The Monterey International
Pop Festival Boxed Set
Rhino/MIPF, October 1992
Boxed Set Co-Produced and Book Written by
Stephen K. Peeples, Grammy Nominee, and
Co-Produced and Designed
by Geoff Gans, Grammy nominee
Backstory Prologue, Jan. 1, 2009:
The Monterey International Pop Festival — June 16, 17 and 18, 1967, in Monterey, Calif. — earned its spot in American pop culture history as the first great counterculture music festival, and a ground-breaker in numerous other ways.
Monterey wasn’t the first rock festival, technically; that distinction goes to the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival the previous weekend atop Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, just over the Golden Gate bridge north of San Francisco.
Maria Muldaur, one of the Magic Mountain performers, points to the 1965 Newport Folk Festival as the very first rock festival – the moment Bob Dylan plugged in his Strat.
Nonetheless, Monterey Pop remains the first rock festival to be fully documented on film and audio tape, and has had the farthest-reaching influence.
Separated by just a week from the Magic Mountain Festival and a short drive down the California coast, Monterey Pop likewise reflected the sense of awe, wonder, color, beauty, altered consciousness, new sounds, and ethnic and cultural co-mingling that was part of the scene among young people – OK, hippies – along the northern and southern California coasts.
This text below originally appeared in the lavish 12″x12″ booklet designed by Geoff Gans and written by Stephen K. Peeples for Rhino/MIPF’s premiere release of “The Monterey International Pop Festival” box set in October 1992, roughly coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the event.
The now-rare package has come to be known among collectors as the big yellow pillow. Or pill.
Peeples and Gans produced the compilation in 1991 and 1992. They’d been preparing for it for years without knowing it.
Peeples grew up in South Florida and Southern California in the late 1960s-early 1970s, a long-haired surfer, musician and student. Gans was a decade younger but lived the Southern California experience growing up on L.A.’s West Side, and shared Peeples’ love of counterculture/pop culture and alternative political bent.
Both had heard and read all about the Monterey International Pop festival on the hippie musician grapevine and via the emerging underground press, and later seen the original D.A. Pennebaker rockumentary film “Monterey Pop” upon its release and at numerous screenings since.
Peeples entered the music business as a print journalist in 1975, spun into records in 1977, and segued into radio in 1983. In 1988, after five years of writing and producing a wide variety of radio programs, Peeples finally had an opportunity to display his expertise at archival productions as the original award-winning writer-producer of “The Lost Lennon Tapes” radio series.
With the key to Lennon’s personal vault containing hundreds of hours of unreleased material from his Beatles and solo eras, and Yoko Ono’s hands-off imprimatur, Peeples researched and wrote the first 128 hours of the hour-long-series, heard worldwide on the Westwood One Radio Network weekly from Feb. 1988-June 1990.
Gans became an award-winning graphic designer and a Grammy nominee for his innovative album packaging, as well as a hard-core Beatles collector and keen observer of San Francisco’s 1960s and ’70s pop culture scene.
Early in the “LLT” era, Peeples and Gans were introduced by a mutual friend, Roger Steffens, L.A.’s pre-eminent authority on reggae, and host of the long-running “Reggae Beat” radio program on KCRW-FM/Santa Monica. Fans of each others’ work, the three formed a mutual admiration society and shared a love for Beatles bootlegs and other collectibles as well as the music and lore of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Lee Perry, Peter Tosh and other reggae icons.
Meanwhile, sometime in 1990, another mutual friend of Peeples, Gans and Steffens, Rhino A&R chief Gary Stewart, along with Rhino co-founders Richard Foos and Harold Bronson and chief legal counsel Bob Emmer, had cut a deal with the nonprofit Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation.
Rock producer and entrepreneur Lou Adler, John Phillips and Michelle Phillips and other original festival producers had set up the Foundation back in the day to administer proceeds from the concerts, original film and recordings. The idea was to fund worthy counterculture arts-related projects.
Some of the early proceeds went to help build new production studios for KCET-TV, the nascent PBS outlet in Los Angeles, and the L.A. Free Clinic (now known as the Saban Community Clinic), then flooded with starving teens from around the country who had nowhere else to go for affordable medical advice and treatment.
By the late ’80s, only Pennebaker’s film had been released theatrically, featuring one or two songs by each of the performers interspersed with, shall we say, “environmental” footage. Portions of sets by The Mamas & Papas, Ravi Shankar, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix had been released on vinyl. There had to be more material worthy of release.
At the same time, Gans, Stewart and other Rhino staffers were fans of “The Lost Lennon Tapes,” tuning in to the local affiliate each week and sharing comments around the water cooler the day after each broadcast. They appreciated the combination of entertainment value and meticulous attention to detail and accuracy that made each show such an adventurous, often unexpected musical journey.
Gans suggested Peeples would make an excellent collaborator on the pending Monterey box set. Peeples considered it an honor, and the production team was set.
In marathon listening sessions during the 1991-1992 holidays, Peeples and Gans independently wrapped their ears around identical sets of audio tapes from the historic festival and developed their dream track lists for a proposed ultimate four-CD Monterey Pop collection.
When the producers re-convened and compared notes, their lists were almost identical.
Lou Adler, co-producer of the original festival and of the concert recordings, and Stewart, Rhino’s in-house guru for the project, made a few minor adjustments and signed off on Peeples’ and Gans’ projected track list.
While the Rhino legal staff got busy securing necessary licensing agreements from as many of the artists as possible, Peeples researched and wrote the booklet, aided greatly by interviews Sandy Gibson had conducted with many of the performers a few years earlier.
Gans gathered images with the assistance of event photographers Jill Gibson and Henry Diltz.
The aggregation of sound, images and all the eye-witness and ear-witness accounts of this epochal event underscored its significance in rock history, and inspired the producers and participants to redouble their efforts to create the best possible audio documentary and feast of vintage visuals.
The project took most of 1992. Sometime during the late summer, a national PR director job came up at Rhino and the company hired Peeples, contingent on his finishing up the Monterey project first.
The printers ripped the camera-ready pages from the Gans’ and Peeples’ grip after they made the final round of corrections very late on deadline evening, just in time to go to print without breaking the budget or blowing the late-October release date.
With that part of the project done, Peeples created the PR campaign to launch it. “I don’t know of any other producers who got to do that,” he said. “I went to Adler’s Malibu pad to meet with him and his assistant Howard Frank about the launch plan and press kit. Lou indulged my Spirit, Carole King and Jack Nicholson questions. It was a good day.”
Peeples also produced a single-CD promotional sampler, drawing on his radio experience. He wrote the script and brought Steffens in to voice it. The sampler is now extremely rare.
Adler and the MIPF still had connects at the L.A. Free Clinic and made arrangements to hold a press op there. He engaged John and Michelle Phillips, who were not otherwise speaking to each other just then, and the ever-gracious Booker T. Jones from Booker T. & The M.G.s., to give up their time gratis for the Foundation one more time. Peeples pitched CNN, ET and other media to cover it, praying they’d show up; CNN and most others did.
“I was terrified, but my first PR event was a success, I got to actually hang and talk with icons of my youth, the boxed set got very strong reviews upon release, sold well, and made another load of money for the Foundation,” Peeples said.
More than a year later, in early 1994, National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences voters nominated Peeples and Gans and exec producer Adler for Grammys as producers in the “Best Historical Album” category.
“I was covering the 5:30 a.m. Grammy nominations press conference on behalf of the label’s PR department, and had to be cool and professional when I saw my own name on the list and it was read from the podium,” Peeples said.
“But later in the car on the way back to Rhino I was cutting loose, and whooping it up in the echo-drenched Rhino underground parking garage, and in the office with Geoff. Right after getting married and the birth of my kids, hearing my name read as a Grammy nominee was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life.”
The Monterey Pop box was the only rock package in the category.
