrong, too. Over the past half century… just for fleeting moments… I’ve oft wondered. What would I have had to lose had I flown the coup for about a week? Well, here’s what I actually did lose by nearly always being the obedient son: The ability to treasure the lifelong memories of having actually been there.

Of course, even from afar, I did manage to catch this monumental music event’s sense of belonging, anyway. Funny how that sort of “buzz” was fully capable of bridging that 1000km gap. How so?

The Woodstock Nation-State was just as much
a state of mind. And in my mind, it still is.

The Woodstock state of mind does transcend the music, too. From my perspective, it is to believe in enriching society with essential liberty, peace, love, tolerance, equality, inclusiveness, diversity, ecological sensitivity and fiscal sobriety.

But, to transition back to the music… ultimately… I did finally get to hear a portion of what I had missed, thanks to [1] the tireless, audio engineers, who had kept the onsite tape recorders rolling, [2] Cotillion / Atlantic Records for releasing these performances as a 139 minute duration, vinyl triple album on May 11, 1970, and [3] the progressive rock, FM radio DJs, who kept on playing these LPs in heavy rotation. BTW, as a young teen, my parents would not permit me view the R-rated Woodstock motion picture so, to me, this festival had remained heard but not seen.

Eventually, in a manner of speaking, I did get to “time travel” for a virtual visit to Bethel, too! This was courtesy of a local band performing at one of my high school’s Friday night dances. These four musicians covered… no it was much more than that… these showmen had all faithfully recreated Sly & The Family Stone’s Woodstock performance of I Want To Take You Higher. Their frontman’s spirited pep-talk adeptly mimicked / echoed Sly Stone’s style / sentiments. And that energized / encouraged us to shed our inhibitions… to participate in a hip, sing-along where we repeatedly sang / chanted “I want to take you higher”, while enthusiastically, joyously, rhythmically waving our peace sign, gesturing hands high in the air!

Oh, how both the times and crowd mentality have changed these past fifty years. How so?

• Instead of upraised arms to revel in our freedom, lately, within the political arena, we’ve been witnessing arms upraised in thinly veiled salutes to fascism.

• Instead of the index and middle fingered gesture of benevolence / peace… lately, nearly everywhere we look… absent the index finger… this becomes the gesture of malevolence / hatred. And, far worse, within ubiquitous pop up war zones, the index fingers too frequently get routinely repurposed as trigger fingers.

• Instead of chants that take us to a higher plane of existence, currently, rallies become the venue for rowdy crowds to chant “campaign slogans” such as  “Send them back!”, “Send her back!” and “Lock her up!”

But… it’d be a bummer to end this post on such a sad note… especially on the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock.

“I want to take you higher” was / still is Sly Stone’s goal… and mine too…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

BlogCast ~ Our Pleas For Peace, Love & Understanding

 

So glad you’ve been able to safely and sanely survive the holiday rush and, yet, find some time to spend here for our holiday get-together.

Giving credit where credit is due, my thanks to Elvis Costello because a portion of one of his song titles inspired my blog title. My undying thanks and mega-kudos to all the YouTube recording artists, videograhphers and contributors who have cast their creative, brilliance upon my Holiday BlogCast. Obviously, my show could not glow without YOU!

Since this DJ’s philosophy is to let the music speak for itself, we’ll get to the music shortly. However, I could not resist briefly sharing with you the backstory of this program’s grand finale track.

While performing my musical reconnaissance over @ YouTube, I thought to myself…

 

Gee… I sure wish someone would do a mash up of Joy To The World with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode To Joy

 

Well… what did I have to lose? I typed in those search parameters and… Lo and Behold… a passing thought of mine materialized right before my very ears and eyes. The Magic of the Season! My Christmas wish came true!

May the Magic of the Season and your Christmas / Holiday wishes come true, too! And may my song selections be music to your ears.

 

The two sides to a long distance relationship…

 

The Carpenters ~ Merry Christmas Darling

Al Martino ~ I’ll Be Home For Christmas

 

Our heartfelt pleas for harmony, tolerance and peace…

 

Bryan Adams ~ Christmas Time

Josh Groban ~ Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

 

Our Ode To Joy / Joy To The World best wishes…

 

The Florin Street Band ~ My Favourite Time of Year

The Piano Guys ~ Ode To Joy To The World (With Choir & Bell Ringers)

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you to check out the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th. I’ll be posting later today and, of course, tomorrow.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Monday, January 1, 2018.

Till next time…

 

I wish you all the best life has to offer throughout the holidays…

and in all the years to come!

