On a beautiful June weekend in 1967 at the height of the so-called "summer of love," the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward - capturing a decade's spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey would launch the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few among a wildly diverse cast including Simon and Garfunkel, The Mamas and the Papas, The Who, The Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic verite style, D.A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing those moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend destroying his guitar; Jimi Hendrix burning his. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive document of The Monterey International Pop Festival ever produced, featuring all three films of the festival - "Monterey Pop" (1967, 80min.), "Jimi Plays Monterey" (1986, 50min.) and "Shake! Otis At Monterey" (1987, 18min.) - along with nearly every complete performance filmed by Pennebaker and his crew, the "Outtakes" (1997, 120min.). Stills from Monterey Pop Festival (Click for larger image)
A special message from Lou Adler, an original promoter/producer for the Monterey International Pop Festival
: It was the first major Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival. No prerequisite…no precedents. We had no idea what to expect. The question of would people come was answered by mid-week prior to the start of the festival. They came and kept on coming. A major surprise was the extent of mainstream media coverage. When John Phillips and I arrived at the fairgrounds on the morning of the first day there were camera crews, photographers and journalists from all over the world. Add to that the advent of FM radio; and the following year Rolling Stone Magazine…Rock ‘n’ Roll was here to stay. Monterey gave birth to the first rock charity Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation, which continues to fund worthwhile causes in the names of the artists who appeared at Monterey. Precedents and prerequisites would be set for future concerts and festivals, including the overall treatment of the artist…Derek Taylor’s handling of the press…Chip Monks’ sound and lights…Pennebaker’s groundbreaking movie “Monterey Pop. The true legacy of The Monterey International Pop Festival is not the crowd size…not the weather…not a violent incident…it is the music. The groundbreaking artists who were introduced (Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Who) and the “rock royalty” (Simon & Garfunkel, Otis Redding and The Mamas & The Papas) that performed there continue to be revered and continue to impact to this day the music and musicians who came after it happened in Monterey on June 16, 17, and 18, 1967.