The Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967 is usually cited as the first public flowering of the Summer of Love, but musically it was more important for demarcating the studio pop that preceded it from the live rock that would follow. Chart-topping acts like the Byrds, whose set was embarrassing, and the Beach Boys, who copped out at the last minute, were immediately eclipsed by artists who could deliver the goods in concert, fiery vocalists such as Otis Redding and Janis Joplin and powerhouse bands such as the Who and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released two years later, D.A. Pennebaker’s 88-minute sampler from the three-day festival intersperses scenes of the beatific festivalgoers, who now seem as archaic as tintype portraits. With the Jefferson Airplane, the Animals, the Mamas and the Papas, Booker T. and the MG’s, Country Joe & the Fish, Simon & Garfunkel, Canned Heat, and Ravi Shankar.
1 hour 18 min • 1968