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

 

It’s Oft Best To Say Nothing At All

As of late, the three words to best describe me: Emotional Train Wreck. While that’s not my preemptive excuse, your knowing this will bring something useful to the peace table… in this blog… on this day.

To Long-Story-Short the situation… after posting my response to a comment on one of my blogs… upon rereading it… I realized that I was sounding more dogmatic than diplomatic. Ugh!

While what I had said was essentially true… I could’ve said it far better than I had.

While it’s OK to be passionate / opinionated… carrying this to extremes is NOT productive.

In our severely divided world… especially in Blue State-Red State America… where finding agreement on much of anything is getting more and more difficult with each passing nanosecond, I don’t want to be fanning the flames of rancor.

Finding common ground… even if it is measured in mere inches, not acres, is what I am actually attempting to promote.

I do consider myself fortunate that my comment was posted on my own blog, for I was able to delete my own immoderate words. Indeed, that comment is now in the trash… right where it belongs.

From this day forward, before I express myself, be it posted in a blog or in a comment section, if I am emotionally impaired, I plan to first put my words through my “Verbal Breathalyzer” and “take a reading”.

If I’m “BUI” (Blogging Under the Influence) I’ll shut up. Conversely, I’ll only click a post button if I am sober.

For nearly fifty years, since I was a teenager, I’ve been a big fan of the poet / songwriter / musician Bob Seger… have been in tune with the timeless wisdom his lyrics oft present. There’s no need to dig too deeply into his discography to find applicable passages when something isn’t going right in my day-to-day life.

With regards to my self-deleted comment… and any comments I may be about to post in the future… this verse to Bob Seger’s song, Wait For Me, will act as my Verbal Breathalyzer:

There’ll be times when I rise…

There’ll be times when I’ll fall…

There’ll be times when it’s best…

To say nothing at all!

 

A Goldilocksian Dilemma

It’s a given… most bloggers really don’t know me from Adam. That’s the likely reason why I’ve recently caught wind of something rather unsettling… that many of my April postings, where I’ve been exploring Divine Intervention, have been summarily judged to be “off-putting.” I won’t name this person’s screen-name because I’m a classy guy.

So… why do I blog about Religion? Well, to better understand where my head is at… thirteen Aprils ago, I watched someone very near and dear to me die before my very eyes. So forgive me for having undergone profound changes… forgive me if those feelings intensify at this time of year… forgive me for feeling close to God.

Granted… religion is a complicated thing. A Goldilocksian dilemma. Is it too soft? Too hard? Or just right? The most important things, here…

Whatever you believe is cool… even if you choose to believe in nothing at all. And by the same token… I’d hope you’d be open-minded enough to cut me the same amount of slack.

I’m not on a mission… repeat… NOT ON A MISSION … to convert anyone over to my religious beliefs. Be you agnostic or devout… I welcome you to my webpage. I’d hope you’d show me the same graciousness.

Does that mean we can’t compare and contrast our beliefs / disbeliefs? I would hope not. Cutting off the lines of communication runs totally counter to what a blogging community is supposed to be all about. If we cannot agree… then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Folks… I blog from my mind, heart and soul… I’m seeking life’s truths. I’m oft in that stream of consciousness mode… in hopes that… if lucky… I might stumble on to some of those truths… even if it’s just a microscopic portion of just one of those truths.

So… rest assured… re my blogs… there’s no need for you to rush off to your closet to grab your Hazmat suit. No need to take a headfirst plunge into a vat of anti-bacterial soap to wash your brain clean of my POV.

I oft come across as passionate… but that’s just my nature. To blog without passion? Why even bother!

Once again…

I blog from my mind, heart and soul. If in doing so I’ve offended the sensibilities of anyone… you have my heartfelt apologies.

Guess Who We Need To Thank…

Did you ever study ALGEBRA and/or play an instrument in a MARCHING BAND? Did you ever strum or enjoy hearing someone else strumming a GUITAR? Have you ever been admitted to a HOSPITAL for SURGERY?

It’s a near certainty that you used a TOOTHBRUSH after drinking a cup of COFFEE this morning… and at some point in your life… you will wear EYE GLASSES… if you don’t already need them.

So what does each element of that (on the surface) hodgepodge of capitalized words have in common with each other?

Well… Muslim ingenuity is responsible for all of those quality of life improving inventions / innovations… read more here.

In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, this blog companion video will showcase a few more of the estimated 1,001 other contributions Muslims have made toward the betterment of our global society.

My shorter than usual  blog should speak volumes… and I’d hope it’ll help any doubters… i.e., those who are suffering the narrow / tunnel vision of xenophobia… to see that we do have much to thank Muslims for.