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Thread: Woodstock -- 3 Days of Peace and Music -- 47 Years Later

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Woodstock -- 3 Days of Peace and Music -- 47 Years Later

    I caught "Woodstock -- 3 Days of Peace and Music (The Director's Cut)" on TV last night, just as I was about to go to bed. Damn. I made a cup of coffee and stayed up until 4 am to watch the show.

    One thing that really stuck out, in retrospect, was that distortion as we know it today didn't really exist in 1969. Almost everyone was playing tube amps, and almost everyone's tone was what we would consider "clean" today.

    I guess this really shouldn't come as a surprise, as in 1969 we weren't living in the era of cascaded gain guitar amps. They hadn't been invented yet. Amp designers were still trying to build amps that were as powerful and as clean as possible. At most, we had guitarists with high output pickups overdriving the input stages of "clean" amps, and multiple stacks of high wattage "clean" heads being used to drive multiple stacks. Stompboxes were in their infancy then. All that existed were a few transistor based devices, like the FuzzFace. For the most part the distortion generated by amps came from power tube distortion and speaker distortion.

    I made a point of spotting as much gear as I could watching the video.

    The guitar rigs consisted primarily of SF Fenders, Marshalls and an occasional Ampeg, HiWatt or Sunn. For the large part, guitar tones were pretty clean and articulate compared to what we're used to today.

    The Who's backline consisted of multiple HiWatt stacks, and Townshend's tone was pretty loud & clean at Woodstock, compared to where it would be later in the 70s. Hendrix used 3 full stacks of Marshalls and his amp tone was pretty clean with the pedals turned off. The Airplane used a monstrous number of Fender amps, almost all SilverFace, with a couple of BF heads, and their tone was clean. The dirtiest guitar tone at the show came from Santana, who was playing a P-90 equipped SG straight into a solid-state Gallein amplifier. It sounded like a distorted transistor amplifier. Santana mentioned in other interviews that he also used to do the Ray Davies trick of slashing his speaker cones to make them distort. (Personally, I thought that Santana's tone wasn't his best.)

    The bass rigs were dominated by Acoustic, with a few Ampegs, Sunns and a lot of SF Fenders. The most distorted tones ended up coming of the Sunn stacks being used by Sly & the Family Stone.

    What struck me as odd was that it was very difficult to spot BF Fender amps on stage at Woodstock. In 1969 the BF amps just weren't there. I did spot two BF heads (Bandmasters?) in use by the Airplane, sitting on the top of a stack of SF combos and SF heads that were being used to drive external cabinets. The brand-new SF Fender amps were predominant. Super Reverbs were common and the SF Dual Showman Reverb head was very easy to spot throughout the show.

    It seemed evident that all of the different acts were bringing in their own gear, as the gear setup changed with each performance. It looked like the bands weren't just using the promoter's backline. I'm at a loss to explain why there were so few BF amps out there, but it was clear that in 1969 the SF Fenders were ubiquitous and the BF Fenders were not.

    Another thing that struck me as different was that in the 1960s-70s there was tolerance of symbols that are now totally untolerated, and stigmatized as expressions of hate today. Time and political pressures have changed our perceptions. After WWII it was not uncommon for Americans to wear German war artifacts; it was common among the people of the Allied nations to wear medals and other symbols that had previously belonged to their defeated foes. As a youngster I remember buying used German militaria at military surplus stores in the 1960s. Back then it was considered cool (and common) to own such a piece of history. Bikers commonly wore German helmets, painted the Iron Cross on their bike, etc. At Woodstock the Airplane's guitarist wore a large swastika pendant around his neck as he performed. How times have changed... these symbols that used to be thought of as nothing more than war relics, or expressions of alternativism and anti-establishment thinking, have been stigmatized to the point that today anyone caught bearing a swastika would be attacked by the politically correct crowd and accused of being a Nazi.

    There were many scenes involving public nudity, which was common at Woodstock. There were scenes involving people bathing, couples taking off their clothes and bedding down in the tall grass, etc, which is why the movie got an R rating. One scene struck me as being far more odd than all of the others -- during the Santana segment there was footage of a naked man standing in the crowd, cradling a sheep in his arms like a baby.

    Amp technology has changed a lot in the past 50 years.
    Last edited by bob p; 09-22-2017 at 11:13 PM. Reason: fixed some dates
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I caught "Woodstock -- 3 Days of Peace and Music (The Director's Cut)" on TV last night, just as I was about to go to bed. Damn. I made a cup of coffee and stayed up until 4 am to watch the show.

