Tales from the Woodstock Nation


Abbie Hoffman comes across pretty poorly in the book WOODSTOCK” THE ORAL HISTORY. Comes across like a two-bit street hustler, con-man. First he tries to extort the promoters, threatening to disrupt the festival and cause violence if they don’t kick down a big chunk of dough for The Revolution, man (just give the money to ole Ab and he’ll make sure it gets redistributed to “the people”). And demands ample stage-time so he can deliver his crucial message to the Woodstock Nation. He was righteously outraged that these fake pseudo-hippie capitalist pigs were exploiting the righteous hippie counterculture for financial gain (even more outrageous, they weren’t cutting Abbie in on some of that dough).

The promoters managed to placate Abbie by treating him with kid-gloves (“Better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in). But he didn’t end up getting much out of the deal. Mostly because the promoters had decided from the beginning that they wanted to keep Woodstock as non-political as possible. And also because the cute little hippie boy, Michael Lang, who co-produced Woodstock, also had good street hustler, con-man instincts himself. So he was able to out-hustle all the hustlers. Ha ha. 

Though it is amusing to watch these self-appointed “leaders” like Abbie Hoffman trying to get a grip on the Woodstock Nation. They see the parade going by and rush up front and pretend to lead it.

2 thoughts on “Tales from the Woodstock Nation

  1. Pete Townshend kicking Abbie off the stage was a thing of great beauty. Too bad it wasn’t captured on film.

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