episode date - June 19, 2007
No single event better represents the spirit and the music of the ‘Summer of Love’ better than the Monterey Pop Festival. The year may have been 1967, but this where everybody’s notion of “The Sixties” began, with psychedelic music, self-empowered hippies, and an unfueled optimism that for a short while made all participants believe that they could change the world. For a few days in June of 1967, they did.
The lineup combined popular acts with some new faces, and the results were legendary. Unlike Woodstock, Monterey Pop’s reputation is based not only on the significance of the event itself, but also on the significance of the music that was played. Over the course of three days, a redefinition of pop culture took place. The zeitgeist had been established just two weeks earlier, when the Beatles released their magnum opus, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and the Monterey Pop Festival cemented the artistic optimism of that album into something tangible. Suddenly, pop music was being perceived as a form of artistic and personal expression, as valid an art form as any of the ‘fine’ arts. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, the Who and a host of others provided a soundtrack for this new perspective. If you want to know what this soundtrack sounded like, you can purchase Razor & Tie’s 2-disk cd set, simply entitled “Monterey International Pop Festival,” which contains excerpts from each of the above mentioned acts, plus a few more.
From today’s perspective, when there are literally dozens of music festivals taking place each summer, it is hard to imagine a time when the notion of a ‘pop’ festival was a novelty. Monterey defined the notion of what a pop festival could be, and still serves as a prime example of how nice it is when things go right. Flowers were distributed about the grounds of the festival, and they became a symbol of the event. Police officers were hired to keep the peace, and found themselves surrounded by ecstatic fans. Some ornamented their uniforms with the flowers – others placed them into the barrel of their weapon. An aura of peace and community descended onto the participants, and for a short while, the Summer of Love was more than a catchphrase, it was a statement of fact.
Here’s a list of performances from the Festival that are included in today’s program;
1) San Francisco – Scott McKenzie
2) Homeward Bound – Simon & Garfunkel
3) Ball and Chain – Big Brother & the Holding Company
4) So You Wanna Be a Rock ‘n Roll Star – The Byrds
5) White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
6) I’ve Been Loving You Too Long – Otis Redding
7) For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
8) My Generation – The Who
9) Like a Rolling Stone – Jimi Hendrix
10) California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & the Papas
CLICK HERE to listen to the full show!