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The Summer of Love Began Fifty Years Ago Today

Updated on June 16, 2017

There’s a whole generation ..

With a new explanation ..

Fifty (50) Years-Ago-TODAY (16 June 1967): The three day Monterey Pop Festival in California began.

FUN FACT: John Phillips, of The Mamas and The Papas wrote, “San Francisco, (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)” to promote the festival, which later became a hit for Scott McKenzie.

FUNNER FACT: The Rolling Stones did NOT play, but Brian Jones appeared on stage to introduce Jimi Hendrix.

FUN FACT YOU DIDN’T KNOW: The Beach Boys were originally supposed to be the headliners, but Carl was dealing with the fallout of refusing to be drafted (and Brian was in no shape to perform).

FUN FACT YOU MAY HEAVE HEARD THAT ACTUALLY TURNS OUT TO BE TRUE: The Beatles were recruited to replace The Beach Boys, but they felt that their music had become too experimental to perform live so — and this is true — Paul McCartney suggested to the organizers that they book Jimi Hendrix instead … and nobody in California had ever seen anything like Jimi before …

Also: Donovan was invited, but couldn't get a visa; Dylan was invited, but was recovering from a motorcycle accident; and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were invited, but Zappa declined, citing the poor quality of the San Fransisco-based bands, at the time ...

Who knew?

The festival became the template for the great rock festivals that followed … like, … you know …

But did you know?

All the proceeds went to charity when all the artists agreed to perform for free.

The festival saw the first major US appearances by The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

Also on the bill: The Byrds, Grateful Dead, Otis Redding, Simon & Garfunkel, The Steve Miller Band, Canned Heat, The Mamas And The Papas, Jefferson Airplane, Buffalo Springfield and The Electric Flag.

The Festival both reflected, propagated, and defined the developing counter-culture of the 1960s and made California one of the most important centers of the new movement for young people.


The capacity at the venue at the Monterey County Fairgrounds was set for 7,000 people, but most estimates have the attendance somewhere between 25,00 and 90,000.

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