Monday, August 28, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock -part twenty

Sherry and I huddled close together with the blanket around us checking out the band that had just come on. It was a little past midnight, and it had gotten cold enough for me to see my breath. A tiny sliver of a moon hung high in the sky above the stage amidst a billion stars.

We had our arms around each other, and I was still tripping pretty heavy. It'd been about four hours since we had dropped the acid, and though it was starting to wear off a little I was still seeing patterns, and the new band that was playing was blowing my mind. I had never seen a group like them before.

There were electric guitars and drums like a regular rock band, but in addition there were trumpets and trombones and an organ, and the sound was new and unique. I was intrigued.

"Who is that?" I asked Sherry.

"I don't know." She looked over towards her right "Linda," she asked, "you know who that is, don't you?"

"It's Blood, Sweat and Tears," Linda answered. She and John were sitting up with their blanket wrapped around themselves next to Sherry and me, and we all sat watching the band together. "That's Al Kooper on the keyboards. He started the band."

I was vaguely familiar with the name Al Kooper. A friend of mine had played an album for me by the Al Kooper Blues Band. I hadn't cared for it much, but this new band of his sounded pretty good.

They did a couple of songs, and then the third song that they did I recognized from hearing it on the radio. Spinning Wheel was the title. I hadn't really liked it, but seeing it performed live made a big difference. It may have been the acid, but it sounded really good.

They did two more songs and then quit. While we waited for the next band to start, Sherry and I started to cuddle, and it only took a few minutes before we were lying back down and making out.

I felt really close to Sherry. Even though we had only met the day before I felt as if I had known her forever. I wanted to kiss her and feel her body against mine for the rest of the night, but then the lightning fast licks of an electric guitar came shooting up from the stage, and I knew exactly who it was.

I dragged Sherry up to a sitting position, and though the stage seemed miles away, the long white hair of the guitarist was unmistakable. It was Johnny Winter.

I had bought an album by him earlier that summer and had become captivated by his guitar playing. He was incredibly fast, and me and my best friend David had gotten into an ongoing argument of who was fastest, him or Jimi Hendrix. I argued it was Johnny Winter, but David held out that it was Jimi Hendrix. David finally conceded that Johnny Winter was faster, but that Jimi Hendrix was better. After I thought about it, I realized that David had a point. But still, Johnny Winter was a hell of a guitarist.

He played this song called Mean Town Blues, and he really got down on the guitar. He had a style of playing with a slide and fingering the fret board at the same time, and it was out of sight. Guitar notes came blasting at me like a machine gun and twice as fast, and his usually scruffy voice was as raw as his guitar playing. He played for about 15 minutes, and then he unplugged his guitar and left the stage.

At first I was disappointed at how brief he had played, but when Sherry put her head down on my shoulder I forgot all about it. We laid back down and cuddled and kissed, and for a while we just lay there and looked into each other's eyes. It was if we were communicating without making a sound, our eyes telling each other how we felt, and for the first time in my life I felt totally at ease with a girl. I felt the peace and love my generation professed, and all seemed well with the world.

When the next group started playing I couldn't believe my ears. It was the song that we all had heard over the PA system earlier that morning, the song that had come to define my experience at Woodstock. It was soft and soothing, mellow and peaceful, and it was being performed on stage that very moment.

Sherry and I sat back up to listen. John and Linda were sitting up, and as much as I wanted to say something to John about that being the song we had all talked about that morning, I wanted more to let the sweet sound of the acoustic guitars and rich harmonies wash through me.

There were three guys on stage sitting on stools singing and playing guitars, and I couldn't believe how good they sounded. The sound was as full as if there were twice as many people playing, but it was just three guys. Incredible.

It was a long song, and when it ended the four of us looked at each other in awe.

"That was that song," John said. There was a look of amazement on his face.

"Yeah," I said. I grinned at him.

"The one from this morning," Linda added. She had a smile on her face.

"That was so cool," Sherry said. She looked at me and then over towards John and Linda.

John grinned back at me, and I noticed that Sherry and Linda were exchanging smiles. I wanted to say more, but as the applause from the crowd died down, one of the guys in the group began to speak.

"Thank you," he said, "we needed that. This is our second gig... this is the second time we've ever played in front of people, man, and we're scared shitless."

They played a couple more songs, and then they played another song that I recognized from being played through the PA system. It was something about a Marrakesh express.

They did four more songs, all of them fantastic, and when they were finished I felt great. For all the shit that I had been through the past three days, the walking, the rain, and everything else, this night with Sherry was really making up for it. And then there were the bare breasts from earlier that day. My mind still reeled from that experience.
I looked at my watch and couldn't believe the time. It was past four in the morning. It sure didn't seem like it. For as good as I felt, I was coming down off the acid, and a nagging feeling was beginning to bring me down. I was worried how we were all going to get home. I lay back down with Sherry and we kissed and caressed, and that helped ease my mind for a while.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock -part nineteen

Country Joe and the Fish finished their performance before the four of us found a place to sit and listen to the music. The intermission between acts gave me some time to enjoy Sherry's company without distraction. I was still tripping strong, and it intensified immensely the mild intimacy I shared with her.

