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This is what happened to the States: some foreign policy wonk came up with the domino theory: if one country falls to communism the next one will follow. instead of telling the world truth: Communism is perfect for small poor agriculture based economy’s with lots of, er communes, and sucks for every body else.

The States got stuck in a war not unwinnable just not worth winning and were using the baby boomers -the largest group of teens and twenties in its history to fight the war through conscription. And the baby boomers didn’t want to fight it.

Simultaneously the pill had an unexpected side effects: women with fear of pregnancy gone did not only embrace their sexual freedom but also their political freedom. And finally the civil rights movement was reaching its apotheosis (drugs was a red herring).

In 69 it felt like a revolution, maybe it was, and rock and soul was the soundtrack.

At Woodstock white boogie bands sucked at the farm. The music has its moments but nowhere near enough for it to be really relevant. Monterey -which had the sainted Otis Redding, was much better. Drug addicted rock stars wandered on stage to poorly play self-indulgent extended jams for a buncha kids. With half a million people in attendance and a nation watching, these bands couldn’t raise to the occasion.

The best example of the politics of the moment was when Abbie Hoffman went on stage to question why everyone was groovin to hip sounds while John Sinclair was doing 5 years for selling two joints and Townsend hit Hoffman with Townsend’s guitar.

It was filmed and recorded and big record companies and movie companies did just what you’d expect they’d do with a youth revolution: they sold it back to the youth.As Columbia Records put it: they can’t bust our music.

And that is Woodstocks lasting legacy. As Strummer would say eight years later: “You think it’s funny? Turning rebellion into money.”

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