“Geoff and I knew our chances were slim because Grammy voters were still very conservative,” Peeples said. “But he and his GF and my wife Nadine and I got to fly to New York, go to the ceremonies at Radio City Music Hall, party in Manhattan all night and meet people from Sting to Liza Minnelli to Bonnie Raitt. While we were in town, Les Paul buffed us out with front-row-center seats at Fat Tuesday’s, and Steve Miller sat in that night. We have photos. It was off the hook.”
The Monterey Pop box was ultimately outvoted by a 10-CD Billie Holliday collection on Columbia Records.
“Just to be nominated in the same category with such an icon was humbling — sounds cliche but it’s true,” Peeples said. “But Geoff and I are still proud of the work we did, starting with the original promoters and artists back in 1967 and then all the people at Rhino.”
Five years later, in 1997, capping on the 30th anniversary of the festival, Rhino/MIPF re-released the collection, jettisoning the lavish 12″x12″ format for a much more austere brick.
As of early 2009, a shrink-wrapped “Monterey International Pop Festival” brick was going for up to $300 on Amazon.com. The original box did not come up at all in recent Google searches. Who knows what it’s worth!?
“Whatever, mine are not for sale,” Peeples said.
The Monterey International Pop Festival box set — Original liner notes
SECTION 1: FESTIVAL STATISTICS — VITAL & TRIVIAL
- Event: Monterey International Pop Festival
- Date: Friday, June 16-Sunday, June 18, 1967
- Place: Monterey, California
- Festival Motto: “Music, Love and Flowers”
- Number of Shows: Five
- Number of Artists/Groups Performing: 27
- Monterey Population Before Festival: 26,000
- Total Festival Attendance: 200,000
SECTION 2: THE MONTEREY PERFORMERS
FRIDAY EVENING, JUNE 16, 1967
- The Association
- Lou Rawls
- Johnny Rivers
- Eric Burdon & The Animals
- Simon & Garfunkle
SATURDAY AFTERNOON, JUNE 17, 1967
- Canned Heat
- Big Brother & The Holding Company
- Country Joe & The Fish
- The Blues Project
- The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
- Quicksilver Messenger Service
- The Steve Miller Blues Band
- The Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield
SATURDAY EVENING, JUNE 17, 1967
- Moby Grape
- Hugh Masekela
- The Byrds
- Laura Nyro
- Jefferson Airplane
- Big Brother & The Holding Company #2
- Booker T. & The MGs
- Otis Redding
SUNDAY AFTERNOON, JUNE 18, 1967
- Ravi Shankar
SUNDAY EVENING, JUNE 18, 1967
- Buffalo Springfield
- The Grateful Dead
- The Who
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
- The Mamas & Papas
- Scott McKenzie
SECTION 2A: BOX SET TRACK LIST
- Festival Introduction John Phillips :51
- Along Comes Mary Association 2:46
- Windy Association 3:00
- Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing Lou Rawls 3:28
- Dead End Street Lou Rawls 4:27
- Tobacco Road Lou Rawls 6:19
- San Franciscan Nights Burdon, Eric & The Animals … 4:17
- Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness) Burdon, Eric & The Animals … 7:10
- Rollin’ and Tumblin’ Canned Heat 4:18
- Dust My Broom Canned Heat 5:02
- Bullfrog Blues Canned Heat 3:01
- Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine Country Joe & The Fish 5:37
- Down on Me Big Brother & The Holding Company … 3:26
- Combination of the Two Big Brother & The Holding Company … 5:22
- Harry Big Brother & The Holding Company … :37
- Road Block Big Brother & The Holding Company … 6:18
- Ball and Chain Big Brother & The Holding Company … 8:15
- Look Over Yonders Wall Butterfield, Paul Blues Band … 2:50
- Mystery Train Butterfield, Paul Blues Band … 4:17
- Born in Chicago Butterfield, Paul Blues Band … 4:04
- Double Trouble Butterfield, Paul Blues Band … 4:45
- Mary Ann Butterfield, Paul Blues Band … 3:10
- Mercury Blues Steve Miller 4:27
- Groovin’ Is Easy Electric Flag 3:57
- Wine Electric Flag 2:47
- Bajabula Bonke (The Healing Song) Hugh Masekela 3:43
- Renaissance Fair Byrds 3:15
- Have You Seen Her Face Byrds 2:44
- Hey Joe Byrds 2:53
- He Was a Friend of Mine Byrds 3:10
- Lady Friend Byrds 2:45
- Chimes of Freedom Byrds 4:42
- So You Want to Be a Rock & Roll Star Byrds 2:24
- Dhun: Fast Teental [excerpt] Ravi Shankar 6:05
- The Flute Thing Blues Project 12:28
- Somebody to Love Jefferson Airplane 3:17
- The Other Side of This Life Jefferson Airplane 6:47
- White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane 2:28
- High Flyin’ Bird Jefferson Airplane 4:07
- She Has Funny Cars Jefferson Airplane 3:24
- Booker-Loo Booker T. & The MGs 2:59
- Hip Hug-Her Booker T. & The MGs 2:36
- Philly Dog Booker T. & The MGs … 3:22
Performed by: Booker T. & The MGs, Mar Keys
- Shake Otis Redding 3:17
- Respect Otis Redding 2:39
- I’ve Been Loving You Too Long Otis Redding 4:08
- (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction Otis Redding 3:46
- Try a Little Tenderness Otis Redding 5:04
- Substitute Who 4:03
- Summertime Blues Who 3:42
- Pictures of Lily Who 2:53
- A Quick One, While He’s Away Who 8:24
- Happy Jack Who 2:25
- My Generation Who 4:31
- Killing Floor Hendrix, Jimi Experience 3:22
- Foxey Lady Hendrix, Jimi Experience 3:45
- Like a Rolling Stone Hendrix, Jimi Experience 6:52
- Rock Me Baby Hendrix, Jimi Experience 3:38
- Hey Joe Hendrix, Jimi Experience 5:13
- Can You See Me Hendrix, Jimi Experience 2:43
- The Wind Cries Mary Hendrix, Jimi Experience 3:47
- Purple Haze Hendrix, Jimi Experience 5:38
- Wild Thing Hendrix, Jimi Experience 8:12
- Straight Shooter Mamas & The Papas 4:04
- Got a Feelin’ Mamas & The Papas 4:10
- California Dreamin’ Mamas & The Papas 4:06
- I Call Your Name Mamas & The Papas 6:16
- Monday, Monday Mamas & The Papas 4:19
- San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) Scott McKenzie 3:35
- Dancing in the Street Mamas & The Papas 4:54
SECTION 3: LINER NOTES
Table of Contents:
“And so the Monterey Pop Festival became the first pow-wow of the Love Crowd, the perfect pastorale, chocked with music and warmhearted people. Its success was so unprecedented that it took everyone by surprise. You see, at the beginning nobody was sure that the Love Crowd was out there.”
— Robert Christgau, Esquire, January 1968
When it comes to rock festivals, Woodstock has long been enshrined as the definitive groovy music gathering, the ultimate flowering of hippiedom and counterculture entrepreneurship.
But two years earlier, at the dawn of 1967’s Summer of Love, the Woodstock Generation threw their own coming-out party on the California coast, at the Monterey International Pop Festival.
In addition to being rock’s first international festival, Monterey marked the first time such a cross-section of artists had played free to benefit a charitable organization. But more than any other tribal gathering of the era, Monterey truly embodied its theme of “Music, Love and Flowers.” As Art Garfunkle puts it: “[Monterey] showcased the fact that we were doing rock ‘n’ roll for the spirit of it, the love of being musicians out loud.”
It was one gone weekend; the harsh realities of Vietnam, the Cold War, racism and poverty were suspended and/or transcended. Monterey may have been the crossroads where the Establishment collided with the emerging Counterculture, and under the glaring scrutiny of the international media, but nobody got hurt or felt exploited.
