Back in the Hippie Ages of 1969, there was a concert in Woodstock, NY touted as “Three days of Peace, and Music” and as it was the times, an anti Vietnam War gathering but without the stupid fanaticism.
About a decade later, maybe more, I dusted the album (A triple vinyl) one day to listen to it again and as i was reading the cover, I noticed that some of the artists were still relevant even after they were dead like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, some bands disappear as they reach the end of their creative life and the artists continued on their own. But what called my attention were the artists that were still alive and working, but nobody cared for them anymore like Joan Baez. Most of those artist had something in common: They got political and Anti-War in a heavy way. People simply had stopped paying attention, specially since the war was over, the sentiment changed from being against the soldiers to embarrassment for crapping on them plus everybody was tired and did not want to hear about Vietnam anymore.
It is my contention that those Anti War musicians were perennially associated with their political activity and, the moment the politics changed, they became irrelevant in the eyes of the music lovers. I call it the Woodstock Effect: If you are an artist and dabble in politics, you will eventually lose.”
When my partner and I had the studio, one of our policies was zero political work, including government work. We never did work for any political party and trust me, they came with literally briefcases full of cash so we would give in. But we knew that if we happened to do work for the asshole that lost, the asshole that won would have taken it personally and send government people to screw with us. Once the word spread out that we didn’t do political stuff for anybody, they stopped coming and no winner ever messed with us. We understood that all politics are cyclical and some people have long memories. It simply was not worth the risk in the long run.
So I could not help and smile when J. Kb. wrote:
“This is why you don’t bow to obnoxious activists. When the news cycle shifts to the next big topic, all you’ve really done is fucked yourself.”
Shit has not changed, it just got much faster and has a wider reach.
It is good that a new generation reached the same conclusions. I can now retire to Florida…. Oh wait…. shit.