40th Anniversary of the Monterey International Pop Festival

Jimi Hendrix, made believe he set the world on fire, yeah!

If you wanna find the truth in life, don’t pass music by
And you know I would not lie no, I would not lie down in Monterey
Monterey by Eric Burdon & The Animals(Burdon, Weider, Jenkins, McCulloch, Briggs)

Today is the 40th Anniversary of the Monterey International Pop Festival, considered by many to be the apex of the Summer of Love 1967. It was the first major rock festival in the world. As someone who has attended over 225 concerts in 38 years I have a very special place in my heart for Monterey Pop and the Summer of Love. Being a true hippie at heart, this festival to epitomizes live rock music, flower power and the love generation all in one.

D.A. Pennebaker had the foresight and vision to film this historic event and its available as a box set from Criterion Films. There are some great essays about Monterey Pop on this web page. The one I liked reading was the two part essay by esteemed music critic Robert Christgau.

Tonight on VH-1 there will be a special show rock Docs Monterey 40. This show will highlight the Monterey Pop Festival as a pivotal moment in the burgeoning counterculture. From the perspective of musicians, organizers, audience members and visual documentarians, it will tell the story of this historic event in words, pictures and music from conception to event to aftermath to historical impact.

A two CD recording from Razor & Tie, Monterey International Pop Festival has been released. It has highlight recordings from the various artists who created history those three days. It also has some unique liner notes by Andrew Loog Oldham. I especially liked the black and white photos from those California days and nights. I was very much in synch with the tribute on the back of the liner notes. “Dedicated to Ralph J. Gleason and Bill Graham, who helped bring the San Francisco and Los Angeles music communities together. Without their vision and forbearance, Monterey Pop would never have happened.”

Ralph J. Gleason was a music journalist who wrote the most insightful music articles I ever read. He had a tremendous influence on me as a reader of Rolling Stone Magazine and my musical tastes He very muched helped form and shape. His ear was uncanny and he was very instinctual with the music, the artists and the scene.

Bill Graham is the Father of the Rock Music Concert. I am forever indebted to Bill Graham for making rock music an art form. He nurtured live music, cultivated music artists, and dedicated his life to performance art. He is the promoter of promoters.

Check out the special Summer of Love exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art on view May 24-September 16, 2007. Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era

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