Archive for the ‘1967’ Category

The 1967 Detroit Riot, also known as the Twelfth Street Riot or the Detroit Rebellion, was the worst American race riot of the 1960s. For five days during the Summer of Love Detroit burned. At the end 43 lay dead. In American history only the 1992 Los Angeles riot and the 1921 Tulsa riot were worse. It came less than a month after the Newark riot, which killed 25.

It took 17,000 armed men to put it down: the governor called in the National Guard and the president called in the army. Tanks rolled through the streets of Detroit.

  • Dates: July 23rd to 28th 1967
  • Deaths: 43 (33 black, 10 white)
  • Injured: 1189
  • Buildings destroyed: over 2,000
  • Property damage: $40 to $80 million (20 to 40 million crowns)

Part of what made the riot so bad was the heavy-handed approach of the Guardsmen. They shot a four-year-old girl dead, for example, when they saw her father’s lit cigarette in a darkened window.

How it started: At 12th and Clairmount on the West Side at three in the morning the police broke into an after-hours bar with a sledgehammer:  they found themselves in the middle of a party for two servicemen coming home from the Vietnam War. Now they had to arrest four times more people than expected.

It took an hour and a half to arrest everyone. In the meantime word spread and 200 onlookers gathered. One of them kept shouting at the police, “Motherfuckers! Leave my people alone!” Then people began to throw bottles and the police tried to get out fast. As the last police car pulled away the riot broke out.


The main things that blacks in Detroit were unhappy about before the riot:

  1. Police brutality: This was the main cause given by the rioters themselves. The police force was nearly all white and nearly half were “extremely anti-Negro”. Because whites wanted the police to be “tough on crime” they refused to set up the civilian review board demanded by blacks. So the police were unaccountable: they beat people to death, shot a woman in the back, thought that ordinary women were prostitutes, called men “boy” and stopped people for no reason, arresting those who could not produce ID.
  2. Housing: The city tore down the heart of black Detroit to make way for Interstate 75 so that people from the suburbs (mainly white and middle-class) could get into the city more easily. It cut black Detroit in two. It not only destroyed businesses but a good share of what limited housing space was open to blacks, thereby worsening living conditions and making more of black Detroit into a slum.
  3. Employment: more than a sixth of black men were out of work – what whites would call hard times. The car makers were moving their plants out of the city and replacing men with machines.

After the riot the president set up the Kerner Commission, which found that America was:

moving toward two separate societies, one Black, one white –
separate and unequal.

It advised the government to pour money into helping blacks get better housing, education and employment opportunities.

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One of those songs I have played to death. Although it is from 1967, I did not get into it till 1997, probably through the U2 version.


Hearts go astray
Leaving hurt when they go
I went away
Just when you needed me so
Filled with regret
I come back begging you
Forgive, forget
Where’s the love we once knew

Open up your eyes
Then you’ll realize
Here I stand with my
Everlasting Love
Need you by my side
Girl to be my bride
You’ll never be denied
Everlasting Love
From the very start
Open up your heart
Be a lasting part of
Everlasting Love

Where life’s really flows
No-one really knows
‘Till someone’s there to
Show the way to
Everlasting Love
Like the sun it shines
Endlessly it shines
You always will be mine
It’s eternal love
Whenever loves are gone
Ours will be strong
We’d have our very own
Everlasting Love

Open up your eyes
Then you’ll realize
Here I stand with my
Everlasting Love
Need you by my side
Girl to be my bride
You’ll never be denied
Everlasting Love

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Sunshine, blue sky, please go away,
My girl has found another, and gone away
With her went my future, my life is filled with gloom,
So day after day, I stay locked up in my room

I know to you it might sound strange,
I wish it would rain (oh how I wish that it would rain)
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah

Cause so badly
I wanna go outside (such a lovely day)
Everyone knows that a man ain’t supposed to cry
But listen, I got to cry, cuz crying, ooooooooh,
Is the pain, oh yeah

Yeah you know people, this hurt I feel inside,
Words, they, could never explain,
I wish it would rain (oh how i wish that it would rain)
Oh let it rain, rain, rain, rain (oh how i wish that it would rain)
Ooooooh baby

Let it rain (rain, rain)
Oh yeah, let it rain

Day in day out, my tear stained face
Pressed against my window pane
I search the skies, well, desperately for rain
Cause rain drops will hide my teardrops and no one will ever know
That I’m crying (crying) crying (crying)
When I go outside

To the world outside my tears I refuse to explain,
I wish it would rain (oh how I wish that it would rain)
Rain, rain, rain (oh how I wish that it would rain)
ooooh baby

Let it rain
I need rain to disguise the tears in my eyes
Yeah, You know I’m a man, I ain’t got no pride,
Til it rains, I’m gonna stay inside,
Let it rain, Let it rain
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…
Oh how I wish that it would rain…

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To you
My heart cries out “Perfidia”
For I find you, the love of my life
In somebody else’s arms

Your eyes are echoing “Perfidia”
Forgetful of the promise of love
You’re sharing another’s charms

With a sad lament my dreams are faded like a broken melody
While the gods of love look down and laugh
At what romantic fools we mortals be

And now
I find my love was not for you
And so I take it back with a sigh
Perfidia’s won

With a sad lament my dreams are faded like a broken melody
While the gods of love look down and laugh
At what romantic fools we mortals be

And now
I find my love was not for you
And so I take it back with a sigh
Perfidia’s won

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No no no
You don’t love me
and I know now

No no no
You don’t love me
as I know now

Coz you left me
And I got no place to go now

No no no
I’d do anything to stay boy

No no no
I’d do anything to stay boy

Coz if you asked me
I’ll get on my knees and pray boy

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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.

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