17 August 2013

We are Stardust, We are Golden...

This weekend, 44 years ago, Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, N.Y.

I can’t imagine what it must have been there and to watch act after act like Santana, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Sly & The Family Stone, The Who, CSN& Y, Blood Sweat & Tears, and, of course Jimi Hendrix. 

Artie Kornfeld, one of Woodstock’s organizers, Facebook friended me a few years ago. I’ve never met him (though I interviewed fellow founder Michael Lang quite a lot during the 1994 25th anniversary edition of Woodstock, which I attended and covered for Billboard...I still have mud in crevasses from that wash out), but it’s clear that the original spirit of Woodstock and the message of love and peace still runs through his veins in his often rambling, but heartfelt, posts. 

Yesterday, he posted “As we fight to keep the magic of Woodstock growing despite age taking some many of the original Woodstock Nation to the other side. Hold your heads high and realize that we are all the same seeking the feeling we do not want to lose...Celebrate the Woodstock 44th by helping others have a level playing service [I’m guessing he meant surface].. Let’s let all our brothers and sisters know we are fighting for the downtrodden...HELP ANOTHER BROTHER OR SISTER ON THEIR WAY.” 

I love his posts.He’s still a true believer all these years later. And he welcomes others who share the same ideals and the spirit of the festival lives on. His Facebook page over the last few days has been filled with people posting mementos, whether it’s photos from the original festival or plaques on the site or just their own memories and he likes every single post.

I tried to find a charity for a Woodstock Foundation or some such creature, but couldn’t find one (the Woodstock Foundation I found was for Woodstock, Ga.) For some reason when I thought of Woodstock, I thought of Ben & Jerry’s, maybe because of Wavy Gravy ice cream. So I went to their page and found a cause they support, which just happened to be one that has been on my mind lately since I say a documentary, “GMO OMG,” in Poland last week. 

Ben & Jerry’s is a big proponent of Just Label It, the movement to have food in the U.S. tagged if it contains GMOs. It is also committed to making all of its products non-GMO by the end of this year in the U.S. (they are at about 80% right now).  So in the spirit of Woodstock, today’s $10 goes to Just Label It, which continues to fight for our right to know if food we are buying and eating has been genetically engineered. 

Aug. 17: Just Label It

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