    One thing that really stuck out, in retrospect, was that distortion as we know it today didn't really exist in 1970. Almost everyone was playing tube amps, and almost everyone's tone was what we would consider "clean" today.

    I guess this really shouldn't come as a surprise, as in 1970 we weren't living in the era of cascaded gain guitar amps. They hadn't been invented yet. Amp designers were still trying to build amps that were as powerful and as clean as possible. At most, we had guitarists with high output pickups overdriving the input stages of "clean" amps, and multiple stacks of high wattage "clean" heads being used to drive multiple stacks. Stompboxes were in their infancy then. All that existed were a few transistor based devices, like the FuzzFace. For the most part the distortion generated by amps came from power tube distortion and speaker distortion.

    I made a point of spotting as much gear as I could watching the video.

    The guitar rigs consisted primarily of SF Fenders, Marshalls and an occasional Ampeg, HiWatt or Sunn. For the large part, guitar tones were pretty clean and articulate compared to what we're used to today.

    The Who's backline consisted of multiple HiWatt stacks, and Townshend's tone was pretty loud & clean at Woodstock, compared to where it would be later in the 70s. Hendrix used 3 full stacks of Marshalls and his amp tone was pretty clean with the pedals turned off. The Airplane used a monstrous number of Fender amps, almost all SilverFace, with a couple of BF heads, and their tone was clean. The dirtiest guitar tone at the show came from Santana, who was playing a P-90 equipped SG straight into a solid-state Gallein amplifier. It sounded like a distorted transistor amplifier. Santana mentioned in other interviews that he also used to do the Ray Davies trick of slashing his speaker cones to make them distort. (Personally, I thought that Santana's tone wasn't his best.)

    The bass rigs were dominated by Acoustic, with a few Ampegs, Sunns and a lot of SF Fenders. The most distorted tones ended up coming of the Sunn stacks being used by Sly & the Family Stone.

    What struck me as odd was that it was very difficult to spot BF Fender amps on stage at Woodstock. In 1970 the BF amps just weren't there. I did spot two BF heads (Bandmasters?) in use by the Airplane, sitting on the top of a stack of SF combos and SF heads that were being used to drive external cabinets. The SF Fender amps were predominant. Super Reverbs were common and the SF Dual Showman was very easy to spot throughout the show.

    It seemed evident that all of the different acts were bringing in their own gear, as the gear setup changed with each performance. It looked like the bands weren't just using the promoter's backline. I'm at a loss to explain why there were so few BF amps out there, but it was clear that the SF Fenders were ubiquitous and the BF Fenders were not.

    Another thing that struck me as different was that in the 1970s there was tolerance of symbols that are now totally untolerated, and stigmatized as expressions of hate today. Time and political pressures have changed our perceptions. After WWII it was not uncommon for Americans to wear German war artifacts; it was common among the people of the Allied nations to wear medals and other symbols that had previously belonged to their defeated foes. As a youngster I remember buying used German militaria at military surplus stores in the 1970s. Back then it was considered cool (and common) to own such a piece of history. Bikers commonly wore German helmets, painted the Iron Cross on their bike, etc. At Woodstock the Airplane's guitarist wore a large swastika pendant around his neck as he performed. How times have changed... these symbols that used to be thought of as nothing more than war relics, or expressions of alternativism and anti-establishment thinking, have been stigmatized to the point that today anyone caught bearing a swastika would be attacked by the politically correct crowd and accused of being a Nazi.

    There were many scenes involving public nudity, which was common at Woodstock. There were scenes involving people bathing, couples taking off their clothes and bedding down in the tall grass, etc, which is why the movie got an R rating. One scene struck me as being far more odd than all of the others -- during the Santana segment there was footage of a naked man standing in the crowd, cradling a sheep in his arms like a baby.

    Amp technology has changed a lot in the past 50 years.
    Which way was the swastika oriented? There is a negative and a positive Swastika.
    The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history | Ancient Origins
    nosaj
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    First off, thanks for an interesting post, Bob. Much appreciated. One of those things we tend not to think about.

    I think one probably needs to distinguish between the distortion that happens before something reaches your ears (which includes not only pedals, but amps and speakers), and the distortion that happens when something reaches your ears. Ears are not perfect transducers. Let me correct that. Eardrums are pretty decent transducers, but cochleas crumble and deceive under pressure, generating pitch distortion, and false harmonic content when subjected to high SPL. Indeed, one of the things that happens to humans when exposed to high intensity industrial sounds IS loss of high-frequency hearing (though the mechanisms of that loss are more complex than I'm suggesting here).