That our bodies touched was exciting in itself, but her holding my hand in her lap gave fruit to fantasies of my feeling her feminine parts. Her head was resting against mine, and the touch of her hair against my skin was soft and sensuous.

She snuggled her head into the crook of my neck, and I tilted my head over so that I could feel her hair against the side of my face. She raised her head up so that our cheeks and foreheads touched together.

I had kissed girls before, but I never felt as close to anyone as I felt towards Sherry at that moment. And we hadn't even kissed.

We snuggled together for what seemed like a long time when the sound of an electrified guitar shattered the silence. It was Alvin Lee of Ten Years After starting in with the first few licks of Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.

As much as I wanted to continue snuggling with Sherry, Alvin Lee's down and dirty guitar playing commanded my attention. I sat up and looked, and the stage looked tiny in the distance, yet in my mind I was right there in front of it. It sounded as if a thousand notes a second were being played on the guitar, but each one was as distinct as if I were playing the guitar myself.

Sherry seemed to be getting into it, too. She pulled the blanket around us more tightly and pushed up against me with her body, and she raised her head up straight and seemed to be paying attention to the music.

"Do you like Ten Years After?" I asked her.

"I've never heard them before," she answered, "but they sound far out."

"I have their album," I said a bit smugly.

"Cool," she said.

They finished doing Little Schoolgirl to a big roar of approval from the crowd, and then they went into another number that I didn't recognize, but the guitar playing was blowing me away. The haze of colors I saw through my eyes seemed to undulate with the beat of the music, and before I realized it I was shaking my head around and pumping Sherry's hand to the sound of the guitar as if I were playing it myself.

Sherry seemed to enjoy my antics for she looked at me with a big smile on her face and began to shake her head in time with mine. I looked at her and grinned and then turned my attention back to the stage.

The band went into a third song that was slower and bluesier, and Sherry and I nodded our heads together to the beat of the music while exchanging smiles with one another. Their fourth and last song was I'm Going Home, a fast blues song that I recognized from their album, and the band went all out doing a thirty-minute version of it, and after it was over I felt almost exhausted from the experience.

"Wow, man," I said, "that was great."

"Yeah," Sherry said. She looked at me and smiled, and she leaned over and put her forehead against mine. We began to snuggle again, and ever so slowly our lips moved closer together until we were kissing each other softly. I turned so that my body was facing hers, and she turned likewise towards me, and we ended up in an embrace lying down on the blanket.

I felt her breasts pressing up against my chest as our kisses turned more passionate, and somehow my leg ended up in between hers, and I felt her push her groin against me. I had long been aroused, and I was pretty sure she could feel me pressing against her. I was super sexually turned on, and the acid made me feel as if my body was becoming one with hers.

We lay there for a long time making out and rubbing against each other's bodies, and it was the closest I had ever come to having a sexual experience with a girl. It was then that I heard the sound of an organ playing the majestic opening of Chest Fever by The Band. It was a song that really turned me on, and when the organ intro segued into the song proper, I had to sit up and listen. It must've been the acid because I never heard the song sound so good. Sherry sat up beside me, and I put my arm around her and pulled her close.

"That's The Band, man," I heard John say. I looked over at he and Linda, and they were sitting up listening to the song intently.

"Yeah, man," I said to John. He had introduced me to The Band when they had come out with her first album, Music From Big Pink. John explained to me how they had been the backup band for Bob Dylan, and how they had gone out on their own. I wasn't too familiar with their music, but when Chest Fever came out on the radio it really hooked me.

The Band went on to play five or six more songs that I didn't recognize that well, but they finished with The Weight, which was another big favorite of mine. I knew a lot of the words to the song, and I sang along with it in my head. After it was over, I felt a warm glow from the experience.

"That was far out," John said.

"Yeah, it sure was," I agreed.

"They were really good," Linda said.

"Yeah, they were," said Sherry.

"I wonder who'll be on next," I said thinking out loud.

"I have no idea," John said.

"I did have a program, but it got lost," Linda said.

"Whoever it is, I'm sure they'll be good," I said.

"I'm sure, too," Sherry agreed.

We all sat there in silence for a little while, and then John said quite out of the blue, "Napa Sonoma..."

I finished our little acid mantra by saying, "Mendocino."

"What was that?" Sherry asked.

"I'm not sure," John said. "Johnny Lee and I memorized it from a wine bottle when we were tripping one time."

"Those are places in California where they grow grapes for wine," Linda said.

"You're pretty smart," John said to her.

"Not really," she said. "I just read a lot."

"She sure does," Sherry said. "She's a bookworm."

"I used to read a lot in third grade," I said, and as soon as I finished saying it I realized how silly it sounded.

"What happened after third grade?" Linda asked me.

"I don't know," I answered. I felt embarrassed.

"I read Playboy," John said and laughed.

"You pervert," Linda said and punched John in the shoulder playfully.

"You don't know the half of it," John said, and he grabbed Linda and pulled her down flat on the blanket. He pulled their blanket over them, and I heard Linda giggle some, and then she was quiet.

