Back to the Garden

Life Magazine
August 1994

I wasn't there. Crosby, Stills, Nash and myself all went to the airport. Woodstock had been declared a national disaster area, so we were informed that we couldn't get in and get out. I had to do /The Dick Cavett Show /the following day, so I left the boys there, thinking they were going someplace else. But they rented a helicopter. I felt left out. I really felt like the Girl. The Girl couldn't go, but the Boys could. I watched everything on TV. But I don't know if I would have written the song "Woodstock" if I had gone. I was the fan that couldn't go, not the performing animal. So it afforded me a different perspective.

It was the turning point, the apex of the hippie experience. After Woodstock was Altamont, the "hate" festival. And the commercialization set in, and you'd hear women saying, "Oh, I'm going down to Macy's to get some love beads for Fred's Nehru suit." The drug scene got heavier. The bad and the ugly, the criminal and the cruel have since that time been front row center.

Woodstock was a spark of beauty. Some white, middle-class kids popped some Owsley LSD and saw that they were part of a greater organism. And that experience primitivized them. The essence of the song "Woodstock" is, like here we are, this creature from the dust of exploded stars, on this planet. /We've got to get ourselves back to the garden/ is extremely romantic but extremely realistic. If we don't wake up ecologically, our organism is doomed.

Crosby, Stills and Nash showed up unannounced while I was on /The Dick Cavett Show/. Crosby is saying, "Man, you shoulda seen it, the biggest bunch of gypsies." I'm holding back from expressing terrible crestfallenness. I gave them a tape of my song. They recorded it and got it out immediately.

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