Woodstock: Not Just A Cartoon Bird.

This article is bound to be quite listy, but please bear with me. If you want the skinny on all things Woodstock, please proceed through the mud and human waste with caution.

First thing's first: officially, there were three Woodstock festivals (and a couple other unofficial ones I won't be discussing here today). 1969, in August from the days of the 15th through the 18th, the first Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place. I tracked down a list of bands that played; here's the bulk of Day 2 alone:

Canned Heat
Janis Joplin
Sly & The Family Stone
Grateful Dead
Creedence Clearwater Revival
The Who

Also throw in the likes of:

Ravi Shankar
Arlo Guthrie
Joan Baez
Jefferson Airplane
Joe Cocker
Country Joe & The Fish
Ten Years After
The Band
Blood Sweat And Tears
Johnny Winter
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Jimi Hendrix

and you've got yourself one successful music and arts festival.

However, there are notable exceptions you may be noticing.

Where was Cream? Well, they were broken up, but that still doesn't explain where the fuck Eric Clapton was.

We know where Led Zeppelin were: they got more money to play elsewhere; and, according to their manager, he didn't want them to be "just another band on a list".

Jim Morrison despised large outdoor venues, so the Doors were out; and Frank Zappa just fucking blew it off. Bob Dylan was sick and tired of all the hippies surrounding him; John Lennon wanted to come, but he couldn't get the rest of the Beatles together and they didn't want just him with his Plastic Ono Band. That, my friends, was a big fucking mistake; I don't care what you say, if you're throwing on the biggest festival in our nation's history, you take John Lennon any way you can get him. The Byrds were coming off a bad experience earlier that year at an Atlanta festival; Iron Butterfly were a bunch of prima donnas who asked for too much; and Joni Mitchell was conned into sticking around for a Dick Cavett Show appearance on Monday night even though two other bands managed to play Woodstock and his show in the same 3-day span.

But, the point is, it's pretty fucking hard to beat the original Woodstock (even though The Rolling Stones may have been the biggest omission of them all; with The Kinks and The Velvet Underground being curious exceptions as well).

Then came Woodstock '94, the 25th anniversary. This one nearly reached the harmonious vibe of the original simply because of all the rain and the mud-throwing and the curiousity of seeing Old meeting New. Dylan and Metallica; Primus and Joe Cocker; The Band and Nine Inch Nails; Crosby Stills & Nash and Green Day. Just a wild, wild scene; I would've given anything to have been there, but I was 13 years old at the time. Just another case of me being born too late.

However, I was prime meat for the 1999 Woodstock festival; if I really wanted to get a job and scratch the money to go, I could've. But, Woodstock 1999 was complete shit. 90 degree weather, cops all over the place, confiscation of water bottles, over-priced food and water as an exclusive subsititute, riots, fires, rapes. The people went ballistic because the organizers took a horrendous dump all over the Peace & Love aspects of Woodstock and then put steel-reinforced fencing around the whole thing so nobody could get in or out. $150 for the whole thing, and it's on an army base with hazardous waste. It wasn't so much a muddy/green field as a huge concrete death trap. I can see why people might've been a little upset.

Personally, I would've been right in the middle of the melee (well, I'm assuming I would've abstained from all the raping going on), but not because of the high prices or the not-enough-toilets resulting in over-flowing Honeybuckets and a field of human excrement flooding the landscape. No, I would've been starting fires and breaking into ATMs because of the lousy fucking MUSIC! Here is a list of the bands I could've tolerated:

1. Dave Matthews Band
2. Fatboy Slim
3. George Clinton & The P-Funk All Stars
4. James Brown
5. Jewel (only because I had a super crush on her at the time)
6. Megadeth
7. Metallica
8. Moby
9. moe* - didn't hear about them until afterward, so they don't count
10. Muse* - ditto
11. Rage Against The Machine
12. Red Hot Chili Peppers
13. String Cheese Incident* - ditto again
14. The Chemical Brothers
15. The Roots* - ditto once more
16. Wyclef Jean

So, really, I'm only counting like ten of those, because I doubt I was all that into James Brown or George Clinton at the time, not to mention I don't know how I felt about all that techno shit then either. So, it could really be even less than that.

Now, here's a list of all the shit I can't stand:

* Brian Setzer Orchestra
* Buckcherry
* Bush
* Collective Soul
* Counting Crows
* Creed
* Elvis Costello
* Everclear
* Everlast
* G. Love and Special Sauce
* Godsmack
* Guster
* Ice Cube
* Insane Clown Posse
* Kid Rock
* Korn
* Limp Bizkit
* Lit
* Live
* Los Lobos
* Our Lady Peace
* Rusted Root
* Sevendust
* Sheryl Crow
* The Offspring
* The Tragically Hip
* Vertical Horizon
* Willie Nelson

That's 29 bands/singers right there, not even counting all those bands I've never heard of who most likely I would've hated as well! You call that a festival? I call that proof of the existence of a Heaven, because Woodstock 1999 for me would've been my own personal Hell. Coupled with my Freshman Football coach yelling at me, telling me to run laps around the stage as the Insane Clown Posse made fun of me and The Tragically Hip played an extra-long set of utter crap.

By the way, a special shout-out to Creed, Godsmack, Buckcherry, Bush, Collective Soul, Counting Crows, Everclear, Kid Rock, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Lit, Sevendust, The Offspring, and Sheryl Crow for ruining most of my high school life with your bullshit music. I'm glad they finally managed to get you all in the same place at one time; I'm just dismayed the atomic bomb didn't go off as I'm assuming was originally planned. Losing the Red Hot Chili Peppers' declining years would've been a small price to pay for ultimate redemption