In June 1967 Monterey, California was the site of the Monterey International Pop Festival, a three-day celebration of music that introduced such iconic music acts as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding to a wider audience. As a 50th anniversary festival is held this week, Anthony Mason talks with one of the original festival's organizers, Lou Adler; Michelle Phillips, of The Mamas and the Papas; and filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, whose landmark documentary "Monterey Pop" vividly captured the music and sights of the "Summer of Love."
With the 50th anniversary of the historic three-day 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival being observed this weekend exactly 50 years later, D.A. Pennebaker, the pioneering cinema verite director of the 1968 Monterey Pop documentary of the festival, will offer fine art printed stills from the film at Morrison Hotel Gallery exhibitions in New York (June 16, at its New York gallery) and Los Angeles (June 20, at the Sunset Marquis Hotel) as well as at the 2017 Monterey Pop Festival, taking place once again at the Monterey County fairgrounds.
The 1967 Monterey Festival was so monumental that Eric Burdon & the Animals memorialized it with their 1968 hit "Monterey." Burdon's latest incarnation of The Animals will perform this weekend, as will Norah Jones, daughter of the late Ravi Shankar, who closed Monterey Pop with his mesmerizing raga.
Pennebaker's Monterey Pop prints have been created in partnership with music/event producer Joseph Baldassare's Arthouse 18 company, Baldassare having previously worked with Pennebaker on a similar exhibition deriving from the director's preceding 1967 documentary Don't Look Back, about Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England—and another landmark rockumentary.
Documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker still gets a laugh from quoting an early review of“Dont Look Back,” his groundbreaking look at Bob Dylan’s 1965 last solo acoustic tour of England.
“We’re not going to hear much about this guy or this film in 50 years,” he recalled during a recent screening in Manhattan to help launch an exhibit of new photographs made directly from the film’s negative.
Arthouse 18 proprietor Joseph Baldassare used a restored 16-millimeter print to create stills capturing iconic moments in the film, such as the opening sequence showing Dylan flipping large cards with the lyrics of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” in an alley behind London’s Savoy Hotel.
D.A. Pennebaker is the grandaddy of the documentary – he didn’t buy his camera, he built it,” explains Joseph Baldassare, curator of a new exhibition about Pennebaker’s film Don’t Look Back. It famously chronicled Bob Dylan’s pivotal 1965 tour of England and his transformation from a polite leading light of the marginal folk scene into an incendiary figure in the cultural mainstream.