Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Peace, Love, Roguish Armament? Oh, Well, Woodstock '94 Is Open Nudity and Drugs Bring Back the Past at Festival

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Peace, Love, Roguish Armament? Oh, Well, Woodstock '94 Is Open Nudity and Drugs Bring Back the Past at Festival

Article excerpt

Some concertgoers strolled the fields naked, others wore tie-dye and many were getting high Friday like the let-it-all-hang-out generation before them, with one big difference: This Woodstock opened on time and fully wired.

About 75,000 people had arrived by the noon opening act at Woodstock '94 - a local heavy metal band called Roguish Armament with Rekk.

In decibels and attitude, it was a far cry from Richie Havens, the folk singer who was the last-minute choice to open the original Woodstock 25 years ago because the sound system was not ready. He went on stage hours late.

"It's music history in the making. It's good to be a part of it," said Michael Link, 25, of Gore, Va.

Opening ceremonies included a psychedelic artist, Peter Max, urging the crowd to behave because "the whole world is watching," and Mohawk Indians dancing and singing for peace, harmony and love.

Many in the mainly 20-something crowd harkened back to the free-spirited original Woodstock by walking around naked and smoking marijuana. Some skipped through a "misting machine," which released a shower of cool water. Others bathed at a bank of water faucets.

T-shirts advertised musical tastes from Nine Inch Nails and Metallica to Bob Marley and the Grateful Dead. Some people sat next to signs reading, "I need smoke" or "I Need a Dose." Despite glitches that left some fans grumbling, authorities reported little trouble.

After a day filled with largely unknown bands like Abba Rage and Lunchmeat, the main show opens today with English singer Joe Cocker, a veteran of the original Woodstock. Headliners such as Melissa Etheridge, Aerosmith, Bob Dylan and Peter Gabriel are scheduled to perform today or Sunday.

The first concertgoers faced long delays waiting for shuttle buses to take them from the parking lots because security bracelets had not arrived in time. Food concessions were initially closed because special tokens had not arrived. Fans were also confused about where to camp, and tents sprouted like colorful mushrooms all over grassy fields of the 850-acre concert site. …

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