I have to say I really have a weakness for topical songs, those tunes that refer to actual news events like bridge collapses, car crashes, train accidents, political protests, vanished mobsters, kidnappings, executions, earthquakes, tornados, floods, etc.  

In this case the real event was the second Atlanta International Pop Festival, which was held July 3 - 5, 1970 at the Middle Georgia Raceway on US Hwy 41 in Byron, Georgia.  Attendance was estimated to be between 350,000 and 500,000.

Organized by famed concert promoter Alex Cooley, the festival featured appearances by an array of legendary performers, including B. B. King, Procul Harum, the Allman Brothers Band, Captain Beefheart, Ravi Shankar, Jethro Tull, Blood Rock, and others.  Perhaps most notably, Jimi Hendrix played and made quite an impression with his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner while fireworks exploded in the sky above.  Here's a YouTube clip showing part of Hendrix's performance.

Paul Wilson's response?  This hilarious and musically inept 45rpm record griping about the smelly presence of the cretinous counterculture heathens.

Here's a great gallery of festival photos showing exactly what bugged Paul Wilson.


But Hippie Invasion was just part of the weird topical sensationalism served up on this obscure record.

The other side, Poison Gas, refers to a controversial US Army  plan to load a train with several tons of poisonous GB gas and send it through the heart of Georgia on its way to North Carolina.  Time Magazine described the journey this way:

"This week, if all goes according to plan, the Army will begin shipping 12,540 rockets armed with GB from depots in Anniston, Ala., and Blue Grass, Ky., to Sunny Point arsenal in North Carolina. There the rockets, crated in concrete-and-steel boxes, will be loaded on a hulk, towed to sea some 230 miles off the Florida coast and scuttled in 16,000 ft. of water."

A scientist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute called the plan "sheer, unbelievable inefficiency and stupidity."

Macon Mayor Ronnie Thompson vowed to use armed force if necessary to stop the train, while Georgia governor Lester Maddox  (referred to in the song as "the man up in Atlanta with his Pickrick stick") was so sure the shipment posed no harm, he volunteered to ride atop the train as it made its way through the state.

As the Time Magazine article indicates, in the previous year the Army had twice cancelled similar shipments elsewhere.  To the best of my knowledge, however, this particular trip went forth as planned.  Does anyone have different information? 

Below are some vintage photos of the Middle Georgia Raceway, site of the second Atlanta International Pop Festival.  The track seems to have been open mainly from 1966 - 1971, with a few stray events happening there as late as 1984.  The abandoned racetrack is still in place, though it's now crumbling to some degree. 

Also worth noting is that according to somebody over on the Jalopy Journal forum, the track was the location of the climactic scene in the 1977 Richard Pryor movie Greased Lightning.  The photos below were found in the same thread.