1967 rolls along, right in step with 2020…this week, we look at the Bay area and Los Angeles groups preparing for their big “gathering of tribes” in the halfway point of Monterey, California.
Week 23 of music1967.com looks at some of the less-well-known bands – Country Joe and the Fish, Moby Grape – who were to play the festival, as well as some of the established stars, especially The Mamas and Papas, who were instrumental in creating the event.
It’s crazy to be studying and writing about 1967 as protests unfold on the streets of America in 2020, springing from the SAME THING (police violence), and the government responds with fury and phrases taken literally from 1967: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” was born in 1967.
But times have changed so very much. I will write more about this. But on balance, history can be encouraging us here.
One week of music1967.com will appear every week, during the corresponding week of 2020.
Week Two: January 8-14, focuses on London, where Jimi Hendrix’s first single is rising on the charts and England’s big-name guitarists – Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend – are struggling to get a grip on this new force.
Week Five: January 29-February 4 takes us to Los Angeles, where recording artists from The Beach Boys to Frank Zappa to Frank Sinatra (and Antonio Carlos Jobim) take advantage of the heavyweight skills of the world’s best studio musicians, creating a wide variety of amazing music.
Week Eight: February 19-26 finds us in Nashville, as well as “Nashville West,” aka Bakersfield, California. Here a bumper crop of new artists is rising like summer corn: Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette and others join country stalwarts like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.
Or jump to Week 17: April 23-29, which takes us to a place few American music fans were thinking about at the time: Jamaica. Just five years independent, the Caribbean nation was a hotbed of new music, influenced by American soul and influencing British mods – and a struggle for survival.