    FWIW, I was supposed to hitchhike down from Montreal to Woodstock, but had to write a supplemental exam on the Friday in order to graduate high school. When I came home from the exam, my dad pointed to the TV screen where one could see aerial shots of the traffic backup for miles, and declared "You're not going".

    My consolation prize was that the Mothers of Invention gave 5 free concerts in town that weekend, and I attended every single one, getting to meet and interview Frank Zappa in the process.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
    Which way was the swastika oriented? There is a negative and a positive Swastika.
    The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history | Ancient Origins
    I understand that, but I doubt that the average anti-hate zealot who indiscriminately brands everyone who wears a swastika as being a modern day Nazi would care to be educated about it. IME people don't distinguish between a clockwise vs. a counterclockwise swastika today. Most people just see a swastika and immediately think of Nazi Germany, ignoring all of it's other historical uses and meanings.

    FWIW, Jorma Kaukonen of the Airplane wore a positive swastika:

    jorma555.jpg

    but even the "hakenkreuz" type of swastika of Nazi Germany was a "positive" swastika:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika#Nazism
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I understand that, but I doubt that the average anti-hate zealot who indiscriminately brands everyone who wears a swastika as being a modern day Nazi would care to be educated about it. IME people don't distinguish between a clockwise vs. a counterclockwise swastika today. Most people just see a swastika and immediately think of Nazi Germany, ignoring all of it's other historical uses and meanings.

    FWIW, Jorma Kaukonen of the Airplane wore a positive swastika:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	jorma555.jpg 
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    but even the "hakenkreuz" type of swastika of Nazi Germany was a "positive" swastika:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika#Nazism
    Here I'd like to think that we are not most people and that we are more tolerant of things than most people. But even so I'd thought it worth mentioning for those here who might not know.
    Anyways tidbits like that cause me to research some and learn new things.

    nosaj

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    FWIW, I was supposed to hitchhike down from Montreal to Woodstock, but had to write a supplemental exam on the Friday in order to graduate high school. When I came home from the exam, my dad pointed to the TV screen where one could see aerial shots of the traffic backup for miles, and declared "You're not going".
    Lots of Dads said that!

    The traffic backup and the infrastructure problems were huge. They had originally planned for what, 40,000 people? Then they revised their real-time estimates up to 200,000 people, scrambling to expand their infrastructure, but they couldn't accommodate them all. In the end an estimated 400,000 or so people ended up attending. There wasn't enough food, water, shelter, medical care, toilets, or even enough farmground to go around. The attendees ended up trespassing on neighboring farms, which irritated the landowners. At the end of the movie Max Yasgur's farm and some of the neighboring farms were trashed.

    While I was watching the show I thought about how the liability problems that people face today just weren't a big deal in 1970. Today concert promoters get sued if their event isn't everything that the attendees expect it to be.

    Oh, for the good old days.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    My consolation prize was that the Mothers of Invention gave 5 free concerts in town that weekend, and I attended every single one, getting to meet and interview Frank Zappa in the process.
    Wow, that's great!

    A little known fact is that Joni Mitchell was invited to perform at Woodstock but she declined to perform, instead choosing to appear on The Dick Cavett Show the next day.

    What struck me as most odd about that was that she penned the song "Woodstock" after she declined to perform there, and the song became sort of an anthem for a generation. For some reason she escaped being labeled as a sell-out and a hypocrite when she skipped Woodstock to appear on network TV, but wrote a song about it anyway using the term "we" as if she had attended.

    I came upon a child of God
    He was walking along the road
    And I asked him, where are you going
    And this he told me
    I'm going on down to Yasgur's farm
    I'm going to join in a rock 'n' roll band
    I'm going to camp out on the land
    I'm going to try an' get my soul free
    We are stardust
    We are golden
    And we've got to get ourselves
    Back to the garden

    Then can I walk beside you
    I have come here to lose the smog
    And I feel to be a cog in something turning
    Well maybe it is just the time of year
    Or maybe it's the time of man
    I don't know who l am
    But you know life is for learning
    We are stardust
    We are golden
    And we've got to get ourselves
    Back to the garden

    By the time we got to Woodstock
    We were half a million strong
    And everywhere there was song and celebration
    And I dreamed I saw the bombers
    Riding shotgun in the sky
    And they were turning into butterflies
    Above our nation
    We are stardust
    Billion year old carbon
    We are golden
    Caught in the devil's bargain
    And we've got to get ourselves
    Back to the garden

    Even though she wrote "the anthem", Mitchell didn't personally align herself with the political and cultural manifestations of the counterculture movement, and even criticized the baby-boomer counterculture as being a spoiled, self-indulgent, selfish costume-ball generation whose self-indulgence culminated at Woodstock.

