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Remarks:

I love the words to this song.

Lyrics:

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skys from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heros for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

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Remarks:

I am not quite sure what this song is about, with pimps swinging axes and the lighting of soul flames, but it still sounds good all these years later. It sounded much better back in ancient times, like in the 1980s, when I listened to it on my sister’s record player: you turn over the record and this was the first song on side two of “The Wild, the Innocent and the East Street Shuffle” (1973). After saying “Puerto Rican Jane” a million times (well, twice) and then some good electric guitar playing it all dies away and all that is left is just the piano, playing almost one note at a time. And then right after – right after – that very last note on the piano it bursts into “Rosalita”. It is like Christmas or sex: the anticipation is half the joy.

Lyrics:

Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night
With bruised arms and broken rhythm in a beat-up old Buick
But dressed just like dynamite
He tried sellin’ his heart to the hard girls over on Easy Street
But they sighed “Johnny it falls apart so easy and you know hearts these days are cheap”
And the pimps swung their axes and said “Johnny you’re a cheater.”
Well the pimps swung their axes and said “Johnny you’re a liar”
And from out of the shadows came a young girl’s voice said: “Johnny don’t cry”
Puerto Rican Jane, oh won’t you tell me what’s your name.
I want to drive you down to the other side of town where paradise ain’t so crowded, there’ll be action goin’ down on Shanty Lane tonight
All them golden-heeled fairies in a real bitch fight
Pull .38s and kiss the girls good night

Oh good night, it’s alright Jane
Now let them black boys in to light the soul flame
We may find it out on the street tonight baby
Or we may walk until the daylight maybe

Well like a cool Romeo he made his moves, oh she looked so fine
Like a late Juliet she knew he’d never be true but then she really didn’t mind
Upstairs a band was playin’, the singer was singin’ something about goin’ home
She whispered, “Spanish Johnny, you can leave me tonight but just don’t leave me alone”

And Johnny cried “Puerto Rican Jane, word is down the cops have found the vein”
Oh them barefoot boys they left their homes for the woods
Them little barefoot street boys they say homes ain’t no good
They left the corners, threw away all their switchblade knives and kissed each other good-bye

Johnny was sittin’ on the fire escape watchin’ the kids playin’ down the street
He called down “Hey little heroes, summer’s long but I guess it ain’t very sweet around here anymore”
Janey sleeps in sheets damp with sweat, Johnny sits up alone and watches her dream on, dream on
And the sister prays for lost souls, then breaks down in the chapel after everyone’s gone

Jane moves over to share her pillow but opens her eyes to see Johnny up and putting his clothes on
She says “Those romantic young boys
All they ever want to do is fight”
Those romantic young boys
They’re callin’ through the window
“Hey Spanish Johnny, you want to make a little easy money tonight?”
And Johnny whispered:

Good night, it’s all tight Jane
I’ll meet you tomorrow night on Lover’s Lane
We may find it out on the street tonight baby
Or we may walk until the daylight maybe

Oh, good night, it’s all right Jane
I’m gonna meet you tomorrow night on Lover’s Lane
Oh, we may find it out on the street tonight baby
Or we may walk until the daylight maybe

Good night, it’s all right Jane
I’ll meet you tomorrow night on Lover’s Lane
Now we may find it out on the, on the street tonight baby
Or we may have to walk until the morning light maybe

See also:

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Forty years ago this weekend, at the height of the Vietnam War, guitar great Jimi Hendrix played the national anthem at a concert in upstate New York. He appeared Monday morning at the very end of the three-day concert when many of the 400,000 concert-goers had already left. Hendrix came on after Sha Na Na. Hendrix had made his name in America two years before at the Monterey Pop Festival. In another year and a month Hendrix would be dead. He was a shooting star across our sky.

Here is Hendrix performing “Red House” at the same concert. His E string breaks during the song but he carries on and does the rest of the song without it. “Because he is that awesome,” as my son puts it.

On YouTube you can see all 16 songs he performed (about 60 minutes).

See also:

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Woodstock

woodstock

The Woodstock Music & Arts Fair (August 15th to 18th 1969) is one of the most famous music festivals of all time. It has become one of the images people have of America in the 1960s. About 400,000 came to Max Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York for “three days of peace and music”.  They heard Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone, The Grateful Dead, Joan Baez, The Who and many others. The first day was largely folk music, the second two rock music, but much bluesier stuff than you hear now.

