Woodstock's 40th Draws Geezers, Maybe Sex and Drugs Too

Hendrix and Joplin are dead, but spirit of Woodstock lives on in aging rockers.

ByABC News
August 11, 2009, 10:21 AM

Aug. 13, 2009— -- It's the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and they ought to be offering senior citizen discounts.

Ten Years After is playing 40 years later and Country Joe McDonald will be headlining: "Give me an O, give me an L, give me a D."

In 1969, an estimated 400,000 music lovers descended on Yasgur's farm in Bethel, N.Y. -- now hallowed ground for hippies -- creating the most celebrated rock festival of all time.

Despite food shortages, overflowing port-a-potties and torrential rain, Woodstock became a symbol for an entire generation -- peace, love, beads and a lot of good music and drugs.

Some of the musical heroes of that drug-infused era have returned for the Aug. 14-16 retro concerts -- Richie Havens, Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat and Big Brother and the Holding Company, among others -- but nearly all are pushing 70.

Gone are rock gods Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, who long ago died of overdoses.

Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead is dead, as are The Who's bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. The band's guitarist Pete Townshend, 64, after years of "Tommy Can You Hear Me?" is mostly deaf.

David Crosby, 68, had a liver transplant and former band mates Neil Young and Stephen Stills, 64, have survived brain and prostate cancer, respectively.

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Today, concert goers will not roll around in the mud hoping a neighbor will pass around a bowl of brown rice. Rather, 4,500 aging rockers will sit in plush seats in a covered amphitheater with access to public toilets and concession stands selling hamburgers and hot dogs.

Most of the 15,000 who have bought tickets for the "Heroes of Woodstock" concert [some will sit on the lawn] will arrive in their hybrids and Subaru wagons rather than in psychedelically painted VW buses.

Drugs are not allowed, but some promoting the anniversary confide there may be those who "have their own little experience" at the hillside monument erected on the original site.

Any free love will likely happen at new nearby hotels like the local Marriott, which are already booked for the entire weekend.

Returning Woodstock characters like Wavy Gravy, now 73, admit they are "fast approaching official geezerhood."

Drugs are not allowed, but some promoting the anniversary confide there may be those who \"have their own little experience\" at the hillside monument erected on the original site.

Any free love will likely happen at new nearby hotels like the local Marriott, which are already booked for the entire weekend.

Returning Woodstock characters like Wavy Gravy, now 73, admit they are \"fast approaching official geezerhood.\"

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