    Her criticism of the generation is odd, considering that she penned the anthem that best caught the spirit of the generation in words.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEJuiZN3jI8
    Last edited by bob p; 09-22-2017 at 11:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I caught "Woodstock -- 3 Days of Peace and Music (The Director's Cut)" on TV last night, just as I was about to go to bed. Damn. I made a cup of coffee and stayed up until 4 am to watch the show.
    What, no DVR?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I understand that, but I doubt that the average anti-hate zealot who indiscriminately brands everyone who wears a swastika as being a modern day Nazi would care to be educated about it. IME people don't distinguish between a clockwise vs. a counterclockwise swastika today. Most people just see a swastika and immediately think of Nazi Germany, ignoring all of it's other historical uses and meanings.
    Everyone knows better today than to use the symbol outside of strictly religious contexts. Anyone who does use it outside those contexts, if not a modern day nazi, is usually trying to provoke, and at least a modern day a-hole.
    Even the religions who use the symbol know it is beyond rehabilitation for general usage. The guy at the end of this article summarizes it quite well:
    Why the swastika can't be rehabilitated - Macleans.ca
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    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Why no black faced amps? At the time they were not retro. Today a model T Ford is a classic antique. A 1957 Chevy is a classic. You get retro points for a bitchin' GTO. But a 2008 Chevy? Who cares? SF amps were common and contemporary, BF amps were just a few years older. No one cared.

    No one knew at the time that Woodstock was going to be an all time defining moment of a generation. it was going to be a cool large concert, yes, but not like landing on the moon or something. I had been driving around the east coast that summer, (and in fact watched the moon landing on someone's TV while on the road) and had already attended several multi-band concerts. I got home to Michigan and was about to turn around and head right back out to Woodstock, but thought, "Oh, screw it, I have been driving enough and seen a ton of bands already." SO I stayed home. Oh, well.

    By the way, we already knew it would be a logistical nightmare, because in planning to go we were telling ourselves that worst comes to worst, we could go without food for three days if we had to, and sleep under a tree. I mean if we slept, we were expecting to do a lot of LSD.

    In my mind, AT THE TIME, Woodstock was a big event among many. Sorta like it was a football game, and only later did it turn out to have been the Superbowl. Plus we had heard promises before, and by show time, we had been disappointed. The talent lineup was not absolute. Though if even only half of the list showed up it would be a great concert. I can't fault a performer deciding not to sign on for Woodstock. Prior to the event, it could as easily have been a giant bust.

    No one makes a distinction which way the swastika faces, other than that pedantic guy who sits in the corner at Panera Bread, blogging on the free wifi.

    And I don't fault Joni for writing a song about it. it was a big deal, and worthy of song. She didn't have to be a participant. I write songs. Most are country songs - they tell stories. But I have never been a truck driver, my dog has never run off, my wife never cheats on me, I don't come home drunk (Or for that matter stay out drunk), and yet, those themes find their way into songs. Although it would never have occurred to me to write, "I'd like to check you for ticks."
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    ......Another thing that struck me as different was that in the 1960s-70s there was tolerance of symbols that are now totally untolerated, and stigmatized as expressions of hate today......
    It might be someone's right to display those symbols. Another POV might be to refrain from wearing a symbol that might offend someone who's grandparents were slaughtered by Hitler. IMO, some common sense and human dignity should apply.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    It might be someone's right to display those symbols. Another POV might be to refrain from wearing a symbol that might offend someone who's grandparents were slaughtered by Hitler. IMO, some common sense and human dignity should apply.
    I guess what I was getting at was during that particular time period people were getting into Eastern religions and mysticism and the person wearing it at that point in time may have just been espousing their support for the true meaning.

    nosaj
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    It might be someone's right to display those symbols...
    I'll add this to the list of "Things You Should Not Do Just Because You Can." Right behind "make a baby."

    Justin
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    Why no black faced amps? At the time they were not retro... SF amps were common and contemporary, BF amps were just a few years older. No one cared.
    Yes, that is the point -- no one cared.

