Hi, everyone. On this day in 1967, the three-day Monterey Pop Festival kicked off in that county’s fairgrounds. One of the short pieces in It Happened in Memphis and Other Stories, “Down on the Corner of Love,” has a crucial scene that takes place there. Here is a snippet, along with a bonus track of Janis Joplin doing “Ball and Chain” at the event. Enjoy!
I had never seen so many beautiful people in one place. The Monterey Fair Grounds was full of young people, dressed in colorful clothes, sharing food, drink and yes, if one were so inclined, drugs … all waiting to hear the music over the next few days. I was glad that we had Jo’s VW bus to sleep in; others were sleeping on the ground. I was never a good camper, even as a kid, so having shelter and actual mattresses would make a huge difference.
The weather was beautiful; just a little cool when the sun went down. We were comfortable with our shawls and wraps.
And the music! There were groups I knew, like the Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin’s band, from home. But there were people from all over on that stage: The Who, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix. They were all mind-blowing.
After the show on the first day, Jo and I went back to the camper and slept. The next morning, we were ready for more.
I danced and danced, with anyone and everyone around me. I flirted, I laughed … I don’t think I’d ever had a better time than I did that day. Joe MacDonald even came over and danced with me, and told me he thought I looked very pretty in my embroidered blouse and painted jeans.