The year was 1994. My parents, my sister and I packed up the car with our camping supplies and started on our way to Saugerties, NY. I was all of 14 and was about to have the craziest weekend of my life (so far). Woodstock ’94 was happening and my family was right in the thick of it. It’s been over 20 years and I can’t remember everything but I do recall that we set up our tent and sleeping bags on the side of a hill, my older sister going off on her own late into the night, being covered in mud from head to toe (thank goodness for those ponchos) and most importantly watching Green Day perform live! You could say that the chance to see this amazing and very entertaining band was the entire reason I went.I forgot which of the “Two More Days of Peace and Music” it was but the stage was a close walk from our home away from home. We got to it as early as possible to get the best view we could, it was early enough that the pervious band playing reggae music were still on the stage. The crowd grew and grew, I don’t know when, who or why it started but all of a sudden all those who had gathered were chanting Green Day! Green Day! Green Day! Green Day! Green Day! (Looking back on it I feel sorry for the guys on stage, I mean they were a good band in their own right) but the fans came to see Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool and Mike Drint and they did not let us down.
I don’t remember their set list (I’m sure all their hits from Dookie were part of the concert) but what happened while they were preforming was insane and became the best concert I have ever attended.
Again I don’t know who threw the first shot but soon mud was flying everywhere on stage and off. The stage became a huge slippery mess but that did not stop people from jumping up on to it to get up close and person with the band. Security stepped in and began throwing them off, my family was so close that those being “gently” tossed off were practically landing on top of us. According to legend one or the guards miss-took Mike as one of those crazy fans and chipped one of the bassist teeth.*
It really was one great and (mostly) unforgettable weekend and for posterity I still have the muddy shoes and back when MTV cared about music they attendant and aired some of the concerts and perhaps somewhere in their vaults there is footage of a tall man with dark hair and a beard just enjoying a nice vacation with his wife and two teenaged daughters.
Congrats and cheers to Billie Joe, Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month (Concert with other inductees Saturday at 8pm on HBO) you guys truly deserve this great honor.
*Woodstock '94 has also been referred to as Mudstock, or Mudstock '94, partly due to Green Day's performance, during which guitarist and lead vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong started a mudfight with the crowd. The situation quickly spiraled out of control, with many fans jumping onstage. This resulted in the security team mistaking bassist Mike Dirnt for a fan and tackling him, resulting in Dirnt requiring emergency orthodontia. (Wikipedia)