It’s early Monday morning. You’re fourteen years old and hungry and dirty and tired and wet. You’ve been tripping on Orange Sunshine, straight from Owsley’s lab, since Friday. Most of the audience went home last night. But you’ve stayed. You don’t know why, but you have. You took your last dose two hours ago, as the sun was coming up, and now you’re sweating and you feel that electricity running up the back of your neck and your eyes are on fire and everything is melting and bending and you feel like something is going to happen. There’s an energy in the air that seems to bind you all together. The sky has pulled down tight and you wonder if it will rain again and you feel that there is some huge idea that is trying to present itself to you, some idea that you keep chasing, but you never reach it, but maybe if you just stopped racing after it and sat still for while then the idea would stop running away, and then you would know something that you don’t know now. Like what? Maybe you would know who you are, or why you are here, or what life is, or why things happen the way they do, or whether someday, in your lifetime, you will be able to carry a small handheld device, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, that can make phone calls and hold thousands of songs and even play videos, including maybe a video of the moment that you’re living in right now, which means that the tomorrow version of you will be looking at the today version of you. And then, when you think about that, you realize that it’s as if the today version of you can see the tomorrow version of you — it’s as if both versions of you are alive at the same time, and looking at each other across this big expanse of time, as if time were something physical, like a big field, which you have to admit is a pretty mind-blowing idea.
And then this happens. Hendrix comes on stage and tears a hole in the sky. He rips open the fabric of time. He puts a dent in the universe.
Friends, to say that Woodstock changed my life — to say that there would be no Apple without Woodstock — well, yeah. Look close over Jimi’s shoulder, and you can catch a glimpse of me in the crowd, about ten rows back. Namaste, Jimi Hendrix. I wish you were alive today. I also wish we could use your image in our advertising, but for reasons I don’t completely understand, this has never been possible. Well, someday the copyrights will expire, and then we will get you. Peace.