Archive for Abbey Road

Woodstock: What If …?

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on August 9, 2009 by 30daysout

Beatles at Woodstock

In 1969, nobody knew that the Woodstock music festival would be the defining cultural event of the era.  If we knew that in advance, some things may have been different.  For instance: what if the Beatles had played Woodstock?

On the other side of the Atlantic, the Beatles were nearing the end of the line.  Although no one else suspected it, the four Beatles may have realized the group’s demise was imminent.  And it is possible they were looking to say goodbye from the grandest stage of all.  They were filming a movie of their recording sessions and they wanted to play live, possibly as a climax to the documentary film, but no venue proved to be big enough for the world’s biggest band.  There were a lot of ideas involving exotic locations – an ocean liner, an outdoor amphitheater in Africa – but the boys wound up playing on the roof of Apple studios in January of that year.

What if the Beatles, always ahead of their time (if not ahead of themselves), recognized the significance of Woodstock and realized what a statement their appearance would make?  They were, after all, the gods of the counterculture and what better place to share a message of peace and love than from a stage in front of thousands?  Their mere presence at Woodstock would have guaranteed worldwide media attention, which the festival got anyway.

Continue reading