People see it as the height of the 1960s counterculture, but most who came were hardly hippies.

It became the third largest city in New York state – a city of children, Edwin Newman called it. Everywhere there was drugs, mud and great music. Some were naked,  some had sex in public. Some had tents, some slept under the stars – or in the heavy rains that came the first night. Pneumonia became a fear. Two were born there and two died (of heroin and a tractor backing over a sleeper). It was amazingly peaceful, laid back, live and let live. Peace, man.

The Who did not get on stage until five in the morning on Sunday – they wanted a certified cheque first. But once paid they delivered. They did all of “Tommy”, their new album. Right after the song “Pinball Wizard” Abbie Hoffman came on stage and took the microphone and said, “I think this is a pile of shit, while John Sinclair rots in prison!” Pete Townshend yelled at him, “FUCK OFF my fucking stage!” and hit him on the head with his guitar. Hoffman left.

After The Who played the sun came up and Grace Slick sang “White Rabbit”.

Jimi Hendrix closed out the show. He got on stage at nine Monday morning right after Sha Na Na (whose music was dated even then). Many had already left. Hendrix played for an hour doing 16 songs, among them his unforgettable “Star-Spangled Banner”. Then it was over.

A year later both Joplin and Hendrix would be dead.

The line-up:

  • Friday August 15th 1969
    • Richie Havens
    • Sweetwater
    • Bert Sommer
    • Tim Hardin
    • Ravi Shankar
    • Melanie
    • Arlo Guthrie
    • Joan Baez
  • Saturday August 16th 1969
    • Quill
    • Country Joe McDonald
    • John Sebastian
    • Keef Hartley
    • Santana
    • Incredible String Band
    • Canned Heat
    • Grateful Dead
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival
    • Janis Joplin
    • Sly and The Family Stone
    • The Who
  • Sunday August 17th 1969
    • Jefferson Airplane
    • Joe Cocker
    • Country Joe & The Fish
    • Leslie West/Mountain
    • Ten Years After
    • The Band
    • Johnny Winter
    • Blood Sweat And Tears
    • Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
  • Monday August 18th 1969
    • Paul Butterfield Blues Band
    • Sha Na Na
    • Jimi Hendrix

Who did not come:

  • Bob Dylan: his son was sick
  • Joni Mitchell: wanted to be on “The Dick Cavett Show” instead
  • The Doors: Jim Morrison does not do outdoor concerts
  • The Moody Blues; could make more money in Paris
  • The Byrds: did not think Woodstock would be anything great
  • Led Zeppelin: would not get top billing

See also:

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Remarks:

Santigold, known as Santogold till a jeweller of that name made her change it, used to write and produce for Res. I assumed she was British till I looked her up in the Wikipedia. “L.E.S.” is short for Lower East Side, a part of Manhattan. She wrote this song soon after arriving in New York.

The music video starts out well with the two girls in black berets and big sunglasses and Santigold’s deadpan delivery, sitting on a black horse, but the part where she is walking down the street is shockingly bad with its cheap effects.

Lyrics:

What I’m searching for
to tell it straight, I’m trying to build a wall
Walking by myself
down avenues that reek of time to kill
If you see me keep going
be a pass by waver
Build me up, bring me down
just leave me out you name dropper
Stop trying to catch my eye
I see you good you forced faker
Just make it easy
You’re my enemy you fast talker

Chorus:
I can say I hope it will be worth what I give up
If I could stand up mean for the things that I believe

What am I here for
I left my home to disappear is all
I’m here for myself
Not to know you
I don’t need no one else
Fit in so good the hope is that you cannot see me later
You don’t know me
I am an introvert an excavator
I’m duckin’ out for now
a face in dodgy elevators
Creep up and suddenly
I found myself
an innovator

Chorus.

Change, change, change,
I want to get up out of my skin
tell you what
if I can shake it
I’m ‘a make this
something worth dreaming of

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Remarks:

I am not a huge Tracy Chapman fan or anything, but I like this song and “Fast Car”.