“Some people liked Woodstock, but for me it was a grotesque, overblown thing,” observes Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick, who performed at both festivals. “At Monterey, I felt more of a closeness, and an amazement at how pleasant it was. People were comfortable. There was enough area for everybody to sit, to go to the bathroom, to buy food.”
But Monterey’s legacy is greater than being just a damn fine event. At that festival, pop music made that critical leap from commercial fluff to commercial art form. The modern pop music industry was ushered in; business has been done radically different ever since. Artists gained greater creative control, a larger share of the revenue they generated, and better working conditions. And rock ‘n ‘roll went on to achieve unprecedented clout in the social, political and financial arenas.
So clearly, the festival deserves an exalted place in our history. And that’s the spirit in which we assembled the music on the “Monterey International Pop Festival: The 25th Anniversary Collection” boxed set — released here for the first time.
As rock’s first major international festival, Monterey Pop was unadulterated and pure — the idyllic virgin experience. It was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, and everyone expected great changes to take place.
Monterey brought together many of the artists and groups whose music would define the latter 1960s and early ’70s. The musicians played for each other as much as anyone else, introducing themselves to new friends, new influences and a new audience.
“It was the first time many of the bands met and saw each other perform, so we were all really marvelling at each other,” says Slick. “It was just one good group of people after another, and different kinds of music — Jimi Hendrix to Ravi Shankar, The Mamas & The Papas to The Who. They had a backstage area where there was always food being cooked, and everybody wandered around meeting each other. Monterey was just amazing.”
Lou Adler, festival co-director and executive producer of this collection: “Monterey Pop was not only a West Coast cultural happening — a temporary fusion between the purist, non-capitalistic Bay Area contingent (i.e., Marin, San Francisco, Berkeley) and heathen Los Angeles — but Monterey was most definitely international in scope.
“Many musical centers were represented: The Who and Eric Burdon & The Animals were from London; Hugh Masekela from South Africa; Simon & Garfunkel, Laura Nyro and The Blues Project from New York; Otis Redding and Booker T. & The MGs were out of Memphis; Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield were blues players from Chicago, Lou Rawls’ hometown as well; Janis was out of southeast Texas; The Association, The Mamas & The Papas, The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield came up from L.A.; Hendrix was from Seattle by way of New York and London.”
“The world was ready for a new sound, and we gave them a whole bunch of new sounds,” says Country Joe McDonald, leader of the Berkeley-based band Country Joe & The Fish, also Monterey and Woodstock veterans. “One of Monterey Pop’s greatest strengths was its diversity — The Who, Hendrix, The Electric Flag, Janis Joplin. On top of all that the organizers threw in a couple of traditional things, like a rock to cling to, I suppose — like The Mamas & The Papas and Simon & Garfunkle.”
“They had a just a few guitar players there,” intones Al Kooper, veteran of many Bob Dylan sessions and The Blues Project by ’67, and among those behind the scenes helping stage the Monterey show. “Like Mike Bloomfield, Steve Cropper, Elvin Bishop, Henry Vestine, Paul Simon, Sam Andrew, Barry Melton, John Cippolina, Steve Miller, Pete Townshend, Steve Stills, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix….”
“It gave the world an opportunity to hear just what music was on this planet,” says Papa John Phillips, the festival’s co-director.
Monterey not only marked the first gathering of so many major pop music acts, but it was also the first time many of the artists had performed before such large audiences.
Monterey was the first time Big Brother & The Holding Company had played outside the immediate San Francisco Bay area, and Janis Joplin’s heart-stopping performance still holds up as one of the most awesome in rock history.
“Up till that point,” Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady notes, “white chicks mostly sang about the doggie in the window. White women weren’t supposed to reveal their innermost desires and raw emotions. Only black women did that.”
Monterey was, of course, also The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s fiery American debut, the explosive West Coast premiere of The Who, and the first time Otis Redding had ever worked out in front of such a large, predominantly white audience.
Monterey had the first major psychedelic light show anyone had seen outside of the San Francisco area.
And it was the first time anyone had ever seen large numbers of cops, the Establishment’s agents of control, wielding begonias instead of billy clubs.
“Yes, flowers were a big thing,” co-emcee Tommy Smothers recalls fondly. “There were flowers everywhere — the police had flowers in their motorcycle wheels. They were caught in a ‘tension of love.’ They had no choice. Even if they wanted to be mean and nasty they could hardly do it. It was, ‘Lighten up, we love you!'”
Dennis Hopper, on hand to shoot stills at Monterey, remembers it the same way. “Flowers everywhere — everybody seemed to have flowers. It was true Flower Power. The vibe was beautiful. The music was fantastic. That to me was the purest, most beautiful moment of the whole ’60s trip. It seemed like everything had come to that moment. And if that could have continued, it really would have been Camelot.”
1967 was a time when we were all just a little younger than yesterday, as Bob Dylan, and, that spring, The Byrds, put it in “My Back Pages.” It was a time when “mind-expansion” through smoking marijuana or ingesting hallucinogenic psychedelic drugs — chiefly LSD, which was declared illegal by years’-end — was achieving widespread popularity among counterculture-types all over the world.
On June 1, The Byrds’ and Dylan’s British pals The Beatles unveiled the overtly psychedelic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” LP, and blew everyone’s minds. The Doors’ “Light My Fire” burned up the charts on its way to #1 by month’s end — a huge hit for any new band. And then there were The Monkees (members of which were at Monterey, by the way), whose wacky TV show and catchy pop hits had been scorching the airwaves and charts for the better part of a year.
Sexy, violent, controversial and entertaining films such as “Bonnie & Clyde,” “The Graduate,” “In the Heat of The Night,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “Cool Hand Luke” were boffo box office. The western series “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza” were hot on the tube, as were comedy/variety shows hosted by Jackie Gleason, Red Skelton, Dean Martin, Andy Griffith, Lucille Ball and Carol Burnette, and new series including “The Flying Nun” and “Ironside.”
In literature, critical and cult faves included “Why Are We in Vietnam?” by Norman Mailer and “Trout Fishing in America” by Richard Brautigan, while Elia Kazan’s “The Arrangement” and Ira Levin’s “Rosemary’s Baby” were among the best-sellers. And William Styron picked up the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Confessions Of Nat Turner.”
New York Yankee Mickey Mantle earned one of baseball’s biggest annual salaries — $100,000 — as Carl Yazstremski of the Boston Red Sox earned the Triple Crown, leading the league with a .326 batting average, 44 home runs and 121 RBIs. College basketball’s Player of the Year was UCLA’s Lew Alcindor — later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Clearly under the influence of Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow” and a large dose of paranoia, U.S. Food & Drug Administration scientists were earnestly investigating the hallucinogenic effects of smoking dried banana peels.
Among less frivolous governmental pursuits, U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark restricted wiretapping by federal agencies. And tragically, during an Apollo rocket launch rehearsal, a fire killed crewmembers Roger Chaffee, Virgil “Gus” Grissom and Edward White.
On the teeming streets of big-city America, racial violence reached epic proportions in 1967. In Detroit, 43 people died and 5,000 were arrested after eight days of mayhem; in Newark, 26 died in a six-day urban war.
But the civil rights movement was also winning important if limited victories by 1967. Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American appointed to the Supreme Court. The state of Tennessee finally repealed its reviled Monkey Law, making the teaching of Darwinian evolution legal in state-funded schools. Carl Stokes was the first African-American elected mayor of a major U.S. city, Cleveland. Just a few years earlier, neither Jimi Hendrix nor Otis Redding — nor any other black person — would have been served at any dimestore lunch counter in five southern states. Finally, the times really were a-changing. Or so it appeared.
In foreign affairs, Israel humiliated its Arab adversaries in another kind of Six-Day War. U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson was getting ready to meet in New Jersey with Soviet Premier Aleksei N. Kosygin to discuss ways both sides could reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons. On the other side of the world, China fanned the fires of global nuclear hysteria by exploding its first H-bomb.
