The Sixties start with an explosion of optimism, personified by the newly elected president, John Kennedy. The party is just getting started when the nation is shocked by his assassination. Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King is next--which sets off riots across the United States.
Robert Kennedy runs for President, and the nation is stunned when he is gunned down. Shortly afterwards, the Chicago Police assault war protesters at the Democratic National Convention, and a great many Americans of all ages begin wondering if our nation is going crazy.
Change came fast, and none of it seemed good. Americans long for simpler, more stable times, and arising from the political graveyard comes presidential candidate Richard Nixon. He has a secret plan for getting the country out of Vietnam, and promises a return of law and order, which many believe is lacking—especially among the young.
In 1968, he is elected President. 450,000 U.S. forces are in Vietnam, and 35,000 have returned in body bags. The nations young people watch all this and wonder if they have any kind of future.
Amidst the despair come rumors of gigantic Rock Festival that's to take place in Upstate New York. It's billed as three days of peace and music, and many of the biggest music performers from what has come to be called the counter culture are scheduled to appear.
This film tells of the unlikely series of events that led to the history-making concert, and my experiences as an attendee.
Though nobody knew it at the time, the concert marks the end of the era that began with JFK's youthful optimism, and the beginning of one that grows increasingly cynical.
Thanks in large part to the movie and records released in the ensuing decades, the concert remained in the public consciousness. The original site, however, lay fallow and nearly forgotten until the mid-eighties, when artist Wayne Saward built a commemorative monument on the original site. When the 20th anniversary arrived, nearly 20,000 were drawn to it.
For the 25th Anniversary, a large concert was planned for the original site, and I returned for the first time. It had been a long time, but realized how I missed feeling the spirit of Woodstock.
Since then, I've returned for subsequent reunions. For the forty-first celebration, I brought my video camera and filmed how the event is still being observed.
The More Things Change -- A Woodstock Memoir, tells the story of Woodstock by putting it into context with its times, and its times into context with the last half century.
The film mixes personal milestones with the significant social, political, technological and medical developments that have occurred over this very important period. Interviews are conducted with Woodstock veterans, as well as those who are new to the Woodstock Spirit.
Learn more about Woodstock by Clicking the link below:
The More Things Change -- A Woodstock Memoir, is a documentary film that recounts my journey to Woodstock in 1969 — and the returns trips made since.
The film is a window into what life was like in the sixties, and how everything was changing—and kept changing!
I've returned over the years, and you'll meet some of the pilgrims that still congregate on Yasgur's farm. You'll see that in spite of all the advances in technology, people are still seeking the same inner peace and brotherhood the original concert inspired.
Proving once again the old french saying:
The More things change, the more they stay the same.