Tag Archives: rolling stone


As Fighting Raged in Vietnam


On August 15-17, 1969, two weeks before my departure for boot camp, a group of hippies and 400,000 of their soul mates converged on a dairy farm in New York state for three days of frolicking in the spirit of peace, love and music. Organizers called it “Woodstock,” after the Catskill Mountains town where they’d hoped to have the concert. (The show eventually went on in Bethel, New York, about 50 miles away.) It was 1969, the last year of the tumultuous ’60s.

Santana was one of the groups that performed at Woodstock, and every time I hear a Santana song from that era I have flashbacks of a bad Vietnam experience. A Filipino band was playing one evening at an EM Club at Phuoc Vinh firebase. In the middle of a Santana song, rockets began slamming down extremely close to the club. ‘Charlie’ apparently had the entertainment schedule for the EM Club, and knew it would be packed with GIs. My first instinct was to jump under a nearby pool table then I scrambled to a nearby bunker. While in the bunker I could hear someone gasping for what would be his last breath…



Filed under Vietnam War