'Hoggish': the Wall St Journal's take on Woodstock


June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 14, 2009 at 4:11 PM EDT

As Woodstock 40th anniversary nostalgia went into overdrive Friday, the Wall Street Journal reminded readers that not everyone had always approved of the epic rock concert.

"Disgusting or pitiful or both, but certainly hoggish," thundered an August 28, 1969 editorial reprinted by the business daily.

"We won't argue whether rock is a debased form of music; we don't like it, but never mind," the Journal said 40 years ago, adding: "Considering the way rock is presented it must be counted a step down on culture's ladder."

The reappearance of the furious editorial highlighted how attitudes have changed since the August 15-18, 1969 festival of drugs, love and music in Bethel, New York state.

Today's US media are treating the anniversary with near reverence.

Documentaries, interviews with original performers, books and a feature film have been released to mark the event, while the Wall Street Journal on Friday devoted three full pages -- including the editorial's reprint -- to coverage.

Matters certainly looked more alarming to the Journal's editorial board at the time as they pondered the rise of the Woodstock-era youth, now identified as the baby boomer generation.

"It would be a curious America if the unwashed, more or less permanently stoned on pot or LSD, were running very many things," the Journal wrote.

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