The Best Music Festival Ever
Forty years ago this weekend the greatest music jamboree in history was put together mainly by John and Michelle Phillips of Momas & Papas fame and held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in California. It became the prototype rock festival - Woodstock copied it's format - and it happened only once. Nothing like it had ever happened before, and in my opinion, since.
Younger people might not recognize the names who performed there, but most of them were giants in the music business or about to become legends. It's even remarkable for who were going to show up but didn't - Donovan, the Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart. It was non profit with the money going to charity.
There's an astounding documentary movie called The Complete Monterey Pop Festival which has to be seen to be believed. It's just jaw dropping in a lot of ways. Not only did the artists put on a really good show but it's a wonderful slice of americana with the camera examining the crowd as well as the performers. Some of them had never gotten a venue like this before and made the most of their appearance. This was the legendary occasion when Pete Townshend of The Who and Jimi Hendrix almost got into a fight as to who would follow who onstage. Townshend won the coin toss but Hendrix, appearing for the first time in america after success in europe, gave such a hot performance that his guitar burned up. (With help from a little lighter fluid.)
You'll want to crank the volume on this one.