(Gibson) In Carmel, California on June 16, 1967, the Summer of Love kicked off with one of the most astounding pop festivals of all time. Preceding the better-known Woodstock by two years, the Monterey International Pop Festival remains the archetypal freewheeling hippie festival, untainted by the violence or cynicism that would spoil later attempts to capture the magic of Monterey.
Mimicking some of the all-weekend jams put on by San Francisco bands like Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead, Monterey put the music first. Jefferson Airplane's Paul Kantner told Carmel Magazine that the "eclectic idea... made [Monterey Pop] a great show. That whole weekend was just extraordinary." He continued, "Monterey Pop exuded a really friendly vibe... everyone liked each other and supported each other. So much was going on you could barely contain it all. We were in the middle of this huge rumbling of experiences...full of exciting things. We managed to play our music on acid, and it didn't seem to inflict anything negative."
The festival, put on by record producer Lou Adler and John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, was filmed by rock and roll documentary king D.A. Pennebaker. The lineup was remarkable: The Who, Simon & Garfunkel, The Grateful Dead, The Steve Miller Band, The Animals, Buffalo Springfield, Booker T. and the M.G.'s, Otis Redding, Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Janis Joplin, The Byrds, The Mamas & the Papas, Ravi Shankar, The Association, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Johnny Rivers, Lou Rawls, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape, Laura Nyro, The Blues Project, Country Joe & The Fish, Al Kooper, Electric Flag, The Butterfield Blues Band, The Paupers and Hugh Masekela. more on this story