Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If Woodstock Jumped Off From a Castle ...



Sir Ivan, above, opened his home to a few friends for Castlestock, his 40th anniversay homage to Woodstock. Photos by Benjamin Pasteur.

WATER MILL, Southampton (22 Aug. 2009) – IMPOSING wrought iron gates part like a draw bridge, the kind of gates that surround estates, especially in Boris Karloff and Vincent Price films. Immediately visible are turrets. There, over to the right, a screen projects a concert. Glistening beneath it is water from a pond. Farther along on the left is a walkway lined with giant daisies.

Welcome to the modest castle of Sir Ivan, whom Yours Truly met a couple of months ago (Refer to http://vevlynspen.blogspot.com/2009/06/going-native.html).

In progress is Castlestock, SI’s 40th anniversary Woodstock party. SI loves a theme party (and to party) and seems to have given vent to his imagination. Spread neatly around the grounds (neat grass, not mud) are floral sheets. On the sheets are flower necklaces, arranged just so. Print and tie-dyed pillows sit on sofas and divans dotting the landscape. Torches are aflame here and there. Prancing about are nymphs wearing very little. High-end vodka (among other spirits) and chilled Mo√ęt & Chandon (Brut Imperial) are in unlimited supply, plastic cups notwithstanding. Is that techno? It’s certainly not Richie Havens or Joan Baez or Joe Cocker (that's what the projector is for), though later SI teased the crowd with a number from his latest album. There is no acid being dropped – at least not in the open, no joints being passed. No cigarettes either – at least not in the open.

The party people are dressed the way they imagined they dressed at Woodstock. Interestingly enough, many are too young to have been there. What am I saying – many weren’t yet born and wouldn’t be for some time! There isn’t any talk about war (Iraq/Afghanistan) and human/civil rights (quality affordable health care, ON DEMAND, like HBO). I do, however, talk about the merits of good skin and botox to a marriage-minded, potentially heartbroken young dermatologist with a thriving business. He promises to send me some product.

A music company executive and several others to whom I speak aren’t having the time of their lives because access to the castle is forbidden. At the “Who Wants to be a Superhero” bash back in ’07 party, they had the run of the place. Tonight, everybody’s kept outside. She and others aren’t fazed, when I point out, that perhaps they aren’t allowed inside because, like Woodstock, Castlestock is an outdoor party. The vibe at Castlestock: ‘tis the night’s It party – at a castle, in the Hamptons. Translation: More free food and booze and, free transport via luxury coaches; don’t get it twisted.

This is not your mother’s or grandfather’s Woodstock. It’s an idealized/stylized/sanitized version. Not necessarily a bad thing, not necessarily a good thing. It is, however, a fundraiser for SI’s very worthy charity, the Peaceman Foundation. The PF is dedicated to removing from the face of earth (and Mars if necessary) post-traumatic stress disorder and hate crimes. Peace. Out.

Learn more about Sir Ivan and his pursuits at http://www.sirivanmusic.com/flash.html

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