Richard Edelman graduated from Groveton High School in 1971 and has been living in the area ever since. He came to Groveton during the major changes of the sixties and he discusses the music from this time.
I think the time I went to Groveton was a transition period. When I first was there it was pretty much the way it'd been for the last ten years.
I used to listen to the Grateful Dead, Cream. Crosby, Stills and Nash and a lot of the groups that went with the youth movement. The Beatles were there all along. It was part of a youth cultural expression. It was part of a different way of seeing the world. People really believed that they could create a new society. Not everybody did but at least the leaders and the people earnestly involved did. They thought the music was the expression of it.
The drug music sort of imposed itself on the school. You would take LSD and listen to hard rock or something else. You would experience the music. The music broke down a lot of old mores and established new ways of dealing with things.
The festival period lasted for three or four years, but Woodstock was the big one. That was 1969. I did know a couple of people that went. They really liked it. It was a really exciting period of life for them. I think they were impressed by having said, "Oh we went to Woodstock." It was the symbolic climax of the youth movement.
The Beatles were involved in there too. I think it was about the ninth or tenth grade that they came out with "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band," which was a new thing for them. Before they were into a soft, sweet guitar music. Then they carne out with a drug music, so they were sort of leaders. Their music was a real break with the old kind of rock and roll. People really thought they were great. They were on. top; they made it.
They made long hair respectable -not really respectable, but before that it was crew cuts or closely cut hair. After them long hair became in. It started out with neatly cut long hair and very rapidly became long hair that no one ever combed. Hair got really long and unstyled. I used to wear my hair long and I was always told to cut it and threatened with suspension.
There were anti-war demonstrations during school and they used to present the faculty with a list of demands or we'll go on strike. We would have sit-ins. The dress code broke down and that was about 1969-70. It was kind of a victory for us. We saw ourselves as rebels or crusaders. We were fortunate to beat the establishment on that one.