We spend our lives looking to the past.

When Sam Cooke tells us he’s in a sad mood, we have to believe.
A few anniversaries this week. Woodstock and Elvis.

Peace and love. Not a bad thing.

1969. August. Pretty hot up there in New York.

I heard about it on an AM radio in Tennessee, riding in a car with my parents.

About half a million hippies. Nice bands.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Country Joe and the Fish.
Ritchie Havens doing George Harrison. The Who with “Tommy.”

Elvis was the ghost, but not dead yet. Blue Suede Shoes.
He was very familiar with our part of Texas, playing early shows at Woodrow Wilson High School in Port Arthur; and few years before he died he showed up at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

Joni Mitchell wrote a postscript for Woodstock. It was a song called “Woodstock.”

Probably the only event in history where a man named Wavy Gravy kept telling a bunch of people to get off the towers.

Woodstock was the best and last of the peace and love movement. While there were deaths there (and some births), none were attributed to violence.

After that, the peace dreams all went downhill. Stabbings and violence and Hell’s Angels.

A concert at the Altamont Raceway in California was a dark day, with a man stabbed as Mick Jagger sang “Sympathy for the Devil.”

A year later, Jimi Hendrix, who had so thrilled the Woodstock crowd with his version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” overdosed on drugs in England. After that, young people realized their dream was dying and would never be the same.