I’ll fess up: I always kind of liked Abbie Hoffman.
Of all the individuals who tried to destroy American in the 1960s and 70s, the Yippie “leader” and Chicago 8 defendant was the most energetic and entertaining, a hippie Groucho Marx.
But at Woodstock, Hoffman did a really stupid thing: after dropping acid he walked on stage in the middle of The Who’s set:
[Hoffman] said: “I think this is a pile of ***t! While John Sinclair rots in prison…”.
Hoffman was protesting (…) the imprisonment of John Sinclair (leader of the White Panther Party and manager of the left-wing hard-rock band MC5) who had been convicted and sentenced to nine years of prison because of marijuana possession.
Townshend cursed repeatedly at Hoffman and — accounts differ at this point – reportedly struck him with his guitar.
Townshend didn’t approve of Sinclair’s draconian sentence any more than Hoffman did, buthe was in the middle of a high adrenaline performance in front of half a million people at five in the morning.