The number of American troops in Vietnam reached 525,000, more than had fought in Korea. By year’s end, the U.S. body count would reach 15,997, and the total tonnage of bombs dropped on Vietnam exceeded the tonnage dropped during all of World War II.
A cease-fire attempted on Buddha’s birthday was shattered by hostile gunfire. North Vietnam leader Ho Chi Minh rejected a peace proposal from LBJ, who ordered Hanoi bombed, and extended the military draft another four years.
Back home, polarization reached new extremes between the straights and hippies, the Establishment and the counterculture, the pro-war Hawks and anti-war Doves. People from students to parents to clergy were marching by the hundreds of thousands down Fifth Avenue in New York City and on Washington, D.C. to decry and condemn America’s involvement in Vietnam.
A poll of Harvard seniors revealed that even 22 percent of them preferred jail to induction in the Army. Old enough to fight but not to vote, many young men evaded the draft legally, by enrolling in college and getting student deferments like the Harvard students; others bolted north across the border to Canada, which refused to extradite draft resistors. Still others publicly torched their draft cards, chanting, “Hey, hey, LBJ/How many kids did you kill today?”
But many draftees, especially guys who were members of minority groups or lacking the grades or the bread to get into school, opted for the Army instead of jail. Any draftee who refused induction faced prosecution and time in a federal prison.
The most famous resister was Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali, who said, “I don’t have no personal quarrel with them Viet Congs.” Already stripped of his title by boxing authorities, Ali was denied conscientious objector status, arrested, convicted, sentenced to five years in jail, and fined $10,000 (the U.S. Supreme Court later unanimously overturned the conviction).
All this was brought home to us in brutally real, living, dying color each evening on the TV news, courtesy of anchors like Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite, and journos-in-the-field like Dan Rather and Morley Safer.
Yet somehow, in the face of a world seemingly gone stark-raving mad, the San Francisco Bay area, especially the district surrounding the intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets in San Francisco, had become an asylum for thousands of disenchanted, disenfranchised youth who’d invented their own culture out of necessity.
As Warren Hinckle described it in his “Social History Of The Hippies”: “There [in Haight-Ashbury], in a daily street-fair atmosphere, upwards of 15,000 unbonded boys and girls interact in a tribal love-seeking, free-wining, acid-based society, where if you are a hippie and you have a dime, you can put it into a parking meter and lie down in the street for an hour’s sunshine.”
Such was the milieu in which the Monterey International Pop Festival was staged. For three rarefied days of “California Dreamin'” that mid-June weekend in ’67, an unlikely Aquarian ad hoc village gathered, and put on one giant musical love-in.
“The Summer of Love was a California phenomenon,” recalls Jac Holzman, founder and then-president of Elektra Records, the legendary folk/blues label and new home of Love and The Doors. “The very same weekend, the big gig scheduled by the Johnson administration was keeping half a million American soldiers bogged down in the Big Muddy of Vietnam. In the Middle East, the big gig was the Six-Day War. But at Monterey Pop, it was ‘Music, Love and Flowers.’ And there was no black or white; instead, there was a full flowering of musical integration.”
As a member of Country Joe & The Fish, Barry Melton participated directly in this tribal uprising. “When the counterculture movement began in San Francisco, we had our own identity. We were almost like Native Americans. This subculture had very specific attributes and manifestations: a certain way to wear one’s hair — long; a certain way to dress — buckskins, tie-dyes, Levi’s, bright colors.
“By 1967 the psychedelic subculture had taken root,” Melton continues. “It had become obvious on a national scale that something extraordinary was happening in San Francisco. And it soon swept up an entire generation.
“The Monterey Pop Festival coincided with the flowering of that San Francisco subculture. It was in essence the kerosene thrown on the fire that really made it explode.
“As a result of that massive national media attention, this relatively small but fast-growing subculture of, for want of a better term, ‘hippies,’ began to be something that was adopted and adapted to by an enormous number of young people all over the United States. For them, Monterey Pop was a kind of siren song, luring them to San Francisco.”
Derek Taylor: “The idea for the Monterey International Pop Festival came out of the mid-’60s belief that what had been pop music was now a much more serious art form, and could take its place alongside jazz.
“A man called Alan Pariser attended the Monterey Jazz Festival, which was quite an established event, and while smoking a marijuana cigarette, he considered the possibility of thousands and thousands of pop fans pouring out on the grounds, instead of these rather stuffy jazzophiles in corduroy trousers.
“He went to people with money, and raised I think $50,000 ‘seed money’ to put on a pop festival at the Monterey Fairgrounds in Northern California, to be held sometime during the summer of l967, now known as the Summer of Love.
“In January of that mild winter, he asked me if I would publicize it. Well, I had just decided to drop out of being a Hollywood press agent [for The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Chad & Jeremy, Paul Revere & The Raiders, and more], which is the lowest form of life, and go home to England [where he’d resume working with The Beatles]. It was a time for dropping out. I resisted the notion of having a pop festival until it seemed to me that it would be a very flowery thing to do at this time of Flower Power.
“So, together with Alan Pariser, I set out to seduce The Mamas & The Papas into topping the bill, because they were the biggest act still on the road. The Beatles had retired from the road, I think The Rolling Stones couldn’t tour because of a drug problem, so really the only hot live band who could fill the Fairgrounds was The Mamas & The Papas.
“During our approaches, [Papa] John Phillips had the idea of talking to Lou Adler. And somewhere along the line, those two co-opted the show.
“They said, ‘We’ll do it, and we’ll do it for nothing, and all the artists will perform for free, thus making it a benefit. But we’re going to take over the running of the show! You can stay as press agent, [Pariser] can stay as a producer, but from now on it’s our show and we’ll phone up the biggest stars in the world and we’ll get them to Monterey in June.’ And they did.”
John Phillips: “We were approached by [Pariser], who had secured the dates for the Monterey Fairgrounds about six weeks prior to the festival. He wanted to hire The Mamas & The Papas for the biggest price that we’d ever been offered. He’d have had no money left to hire anyone else!
“I called Lou Adler to ask what he thought, and we decided on the spot to make it a non-profit event, and give the money to some charity. We knew we had to buy the date from [Pariser]. The price agreed upon was $50,000. Lou put up $10,000, Michelle and I put up $10,000, and we made three phone calls to raise the remaining $30,000. Record producer Terry Melcher, Johnny Rivers and Paul Simon came up with $10,000 each. We explained what we wanted to do, and each said, ‘Count me in.’
“So a non-profit organization was formed called the Monterey Pop Foundation, and that’s exactly the way it happened.”
Derek Taylor: “In very short order, John Phillips and Lou Adler established a strong board of governors: Donovan; Mick Jagger; Paul McCartney; Jim McGuinn, or, Roger McGuinn, as he is now known; Terry Melcher, son of Doris Day, producer of The Byrds and much else besides; Andrew [Loog] Oldham, manager and producer of The Rolling Stones; Alan Pariser; Johnny Rivers, who was one of Adler’s artists; Smokey Robinson; Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys; Phillips; and, of course, Adler.
“With that board of governors, we were pretty strong and optimistic. The motive was to give everyone a good time. The Summer of Love and all those things lay ahead. The mood, the zeitgeist, whatever you want to call it, made a festival the most obvious thing on God’s earth. And that was why we had the confidence. And you know, the thing was pulled off!
“Pop music was not considered an art form nor even something to present at a festival. The idea was that something that had begun with Elvis Presley or whoever could never be taken as seriously as jazz. But in 1967, the people in the pop world believed they could accomplish anything.
“It was a time of enormous optimism. We were going to change the world by smoking marijuana and taking LSD. There would be no more wars, and we would celebrate this by getting all these peaceful people to Monterey, as audience and as artists.
