Column

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Fifty Years Later: The Monterey Pop Festival

No Donovan, eh?

Yeah Jack, what a disapointment that Donovan's drug bust prevented him from attending this festival which I've read he was supposed to headline. For me the highlight (I wasn't there but from the expanded DVD release) was Jimi Hendrix doing Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." When he introduced it as a song by Bob Dylan (obviously tripping on LSD) he pointed to his bassest and said, "That's his grandmother over there." This was a revolutionary concert that made the careers of many of the performers including, besides Otis Redding, Janis Joplin. When she was performing the camera pans the audience and catches Cass Elliot with dropped jaw and huge grin shaking her head in amazement. In '67 I was a junior in highschool just beginning to become fascinated by the hippie phenomena I saw erupting in San Francisco from my small town farming community in Central California that may as well have been Nebraska for as progressive as it was (and still is). By '69 I would have fit in well with that crowd. Thanks Ed for the posting and the memories.

"Far out, man," this piece fairly screams.  Noticed that Neil was not on stage for the Springfield -- one of his many departures, it seems.  Absolutely loved the Janis clip.  Who's better than you, amigo?  Nobody, man, nobody...

It was a bit of a miracle that the Monterey Pop Festival actually happened, given all the squabbling between the LA movers and shakers and the San Francisco bands -- and it was more than ironic that the Grateful Dead didn't appear in the film, having played one of the very best sets of their then short life, but their songs were too long for the cameras being used and thus no complete songs were filmed. It was a remarkable festival -- the English bands really didn't get what was happening in San Francisco, thinking that it was about musicianship when in fact it was more of a social scene that coalesced around the ballrooms -- people went to the ballrooms and actually danced all night! -- which is not to say that some of the Bay Area bands weren't good players but that wasn't the predominant thing up to Monterey. 

@Mark: Thanks for your comments and insight both here and on my recent post about Moby Grape. Nice to hear from somene who was actually in the moment, back in those times.