WOODSTOCK: The Grooviness-to-Fringe Ratio

by Julia Smith

40 years ago this week, three days of peace, love, hippies, inhaling and rock and roll converged on a farm owned by Max Yasgur in Upstate New York.

I set up my own set list in honour of the historic festival. You can time travel back to the concert by clicking HERE.

I tend to be funkier rather than folkier. So my set list included original funk meister Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix. It wasn't hard to see that the funkiest musicians were head to toe in fringe.

And it's very mesmerizing to see the grooviness in 3D as the fringe sways along with the music.

Jimi Hendrix gets down, baby

Sly Stone, brothers and sisters

Carlos Santana skipped the fringe but was arguably the funkiest musician there. Though he did have wild, fringe-like hair.

Rock god Roger Daltrey had both the hair and the fringe. He's definitely doing it for me!

Farmer Max Yasgur kept to his non-fringey look as the host of the world's most celebrated drop-in.

Yasgur addressed the crowd on the third and final day of the music festival:

"The important thing that you've proven to the world...is that a half million young people can get together to have fun and music...and have nothing but fun and music and God Bless You for it!"

After the concert, he said "If we join [those young people], we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future." - Wikipedia

The Who - My Generation

Santana - Soul Sacrifice

Sly & The Family Stone - I Wanna Take You Higher

Jimi Hendrix - Foxy Lady


  1. Unbelievable it's been four decades! I was too young to be there, though even as a youngster I wanted to be. Such amazing talent, all in one place. And yeah, they all looked pretty cool in fringe. :)
    Thanks for the trippy trip down memory lane!

  2. I was four-and-a-half during the summer of 69. My dad was a Hendrix fan, though, and he and my mom had a blacklight party one time, with glow-in-the-dark body paint. The next day, when my sister and I got home from staying overnight at my aunt's, he put on Hendrix and the black light and we all grooved to Dolly Dagger.

  3. One of my friends had a very fringy leather-jacket around 1990 :-)

  4. Louise - I think the world needs a fringe revival.

  5. I was born in '68 so I wasn't part of the summer of love and my parents were immigrants so they liked a different kind of music - although they also liked the Beatles and Elvis Presley. I like to think that our world is a better place because of Woodstock. I think any time people gather together and celebrate music is a wonderful thing.

  6. Joanna - The amazing thing to me is the way You Tube let me time travel to that very concert, and handpick which acts I wanted to check out. When I realize the breadth of talent that played there in that three-day festival, it's freaky.

    But the atmosphere of 'a happening' is also what makes Woodstock so fascinating. Certainly never to be duplicated. No use trying to manufacture 'a happening.'

  7. Wonderful post, Julia! I actually saved the link to your blog for the next time hubby and I are up too late after playing music. We love watching music clips!

    There was a fascinating new documentary on the History Channel just recently. Even after all these years they managed a fresh perspective. Of course the tie-in is the new movie coming out based on Woodstock. Too Cool!!

    Yeah, Sly Stone was the forerunner of Funk, way ahead of his time. Hendrix was the master of the guitar. No one has ever come close. And that clip of Jefferson Airplane! Hard to believe they were playing first thing in the morning after staying up all night!

    Wonderful post. And I've bookmarked this so I can catch all the clips here too. Isn't YouTube amazing?

    Thanks for this!!


  8. Chiron - My husband and I really enjoyed watching our own personal Woodstock concert. Glad to know you and hubby will be in the virtual crowd along with us!


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