The Monterey Pop Festival 1967

Monterey International Pop Festival PosterIf time travel was an option, I would love to be transported back in time to The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. When I look back on what Monterey Pop accomplished, the rich set of artists that performed, there was a magic that weekend that formed peace, love and the power of music for generations to come. It’s the music festival I would most want to attend and experience.

I would love to attend that festival at the age I was in 1967, close to 16. I would also like to experience the event fully with no understanding of the events as I know them now. What I mean is that I would love to witness each act unfold, be surprised by The Who and Jimi Hendrix, boogaloo to Otis Redding. I would just love to have been there from beginning to end.

Imagine meeting his Majesty Prince Jones as he walked amongst the crowd. Monterey Pop celebrated its 45th anniversary this past June.

Five years ago I wrote a blog post about the 40th anniversary of Monterey Pop It serves as a fitting testament to the event.

There are so many rock stars that are no longer with us who performed at Monterey Pop. For that reason alone revisiting the Monterey Pop Festival would be worth it.

Imagine seeing The Who go insane smashing their instruments amidst the smoke bombs and fireworks Keith Moon planted under his drum set. Or witnessing Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire. Hendrix was in top form that night as he one upped Peter Townshend of The Who.

There is a fantastic official Monterey Pop International Festival Web Site. I visit it often. I urge you to go hear Eric Burdon sing Monterey and watch the images, view the vast information available. Then go rent or own the rock documentary, Monterey Pop, directed by D. A. Pennebaker. That’s what I plan to watch later today. I own the deluxe video set (no surprise there folks…).

Cover of "Monterey Pop- Criterion Collect...

Cover via Amazon

If that’s not enough content for you, I wanted to point out that there is a new book available about Monterey Pop. Maybe Santa Claus will be good to me and put this under my Christmas tree, hint, hint ;)

A Perfect Haze, The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival by Harvey Kubernik and Kenneth Kubernik ,Foreword by Lou Adler, Afterword by Michelle Phillips

I found this painting on the InterWeb by Grace Slick who appeared with Jefferson Airplane that weekend. She named it Monterey.

Monterey, a painting by Artist Grace Slick

1. Unknown (Drug Dealer)
2. Marty Balin (*JA singer)
3. Jorma Kaukonen
4. Janis Joplin
5. Ghandi
6. Jack Casady (*JA Bass)
7. Otis Redding
8. (Mama) Cass Elliot
q9. Pete Townshend
10. Groupie chick
11. Grace Slick
12. Roger Daltrey
*Jeffferson Airplane
13. Jerry Garcia
14. Alice and White Rabbit
15. David Crosby
16. Keith Moon
17. Neil Young
18. John Philips
19. Jimi Hendrix
20. Ravi Shankar
21. Wavy Gravy
22. Ben Fong Torres
23. Brian Jones
24. Spencer Dryden (*JA drums)

I leave you with this video clip of Janis Joplin with Big Brother & The Holding Company. This was THE  breakout moment for Janis and her band. Of all the performances that happened that weekend, this one is truly special. Enjoy.

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2 Comments

Filed under Book, Festival, Rock, Tribute

2 responses to “The Monterey Pop Festival 1967

  1. Man, I fully agree with every word in this essay. The Monterey Pop festival is indeed an amazing watch, I might like it more than even Woodstock (though I realize the latter was a more important cultural event).

    Some favourite moments: Pete Townshend’s “this is where it all ends!” quote right before playing My Generation, Hendrix’s incendiary (pun intended!) Wild Thing performance, the shots of Mama Cass being absolutely speechless during Joplin’s mind-blowing ‘Ball and Chain’ and many, many more.

    What’s funny is that I had to do an assignment a few years ago in high school about a place that I would love to go to, if given the chance to go back in time and picked the Monterey festival without blinking an eye.

    • Thank you for your comment. Monterrey Pop set the direction for festivals to follow. I like the project team, John Phillips, Lou Adler and Michelle Phillips. They planned an excellent agenda. I especially liked that Paul McCartney and Brian Jones were there in all their splendor. Hendrix fawning over Bob Dylan’s grandmother was a unique moment.

      I too would love to travel back to that event. “I think that maybe I’m dreaming, Monterrey”.

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