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Archive for the ‘Woodstock’ Category

OK, Jordan. Admit it. You didn’t write Are You Experienced? for teens. You really wrote it for the 60-somethings AreYouExperiencedlike me who want to reminisce about a by-gone era of idealism, of a love of music and our favorite bands, of a day when we weren’t all connected, all the time, to 1,000 ‘friends’. You wanted us to re-live Woodstock, regardless of whether or not we went (I didn’t) and remember Ten Years After and John Sebastian and Joe Cocker and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Jimi Hendrix’s version of the national anthem. If that was your goal, you succeeded triumphantly because I had a blast reading and remembering.

Or did you write it for teens? To introduce them to all of the above. Yeah, there are kids now who know of some of the bands there, but many don’t. There are some kids who think that the world can be a better place, but many don’t. There are kids who look outside themselves and try to help others, but many don’t.  Maybe Are You Experienced? can be a wake-up call and shake a generation out of its apathy.

But, in truth, what you did was write a fun book. Imagine traveling back in time and spending time with your father when you and he both are 15. A father who is distant and restrictive and solitary. Imagine learning what he was like at your age and what shaped him into the person he has become. What a fun and unique opportunity. And imagine doing that at the concert to end all concerts, Woodstock. Well, Richard Gabriel Barber lived that chance. And in doing so, met some great musicians, some great people and might have changed his own and his father’s life.

Are You Experienced? is a fun romp through Woodstock. Regardless of whether some of the events actually happened, you’ll get a glimpse of some great rock musicians. You’ll understand, hopefully, the lure of the music. You’ll learn about the traffic jams and the heavy rains and mud, the skinny-dipping and, yes, the drugs. But, having listened to the Woodstock CDs and seen the movie, it is some of the best music you’ll ever hear. As you read Are You Experienced?, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll remember (if you’re old enough).

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

P.S. In a somewhat familiar vein, if you’re interested, Born to Rock by Gordon Korman, is another rock and roll book. Imagine being an ultra conservative kid and finding out your dad was once king of Heavy Metal!

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