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It's interesting that this is a footnote in music history while Woodstock gets all the press. While Woodstock was the climax for the scene, Monterey propelled Jimi Hendrix and The Who to fame and also gave Ravi Shankar a name in the US, and was the first public performance of Janis Joplin. A historical moment for sure but we always hear about Woodstock which when you think about it was really the beginning of the end.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Woodstock a v-a-s-t-l-y bigger thing in terms of attendance? This says nothing about the importance of the music, I know, but numerical records and "firsts" attract media attention.
There was an OK movie made at Monterey, but I've never come across the accompanying album. Hendrix's (entire?) performace was issued separately, but is there much else by way of musical documentation? Perhaps we ought to give it another listen.
Criterion put out The Complete Monterey Pop DVD (which I watched tonight for the umpteeth time which led me to post this) which is a collection of the original movie made by D.A Pennebaker along with Otis Redding's complete performance and more performances from all the acts on separate DVDs. Yes, Woodstock was bigger but that's because it was in '69 at the height of the movement. Monterey was in '67 as the movement was gaining steam and the icons were making their name. It's really funny to see The Mamas and the Papas as the headliners of the festival and they are just blown away by the field. Cass Elliot is in awe in the crowd as Joplin gives her first public performance. I don't know if Mama Cass had ever seen Janis before, she probably had, but her face said, holy crap this blows us out of the water.
The Complete Monterey Pop DVD is fantastic. The performances of Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding & Janis Joplin blew me away, I haven't seen a live performance since that tops them. I have had to hire the DVD about 4 times, because it is so expensive to buy the set. You have just reminded me that I need to have another search for it.
It's my favorite concert DVD and that's why D.A. Pennebaker is my #1 choice for the backstage wing of the HOA.