The Monterey International Pop Festival was scheduled for June, 1967. In the back of everybody's mind it was to be the opening event for the "Summer of Love". This was a portentous time. In the same month The Beatles released Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Means Club Band, and the song San Francisco (Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) by Scott McKenzie was about to help set a mood that would influence a generation.
The Monterey Festival organisers were former Beatles publicist Derek Tarter (who was to bring a reluctant Paul McCartney on board), LA businessman Lou Adler, Mamas and Papas main-man John Phillips and music biz wheeler-dealer Alan Pariser. Their aim was to set-up a non-profit making event showcasing "a diversity of international talent". Among those booked to appear were Indian satar maestro Ravi Shankar, The Byrds, Simon and Garfunkel, The Grateful Dead, the Mamas and Papas (natch), The Who, Otis Redding, Big Brother and the Holding Company and a young American guitarist all-but unknown in his native land, Jimi Hendrix.
But it was Jimi Hendrix who stole the show. Introduced by doomed Rolling Stone Brian Jones, who was there for that express purpose, Hendrix performed as if he were on stage in an intimate London venue. Although high on acid, he teased notes out of his guitar even he must have been surprised at. His banter between numbers was restrained but spot-on, and the band played the gig of their lives. At the end of the set, Hendrix set fire to his guitar and smashed it against his amp. Jimi Hendrix had arrived.
To consolidate on me success of Monterey, he was booked into a series of American showcases and, although an over-eager agent had booked him as tour support to the Monkees, this was aborted after a few mutually-confusing gigs, by summoning up the ogre of the right-wing pressure group, The Daughters of the American Revolution. [extract from The Mammoth Book Of Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll, p93-94]
The Monterey International Pop-Festival celebrated the strength and the joy of a new culture with a weekend of music, good feelings and flowers which drew some 50,000 marvellous and marvelling people to Northern California in the summer of 1967. The music, the community feeling and the heady sense of good will which the event radiated became an international social landmark which stood unmatched until two years later when it was joined by Woodstock, the East Coast reflection — somewhat magnified—of Monterey.
Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding were the rage of England in that summer of love and psychedelia but they had yet to play the United States and thus were no more than a rumor to most of the Monterey crowd. Their appearance at the festival was magical: the way they looked the way they performed and the way they sounded were light years away from anything anyone had seen before. The Jimi Hendrix Experience owned the future and the audience knew it in an instant. The banks of amplifiers and speakers wailing and groaning as Hendrix' fingers scurried across the strings of his guitar gave the trio's music as much density another rock groups were getting out of studio 8-track tape machines. And, of course, Hendrix is a masterful — though seemingly offhand — performer. Pete Townsend of the Who had become famous for destroying his guitar. Hendrix carried the ritual a couple of fantasies farther with lighter fluid and dramatic playing positions in "Wild Thing." When Jimi left the stage, he had graduated from rumor to legend.
|Jimi in action|
New stars are born at Monterey Pop Festival (JUNE 16TH-18TH, 1967)
I'd like to introduce a very good friend, a fellow countryman of yours," said Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival on the California coast. "He's most exciting performer I've ever heard -: Jimi Hendrix Experience." Hendrix needed te big intro. Despite success in England, their "Are You Experienced?" was a big hit, he was unknown in his native America. He took the stage in a gypsy vest, a head-band and a blazing-orange ruffled shirt, and lunched into torrid renditions of "Killing Floor" and "Foxy Lady". Possibly feeling the two hits of purple acid he had taken earlier in day, Hendrix babbled nervously to the crowd as he played the intro to the next song. I'd like to dedicate this next song to anyone with any kinda hearts and ears ...
Right now we'd like to do a little thing by Bob Dylan." A crashing, bluesy cover of "Like a Rolling Stone" came next, and the crowd belonged to him. "The Who and Jimi had the loudest amps I'd ever been close to" said Monterey Pop documentarian DA. Pennebaker." I was in a state of shock—I was getting brain damage." To one-up the Who, who had already smashed their equipment during "My Generation", Hendrix pulled out all the stops. He plucked strings with his teeth, and, during the closing "Wild Thing", humped the amps and ejaculated lighter fluid all over his guitar, which he then Set ablaze. "I decided to destroy my guitar at the end of the song - I'd just finished painting it that day," Hendrix said.
