The Monterey Pop Festival, 40 Years Later

Music from 'Monterey International Pop Festival'

Hear selections from a new CD retrospective.

Jimi Hendrix i i

Jimi Hendrix amazed the crowd — and fellow performers — with his guitar pyrotechnics. Elaine Mayes hide caption

itoggle caption Elaine Mayes
Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix amazed the crowd — and fellow performers — with his guitar pyrotechnics.

Elaine Mayes
Janice Joplin i i

Janice Joplin was relatively unknown before she performed at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Elaine Mayes hide caption

itoggle caption Elaine Mayes
Janice Joplin

Janice Joplin was relatively unknown before she performed at the Monterey International Pop Festival.

Elaine Mayes
Otis Redding's performance at Monterey brought him a new audience. i i

Otis Redding's performance at Monterey brought his music to a new audience. Elaine Mayes hide caption

itoggle caption Elaine Mayes
Otis Redding's performance at Monterey brought him a new audience.

Otis Redding's performance at Monterey brought his music to a new audience.

Elaine Mayes

Videos from the Film

Watch performances from Monterey Pop by D.A. Pennebaker.

(requires RealPlayer)

©2002 The Criterion Collection

Forty years ago this week, at the dawn of what would become known as the Summer of Love, a musical experiment unfolded in Monterey, Calif.

The Monterey International Pop Festival, which preceded Woodstock by two years, brought together a diverse group of big-name acts including the Mamas and the Papas and Jefferson Airplane as well as some then-unknown performers, notably Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.

The 1967 event was organized by Lou Adler and the late John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas and it was caught on film by documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. Adler and singer Michelle Phillips look back at the event.

"Some of the greatest performances of all time happened at Monterey," Adler tells Renee Montagne.

Michelle Phillips, a member of the Mamas and the Papas, remembers how Hendrix amazed the crowd — and fellow artists — with his jaw-dropping performance, playing his guitar on his back, behind his back, lying down and setting the instrument on fire.

"I had never seen anything like it," Phillips says. "And I didn't understand that it was kind of theater. I was used to people singing and harmonizing and taking care of their instruments. It was shocking for me to see this kind of behavior on stage."

The festival also exposed soul great Otis Redding to a new, primarily white audience, whom he called "the love crowd," Phillips says.

"A whole new audience opened up to him," she says.

Redding was killed in a plane crash just months after that performance. A few, short years later, Hendrix and Joplin died within weeks of each other. Their performances at the Monterey Festival have become part of music legend.

Purchase Featured Music

Monterey International Pop Festival

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
Monterey International Pop Festival
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Razor & Tie
Released
2007

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