Fifty years ago on June 16 was the first day of the Monterey Pop Festival. Having driven the night after high school graduation we checked in to a small Monterey motel and discovered that Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding company were a couple doors away.
Thus was the delirious amalgam that would usher in the seminal Summer of Love — 1967. It was a first of it’s kind event that featured the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Simon and Garfunkel, the Byrds, the Animals, Buffalo Springfield and so many others in kaleidoscopic profusion that seems dizzying even by today’s standards.
That Summer in San Francisco — the evenings fairly crackled with anticipatory splendor. One never knew of the possibilities that existed only that they were within reach of one’s finger tips. The mood was a palpable forward pulse that felt like an unstoppable tide.
On any given night one could see the Lovin’ Spoonful on Broadway then walk two blocks to the City Lights Bookstore where Lawrence Ferlinghetti or Jack Karouac might be holding forth.
Times have surely morphed but, for me, to be in that place at that time, is a magic I’ll always carry with me.
Blain McCulloch South Padre Island