Lyrics:

Sorry
Is all that you can’t say
Years gone by and still
Words don’t come easily
Like sorry, like sorry

Forgive me
Is all that you can’t say
Years gone by and still
Words don’t come easily
Like forgive me, forgive me

But you can say baby
Baby can I hold you tonight
Maybe if I told you the right words
At the right time you’d be mine

I love you
Is all that you can’t say
Years gone by and still
Words don’t come easily
Like I love you, I love you

But you can say baby
Baby can I hold you tonight
Maybe if I told you the right words
At the right time you’d be mine

Baby can I hold you tonight
Maybe if I told you the right words
At the right time you’d be mine
You’d be mine
You’d be mine

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Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

Don’t look back into the sun
Now you know that the time has come
And they said it would never come for you oh oh oh oh

Oh my friend you haven’t changed
You’re looking rough and living strange
And I know you got a taste for it too oh oh oh

They’ll never forgive you but they wont let you go, oh no
She’ll never forgive you but she won’t let you go, oh no

Don’t look back into the sun
You’ve cast your pearls but now you’re on the run
And all the lies you said, who did you save?

But when they played that song at the Death Disco
It started fast but it ends so slow
And all the time it just reminded me of you

They’ll never forgive you but they wont let you go (LET ME GO!)
She’ll never forgive you but she wont let you go, oh no.

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Each of these
My three babies
I will carry with me
For myself
I ask no one else will be
Mother to these three
And of course
I’m like a wild horse
But there’s no other way I could be
Water and feed
Are not tools that I need
For the thing that I’ve chosen to be
In my soul
My blood and my bones
I have wrapped your cold bodies around me
The face on you
The smell of you
Will always be with me
Each of these
My three babies
I was not willing to leave
Though I tried
I blasphemed and denied
I know they will be returned to me
Each of these
My babies
Have brought you closer to me
No longer mad like a horse
I’m still wild but not lost
From the thing that I’ve chosen to be
And it’s `cause you’ve thrilled me
Silenced me
Stilled me
Proved things I never believed
The face on you
The smell of you
Will always be with me
Each of these
My three babies
I will carry with me
For myself
I ask no one else will be
Mother to these three

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Another ringer with the slick trigger finger
For Her Majesty
Another one with the golden tongue
Poisoning your fantasy
Another bill from a killer
Turned a thriller to a tragedy

A door left open
A woman walking by
A drop in the water
A look in the eye
A phone on the table
A man on your side
Oh, someone that you think that you can trust
Is just
Another way to die

Another tricky little gun
Giving solace to the one
That will never see the sunshine
Another inch of your life sacrificed for your brother,
In the nick of time
Another dirty money “heaven sent honey”,
Turning on a dime

Well, a door left open
A woman walking by
A drop in the water
A look in the eye
A phone on the table
A man on your side
Someone that you think that you can trust
Is just
Another way to die

(it’s just another)
Hey! Another way to die!
(Another way to die…)
Shoot ‘em, bang bang!
Oh oh oh oh oh oh!
Oh oh oh oh oh oh!
Oh oh oh oh oh oh!
Oh oh oh oh oh oh…

Another girl with her finger
On the world singing to
you what you wanna hear?
Another gun thrown down and surrendered
Took away your fear
Hey!
Another man that stands right behind you
Looking in the mirror

Oh, a door left open
A woman walking by
A drop in the water
A look in the eye
A phone on the table
A man on your side
Someone that you think that you can trust
Is just
Another way to die

It’s another way!
Shoot ’em up, bang bang!
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
(Another way, another way…)
Yeah!
(Another way, another way…)
Bang bang bang bang!

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Ooo oooohhhh
Ooo oooohhhh
Come on and dance, come on and dance
Lets make some romance
You know the night is fallin’
And the musics callin’
And weve got to get down to Swingtown

We’ve been workin’ so hard
We’ve been workin’ so hard
Come on baby
Come on baby lets dance
Come on, come on, come on
Come on, come on, come on
Come on, come on, come on

Ooo oooohhhh
Ooo oooohhhh
Come on and dance, come on and dance
We may not get another chance
You know the night is fallin’
And the music’s callin’
And we’ve got to get down to Swingtown

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I found an old cassette tape of mine. It has songs, in bits and in full, that I recorded from New York radio, probably in July 1986. It is like a time machine!