    My recollection as a gigging musician at that time was that nobody gave a rat's ass about BF amps being special back then. Everyone loved Fenders, and people just viewed BF amps as older used gear that was more likely to have problems. In the 70s everyone wanted SF amps.

    I've been told on this forum that I was dead wrong about that, if not totally ignorant, and that just because my experience was that nobody cared about BF amps didn't make me right, it made me ignorant. I was told that the "people in the know" insisted on using BF amps instead of SF amps. Obviously, I'm not one of those people in the know.

    Well, the bands that played at Woodstock were arguably the best performers of that era. One would think that they, if anybody, would be the people in the know about which amps provided the best tone. I thought it was funny that at Woodstock nobody seemed to care about BF amps. So if I'm wrong, it looks like I'm in good company.
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    I started making Guitar amplifiers, of all years, in 1969

    Nobody cared, at all, abot the BF/SF thingie, basically because it was thought of being simply *cosmetic*.

    Oh, the SF used 2 x 47k resistors in the PI while BF used 82k/100K? Big deal, who cares or even notices?

    Bias went from single adjustment for all 4 tubes to balancing halves? again: who cares or even notices?

    In 1969 you must be wearing a straitjacket and getting the cold shower treatment by the guys dressed in white if you *obsess* about that.

    +V was rised beyond 500V and UL taps introduced so Fender was even louder and cleaner? : a typical reason for buying Fenders by the way.

    Cool, itīs expected for serious companies to improve, if at all possible, and that was an improvement in the right direction, same as having a 1969 Chevy reaching 120MPH instead of 1965īs 115MPH (totally made out numbers but you get what I mean).

    SF simply were the latest version of killer, dependable and Professional amps, and being LOUD yet reasonably clean was needed to fill huge spaces, straight from the backline.

    Funny thing, my first amp was a Gibson GA5, their simplest one and a Fender Champ photocopy.
    The second was an AB763 Bassman, which NOW I know was BF.

    But ... but ... Juan: you wrote what you wrote above but then in 1969 you made a .... BLACKFACE Fender? How come?

    Oh, that? ... easy: that was the schematic and layout I found in my copy of Jack Darrīs book !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    EDIT: as of the ancient Hindu symbol:
    Everyone knows better today than to use the symbol outside of strictly religious contexts. Anyone who does use it outside those contexts, if not a modern day nazi, is usually trying to provoke, and at least a modern day a-hole.
    Hippies were not Nazis, quite the exact opposite.
    And OF COURSE they were trying to provoke, thatīs the point.
    British Punks did exactly the same, for the same reason.

    Even pathetic skinheads are trying to show how ANGRY they are, not real Nazi either and if, as a political science fiction plot, real Nazis ever came to power again, they would send all skinheads straight to the barbed wire camps, as a useless menace to Society.

    FWIW thatīs what Gestapo means: Gestalt Polizei: Social Police.
    Last edited by J M Fahey; 09-23-2017 at 08:17 AM.
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    A friend called me back in November, 1982.

    Says we are going to Jamaica, he needs my credit card.
    I hang up.
    Calls back, says he's serious. He needs my CC #.
    I hang up.
    Calls back. "Stop hanging up on me".

    Turns out there is a 3 'night' concert in Jamaica.

    The line up was incredible.

    Jamaica World Music Festival 1982.pdf

    Here's Peter Tosh with a splief in his hand while he is performing.
    https://youtu.be/oanTnn85ERQ
    That's pretty much how the 3 nights went.

    The first morning, after being up for 24 hours, I am crashed on the crushed coral rocks and my buddy is kicking me.
    "Get up. You are NOT sleeping through the Grateful Dead!".

    I stagger awake & they come back after a brief rain squall.
    The band is playing 'Fire On The Mountain' while the sun is peaking over the mountain.

    That was my Woodstock.

    https://youtu.be/0LPOp7zqd4I
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    Well, the bands that played at Woodstock were arguably the best performers of that era. One would think that they, if anybody, would be the people in the know about which amps provided the best tone.
    I tend to agree with this, except, as you noted, there's that Santana thing.
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    10 Years After were pretty distorted. A lot of bands didn't make the cut. You can find CCR playing Woodstock on YouTube, but it's very dark because of technical issues. They used transistor Kustom amps I think. Santana was on acid. I believe that was the only time he used those amps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    I tend to agree with this, except, as you noted, there's that Santana thing.
    IMHO Santana's set was somewhere beyond electrifying - absolutely stupendous!

