40 Year Old Burden: A Letter To Michael Lang...

To Woodstock co-founder, Michael Lang,

Though raised on your generation's music, I'm obviously not from your generation. Understanding the happenstance behind the original Woodstock Festival, and the monumental effect it's had on rock n' roll history, I congratulate you on your 40 year legacy.

I have to admit, though: it's really hard to give a shit about it.

As I've stated already, I'm obviously not of your generation. I was born too late for disco thankfully, but I got to see the corporate machine's assimilation of culture and counterculture during the 80s, and witnessed the peace and love generation's willingness to abandon its philosophy and cash in. This of course led to the disaffected and disillusioned youth brigade that I was a part of and it didn't help when you decided that Woodstock should be attempted again in 1994, this time with Pepsi's help. I was halfway through college when the next Woodstock was awash in flame and rape; the perfect end to a decade that seemingly started off on the right foot.

Yes, you sold it as more "peace and love," but it was obviously an opportunity to make up some of that money you'd lost all those years ago as the gates crashed and the hippies came prancing, dancing and singing you and your co-conspirators into the poor house. Your pockets might've been empty, but you still had smiles on your faces. The music was still good. The show was still a success and you became immortalized.

No, I'm not against making money; everyone needs to make a living.


My issue with you, Mr. Lang, is that you stand by Woodstock as if the purity of spirit that still seems honest with its initial incarnation hasn't been desecrated by its subsequent remakes. And, you can be so bold as to point out that YOUR version wasn't violent, and that YOUR version didn't end in flames. But, I'm sure you've had no qualms with spending all the money you made on those lesser-than facsimiles, as it was your generation's celebratory milestone that turned into an opportunity to price gouge its already cynical progeny. You can blame the music all you want, that may have fueled the fire, but people know when they're being exploited and robbed.

Thankfully, no 40 year concert will be held. As it is, Woodstock's undeniable importance is something to be recognized. But, it should also stand as a testament to future generations that cultural milestones can't be repeated with the aid of soda and that every generation deserves its OWN shot at immortality. Woodstock was for the 60s, Mr. Lang. You had your time to be relevant. You didn't need to involve yourself in a generation that obviously wasn't yours.

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

P.S. I'm interested to see how Ang Lee interprets your pet.
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