Because it is an old tape I am afraid it could mess up at any time. So while I can still hear it, I made a list of the songs that are on it. See below. Where I did not know the artist I put “Unknown”. Where I did not know the song title, I put some of the words of the song in italics between ellipses (…). Release dates, when known, are in parentheses.

Some songs have a picture above them. Those are the ones I could find on YouTube. Click on the picture and you can hear it on YouTube (or maybe even on this blog).

Side A:

Thumbnail

Starpoint: Restless (1985)

Thumbnail

Bob Marley: Waiting in Vain (1977)

Prince: ... much too hard to be cool … a hundred miles an hour babe …

video

The Firm: Radioactive (1985)

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Creedence Clearwater Revival: I Heard it Through the Grapevine (1970)

video

Shirley Jones: Do You Get Enough Love?

video

Supremes: Baby Love (1964)

Thumbnail

Patti Labelle & Michael McDonald: On My Own (March 1986)

video

Fat Boys: Sex Machine

video

Little Steven: Forever

Thumbnail

The Doors: Don’t You Love Her Madly? (1971)

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Peter Gabriel: Sledgehammer (April 1986)

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Five Star: Can’t Wait Another Minute (April 1986)

Sister Carol: .. galaxy … earth rotate around me …

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Irene Cara: Flashdance … What a Feeling (1983)

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Janet Jackson: What Have You Done For Me Lately? (January 1986)

Grandmaster Flash: … raggety worms out your big mouth … ’cause we got style … we’re giving you a blast of class …

Unknown: … dress to impress ’cause I got it like that … rock the mic …

Unknown: … I’m Shante .. I get a glimpse of that face, turn around she’s gone … I would swim the deepest ocean so she could be mine …

Side B:

Thumbnail

Whitney Houston & Jermaine Jackson: If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful (1986)

Thumbnail

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes: The Love I Lost (1973)

video

The Pretenders: Kid (1979)

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Vikki Love with Nuance: Sing Dance Rap Romance (1985)

SCHOOLY D PSK 1985

Schooly D: PSK (1985)

Unknown: … how one home boy became a man …

Unknown: ... yes yes he is rockin’ it … crossfader …

Unknown: … take me in your arms … I love the way that she talks, it goes so good with the way that she walks … she is so pleasingly fine … caught up in the wonder of her love …

Unknown: … dancin’, if you want to feel good … keep your body shakin’ …

Sister Carol: … pure laughter … entertainer …

video

The Real Roxanne: Bang Zoom (1986)

Thumbnail

Bruce Springsteen: Born in the USA (1984)

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Fresh Gordon: Gordy’s Groove (1985)

video

Boogie Boys: A Fly Girl (1985)

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The Cure: In Between Days (1985)

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Angela Bofill: People Make the World Go Round (1979)

video

Joan Jett: Bad Reputation (1981)

Three of these songs reached their height in July 1986: “Sledgehammer”, “Bang Zoom” and “On My Own”. So I think that is when I recorded the tape. So far as I know none of the songs are newer than that.

Before I knew it was Angela Bofill singing “People Make the World Go Round”, she sounded to me like some female singer from New York – which she is!

See also:

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“I Can’t Quit You Baby” is a song done by the British rock band Led Zeppelin in 1969. It appeared on their first album.

When I first heard the song I could tell Led Zeppelin did not write it, that it came from somewhere else. Led Zeppelin was white but the words to the song sounded like a black man in love with a black woman.

As far as I knew, white men did not talk about the women they love this way:

I-hi, I can’t quit you, babe
So I’m gonna put you down for a while
I said, I can’t quit you babe
I guess I got to put you down for a while
Said you messed-up my happy home
Made me mistreat my only child
Yes, you did, babe, oh

Said, you know I love you, baby
My love for you I could never hide
Oh, you know I love you, babe
My love for you I could never hide
A-when I feel you near me, little girl
I know you are my one desire,

whoa-oh, oh-oh, yeah
Oh, that’s wonderful, whoa
Whoa
Alright, oh, now, that’s wonderful

When ya hear me moanin’ and groanin’, baby
You know it hurts me deep down inside
Oh, when ya hear me moanin’ and groanin’, babe
Y-you know it hurts me deep down inside
Oh, a-when you hear me holler, baby
You know you’re my one desire, yes, you are, alright

In their songs, white American men rarely get so twisted apart by their love and desire for a woman. Certainly not to the point where they mistreat their only child. They do not let a woman have that much power over them, to become that dangerous to their self-interest.

