“Drugs and nudity were rampant, food was scarce and traffic was hell. Oh, and there were several deaths and births. Those are some of the myths that have been passed down over the years about the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, which happened 40 years ago this weekend, Aug. 15-18, 1969.”Are those myths? Tall tales, perhaps or exaggerations, maybe. My assumption that the author doesn’t grasp the definition of “myth” is supported by his equally loose hold on “debunking”, which, to him, consists of having someone tell him a different story.
“… Howard Loberfeld, who attended at age 15, (says) ‘I went with a sleep-away camp…and every one of (our parents) called the camp and said ‘Get my kid out of there! We heard there’s deaths, we heard there’s no bathrooms, we heard there’s no food and we heard there’s drugs!’’ … Loberfeld says, he and his buddies ‘just noticed a lot of music, a lot of fun and a lot of community.’ OK, so there were drugs, as Loberfeld found out when some long-haired dude walked by him yelling “Reds! Reds!” But he was so young and naive, he thought the dealer was talking baseball: “I remember thinking: he’s a Cincinnati fan.’’ When Loberfeld and company were forced to cut their festival stay short because of parental concerns, ‘We were quite angry and we told our parents that we don’t know what the New York media was saying, but we didn’t notice any of that stuff,’ he says.These kids go to camp thinking, "camp sucks, why do I have to go, my parents hate me," and the end up at the greatest music event of all time… with drugs …and nudity. Here's the conversation Howie had with his folks:
Hello Muddah, hello Faddah
Uh, yeah, I’m at, Camp Granada
Well okay, but, please don’t you flip
They took on a special sort of field “trip”
Don’t believe the, New York media
And the drug tales, that they feed ya
No, I’ve not seen, LSD here
But I’ve seen flying purple lizards wearing rain gearDon’t take me home, oh, Muddah, Faddah
Or make me go, back to Camp Granada
Just leave me at this farm where, I swear,
I don’t see those women swimming bare
You know when they got to sleepaway camp, the older counselors said, “Screw this hiking and s&!#, we’re taking these nerds to Woodstock. Sex, drugs and rock and roll, baby!” Then they threatened some horrible consequences if the kids ever told what really went on.
Howie’s claim of naiveté about drugs sounds like today’s baseball players denying they took steroids and, even when they did, they thought it was vitamins. It’s like Bill Clinton saying, “I tried marijuana but I didn’t inhale.” Howie Loberfeld is probably hiding his youthful drug use and nudity at Woodstock because he’s planning to run for some Republican political position – he’s already learned to blame stuff on “the New York media.”
The “reporter” also tries to debunk stories of nudity by quoting Bonnie Geffen, who says she never got naked. You know that if Facebook had existed at the time, every ones of these liars would be totally busted by the pictures which would still be floating around the internet.
You know what might have helped the reporter with this story? He could have just rented the movie. The drugs, the nudity, the food scarcity; that was all there. The death was not, but that was confirmed. All that’s left is the birth. Maybe that didn’t happen. Who really knows?
After all, “if you can remember Woodstock, you weren’t really there.”, which may be the case for both Howard and Bonnie, speaking of debunking myths.