Joni Mitchell wrote it, and sang it, but I remember the cover by CSN&Y.
The year of nineteen sixty-nine found me a budding thirteen year old rocking hippie wannabe living in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. My pants were bell-bottoms, and my thick hair was shoulder-length. My mustache and goatee were coming in without any prodding (Mom thought my face was dirty), and I was drifting toward the counter-culture.
I had some problems, though; can you be counter-culture and madly love cars like the Corvette, Jaguar XK-E, Ford GT, and Cobra, or the Porsche 917s and Ferrari 512s racing at LeMans, and the Can-Am and Formula 1 racers? That seems counter-counter-culture, as does being a Pirates fan and idolizing Roberto Clemente. But then, isn’t what what thirteen is all about, expanding your thoughts about where you’re at, what you’re learning, and where you’re heading?
Besides being my thirteenth year, nineteen sixty-nine is more frequently remembered in America for the Vietnam War, protests against it, President Nixon, the moon landing, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “Midnight Cowboy,” “Easy Rider,” “True Grit,” the Miracle Mets, and Woodstock, as in the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. I wasn’t there (at the fair), but I heard a helluva lot about it afterwards. Part of that was because of Joni’s song, so I offer it here to you, to remember or learn of that festival that began on August 15, forty-eight years ago.