Coming September 25th: Michael Lang!
The Visionary Creator of Woodstock
The Woodstock Episodes Part 6
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Episode Five is Live!
Listen Now to The Woodstock Episodes Part 5
with the remarkable woman who organized the free kitchen and fed more than 200,000 hungry kids in the pouring rain, Lisa Law.
Lisa Law and her daughter Pilar at Woodstock, 1969. Photo courtesy Lisa Law
Join the conversation as host Julian G. Simmons talks with photographer, documentarian, and lifelong humanitarian, Lisa Law.
At Woodstock, Lisa saw the huge crowds forming and "persuaded" the producers to part with $6,000, commandeered a truck and drove to New York City, bringing back enough food for an army. She's the real force behind Wavy Gravy's famous line, "What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 400,000."
As soon as Lisa brought back the food, set up the kitchen and started to cook, the kids stepped in and took over. "Everybody helped out."
Wavy Gravy, Lisa Law and Tom Law at Woodstock, 1969
Photo by Jim Marshall.
Lisa lived the crazy life of the new counterculture as a bona fide hippie, hitting the road in her psychedelic bus. or easy riding on the back of her "Old Man" Tom Law's motorcycle. In L.A., they hooked up with the Hog Farm commune and the unforgettable characters, Wavy Gravy, Ken Kesey, and the Merry Pranksters. In the midst of it all, she managed to raise four great kids. She documented it all -- kids included.
As a photographer, Lisa documented the sixties from the inside out. Her work is a rare visual record of that dynamic time in our history. She started in the music business in San Francisco, back in the early days with The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Haight Ashbury. She went on to shoot most of the major musicians of the time, from the Velvet Underground to Bob Dylan.
The Hog Farm played a central role at Woodstock, in no small part due to Lisa's foresight and determination. She saw thousands of young people pouring into the Festival grounds with no food, and marched into Head of Production John Morris' trailer and demanded $3,000 to go buy supplies. She cajoled the producers into giving her $3,000 more to outfit the kitchens.
In Episode Four, Head of Production John Morris says, "I still say that the only woman who's ever terrified me in my life is Lisa Law. But she is a Golden Soul."
The Hog Farmers at Woodstock. Photo Courtesy Lisa Law.
The Hog Farmers were also know as the "Peace Force," helping young people who experienced bad acid trips, got lost from their group, or simply became overwhelmed by the happening. Their fun-loving, free-flowing, compassionate energy was one big reason that the three-day event stayed peaceful and positive. Lisa gives us a rare inside feel for what that was like.
While many wonder what happened to the Woodstock Spirit, Lisa has never lost it. She is always ready to rise to the occasion and do what has to be done to help out -- like driving relief supplies to El Salvador and Peru, documenting deplorable conditions to expose injustice and suffering and lobby for change.
Listen in to Lisa's conversation with Julian in Episode Five of "talkin' 'bout Our Generation," and treat yourself to a dose of hope!
Lisa Today with "Silver," her Psychedelic bus complete with darkroom. She still drives it today ... 50 years after Woodstock.Photo by Doug Magnus
You can listen right here on the player below, or pick your favorite podcast platform on the Where to listen page. You can also read long to an interactive transcript while you listen, on the Transcripts page.
Lisa Law's photographs are part of a number of major collections, including the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Annenberg Space for Photography, the Smithsonian, Morrison Hotel Gallery, and the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. You can learn more about Lisa Law and her current projects on her website “Flashing on the Sixties.”
Lisa's latest project is building a museum to preserve the fading history of the small town of Yelapa, Mexico. You can read more about the museum on the links page.
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