Before I knew about the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967, the only impression I had of Monterey, California was a girl I shared a floor with freshman year of college who loved to brag about bjs she’d given to various frat daddies that particular week. We weren’t close by any means, except, of course, in proximity, which is why, one cold winter night happened to I wind up at the ER, watching as her stomach was pumped free of the enormous quantity of painkillers she had swallowed. The next day her mom flew into Boulder, and the day after that, we exchanged goodbye hugs as they returned together to Monterey.
Today, so many years later, when I hear “Monterey,” my brain doesn’t automatically go to this sad, faded memory, but instead to the Monterey Pop Festival, the unofficial start to the “summer of love,” inspiration for a little thing called Woodstock and an all-around significant event in ’60s music history. The three-day concert, held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds and planned in a mere seven weeks, boasted a lineup of stars including, but not limited to The Mamas and the Papas, The Byrds, Canned Heat, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Eric Burdon & the Animals, Simon & Garfunkel and a magnificent Otis Redding.
The concert was also filmed and turned into a full-length film called Monterey Pop, which is conveniently available to watch in its high-def glory on YouTube. Groovy right? I’ve been re-watch/listening to it at night this week, while I answer emails and work on freelance, and it’s just too good to keep to myself, especially considering that this week marks the 47th anniversary. If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to sit for a while and soak it in. The festival-goers’ fashion alone makes it worthwhile to see, if, for whatever reason, ’60s rock isn’t your thing. If you want to skip around, track lists are beneath the video, though I strongly advise you to watch it all the way through, at least once. (Whatever you do, do not skip Jimi!)
The bonus footage, including some rad Byrds songs, two great Simon & Garfunkel tunes and Mama Cass being her hilario self, is also a must-see.
I wish you all happy Wednesdays.
Ticket scans c/o: Candice Bergen.