    The night before Carlos was jamming with some friends of mine in Woodstock the village not the concert site. Warmin' up his fingers you might say.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    I see now you are a certified dotard g1. That's great, at least you're not a mendacious fopdoodle.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    "Get up. You are NOT sleeping through the Grateful Dead!".

    I stagger awake & they come back after a brief rain squall.
    The band is playing 'Fire On The Mountain' while the sun is peaking over the mountain.

    That was my Woodstock.
    If you can remember a Dead show then you weren't trying hard enough.
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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  21. #21
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    on a more serious note:

    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    Everyone knows better today than to use the symbol outside of strictly religious contexts.
    Why is that? Why should that even be true?

    It sounds like the anti-Nazi zealouts have successfully planted the inception that people should not use a swastika as a public expression of religious freedom. That's a shortsighted view if there ever was one.

    I particularly liked the article at Maclean's. I was unaware of the controversy about the name of the town and how it was resolved. One thing that I thought was troubling about the article was the attitude of the graffitti blaster -- It illustrates a point that I would like to make.

    "There’s a certain feeling Corey Fleischer gets from blasting his power washer at a graffitied surface and watching the paint of a swastika melt away. “It kind of—” he says, pausing to find the words, “it’s a euphoric feeling. It’s like a drug.”

    Over the last seven years, Fleischer has become the go-to man for Montrealers wishing to get swastikas and other offensive imagery erased from public and private property. When he got a call in mid-August about two ship anchors that served as decorations in a park outside the city, each embossed with a swastika, he knew he was about to get his fix. His moment of bliss was interrupted, however, when the town’s mayor and a team of police officers showed up to shoo him away from the artifacts, but not before he took his power washer to one of the anchors.

    Those swastikas, it turns out, had no connection to Nazis or anti-Semitism. They were from English ships that long predated the Second World War. Fleischer didn’t know that at first because the anchors were mislabeled. Had he known, he says he would have erased them anyway.
    ...
    Fleischer, the Montreal man who removes hateful graffiti, can’t say for sure if he’s ever erased a Hindu or Buddhist swastika. “But I probably would if I saw one,” he says, adding the caveat that he does think there’s a place for the swastika as a religious symbol; just not in public space."

    I see a problem there -- an ignorant guy is on a mission to eradicate a symbol. He's not aware that it conveys more than one meaning, he just assumes that it means one thing and only one thing, and gets his jollies by eradicating something that he doesn't like. What's even worse is that when the police stopped him, and informed him that not all swastika relate to Nazism, and that he was in the process of destroying a historic artifact, he didn't care. He enjoyed eradicating swastika so much that he is intent on erasing all of them, irrespective of whether or not they relate to Nazism or other religions. His response was that had he known that he was erasing a religious swastika, he would erase it anyway, citing that there's no use for someone else's religious symbol in a public space.

    That's the definition of religious intolerance. It's an embarrassment to any society that values individualism and religious freedom.

    What's next? Where does it stop? Should everyone know better than to allow:
    ...a Hindu to wear a bindi in public?
    ...a Christian to wear a crucifix? Or a little chrome Ichthys on the trunk of their car?
    ...a Jew to wear a kippah?
    ...a Muslim to display Islamic calligraphy?
    ...the list could go on and on.

    These symbols are just a few expressions of faith that allow people to identify themselves and their beliefs among their fellow man. Instead of being rigidly intolerant of symbols, people should spend some time trying to understand the context in which they're being used.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  22. #22
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    EDIT: as of the ancient Hindu symbol:

    Hippies were not Nazis, quite the exact opposite.
    And OF COURSE they were trying to provoke, thatīs the point.
    British Punks did exactly the same, for the same reason.
    Juan makes a salient point -- from the beginning, Rock and Roll has relied upon the spirit of rebellion. it started off as teenagers defying their parents by listening to that "Devil Music" in the 50s. It continues to this day. In the 70s we had our first over the top "shock rock" act, Alice Cooper. A more recent equivalent would have to be Marilyn Manson.

    It's interesting that Manson relied upon Nazi imagery in his act. While it's easy to dismiss what he did as being nothing more than an exercise in shock value attributable to a derelict mind, a little investigation shows that he is not a Nazi. His efforts in The Golden Age of the Grotesque were reportedly centered around rebelling against fascism and censorship in America; in that era he specifically used examples of art & performance that had been deemed "degenerate" by the Nazi Party. He combined this "degenerate art" along with period-correct Nazi symbolism, and combined these with his own (tasteless art school self-indulgent) modern imagery to express "the dichotomy of repression and expression." (Personally, I'm not a fan.)

