June 17, 2017

50 years ago today: It was Day 2 of the Monterey Pop Festival.

The performers on the second day were: Canned Heat, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Country Joe and the Fish, Al Kooper, The Butterfield Blues Band, The Electric Flag, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Steve Miller Band, Moby Grape, Hugh Masekela, The Byrds, Laura Nyro, Jefferson Airplane, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, The Mar-Keys, Otis Redding.

If I had to pick my favorites at the time from that group, it would probably be the same I'd still pick today: The Byrds, Laura Nyro, and Jefferson Airplane. But I think the best remembered set of the day was Otis Redding. You can watch the whole 19 minutes here:

Otis Redding - Live at Monterey Pop Festival... by cosmo2161

"This performance is noteworthy for many reasons but two in particular":
It was unusual to see Redding backed by the band that he used (and every other Stax artist) in the studio. Booker T & the MG’s were the house band for Stax Records and as such did not get much time outside the studio. The European tour changed that. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it demonstrated how Redding had effectively adapted his performing style while in Europe. He worked on getting the audience to respond without the tease that would be present with a black audience. This is most easily demonstrated by his call-and-response of the cry “Shake!” out to the audience demanding they return the holler. He knew from the get-go that he had them....
ADDED: I went back into the archive to check whether the "Otis Redding" tag was on all the old posts that mentioned Redding and to find the old post that showed the memorial to Redding overlooking Lake Monona where Otis Redding died in a plane crash 6 months after the performance at Monterey. I couldn't find the picture of the memorial, but I did find this strange old post (from March 2007):
"It is [blank] that makes us human."

I just ran across an old page in a notebook with that heading. This scribbling is at least a few years old but not more than 10 years old. It is followed by 16 words, candidates for filling in the blank, written with some unknown level of seriousness. Here are my 16 words in the order I wrote them:
  1. shame
  2. remembering
  3. planning
  4. dread
  5. joking
  6. writing
  7. politics
  8. fashion
  9. arrogance
  10. history
  11. theory
  12. inhumanity
  13. timekeeping
  14. culture
  15. believing
  16. originality
Critique these items or the inquiry itself. Or just add to the list. Or make a record album, with those 16 song titles. And give me credit. And half your royalties.

IN THE COMMENTS: Bill responds to my request for a 16-cut album by finding an Otis Redding recording for each item:
1. shame (I'm Sick Y'all)
2. remembering (Champagne and Wine)
3. planning (New Year's Resolution)
4. dread (Don't Leave Me This Way)
5. joking (Happy Song)
6. writing (I Love You More Than Words Can Say)
7. politics (Change Is Gonna Come)
8. fashion (Satisfaction--Otis pronounces it 'satisfashion;' so really it's about his inability to buy nice clothes)
9. arrogance (Tramp)
10. history (You Don't Miss Your water)
11. theory (Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song))
12. inhumanity (Cigarettes and Coffee)
13. timekeeping (I've Got Dreams To Remember)
14. culture (Respect)
15. believing (Look At The Girl)
16. originality (Love Man)
So here's the new game: Pick some artist you like and come up with 16 appropriate cuts.
The "new game" was played by several commenters, using the artista Morrissey, The Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Frank Sinatra, Prince, and X.


madAsHell said...

AllenS should get a medal. He's been commenting here for at least 10 years. The other names I don't recognize.

khematite said...

The Lake Monona memorial:


exiledonmainstreet said...

Goodness, I had completely forgotten about Laura Nyro and when you mentioned her, I looked her up and saw that she died of ovarian cancer in 1997.

Fernandinande said...

[blank] = DNA.

320Busdriver said...

"I was pretty sure that I'd seen God onstage"

Bob Weir

Chas Clifton said...

May I step in here as a working academic editor and say, Please don't put a colon between a verb and its object or (in this case) a verb and its subject complement, such as "second day were: Canned Heat,"

The colon comes after the end of a clause, like this hypothetical instance: "Two bands were threatened by rain: Jefferson Airplane and Canned Heat."

Thanks, and I will step back into the ranks of lurkers now.

Jack Wayne said...

I'd pick Quicksilver. In their early days they were very good. I was fortunate enough to see all these bands at one point or another.

Ann Althouse said...

@Chas Clifton

Thanks for the advice. I think that is a good rule. I would have argued that you use a colon to introduce a list, but I like the way you put it better than what I had.

I originally had the bands in a vertical list after the colon (but it took up too much room and I compressed it). I often use a colon to introduce whatever I've got in a block-and-indent paragraph.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Not to question God's musical talent, but on neither R-E-S-P-E-C-T nor Satisfaction did he even attempt faithfulness to the lyrics, or was there something I didn't hear? Obviously his focus was on soul and leaving every bit of himself on the stage rather than virtuosity.

Dan C said...

Wasn't that Tommy Smothers introducing Otis? Wow, what a flashback.

St. George said...

I wonder what the coolest festival was in 1917. I wonder if people took a couple blew off a few days from work and did drugs they bought from strangers and painted their faces and slept outside. I wonder if the musicians set fire to their instruments and smashed them on stage. I wonder.

D said...

30 years ago, in 87, when it was 20 years, i was in high school and a gang of us went to the fancy theatre downtown and watched the film on the festival. To be clear: we were not a gang of nostalgists aching for some Boomer summer loving groovin - music tastes were fairly far ranging. I think 2 girls were big Otis fans & the rest of us were sure what the hell. Hot summer nights and all that.

After the show, we all broke up into 4s for coffee or whatnot, as per usual randomness. The night worked for me! Thank you Otis!

James said...

I like a lot of the 60's music (there was a lot of crap too). But when I walk through a grocery store and hear a cover of a cover of a song, I know it's old, old, old.

James said...

Bonus points for whoever comes up with the connection between The Byrds and Al Kooper.

Loved Laura Nyro. Joss Stone is the closest thing to her today.

Ambrose said...

I re listened to my Monterey CD. What strikes me is the diversity - true diversity, not what passes for it today.. Lou Rawls, Hendrix, Mamas and Papas and The Who - to name a few , all sharing the stage. I do not think that would happen today.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...

The Beach Boys should have been there, but the Army was trying to round up one, and the Asylum was trying to round-up Brian with a net.

Jon Ericson said...

18th comment.

Mike Sylwester said...

In my blog about the movie "Dirty Dancing", I have published an article about Otis Redding's song "Love Man".


Sarah Rolph said...

My favorite moment from the film Monterey Pop is the look on Mama Cass's face when she first hears Janis Joplin. Pure joy.

Mrs. Bear said...

Please, James, I'm dying to know - what is the connection between Al Kooper and The Byrds?