“We deflated some very serious opposition from the townspeople, ‘the burghers,’ if you will. These people expected madness and all kinds of debauchery to take over the town and destroy it. It took a lot of conversation, a lot of rank-pulling — The Mamas & The Papas and Lou Adler turning up in antique Rolls Royces to go to town meetings and convince them that they wouldn’t have to have a policeman there for every member of the audience.
“In addition to having to secure the cooperation of the town council and police in Monterey, we also had to get the blessing of the street people, particularly The Diggers, the organization that was giving away food in San Francisco. We had to convince the alternative society and the Establishment. This meant giving everyone what they wanted.”
Lou Adler: “The Monterey police chief, [Frank] Marinello, was pretty close to retiring. Then along came this nightmare: the prospect of 150,000-250,000 people who didn’t live in Monterey, didn’t resemble anyone who lived in Monterey. Hippies and Hell’s Angels were both interchangeable in his mind’s eye — everyone was a Hell’s Angel. It was both the size of the crowd and the makeup of the crowd. I’m sure that if he’d had 250,000 golfers, he wouldn’t have worried so much.”
Derek Taylor: “On the final night of the final press conference, Lou Adler was sitting behind the desk with me and all the rest of the people still able to think straight after all this stress, and the chief of police was there. [Chief Marinello] was a most difficult man. And he was beaming with, ‘Well, what a wonderful job we’ve been able to do here!’ So suddenly, I took a string of beads I had around my neck and put them around his neck.
“I said, ‘This is from us to you, and makes us one!’ I’m amazed that we didn’t kiss each other! We did embrace, and he said, ‘I’d been hearing about this Haight-Ashbury, and so-and-so has promised to show me around. I like you hippies,’ he admitted. It was really wonderful, in a sloppy sort of way. But we were sloppy people in sloppy times.”
Lou Adler: “Not only did Paul Simon recognize the fact that this would be something worth putting his money into, but he was one of the first artists to agree to perform for no compensation. That made it very easy for us to call up other performers and say that The Mamas & The Papas and Simon & Garfunkel were donating their services, and ask other artists to do the same.”
Michelle Phillips: “We knew the only way to get the people that we really wanted to perform at Monterey Pop was to get them on an emotional level. You couldn’t have a concert of this magnitude and pay everybody. We appealed to their humanitarian spirit, and I think we set the example by saying, ‘Well, we’re going to do it.'”
Derek Taylor: “It was a very powerful thing to be able to say that Paul Simon and The Byrds and all the other artists are not making any money on this, but if they come we’ll put them in a good hotel and pay their airfare. There was a lot of loose money around.”
John Phillips: “We wanted the shows to start at noon and run all the way to Midnight — 12 hours of music each day and night. So we just developed the concept of getting an anchor act for every night — like Simon & Garfunkle the first, then Otis Redding, and The Mamas & The Papas to close the Festival. Then, we filled in the afternoons.
“We called Jimi Hendrix in London — no one in the States knew who he was yet. He’d been playing as Jimmy James & The Blue Flames at the Cafe Wha? down in the Village the first time I’d seen him, and then I’d seen him in London in November [’66] London as The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Then, when I talked with Brian Jones [of The Rolling Stones] before Monterey, he told me, ‘You’ve got to have this guy — he’s tearing Europe to pieces!’
“Otis Redding had never really played before big white audiences before, and I called his manager, Phil Walden, who said, ‘Yeah, just send the tickets, we’ll be there. Meet the plane.’ So that took one phone call.
“We talked to Pete Townshend and The Who, and all the San Francisco people like Big Brother, Quicksilver, Country Joe McDonald, Canned Heat, the Airplane, the Dead — all these groups who really hadn’t yet had much national or international exposure.
“And no one was getting paid for it. All we were offering was their plane tickets to San Francisco, their expenses while in Monterey, and plane tickets to their next jobs.”
Jim/Roger McGuinn: “We never had any question about whether we were going to get paid for [Monterey] or not. We never intended to get paid for it.We always knew that it was for a charity.”
David Crosby: “It couldn’t have happened anywhere else, there wasn’t enough money to do it. You couldn’t have hired all those acts. Everybody wanted to be a part of it. If you weren’t a part of it, you were left out.”
As the Monterey affair began to take shape, a little pre-promotion was in order. But festival organizers got a lot more than they bargained for.
“San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)” was penned by John Phillips just for the occasion, and recorded by his old folkie bandmate from back East, Scott McKenzie (ex-Abstract/ex-Smoothie/ex-Journeyman). It was released on Ode Records, Lou Adler’s new label, at the end of May ’67 — a mere three weeks before Monterey Pop.
But beyond plugging the Festival, “San Francisco” became the anthem for the Summer of Love, peaking at #4 in the States the week of July 1, 1967 (the week The Association’s “Windy” hit #1), and charting high all over the world.
Phillips says “San Francisco” was actually inspired by Scott’s paranoia about the Festival’s potential gi-normousness.
“My childhood chum had this idea: ‘Why don’t we write a song — well, why don’t you, John, write one — saying something like, “If you go to San Francisco for the Monterey Pop Festival, like, behave yourselves — let’s not have a big riot up there.”‘
“So the first thing that came to mind was sort of a Grecian Olympic athlete image with the wreath on the winner’s head, and flowers in your hair, so I thought that would be the proper image for the song.
“About 20 minutes later I’d finished it, and told Scott. He and I played it for Lou that night, we recorded it the next night, and it came out the following Monday. And just as fast, it became a worldwide hit. I mean, one week, Scott wasn’t even recording and the next week he was internationally known, the High Guru of Flower Power. He’s never forgiven me for it!”
Lou Adler: “I’d been in the music business since l957, and had worked every kind of hall as a manager. I was all too familiar with how acts were treated: The dressing rooms were toilets, there wasn’t a restaurant open by the time the show was over, the accommodations were, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, the guy forgot to make them,’ and all the rest.
“So our idea for Monterey was to provide the best of everything — sound equipment, sleeping and eating accommodations, transportation — services that had never been provided for the artist before Monterey.
“After that weekend, artists would demand and get preferential treatment. That’s one of the side benefits of Monterey Pop — it taught the acts how to perform under the right conditions, and how to get the right conditions in the first place. I think the promoters, and certainly Bill Graham, saw the benefits of our efforts. If the acts were treated right, the music was better. “But we started from scratch. When we moved into the Monterey Fairgrounds 10 days before the festival, nothing was there, not even a proper stage to house the kind of amplification that was coming in. We had to build the speaker systems right on the site.
“We set up camp, brought in a construction crew, established a communications center, and assigned a crew armed with walkie-talkies to canvass the entire Fairgrounds.
“The transportation crew we organized included not only cars and drivers for all the acts, but scooters, motorcycles, bicycles, whatever else it took to get around. We had cleanup crews, and an arts committee to oversee the booths and displays.
“We set up an on-site first aid clinic, because we knew there would be a need for medical supervision and that we would encounter drug-related problems. We didn’t want people who got themselves into trouble and needed medical attention to go untreated. Nor did we want their problems to ruin or in any way disturb other people or disrupt the music.
“If someone got in trouble they were taken care of as quickly as possible. Dr. Bowersocks of Monterey was in charge of the on-site medical treatment center. In an interview, he said the volunteer first-aid team there was years ahead of its time, citing the one-on-one rapport and communication techniques employed to cool out concert-goers who were freaking out due to ingested substances.
“We established our own security, supervised by David Wheeler. With Wheeler as the liaison, our security worked with the Monterey police. The local law enforcement authorities never expected to like the people they came in contact with as much as they did. They never expected the spirit of ‘Music, Love and Flowers’ to take over to the point where they’d allow themselves to be festooned with flowers.”