    One of the more "classic", "palatable" and widely appreciated efforts of combating the repression of Nazi Germany in American mass media came through the comedy of Jewish actor Charlie Chaplin in his 1940 film "The Great Dictator"." In this film Chaplin developed the brilliant idea of destroying the credibility of Nazism through parody and ridicule.

    Chaplin's concept was subsequently adopted by Jewish German-American filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch in the 1942 comedy film "To Be or Not to Be" starring Jack Benny. This film was remade in 1983 by another American Jewish filmmaker, Mel Brooks, in which the break-dancing Fuhrer sang "The Hitler Rap and "The Naughty Nazis" songs. When poking fun at the Nazis we can't forget Mel Brooks' classic "Springtime for Hitler" in "The Producers."

    Each of these parodies were significant artistic triumphs in their time, in which members of an oppressed minority utilized the revered symbols of their oppressors in ridicule, for the express purpose of demeaning the memory of their oppressors. None of these artistic triumphs could have been possible if we adopted the modern politically correct / repressive idea that a potentially offensive symbol should never be used outside of a legitimate religious context.

    The concept of freedom of speech and freedom of expression is valuable because it allows the people to express themselves in spite of the fact that other people would rather not be offended by the diversity of someone else's thoughts.

    The fact that these Jewish filmmakers had access to utilize the swastika in freedom of expression is what empowered them to make their greatest artistic achievements.

    It's not reasonable for anyone expect that he has the right to live his entire life without being offended by someone else's ideas. Eradicating "offensive imagery" to protect someone from the risk of being offended is the worst form of censorship. It is a direct assault in individuality and freedom of thought and expression.

    Even pathetic skinheads are trying to show how ANGRY they are, not real Nazi either and if, as a political science fiction plot, real Nazis ever came to power again, they would send all skinheads straight to the barbed wire camps, as a useless menace to Society.
    Funny thing, the Dead Kennedys said exactly that in "Nazi Punks Fuck Off":

    "You still think swastikas look cool
    The real nazis run your schools
    They're coaches, businessmen and cops
    In a real fourth reich you'll be the first to go
    Nazi punks Nazi punks Nazi punks-Fuck Off!"
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  23. #23
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    a little chrome Ichthys on the trunk of their car
    In my experience the worst drivers on the road sport these. That little fish on the back of a car means "I'm a poor/cheeky driver who thinks he/she is cosmically privileged; MY driving sins are all automatically forgiven by God, and you should too. Who are you to think otherwise?" In some measure they turn out to be successful - I almost always have to either mutter or scream "JESUS!" in response to some dopey dangerous maneuver they do.

    Luckily there are alternative fish symbols to balance the bad karma.






  24. #24
    g1
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    What's next? Where does it stop? Should everyone know better than to allow:
    ...a Hindu to wear a bindi in public?
    ...a Christian to wear a crucifix? Or a little chrome Ichthys on the trunk of their car?
    ...a Jew to wear a kippah?
    ...a Muslim to display Islamic calligraphy?
    ...the list could go on and on.
    Nice try. If any of these symbols were hijacked and used as the defacto symbol by a group responsible for the extermination of millions of people, then you could make a comparison. That is why everyone should know better.
    The Dude likes this.
    Certified Dotard

  25. #25
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    ...... That's the definition of religious intolerance. It's an embarrassment to any society that values individualism and religious freedom.

    What's next? Where does it stop? Should everyone know better than to allow:
    ...a Hindu to wear a bindi in public?
    ...a Christian to wear a crucifix? Or a little chrome Ichthys on the trunk of their car?
    ...a Jew to wear a kippah?
    ...a Muslim to display Islamic calligraphy?
    ...the list could go on and on.


    These symbols are just a few expressions of faith that allow people to identify themselves and their beliefs among their fellow man. Instead of being rigidly intolerant of symbols, people should spend some time trying to understand the context in which they're being used.
    Itīs already THE LAW in France, a Country supposedly known for freedom and open mindness.

    The bill passed France's national legislature and was signed into law by President Jacques Chirac on 15 March 2004 (thus the technical name is law 2004-228 of 15 March 2004) and came into effect on 2 September 2004.
    The law does not mention any particular religious symbol, and thus bans Christian (veil, signs), Muslim (veil, signs), Sikh (turban, signs), Jewish and other religious signs
    Last edited by J M Fahey; 09-24-2017 at 01:11 AM.
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    Juan Manuel Fahey

  26. #26
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Red herring argument. The percentage of people who use the swastika as a positive religious emblem is vastly tiny. And as far as I know, none of them plaster it on walls. And even in those very few cases, the potential to misunderstand is great.