I wanted to do the same with Sherry, but I wasn't sure how to initiate it. We still had the blanket around us and still close together, and somehow I summoned up the courage to put my arm around her, and from there things seemed to progress naturally to snuggling and kissing and then laying down together. My tripping was still going strong, and as we held each other and kissed, I fell in love with her, and every touch from her lips, her hands, and her body sent my mind and body reeling.
We lay there and kissed and pressed up against each other for what seemed like a long time, and then the next band began to play.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock -part eighteen

As Sherry and I caressed each other's hands, she pressed her head against mine. Her scalp felt warm and soft, and I couldn't resist rubbing my head against hers. I took a deep breath and exhaled. When I saw my breath, I realized that the air had turned cool against my skin. Just then I recognized the echo of music that came from over the Hill; it was Country Joe and the Fish doing their Fixin’- to-Die-Rag, the song that John and I had been singing along with earlier that day. Only this time it was live! Excitement surged through me.

"John, do you hear that?" I asked him. There were a few moments of silence, and I wondered if I had actually said the words or just thought I had. Then I heard him answer.

"Yeah, man." There was a long pause, and as if he were reading my mind he said, "Let's go and listen to the music."

"Yeah," I said, "okay." I heard some rustling, and then I felt Linda's hand loosen its grip from mine. I looked over and saw that she was starting to stand up. Sherry remained still, and even though I wanted to get up, I didn't want to let go of Sherry's hand, so I lay there.

Suddenly John's figure was looming over me, and he looked down at me. He seemed as if he were ten feet tall.

"Are you coming?" he asked me.

"Yeah..." I said. I pushed up with my free hand and got on my knees. I was afraid to let go of Sherry's hand for fear I would not get it back again. I looked down at her, and her eyes were wide open staring at the sky. Her mouth was slightly open, and she looked like how I felt--tripping like crazy.

I pulled on her arm a little. "Sherry," I said to her," do you want to go listen to some music?"

She turned her head slowly towards me and smiled. "Yeah, that would be cool" she said, but after a few moments she still lay there.

"Well come on then," John said to her.

"Come on Sherry," I said. She reached her free hand into the air, and John grabbed hold of it. He began to help her up, and I stood up and pulled her up by her other hand. Linda took hold of John's other hand so that each of us the hand of another, and we began to march towards the hill in formation, me on one end, Linda on the other, and Sherry and John in the middle.

As we neared the road, Sherry said, "This is some really good shit." She sounded as if she was really out there.

"Yeah," I agreed. I was out there, too.

"Yes," said Linda.

"It sure the fuck is," John said very slowly.

I was seeing colored patterns so thick that they seemed like fog. As I walked, it felt as if my feet were lifting high up in the air. I looked over at Sherry, and her hair glowed golden with a purple aura. She looked towards me with a sly grin as if she knew exactly how I felt.

"We need to go back and get some blankets," Linda said.

That sounded like a good idea to me, as the nights got cold up here in the mountains, I had come to know much to my dismay. It was already getting chilly, and it was only nine o'clock.

We attempted to turn around while still holding hands, which was interesting for we all had to make a big circle and stretch back out again so that we were facing the opposite direction. It was awkward to the point of being funny, and Sherry was the first one to start to giggle, which led to giggling and laughing between the four of us.

We giggled our way back to the tent whereupon Linda detached herself from the rest of us and gathered up three blankets from within the tent. John let go of Sherry's hand and helped Linda with the blankets. He handed one to me to carry, and he and Linda carried the other two.

We headed back the way we had just come, this time as couples with John and Linda holding hands and carrying blankets, and Sherry and me holding hands. We made it back to the road and turned left towards the stage rather than go up the back way and through the mud.

Sherry looked at me and smiled. "I'm glad I met you," she said.

"Me, too," I told her with a big grin on my face. She opened her fingers and slipped them through mine so that they were intertwined and squeezed hard. It felt quite sensual us holding hands like that, and a tingling feeling ran all through my body.

John and Linda walked ahead of us, and they seem to be in conversation while looking all around. I found myself looking all around as well for there was so much more to see as I looked through acid eyes. Sherry was taking in the sights all wide-eyed like me, and we were as two sightseers walking down Woodstock Lane.

We all made it to a path that led up along the side of the hill that faced the stage, and Sherry and I followed John and Linda up the grade as we looked for a spot to sit. It was very crowded, and it wasn't until we were at the top of the hill that we found a place to lay a blanket down.

We sat down, the four of us, and John and Linda pulled a blanket around themselves and cuddled up together. I opened up the blanket I had and handed Sherry one end of it, and we pulled the blanket around ourselves and got close.

After a little awkwardness, I found Sherry's hand, and she pulled my hand to her lap. I felt as if my hand was only inches from her groin, and the idea of that excited me to the point of arousal. She scooted closer to me so that our bodies were touching from shoulders to knees, and she leaned her head over so that it touched mine. As there was no band playing at the moment, I closed my eyes and pressed my head against hers, and as we sat there quietly close to one another, I entered a state of blissful contentment intermingled with hormonal excitement.
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