Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Famous Last Words

Max Yasgur's farm, Bethel, NY

We replaced our ancient, buzzing stereo speakers this past weekend. To celebrate, Darling Husband went digging deep into his massive vinyl collection, and at my behest unearthed the Sha Na Na album, "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay!"

In addition to endearingly naive profiles of the band members (Rich Joffe "will major in both English and Goverment"; Alan Cooper "has conducted Jewish high holiday services in a Miami old age home"), the album sports a double-page collage of New York Times articles about rock 'n' roll and the Woodstock festival.

One clip, headlined "Farmer with Soul: Max Yasgur," features the following passage, which resonates eerily:

His red barn, fronting on Route 17B, with its long line of parked cars, displays a big sign reading "Free Water." He put up this sign when he heard that some residents were selling water to the youngsters at the festival.

He slammed a work-hardened fist down on the table and demanded of some friends:

"How can anyone ask for money for water?"

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