    Much as I think the Jesus fish on a car is a sign of stupidity, it suggests no threat. The trappings of Hassidic Jews offers me no threat. I can't really confuse a yarmulka as a hate symbol, it does not imply that its wearer plans me harm.

    So THAT is where it stops.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  27. #27
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    The percentage of people who use the swastika as a positive religious emblem is vastly tiny.
    In other words, "Fuck 'em --they're just a minority."

    ... the potential to misunderstand is great.
    and rationalize that suppression citing fear of a misunderstanding.

    Much as I think the Jesus fish on a car is a sign of stupidity, it suggests no threat. The trappings of Hassidic Jews offers me no threat. I can't really confuse a yarmulka as a hate symbol, it does not imply that its wearer plans me harm.

    So THAT is where it stops.
    Me. Me. Me.

    Problems like these become problems because people look at them from their own perspective and refuse to see beyond it. Egocentrism, ignorance and fear of people who are different are the seeds from which the forest of intolerance is sown.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  28. #28
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    In other words, "Fuck 'em --they're just a minority."
    Now you and I both know that was not my message.


    How many times around here have we passed out the advice:

    "When you see hoof prints in the dirt, think horses, not zebras."
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  29. #29
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Itīs already THE LAW in France, a Country supposedly known for freedom and open mindness.
    We're witnessing the same erosion of personal freedom here in the "Land of the Free". We've already got freedom of speech being abridged on the basis that is involves "hate." And we've got Americans (your definition) who are eager to establish their own capricious and arbitrary standards for the banning of symbolic speech, citing that everyone should agree with them, submit to the higher mind, yield in conformity and "know better."

    The true problems arise with those capricious and arbitrary standards. All cases should be treated equally, in the interest of universal standards and fairness and equality for all people. Instead we've got people making excuses for why one particular case that they believe in is "special," as if they're more enlightened to make these discriminations in "special cases" than the rest of us. Those who actually believe they're more enlightened than the rest of us, and should be trusted to make these decisions for us, end up being the greatest threat to everyone else's civil liberty.

    No thanks.
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  30. #30
    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    It's not reasonable for anyone expect that he has the right to live his entire life without being offended by someone else's ideas. Eradicating "offensive imagery" to protect someone from the risk of being offended is the worst form of censorship. It is a direct assault in individuality and freedom of thought and expression.
    "Have I offended anyone?" FZ
    bob p likes this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Conner View Post
    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken.

  31. #31
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    The line up was incredible.

    Jamaica World Music Festival 1982.pdf
    "Incredible"? What an understatement.
    They had Ronnie Milsap and Skeeter Davis?

    -rb

  32. #32
    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    Looking at the line up I was thinking " WTH was Ronnie Milsap doing there?".

    I certainly don't remember that performance.

    Must have been off searching for a Red Stripe beer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    Looking at the line up I was thinking " WTH was Ronnie Milsap doing there?".

    I certainly don't remember that performance.

    Must have been off searching for a Red Stripe beer.
    Maybe Ronnie didn't read who was playing and where?

    nosaj

  34. #34
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
    Maybe Ronnie didn't read who was playing and where?
    That's probably it. Maybe the contract wasn't in Braille. :snark:

  35. #35
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    Looking at the line up I was thinking " WTH was Ronnie Milsap doing there?".
    I certainly don't remember that performance.
    If you can remember a Ronnie Milsap show, then you weren't trying hard enough.

    I did mention Ronnie as a gag, but honestly never payed much attention to his music. Turns out he's a pretty soulful dude. Wiki sez that classically-trained RM started out in Rock and R&B, and worked with Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and James Brown. You can kinda hear those soul chops in overproduced hits like "(There's) No Gettin' Over Me".
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXe5...QkQePYPdJBB3mo

    Looking at the lineup I was really thinking "WTH was Skeeter Davis doing there?". Skeeter began her reign as the Queen of Country/Pop Crossover in 1960. You might remember her 1961 lyric version of Floyd Cramer's instrumental "Last Date", called "My Last Date (With You)".
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvfG9uFswis
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BLR5R8b-Ao

    In 1963, she scored another hit with "The End of the World."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sonLd-32ns4

    And who can forget this gem from 1972?

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