The Sixties start with an explosion of optimism, personified by the newly elected president, John Kennedy. The party is just getting started when he is assassinated. Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King is next--which sets off riots across the United States.
Robert Kennedy runs for President, and is gunned down. Shortly afterwards, the Chicago Police assault war protesters, and a great many Americans wonder if our nation isn't going crazy.
Change comes 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.
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 a 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 of the era 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 builds a commemorative monument on the original site. When the 20th anniversary arrives, nearly 20,000 are drawn to it.
For the 25th Anniversary, a large concert is planned for the original site, and I return for the first time. It had been a long time, but I realize how I miss feeling the spirit of Woodstock.
Since then, I've returned for subsequent reunions. For the forty-first celebration, I bring my video camera and filmed how the event is observed.
The More Things Change — A Woodstock Memoir, tells the story of Woodstock and its times.
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.
The More Things Change — A Woodstock Memoir, is a documentary film that recounts my journey to Woodstock in 1969 — and the 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 those 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 sense of peaceful community the original concert inspired.
Bringing to mind the old french saying: The More things change, the more they stay the same.