Derek Taylor: “We had lots of help convincing the townspeople we weren’t mad, so we ought to thank a lot of people — I’d say Chip Monck, Lou Adler and an awfully decent young man called Michael Vosse. He acted as a link. We had Tom Wilkes and Guy Webster doing graphics. We had a good chap in Peter Pilafian, who was a director along with Alan Pariser. Dennis Hopper was there as a photographer. Harrison Ford was a kind of messenger chap.”
Al Kooper: “And Derek Taylor was ‘The Equalizer.’ If anything got too serious or tempers got too frayed, Derek would just come in and equalize the situation.”
Lou Adler: “Onstage, the keys to what happened were Chip Monck and Bill Graham.We tried a lot of different things because we had 36 acts.It was probably the first time that so many had to be put on stage in so short a time. But it was done so smoothly that I don’t think anyone was aware of a stage wait. Chip was really brilliant, and the audience stayed in a mellow mood throughout the weekend.”
Al Kooper: “It was a great party. But a lot of work went into it. You musn’t overlook that. And you gotta credit Chip Monck, Lou Adler, John Phillips and Derek Taylor. They were the guys behind the scenes that got the festival together and made it work.
“I worked with Chip. He was the stage manager, and I became the assistant stage manager. My job was to get amplifiers and instruments. Since there had never been a rock festival before, this was really a first, and the logistics were very complicated.
“My main concern was the wait between acts, because an audience had never been subjected to anything like this before. I’d ask, ‘What are the people in the audience going to do when there’s no band performing, while we’re setting up for the next act? Will they walk out?’ I was used to five bands a show, bam-bam-bam-bam-bam! Lou and Derek said, ‘We’ll play pre-recorded music, they’ll smoke pot, they’ll have a good time.’
“But I persisted in calling up vendors, getting gratis instruments so we could have a bunch of amps there and we wouldn’t have to break down after each set. I got on the phone and lined up as many borrowed instruments as I could. And we set up a stage design for the instruments. My concern was unnecessary; everybody was patient, we piped in music, and moved as fast as we could. The whole thing really was ‘Music, Love and Flowers.’
“There was a midway on the side of the Fairgrounds where people sold jewelry and food and handcrafted wares. There was a tent for the musicians with a TV monitor so they could see the stage. It was really first-class.
“In essence it was a summit meeting of all these people, but everyone was real casual. Well, at least on the artists’ part it was real casual. On the technical side, it was totally hectic. The Mamas & The Papas were the mamas and papas of the festival, but Lou Adler was burdened with running it — with every tiny detail. Adler and Phillips were the prime movers. They were actually in the trenches.”
Derek Taylor: “We were able to get it together so quickly by having enormous energy and no-holds-barred spending power. If we needed 100,000 orchids, we didn’t bugger around having a committee on them — we’d buy 100,000 orchids. We can’t get orchids without going to Hawaii? Okay, we’ll fly them in from Hawaii, because that’s what we need for Ravi Shankar’s concert. A ton of incense — we’ll get that from India. And why not? It’ll be l968 next year and we’ll have the Chicago Riots, so we can’t wait until then.
“Adler was a skilled producer, Pariser was a pretty good pull-it-together guy, Phillips a dynamic pop star. Chip Monck, the great stage director, came to the Monterey Pop Festival offices and said, ‘Is there anything I can do to help?’ The Byrds and David Crosby came by and said, ‘Give us a paint brush and we’ll paint the wall.’ Michelle Phillips went out in those pre-feminist days and bought the decorations and flowers and supplies for the office and volunteered secretarial services. So you had enormous goodwill, lots of money, plenty of space and the right people at the right time.”
Lou Adler: “All this was done out of instinct or feel because it was the first. There were no examples to follow. But none of what we accomplished was by chance. We set out to do the best show possible. We had a lot of artistic input from John Phillips. Derek Taylor certainly set the precedent for press relations. Our graphics department laid down what were to be the guidelines for graphics for a long time. As Derek said, we had the right people at the right time.”
The City of Monterey — “where the Pacific meets the pines” — was an ideal meeting place. On a peninsula jutting out of the central California coast about 25 miles north of Big Sur and 100 miles south of San Francisco, Monterey had been a crossroads for centuries.
Before statehood, it had been the provincial capital, and during the latter 1800s, all goods being shipped into the state were unloaded at the Monterey Customs House, where tariffs were paid. The California constitution was drawn up in Monterey, and the state’s first post office was established there.
Monterey and other cities had played host to music festivals before — Monterey long had its jazz, Newport had its folk, Tanglewood and Lenox were justly respected. But none of the Monterey townspeople really knew what they were in for that one glorious, stoned mid-June weekend during the Summer of Love. Many speculated, but no one knew for sure how just many people would converge to attend the festival at the 21-acre Fairgrounds.
Lured by national advertising of the sort that couldn’t be bought — namely, radio’s power rotation of Scott McKenzie’s three-week-old hit single “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair),” thousands of young concert-goers made the pilgrimage to Monterey.
They traveled the Pacific Coast Highway, California’s north-south corridor, and from all points East, in Day-Glo-painted buses, campers and cars, riding Huffys, Hondas and Harleys, hoofing it, and, of course, hitchhiking.
But this was hardly a homogeneous crowd comprised of just the tie-dyed and Levied. Many neo-Establishment-types also turned out: preppy college students, hip young executives, lawyers and accountants, not to mention soldiers and sailors and curious locals.
The promoters’ original objective was to sell 7,500 tickets to each of the five shows during the weekend, at prices ranging from $3.50 to $6.50. But the festival wound up drawing an estimated 200,000 people — the largest audience ever for a music event in the United States up to that time.
Monterey Pop was both the engine and the driver that helped transform popular culture. The audience — “the Love Crowd,” as Otis Redding so aptly called them — had conceived and was celebrating the birth of a new rock consciousness, as set forth magna-cum-loudly by such eminent professors as Hendrix, Townshend, Garcia, McGuinn, Steve Cropper and “Duck” Dunn, Sam Andrews with Janis Joplin, Slick and Balin with Casady, Dryden, Kantner, and Kaukonen. And then there were the Field Brothers, as in Butter and Bloom.
The vast numbers attending Monterey validated this music’s importance as rock ‘n’ roll came of age, and began to influence the course of pop culture as the stars of Hollywood films once had. Now representing vast purchasing power, the once-underground hip counterculture was fast moving above-ground, and the world was compelled to take notice of its philosophy and politics.
Small wonder that there were 1100 media people — newspaper and magazine journalists from the straight and underground press, critics, TV and radio broadcasters — in Monterey to cover both the Festival, and the Phenom.
Lou Adler: “We chose ‘Music, Love and Flowers’ as our motto because this was the generation that had been shocked by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and they were about to express themselves in a completely different, very positive manner. The things that this generation was feeling and believed in were about to be expressed to the masses, to people who had not understood it before.
“The softness, the honesty, the thoughtfulness of it all was going to help society understand what the underground had understood for at least the previous three years — a new way of living, feeling and conducting yourself; a different way of looking, a kind of music, a certain groove.”
Michelle Phillips: “Monterey was set up to be the happiest, grooviest, most laid-back and wonderful musical event ever. It was worth the incredible expense of flying in those 100,000 orchids for a weekend that would never be recreated. Everyone fell into that spirit, including the police. It may have been in the middle of the Vietnam war, when confrontations between straights and hippies were usually ugly and bitter and violent, but at Monterey, everyone forgot their differences.”
Cass Elliot: “The audience came to participate in ‘a happening,’ as they used to call it in the ’60s. They were ready, they were responsive. It was their music. The festival was done for them. It was for all the people, the musicians, the performers, the audience, everybody. It was the first public statement that rock’n’roll is here to lighten the load a little bit, to have a good time without hurting anybody.”
Lou Rawls: “You could walk five steps and be in a whole different attitude and atmosphere. You met people from all walks of life, but they had one thing in common at that point in time — the music.”
Tommy Smothers: “It was an exception to the rule of confrontation and contradictions between different lifestyles. We sat there side by side rubbing up against different viewpoints, and it was wonderful.”