But that does not seem true to life. After all, how many marriages of white men have been broken up by women they just can’t quit, ones who mess up their happy homes?

Love makes no sense. It brings joy and pain, beauty and destruction. Just like in this song. But you rarely hear about that in white songs. White American art tends to see the world with rose-coloured glasses, at least more so than Black American art. It is more like that world where Hallmark cards come from, wherever that is. Certainly not the same place this song came from, not from any place I ever knew.

Maybe all this is just stereotype on my part, but in this case I turned out to be right: the song was in fact written by a black man, Willie Dixon. He wrote another song that appears on the same Led Zeppelin album: “You Shook Me”. Many of his blues songs were covered by rock bands in the 1960s.

In 1956 “I Can’t Quit You Baby”  was sung by Otis Rush and became a top ten hit on the Black American charts.

In the 1960s it was covered by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, to which Eric Clapton belonged.


See also:

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“Bittersweet Symphony” by the British rock band The Verve came out in 1997. You cannot dance to it like the Macarena, but it is easily one of the best songs of the 1990s. Even ten years later it still sounds wonderful.

The video is also a masterpiece: Richard Ashcroft, the lead singer, is waiting at an ordinary street corner in North London (Hoxton and Falkirk). He is dressed in black, so we are expecting to hear a rock song: drums to set the beat and then electric guitars. But we do not. Instead we hear violins. They sound like they are far away, like maybe from heaven.

Then the drums start and Ashcroft begins to walk. The drums play a slow, heavy beat. After Ashcroft crosses the street and heads up the block, he begins to sing. His singing matches the drums: slow, flat, low.

The colour of the video matches the mood: blacks, blues and greys.

So do the words: Ashcroft says this life is a bittersweet symphony, you are a slave to money and then you die. He is here in his mould, he cannot change, no, no, no, no, no. The only road he has ever been down is the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet. Who knows his pain?

As he walks north on Hoxton Street he does not change his course to avoid knocking into people, even old ladies. He knocks over one woman and does not even seem to notice. When he crosses one street he jumps onto the car and walks on it instead of going round. The driver gets out and gets into his face, calling him names, pushing him. He takes no notice of her either but keeps on walking, his eyes always looking into the distance, looking for something.

A woman in a blue sweater walks down the street towards him, but she is there and then she is gone.

The song seems like it is about heroin: “the places where all the veins meet” and so on.

Maybe so. But the way I took it, and the reason I like it, apart from just being a plain good song, is the way it is a song of both despair and hope. It sounds like a sad song yet somehow it leaves you filled with hope.

Despite the drums, despite the dark colours, despite the pain and despair of his words, he keeps looking in the distance for something. He tells us he has never prayed before but tonight he is down on his knees. The music sets him free, it cleans him. And up above him, above the streets of London, the violins are playing from heaven.

Those violins, by the way, come from an old Rolling Stones song. But that is another (very sad) story – about a rich man and a shoemaker.

See also:

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Amy Macdonald

Amy Macdonald (1987- ) is a singer and songwriter from Glasgow, Scotland. As I write this in August 2007 her song “Mr Rock ‘n’ Roll” is number 25 in Britain. It is from her first record, “This is the Life”, which came out in Britain at the end of July.

I heard her for the first time on Monday (August 20th) when I heard “Mr Rock ‘n’ Roll” on Virgin Radio from London (over the Internet). I found the song on YouTube and played it over and over again. I could not get enough of it.

It was like the first time I heard Alicia Keys or Norah Jones: a young, beautiful woman with an old soul singing a song that was new and yet sounded timeless.

The three songs of hers I like best so far:

  • Mr Rock n Roll
  • Run
  • Footballer’s Wife

Because she is from Scotland most people will compare her to KT Tunstall. I do not: I hate Tunstall but love Macdonald. Macdonald is darker than Tunstall, not that that would take much.

She most reminds me of U2: in love with the world like the young yet knowing it has a dark side like the old.

