Cordell Parvin Blog Developing the Next Generation of Rainmakers

Would You Have Gone to Woodstock?

Posted in Career Development

Yesterday I posted, My guide to working with baby boomers. Several lawyers sent me email and tweeted that what I had written was very helpful.

Near the end of the blog, I mentioned I would write how I was not cool enough to go to Woodstock. If you actually work for a lawyer that went to Woodstock, I would love to hear from you.

Many of you were not born in August 1969 when the three day Woodstock Music and Art Festival took place in Bethel, New York. Around 500,000 people in my age group attended.

I am not sure I understood what would go on at Woodstock, but I heard it would be “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” I thought about going to Woodstock and talked about it with a guy at the factory where I worked on the grave yard shift that summer. He actually went, but I decided against it.

My parents convinced me to stay home. I am confident they had also heard it would be “sex, drugs and rock and roll” and they convinced me that my future in the Air Force and in law might be adversely impacted. My parents warned me:

  • Someone from the Air Force would be there taking photos.
  • If not the Air Force, someone from the Board of Bar Examiners would be there taking photos.
  • If nothing else, the media would be taking photos and and video.

I came up with two other excuses:

  • I was working on the grave yard shift to make some money I desperately needed for law school.
  • I was set to begin my first year of law school in just a couple of weeks.

While no one anticipated that it would become a once in a life time event, many of the top musicians of a changing music scene were there. Some of the groups were thought to be radical. One group I liked was Jefferson Airplane. Their music was a big change for me.

Woodstock now has its own website. As you will see there:

In 1969, a monumental music festival changed our world. More than half a million people came together – united in a message of peace, openness and cultural expression – and demonstrated how a generation could be heard.

A great deal has also been written about Woodstock and how this once in a lifetime event only happened as a result of a series of accidents. This year the Huffington Post featured a slide show Woodstock Anniversary: The Best Beauty And Style Moments From 1969′s Best Festival (PHOTOS) showing the style from the event. When I went through the slides, I saw only one guy whose hair was even close to how short mine was at the time.

I listened to my parents and did not go to Woodstock. I was concerned that going might in some way impact my career. Would you have gone to Woodstock?