With last weekend's 40th Anniversary of Woodstock, and the release of the new Ang Lee flick Taking Woodstock on August 28th, I've had hippies on the brain. It's strange to think that after all this time Woodstock remains one of the most iconic moments of the past 50 years - whether you were there or not, the music, the images and the memory of Woodstock still touch everyone. The legendary Richie Havens was the first performer to take the stage, and he took on that challenge wholeheartedly. Many of the musicians that were set to perform before him were delayed by traffic, so Havens performed ahead of schedule, and continued to woo the crowd three hours into his set. Encore after encore Havens continued to play, encouraged by Woodstock organizers, and the crowd. Eventually Havens ran out of songs to play, so he improvised a tune based on the old spiritual 'Motherless Child'. The song eventually became 'Freedom', one of the most haunting and anthemic songs of that generation:
It's safe to say that my generation has yet to experience a unified movement of Woodstock's magnitude, but this past year we got pretty close. Here's hoping we'll be inspired enough by the past, to look bravely and optimistically into the future.