She sees herself as continuing the music of the once and wonderful Libertines (check out their “Don’t Look Back at the Sun”). She gets her ideas about music from their lead man Pete Doherty and from Travis. She also has a bit of Johnny Cash, Jack White and Razorlight in her. She grew up on Oasis, The Verve and others.

The Guardian thinks she has no substance, the BBC thinks she has promise while Channel 4 and Radio 2 seem to love her.

She loved Jake Gyllenhaal in the film “Donnie Darko”. Her song “LA” is about him.

When Macdonald was 12 – which was just seven years ago – her grandmother gave her ten pounds (three crowns) to spend on holiday. She bought “The Man Who” by Travis. It changed her life. It gave her a burning desire to write and play songs like them.

So she took her father’s old guitar and taught herself how to play from the Internet. First she played songs she heard on the radio. Later she began to write and play her own songs.

She started singing at Starbucks, her own songs and others’. People liked her so she made home recordings of her songs and sent copies to anyone who might help her get a record deal. In time she landed one with Vertigo, the part of Mercury Records that has also signed up The Killers and Razorlight, two bands she likes.

She has a thick Scottish accent: it is hard for me to understand her when she talks, but not when she sings. She sings live with a Scottish accent, but not on her record.

She wrote songs to be sung to an acoustic guitar – that is how they got their start. But these days she has a band.

“Poison Prince”, about Pete Doherty, was her first song to be played on the radio. It did not do well. “Mr Rock ‘n’ Roll” has done much better.

See also:

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The Monterey International Pop Festival (June 16th to 18th 1967) took place one weekend in June 1967 in a town in California halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Three days of music, LSD and marijuana. It changed the face of rock music. So much so that it was the beginning of rock music as most Americans now understand it. It is why Elvis and the early Beatles now seem dated.

This was where Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Ravi Shankar, Otis Redding and The Who all made a name for themselves among white Americans. It kicked off the Summer of Love: hippies and flower children. Make love not war. Groovy, man. All that.

Over 200,000 came. It was not as big or famous as Woodstock two years later, but its effect on rock music ran much deeper. Woodstock merely confirmed the changes that Monterey had started.

The band the Mamas & the Papas and their producer Lou Adler put the festival together. They were able to persuade the top bands in San Francisco and others to play for free. Only Shankar played for money. And they were able to persuade Monterey that their town would be left standing after it was all over.

The money the festival made was to go to help the poor in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but in fact the bookkeeper disappeared with it!

Who played:

Friday Evening, June 16

  • The Association
  • The Paupers
  • Lou Rawls
  • Beverly
  • Johnny Rivers
  • Eric Burdon & The Animals
  • Simon & Garfunkel

Saturday Afternoon, June 17

  • Canned Heat
  • Big Brother & The Holding Company (Janis Joplin)
  • Country Joe & The Fish
  • Al Kooper
  • The Butterfield Blues Band
  • Quicksilver Messenger Service
  • The Steve Miller Band
  • The Electric Flag

Saturday Night, June 17

  • Moby Grape
  • Hugh Masekela
  • The Byrds
  • The Butterfield Blues Band
  • Laura Nyro
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Booker T. & The M.G.’s with The Mar-Keys
  • Otis Redding

Sunday Afternoon, June 18

  • Ravi Shankar

Sunday Evening, June 18

  • The Blues Project
  • Big Brother & The Holding Company (Janis Joplin)
  • The Group With No Name
  • Buffalo Springfield
  • The Who
  • The Grateful Dead
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • Scott McKenzie
  • The Mamas & The Papas

The three most striking acts:

  • Janis Joplin, a white girl from Texas who sang the blues. The music possessed her, as if she had become the music.
  • The Who sang “My Generation”, a song written about the London they knew, but somehow it worked. But then people were shocked when they saw Peter Townshend smash his guitar to bits.
  • Jimi Hendrix played guitar better than anyone imagined possible. And he could play it with his teeth, behind his back – any way he felt like, it seemed. He made love to his guitar and then set it on fire!

You would not know it now, but at the time the Mamas & The Papas were the star act. They even wrote a song for it: “San Francisco (Put Flowers in Your Hair)”. But by the third day when they sang and closed the festival, they had become has-beens.

See also:

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