|As far as I can see Woodstock is currently the most famous town in the world. Ironically, it is famous because of an event which did not happen here, namely the watershed 1969 festival which people call ‘Woodstock’. In fact the event organizers were from Woodstock and planned to hold the concert here but the town turned them down and at the last minute they were forced to scramble to find a venue. Finally Max Yasgur, a farmer in Bethel, New York, about 60 miles southeast in Sullivan County said yes and the rest is history.
I moved to Woodstock in 1990. When plans for a 25th anniversary concert were announced, Woodstock once again refused to host it and it was held at the Winston Farm in Saugerties, about 12 miles from Woodstock in 1994. Being a little bit of a prankster, I envisioned erecting a sign at the edge of town that would say something like, “WELCOME TO WOODSTOCK; NO CONCERT HERE AGAIN THIS YEAR.” At that time poverty, sloth and cowardice combined to pose an insurmountable obstacle to such a sign actually coming into existence and appearing by the side of the road. Instead, I just kept coming up with lots more ideas for signs that I’d like to see welcoming strangers to Woodstock. After a while the art studio downstairs got a computer with a simple graphics program and a printer and I was able to lay out a bunch of my ideas. The result is this book, which was completed in 1996. Shortly thereafter I discovered I could market bumper stickers with these designs on them and a decade later they are still a popular staple of the local Woodstock tourist trade. They were mentioned in an article about Woodstock in the New York Times and there was also a feature in the Chronogram by Will Nixon. These may be viewed at my website www.paulmcmahon.tv along with the full selection of stickers now available, as well as other similar products like buttons and other stickers.
Thanks to Ira and Sophia Shepetin of Stadri Emblems, who supplied the computer and printer, Carol Murphy, who made the first bumper sticker order for Not Fade Away and Shiv Mirabito of Shivastan Publishing. And special thanks to the people of Woodstock, who have made this whole project so much fun, both in their acceptance of my sense of humor and by coming up with lots of their own ideas, many of which have been included. I have made stickers for a couple of other places and I am now convinced that Woodstockers are uniquely gifted in their ability to derive endless pleasure from laughing at themselves.