On the first day of last week’s Republican National Convention came the charges regarding potential first lady Melania Trump’s plagiarism of a speech by actual First Lady Michelle Obama. On the final day came questions about the use of the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” while the candidate and his wife waved from their Quicken Center stage in Cleveland following four days constant haranguing of former first lady and would-be first female president Hillary Clinton.
In the midst of it all a quiet news story started making the rounds, based on a July 19 website posting on woodstock.com, the site for festival producer Michael Lang.
“Woodstock Ventures, the partnership behind the historic 1969 music festival, has a question for the Republican National Committee and its presumptive nominee Donald Trump as its convention takes place in Cleveland this week,” read the pithy release. “As your convention logo is strikingly reminiscent of our world-famous logo from the 1969 Woodstock Festival; why don’t you consider incorporating some of our Woodstock values into the RNC platform?”
Graphics compared the iconic 1969 Woodstock dove-&-guitar logo featuring a dove perched on the neck of a guitar up against the 2016 RNC logo of an elephant perched on the neck of a guitar.
The Woodstock values highlighted by Lang and fellow festival producer Joel Rosenman included the ideas of community (“We are all in this world together. We all depend on each other, need one another, and we all benefit from a peaceful, loving, caring co-existence; it’s the Golden Rule, applied to all living things”); equality (“Everyone deserves equal treatment and equal opportunity, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age or sexual preference”); environmental responsibility (“We must protect our planet and its ecosystem from the dangers of climate change, diminishing biodiversity, the squandering of natural resources, and man-made pollution”); and activism (“there is injustice or unfairness in the world, it is our responsibility to take peaceful action, both separately and in groups, to make things better”); plus the simple all-encompassing statement, “Woodstock will always be about music.”
Instead of seeking any injunctions or threatening lawsuits, the two remaining principals of Woodstock Ventures simply asked, “If you’re going to evoke our logo, please also evoke our values and support the changes in society that Woodstock has energized over the years. We have more in common than what sometimes seems to be driving us apart. Do your best to make sure the RNC is moving toward a better world for all.”
Asked if he’d heard back from the RNC, or candidate Trump, Lang said this week that he hadn’t, but also that he wasn’t expecting any response. As for any opinions as to how the convention turned out, he simply stated that “It’s all so bizarre. It’s unique, on both sides.”
He added that while working at fundraising for the new Rock Academy in Zena, he’s also putting together details for a 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Festival.