50 years of Mon­terey Pop Fes­ti­val

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Music - An­gelin Yeoh

ON June 16 1967, the Mon­terey Pop Fes­ti­val was held for the first time. The three-day mu­sic fes­ti­val that took place in Cal­i­for­nia was or­gan­ised by John Phillips of rock group The Ma­mas & the Pa­pas, Gram­my­win­ning record pro­ducer Lou Adler, pro­moter Alan Pariser and publi­cist Derek Tay­lor.

The event fea­tured a mouth­wa­ter­ing line-up that today’s mu­sic fans could only dream about; first ma­jor US per­for­mances by The Who, The Jimi Hen­drix Ex­pe­ri­ence and Ravi Shankar. A then-un­known Ja­nis Jo­plin played one of her first pub­lic per­for­mances with Big Brother and the Hold­ing Com­pany. Other acts in­clude Si­mon & Gar­funkel, Grate­ful Dead and Jef­fer­son Air­plane. The Mon­terey Pop Fes­ti­val was also no­table for be­ing one of the last ma­jor events where Otis Red­ding per­formed be­fore he died in a plane crash six months later. It was re­ported that up to 90,000 peo­ple at­tended the event.

In an in­ter­view with Mon­terey County Weekly back in 2001, Linda Jaffe, an ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at the Mon­terey His­tory and Art As­so­ci­a­tion ex­plained the sig­nif­i­cance of the event.

“I’m go­ing to quote Lou Adler: ‘Prior to that event, mu­si­cians were treated as sec­ond-class cit­i­zens. Af­ter Mon­terey Pop, the mu­si­cians were in the driver’s seat.’ And be­cause of when it hap­pened his­tor­i­cally, it was the cat­a­lyst for the Sum­mer of Love. Mon­terey Pop was a cat­a­lyst for get­ting peo­ple to come to­gether to hear the mu­sic that would be the mouth­piece for what was hap­pen­ing in Amer­ica,” she said.

And with that, the leg­end of the Mon­terey Pop Fes­ti­val lives on. –

Photo: AP

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