Otis Redding also had a break-out show at Monterey. A soul singer from Georgia who had found success mostly on the Chitlin circuit, "Redding had never really played before anything other than a black audience [in the U.S.]," says director John Landis, who was in the crowd. Redding's intensely yearning ballad "Try a Little Tenderness" and rockers such as the Stones' "Satisfaction" electrified the audience. "Otis blew the whole place apart," said former Capitol Records president Joe Smith. "When you talk about the one moment when everybody leapt up, it was Otis Redding."
Years later, when Landis directed The Blues Brothers, he worked with Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn, who were in Redding's band. "I kept telling them it was so exciting to see Otis," says Landis. "They said, You thought it was exciting? You should've been onstage."
Arguably the best of the many live albums that have surfaced since Hendrix's death, this is a recording of The Experience's historic performance at the Monterey Festival on June 16, 1967. It was Hendrix's first gig in America since going off and becoming a star in Britain, and he rose to the occasion with a vengeance. Much to the horror of the boss of his American record company, and to the delight of 50,000 curious onlookers, he concluded his set by torching and demolishing his guitar during an anarchic finale of 'Wild Thing'. By the time he walked off the stage he was a star in America too.
This post presents this epic performance in full and in sequence, and includes "Killing Floor", "The Wind Cries Mary" (very rarely heard live), "Can You See Me" (ditto) and "Rock Me Baby", along with the more familiar "Hey Joe", "Purple Haze" and "Foxy Lady". But the track which makes the collection a must is the unique interpretation of Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone", which Hendrix handles with supreme panache, interspersing the tumbling poetry of the lyric with little guitar flourishes of unearthly grace. [review by David Sinclair, The Essential Guide to Rock on CD, Greenwich Editions, 1995. p160-161]
Sunday, June 18,1967
Just after the end of the Six Day War, right before the historic Johnson-Kosygin Summit. Too bad old LBJ had to prepare to meet the Russians in New Jersey — he would have enjoyed Monterey. But he didn't make it, and that was Lyndon's loss. Jimi, Mitch, Noel and around 49,997 others were at the Pop Festival, the first of its eclectic kind. Jimi was rushing, a little anxious. no big story about, we couldn't make it here, so we go over to England, and America doesn't like us, because, you know, our feet's too big, and we go! fat mattresses, and we wear golden underwear, it ain't no scene. Hie that, brother. It's so groovy to come back here and really get a chance to really play." Clearly the man planned to kick ass. The Chinese had dropped their first H-Bomb the day before — but Jimi's set was the bigger blast, shattering love beads and granny glasses, blowing shredded flower petals back to the Haight. The first American performance of the Jimi Hendrix Experience was a major step in the evolution of the ear.
[by Paul Diamond]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from both CD (Hendrix) and Vinyl (Otis Redding). I have chosen to include Jimi's full set, as every track was a master piece in my opinion.
Otis sang more than the five tracks included here, but finding decent recordings of his full set has eluded me, and so I have gone with the official recordings found on the B-Side of the vinyl release, which by the way, is in absolute 'mint' condition.
For the purists, I'm also including a Vinyl rip of the original Side 1 which features Hendrix.
These performances have been quoted as being the highlight performances for both of these artists and it is with great pride that I can provide them here for your pleasure. Enjoy.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
01 - Killing Floor (Jimi Hendrix)
02 - Foxey Lady (Jimi Hendrix)
03 - Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan)
04 - Rock Me, Baby (B. B. King-Joe Josea)
05 - Hey Joe (Joe South)
06 - Can You See Me (Jimi Hendrix)
07 - The Wind Cries Mary (Jimi Hendrix)
08 - Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)
09 - Wild Thing (J.Taylor)
10 - Shake (Sam Cooke)
11 - Respect (Otis Redding)
12 - I've Been Loving You Too Long (Otis Redding-Jerry Butler)
13 - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Mick Jagger-Keith Richard)
14 - Try a Little Tenderness (Harry Woods-Jimmy Campbell-Reg Connelly)
Monterey International Pop Festival FLACS Link (395Mb)
Monterey International Pop Festival MP3 Link (165Mb)
Monterey Side 1 Hendrix Vinyl Rip FLACs Link (134Mb)