When Monterey’s motels, parks and a few private residences were packed to overflowing, more people set up camp on the acres of fairgrounds surrounding the stadium. They built campfires, shared songs, stories and assorted psychedelic substances, and slept in their cars or under trees. Those who for one reason or another didn’t get into the stadium kicked back and listened to the music as it began to drift overhead.
Long before the festival played itself out, Monterey Police Chief Marinello would feel confident enough to send half his security force home. In his 33 years’ experience, he’d never encountered such a huge crowd, and certainly never one so peaceful.
Ravi Shankar: “It was an audience who had enthusiasm and love, and the flowers and love that were being talked about were really there.
SECTION 5: LEGEND & LEGACY
Table of Contents:
What It Was
Random Quotes: Performers’ Takes
Excerpts From U.S. Press Coverage
I. What it Was
Monterey Pop was the turning point when the so-called kids’ music, street music, became a world-class industry. Monterey marked the weekend that pro-gressive rock’n’roll got pro-fessional. It was the first time most record executives had been exposed to so much of the new music, and realized its staggering commercial potential.
The vast Monterey Fairgrounds was hardly some smoky North Beach dive with 30 people in the audience. The festival proved there were actually hordes of these so-called long-haired hippie freaks, and that they’d willingly shell out real money to see concerts or purchase music by these groups with bizarre, psychedelic names!
The mother lode exposed, execs in pin-striped suits started sifting through all these whacked-out singers and musicians, hoping to strike it rich. Record company presidents hauled out their checkbooks, paying $250,000 to $400,000 — unheard-of sums — to sign new groups to long-term, multi-album contracts promising unprecedented levels of creative freedom and profit participation.
The underground music movement emerged above-ground — way above-ground, as in supersonic, astro-projected. Music industry honchos, lawyers and accountants got psychedelicized, grew their hair, and started looking at rock’n’roll in a different way. The artists achieved leverage. Mach One. They broke the sound barrier.
After Monterey, artists, promoters, record companies, song publishers, radio stations, even rock publicists were catapulted into major money, as record sales quadrupled. Ticket prices doubled. Concert grosses skyrocketed. FM radio stations got a huge power boost. A rock press emerged. The number of rock venues exploded. The Golden Era of rock ballrooms began.
The music itself went through major changes; for better or for worse, some acts got left behind. Monterey turned out to be the last time the original Mamas & Papas performed together. The original Byrds lineup soon crashed and burned. But Monterey was also where, by sitting in with Buffalo Springfield, David Crosby sowed the seed for Crosby, Stills, Nash &/or Young. And the festival was invaluable in helping to launch the careers of Janis, Otis, The Dead, Hendrix and The Who into the international bigtime.
After Monterey, the whole rock’n’roll music and music entertainment industry grew into a multi-billion-dollar, mega-watt powerhouse, built on a flaky foundation of psychedelic insanity. It’s a trip from which the music biz has yet to completely come down.
Monterey Pop also spawned an award-winning movie, released theatrically the following year. It was filmed by a crew under the direction of D.A. Pennebaker, the guy who’d shot the celebrated ’65 Bob Dylan tour documentary Don’t Look Back.
Years later, an internationally syndicated nine-hour radio show — Monterey Pop: The Radio Concerts — commemorated the Festival’s 21st anniversary. Broadcast only once, the show commands a high price on the collectors’ black market today.
And finally, the Festival’s never-before-released performances are now available on the Monterey International Pop Festival: The 25th Anniversary Collection box set. We hope you enjoy them, and achieve a new appreciation of the place this idyllic weekend holds in rock’n’roll history.
II. Random Quotes: Performers’ Takes
“We’ve had more trouble at PTA conventions.”
— Sheriff’s Deputy
Michelle Phillips: “There were no arrests at Monterey. There were no fights, no problems. It was a beautiful weekend with the best weather imaginable — big fluffy clouds in the sky and a warm breeze blowing. You were among friends, and felt at home. Even the policemen that weekend were friends. It was like a love-in; there was a great spirit of love at the festival.
“It was just a little moment in time when everyone came together, put aside their political and sociological differences, and just got behind the music. It was the most crisis-free time that I think I’ve ever experienced. And that feeling seemed to prevail everywhere, across the entire Monterey Peninsula.
“This was a festival for people like you and me. This was a place where you were not frowned upon for being what you were. You were home here with people just like you. We took the whole movement to heart: ‘Make Love, Not War’ and all that stuff. It was the way you were raising your children. It was the way you were living your life, with a kind of spirituality that ranged from wearing beads to lighting incense to learning about Eastern religions. People were trying to find something beyond the mundane issues of their lives. It was also a non-violent way to protest what our government was doing in Vietnam.
“There have been other festivals, but none like Monterey. Nothing will have that karma attached to it. To be part of that kind of talent and that kind of organization, knowing all profits were going to charity, created an incredible feeling.”
David Crosby: “What happened at Monterey was the flowering of an entirely different set of values. We were just blowing ourselves loose from the ’50s, and had a whole different entire value system that we were trying to espouse and protect, a much more positive one, one that valued life and creativity and freedom and equality and civil rights and a lot of stuff like that. I think it was a good value system. I’m real proud of it. I think it was right on.”
Lou Rawls: “What can you say to try and sum that all up? That was a great time to be alive, so many changes going on. So many great things that came out of there are still very important to this day. It wasn’t so much a revolution as an awareness: being made aware and awakening to what was going on.
“It was a changing of seasons, musically. In the ’50s, when rock’n’ roll first became the predominant music, they said it wasn’t going to last. They said it was just a fad. But as we know, it’s still here and still going strong.
“The people at Monterey Pop were not only rock’n’rollers, they were also socially conscious and politically aware musicians. They were the people that made the world become aware of exactly what was going on: be it radical, political or environmental.
The Buffalo Springfield were singing: ‘Stop, children, what’s that sound/Everybody look what’s going down.’ That song came out of that era.
“There was a lot going on politically at that time; many factions — the Black Panthers, the students at U.C. Berkeley. They were making statements, but the statements didn’t get serious press, only superficial attention. The press never focused on the counterculture until the festival. The festival did it. Statements were made there that musically got the message across — without violence, anger or confrontation.
“Monterey Pop was like a forum, a stage, a place where they could speak their piece, say what they had to say, and the message would get across. You could equate it to a seminar. People were not only there for the music, but also for the commentary being made through the music.”
Country Joe McDonald: “There were no hassles, everyone was friendly. It was like a picnic, a family gathering, a folk-music sort of crowd. Very warm.”
Grace Slick: “It was just one good group right after another, and all kinds of music, from Ravi Shankar to The Mamas & The Papas, The Who, Jimi Hendrix…I mean, it was just nuts!”
Bob Weir: “I met a lot of people, and it was also edifying to see the way other people did it. All the groups from England and all across the country came together and influenced each other. It was a big deal.”
Lou Rawls: “It was the first chance for us to really get together and touch, actually physically see, touch and communicate. So it was a special thing.
“This was something that the majority of these people had never participated in before and perhaps never did again. It was a special moment in time, and I think everybody was aware of that. A lot of stars born, but this special moment in time gave them that recognition. Nobody there thought of it as being any kind of a historical moment.”
Lou Adler: “After Monterey, the San Francisco sound took the lead in popular music, and the rest of the country caught up and joined in.”
Lou Rawls: “I think what happened at Monterey is that the executives who never left their offices until they went home or to lunch saw just how overwhelming that whole musical presentation was, and that there was the feasibility for them to look good financially at the end of the year. So they said, ‘Hey, wait a minute — let’s see if we could wheel and deal and move and groove on this!’
“I think the audience was borderline. The Monterey Pop Festival pushed them over. They said, ‘Hey, this is what’s happening. I’m here and I’m taking back with me what I have experienced here, what I’ve digested here, what’s inspired me to be more or do more.'”
