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Chasing The American Dream

June 17, 2007


On June 16th 1967, Woodstock’s perhaps lesser known predecessor kicked-off with a group called The Association and ended with two days later with the principal organizers of the festival, The Mamas & The Papas. In between, the talent that took the stage was legendary and changed the face of rock and roll.

Mamas & Papas front man John Phillips organized the Monterey International Pop Festival with help from several music industry talents and producers. The result was three days of peace, love, sex, drugs, and of course, rock and roll. Amazingly, there were no arrests. Just 200,000 flower-power ‘children’ sharing the joy of the amazing music talents of Eric Burdon & The Animals, Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, Steve Miller, Jefferson Airplane, Otis Redding, Buffalo Springfield, The Who, The Dead, and an unknown teenage guitarist by the name of Jimi Hendrix.

It’s obvious the magnitude and the influence these rock and roll legends had on future bands and solo artists. Indeed, Monterey might have been the end of the innocence to 1967’s so-called “Summer of Love.” Times have changed and have gotten a helluva lot more complicated. Watching old footage of these classic music festivals, I often wonder what it would have been like to be there and live the experience. If I had a time machine, being the rock and roll historian that I am, I would definitely visit Monterey and Woodstock. But since I don’t have a time machine, my remote will always stop when I see historical recounts of these wonderful and timeless events relating to perhaps the greatest form of art.



  • I thought it was the Hell's Angel "security force" stabbing a fan at Altamont ended the "Summer of Love".

    You probably know that Woodstock was not at Woodstock, NY, but at Bethel, NY, right? There was a festival there in 1997 or 1998 at the original site. Joni Mitchell, The Who and others played. We (me, husband & daughter) went. It was very cool. Husband was 15 summer of Woodstock Festival and debated going out to Bethel or hitching down to Biloxi, MS to visit his cousin who had just been drafted and was at training camp there. He chose hitching to Biloxi. Yes, he still regrets it.

    By Anonymous Barbara E., at 7:19 PM, June 17, 2007  

  • Altamonte was in '69 B.E. The 'summer of love' was '67. Yes dear, I know Yasgur's farm was in Bethel. Always wanted to visit there. I think there was a mini-festival there in '94 for the 25th year anniversary. Bad choice for your husband but lucky you guys got to see it years later.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 7:24 PM, June 17, 2007  

  • In 1989, or maybe it was 1990 - somewhere around then - I had the chance to see the Grateful Dead in Atlanta. I was living in Gville at the time. I passed up this great opportunity, for what I cannot even remember. When Garcia died a few years later, I kicked myself. Don't know why your post reminded me of that....or maybe it was the comments. Anyway, never pass up a concert/festival, you never know when it's going to be a legendary one.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 3:53 PM, June 18, 2007  

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