Monterey Pop Festival 50th Anniversary for San Francisco Chronicle – by Nic Coury

Nic Coury

 

Nic Coury is a photojournalist based in Monterey, Calif. He has had work published in Sports Illustrated, Cycle World and Bicycling magazines, and has shot commercial jobs for Specialized Bicycles, Ferrari and Bugatti. He also covers crime for a local newspaper. In his free time, he drinks too many espressos and wins mustache competitions.

Rachel Sammet of Monterey blows bubbles during the performance of The Head and The Heart.

Rachel Sammet of Monterey blows bubbles during the performance of The Head and The Heart.

I definitely wasn’t at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, but I was there 50 years later to document the reminder of what a historic event Monterey Pop was and what it brought for music, festivals and culture for Hendrix, Janis and more.

I spent the weekend in my hometown and the town I currently live in shooting the 50th anniversary, It was a relaxing weekend and a nice mix of younger folks and older music fans—some of who had been to the original festival—to see original acts like Eric Burdon of The Animals, Phil Lesh of The Grateful Dead and Booker T. My folks even got tickets one afternoon.

Many groups paid tribute to the original music, like Nicki Bluhm’s rendition of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and The Head and The Heart doing “California Dreamin’” with a guest appearance from Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas fame.

There was talk and jokes all weekend about who would burn a guitar like Hendrix did, but no one would actually gone through with the act, though Father John Misty told the crowd he “was ready.”

Nicki Bluhm screams while performing with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the 2017 Monterey International Pop Festival Celebrates 50 Years.

Nicki Bluhm screams while performing with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the 2017 Monterey International Pop Festival Celebrates 50 Years.

Charles Bradley pretends to smash his microphone while performing with The Extraordinares.

Charles Bradley pretends to smash his microphone while performing with The Extraordinares.

Jackie Greene performs at the 2017 Monterey International Pop Festival Celebrates 50 Years.

Jackie Greene performs at the 2017 Monterey International Pop Festival Celebrates 50 Years.

Cindy Thomas of San Jose, Calif., left, and Patti Black of Mendocino, Calif. laugh as they watch The Head and The Heart.

Cindy Thomas of San Jose, Calif., left, and Patti Black of Mendocino, Calif. laugh as they watch The Head and The Heart.

Cisco Adler performs with Jamtown. Adler is the son of Lou Adler, who was the co-producer of the original Monterey International Pop Festival.

Cisco Adler performs with Jamtown. Adler is the son of Lou Adler, who was the co-producer of the original Monterey International Pop Festival.

Phil Lesh performs at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Lesh played with The Grateful Dead at the original festival.

Phil Lesh performs at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Lesh played with The Grateful Dead at the original festival.

Two friends enjoy Phil Lesh performing at the Monterey International Pop Festival.

Two friends enjoy Phil Lesh performing at the Monterey International Pop Festival.

Gary Clark Jr. performs at the Monterey International Pop Festival.

Gary Clark Jr. performs at the Monterey International Pop Festival.

Jack Johnson performs at the Monterey International Pop Festival.

Jack Johnson performs at the s\uonterey International Pop Festival.

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