Eric Burdon: “It was the only pop festival. Everybody else tried to copy Monterey, copy the feeling. You can’t copy feelings. “It’s like musicians jamming. You don’t say, ‘Ya wanna jam tonight?’ If it’s planned, it’s not a jam. But if you wait until there’s a smile or a nod from the stage from a musician who has a space open for you to move in and turn the people on, then that’s jamming. And that’s what happened at Monterey.
“Tommy Smothers called the festival a ‘tension of love’ — well, that’s what jamming is. And that’s what Monterey was.”
Derek Taylor: “The policing was very powerful at the beginning of the festival. By the end of it, [Chief Marinello] had sent at least half of them home, wearing flowers in their caps. Because we were genuinely nice, civilized people, as well as dope smokers.”
David Crosby: “It was all a joyous party. Somehow the police were very restrained, and the vibe was very good, there was no violence that I remember. It went off remarkably well, considering that nobody had any experience in pulling off this kind of thing. That’s much to the credit of the people who put it on, particularly Lou Adler and Alan Pariser. I loved it.”
Dennis Hopper: “I remember the police with flowers in their hair and so on, and Bummer Control was on the job, so if anybody got too far out they were taken care of. That care and organization really made me feel comfortable and totally safe.
“It was a perfect experience. To many of us it was the first and the last. I can’t think of anything as special as that moment in my life. It was a tremendous up on every level. We weren’t laying numbers on people. We weren’t making fun of the cops, either, who were amazed by it. It was a magical, pure moment in time.”
Tommy Smothers: “To be at Monterey was one of those kinds of things when you’re going through life…there’s a lot of serendipity involved in your life. You never know what’s going to turn you around. Life is full of serendipity, and I was fortunate to have been there and to have been a part of something that doesn’t happen very often. In fact, it was so exceptional, nothing like it has ever happened again.
“There were no problems. The only problem was just how happy you could get without hurting yourself!”
Eric Burdon: “Monterey was just sort of a bwoop! — you know, a blip, a wallop, like an Instamatic flashbulb going off!”
John Phillips: “I think Monterey Pop changed a lot of things, and changed a lot of people’s attitudes towards music. Like Cass once told me, ‘Monterey will have the legend.'”
Lou Adler: “After all these years, the memory of Monterey is a good one. It’s still about ‘Music, Love and Flowers.'”
III. Excerpts From U.S. Press Coverage
New York Post
New York, New York
July 7, l967
by Pete Hamill
The Flower Fuzz: Two weeks ago in Monterey there was an International Pop Festival. For two and a half days people listened to music. They were almost all kids and there wasn’t a moment of trouble. The cops were astonished. ‘When the matter of the Monterey Pop Festival first came up, I was quite apprehensive,” said Monterey Police Chief Frank Marinello, a card-carrying member of the fuzz for 33 years. He told the press that he had brought in reserves from neighboring towns, in addition to sheriff’s aides and was bracing for the onslaught of raping and pillage that homeowners always predict about these kids.
By the last day of the festival, 40 per cent of the cops had been sent home, and Marinello was talking about “…the so-called hippies that I have begun to like very much. In all my life I never encountered such a group of peace-loving people.” And so his men drove around town with garlands of flowers around their necks, and bouquets jammed in their hats, and bunches of flowers tied to their motorcycles.
What these kids really are is the avant-garde of the Leisure Generation. In the l980s, when automation has finally triumphed and the 20-hour week is a fact of life, this country will have to come to grips with everything these kids are dealing with right now in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, in the East Village in New York and along Fairfax and the Strip and in Venice in Los Angeles. I don’t mean we can expect a world of posters, drugs, light shows, happenings and the rest. But these kids are at least putting play back into the American scene: that’s what gets so many of the rest of us so upset.
Long Beach, California
June 27, l967
by Larry Allison
At one point a group of officers pitched in and erected a barricade the likes of which I’ve never seen: it was designed to keep the paying members of the audience from obstructing the view of the hundreds without tickets, who gathered outside the concert area to watch as best they could from the other side of the fence.
Sunday night during the last of the concerts, one of the announcers offered a word of praise for the work of the police — he called them ‘the Flower Fuzz’ — and the bearded and the robed, and the beaded and beflowered gave out with a mighty cheer….
Los Angeles, California
June 25, l967
by Leonard Feather
The music of the times was finally able to speak for itself: Monterey started what might be a long history.
The growing suspicion that rock’n’roll has become important was substantiated to say the least, even for the most jaded cynic. The old beat was still there and still intoxicating, but none of the Monterey sounds resembled rock’s embryonic stage.
But it wasn’t only the music that finally had its day. The youngsters had theirs…the ecstasy that the weekend took place.
June 30, l967
The turned-on generation celebrated the rites of life, liberty and the pursuit of hippiness. Outdoors, it all seems more healthy. The seekers at Monterey had assembled not for a freak-out but for a tune-in.
In all, with the high incidence of musical quality and the low incidence of violence and law breaking, it was a festival to make everybody happy.
July 3, l967
They landed at Monterey last week and built a city of sound, a hippie haven of soul and rock and blues and funk. For three days the 26,000 inhabitants of the California coastal town were joined by communicants who lived in motels and sleeping bags. Overall, the hippie spirit of peace and acceptance prevailed.
The festival climax…the city of sound folded its tents. “I saw a community form and live together for three days,” said (Rolling Stone) Brian Jones. “It’s so sad it has to break up.”
SECTION 6: CREDITS
Table of Contents:
John Phillips, co-director
Lou Adler, co-director
Alan Pariser, co-producer
Peter Pilafian, co-producer
Chip Monck, lighting/staging
David Wheeler, editor
Tom Wilkes, art director
Guy Webster, photography
Michael Vosse, assistant editor
Michelle Gilliam, advertising coordinator
Jim Chubb, Monterey public relations
Kathy Furness, San Francisco public relations
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Lou Adler, Donovan, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Jim-Roger McGuinn, Terry Melcher, Andrew Oldham, Alan Pariser, Johnny Rivers, John Phillips, Smokey Robinson, Paul Simon, Brian Wilson.
Guest Emcees: Tommy Smothers, Peter Tork, Eric Burdon, Paul Simon, Brian Jones, Bill Graham, David Crosby
Festival Security: David Wheeler
Monterey Security: Frank Marinello, Monterey Chief of Police
Medical: Dr. Bowersocks
Remote Recording Facility: Wally Heider Mobile Studios
Producers: Lou Adler, John Phillips
Engineers: Wally Heider, Bones Howe
Film Crew: D.A. Pennebaker & Associates
Additional Still Photographers: Dennis Hopper, Henry Diltz, Jill Gibson, Jim Marshall
Executive Producer: Lou Adler
Compilation Producers: Stephen K. Peeples, Geoff Gans
Performance Clearances: Craig Kamens
Liner Notes: Stephen K. Peeples
Interviews/Liner Note Contributions: Sandy Gibson
Booklet Editorial Direction: Stephen K. Peeples
Editorial Assistance: Darcy Sullivan, Ted Myers
Package Concept: Lou Adler, Geoff Gans
Art Direction/Design: Geoff Gans
Project Assistance: Howard Frank
Special Thanks: Henry Diltz
SECTION 7: DOUBLE FEEDBACK CODA
Art Garfunkel: “Monterey was the maraschino cherry on top of the sundae that was the ’60s. It was totally unprecedented, and the audience was unprecedented in their joy.”
Cass Elliot [as band vamps intro to “Dancing In The Street”]: “Awright, I don’t know what I can say about this next song, except that it’s our closer, and the closer of the festival. You’re on your own, Babies, because we’re sure on ours! Let’s GO!”
Article: Monterey International Pop Festival: The Book – Summer of Love 1967
Author: Stephen K. Peeples
Article Source: StephenKPeeples.com