Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More On Monterey -- The "Must Have" Documentation of The Monterey International Pop Festival by Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik

Hey, don't take MY word for it ... but clearly, I am not alone ... EVERY review I pick up sings the praises of Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik's new book "A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival".  
Check out some of these recent reviews below.

In a word; stunning! By far the best book ever about the historic Monterey Pop Festival, co-authored by Harvey Kubernik and his brother Kenneth, a more than worthy successor to Harvey's beautiful (and equally wonderful) "Canyon of Dreams." Over 250 pages, the book is filled with hundreds of amazing and never before seen photos of the artists and the three day event itself.  The photos are the icing on the cake; the text, which includes a foreword from Lou Adler and an afterword from Michelle Phillips, features revealing, insightful commentary both contemporary and from 1967, from the artists, the promoters, photographers, journalists, and from attendees. This book is really, really sweet, and is a must-own for anyone remotely interested in the impact of this landmark rock n' roll event. Kudos to the Kuberniks. Nice work gentlemen; I salute you. 
-- Rick Williams

Monterey Herald
Sunday, November 6, 2011
"A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival"   
By MARC CABRERA / Herald Staff Writer 
In the new book "A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of The Monterey International Pop Festival," local legend Mike Marotta and his daughter Judi share space with rock royalty in detailing their behind-the-scenes stories from the legendary 1967 concert.  Getting the locals' perspective along with that of the stars was the aim of authors Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik.
The Kubernik brothers, who were in their teens living in Los Angeles when the concert happened, were so taken with the events that unfolded in June, 1967, that they wanted to document and present every minute detail they could uncover while researching the book. 
"The only thing that I asked for, and everyone supported me, is that it's not 200 pages of Otis (Redding) and Jimi (Hendrix) and Janis (Joplin), and 45 pages on everybody else" said Harvey Kubernik, referring to the three performers who made their mainstream debuts at the concert. 
"Nobody loves Janis, Jimi and Otis as much as me," Harvey later clarified, careful not to lessen the impact their performances had at the festival. "They're the ones who have been the most chronicled, the most acknowledged. It's just so carved in cement and I think that's great." 
The 256-page hardcover picture book is billed as the first official history of the 1967 music festival. The event ushered in the Summer of Love and created the template for the contemporary rock festival.
It comes with the endorsement of the Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation. There's a forward by festival co-founder Lou Adler and hundreds of photos from noted artists Henry Diltz, Elaine Mayes and Nurit Wilde.
There are plenty of iconic images — Hendrix on his knees, lighting his guitar on fire under a flamed red-and-orange glow; Ravi Shankar playing his sitar, eyes closed intensely; Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel captured in black and white shadow, singing melodies with joyful expression.
The Kuberniks weren't content with the pictures of performances. They uncovered images that had never been published, such as Janis Joplin walking her dogs backstage and later sitting in the audience, watching a performance. 
A photo of Hendrix cruising the festival vendors row, clutching two brown paper bags, captures the legendary rock star in a casual moment. 
There is oral history from the musicians and performers who made their mark at the festival — Ravi Shankar, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Bob Weir and filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. 
Their memories are stitched together in a narrative, detailing each day of the festival in separate chapters. It's an almost blow-by-blow account of the entire event. 
"This was not going to be simply another cut-and-paste job where you cull out all the favorite images and quotes from all the usual suspects," said Kenneth Kubernik of the brothers' intent in presenting an oral history. "It was always our primary agenda to ferret out some real texture and some real atmosphere that created the environment." 
That includes the opening chapters that capture the mood of the community.  It details sit-downs between Adler and Monterey Mayor Minnie Coyle, and tensions between bands from the anti-commercial Northern California scene and the poppy, glammed-up Southern California music scene. 
Kenneth Kubernik visited with The Morattas, the popular Peninsula music family who owned the old ABC Music Center in Monterey, in their Monterey home. 
Mike Marotta provided all of the backline equipment, amps, keyboards, drums, for the festival.  Judi Marotta shared the story of finding Joplin's treasured hat after it was lost backstage. It was a"ratty coon skin cap" the singer was grateful to recover. 
A family fire destroyed all of their festival keepsakes, save for an old picture of the Marotta's ABC Music Center store, which is featured in the book. 
"We wanted to give the reader the idea that you're in the moment, here and now," said Kenneth Kubernik. "A real submersion effect." 
It was all shaped by the brother' passion for the festival and their belief that it helped usher in a cultural shift. 
"For the people in Monterey, your territory, your neighborhood really launched something, or fortified it or presented the arena for something that changed the world," said Harvey Kubernik. "Nobody likes to look at Monterey in those big strokes, but I do. The world was never the same after Monterey." 

Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik's lavish new document of the Monterey International Pop Festival, A Perfect Haze, brings to life in word and image the most significant festival in rock 'n' roll history.
Epitomizing the Summer of Love, Monterey brought together Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, The Mamas and the Papas, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, Simon and Garfunkel, The Who, and many many others for three days of musical and cultural magic June 16-18, 1967.

http://www.themortonreport.com/uploads/pics/Jimi Hendrix.jpgThe Kubernik's recreate the setting and the vibe with a thousand telling details and interviews with virtually everyone and their mothers associated with the show (other than the dear departed) including show producers Lou Adler and John Phillips; Michelle Phillips; Pete Townshend; Roger Daltrey; Bob Weir; Ravi Shankar; filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker; Derek Taylor; Andrew Loog Oldham; Steve Cropper; Booker T. Jones; photographers Henry Diltz, Elaine Mayes, and Nurit Wilde; and our very own Al Kooper, who was a stage manager for the event as well as a performer.
The book is stuffed with candid and official photographs of the people, places, posters, telegrams, legal documents, press releases, and performances that further bring the legend alive. Also included is a fascinating run-down and analysis of every act that performed over the three days, including lists of all performing personnel and songs played.

http://www.themortonreport.com/uploads/pics/Harvey kubernik.jpgI discussed Monterey and his wondrous book with Harvey Kubernik via email.

EO: What is the main source of your personal interest in Monterey International Pop Festival?
Harvey Kubernik: In 1967 I heard about the event on the local AM and FM radio stations in Los Angeles. The Monterey festival was 400 miles from Hollywood.  
Elliot Mintz on KPFK-FM was giving reports all the time as well as DJ's on KRLA-AM. Phil Proctor of the Firesign Theater was giving news on the airwaves from the gathering.
I was well underage and my mother said, "When you are age 18 and graduate from high school you can go to any music festival you want." 
I wasn't bummed out, just made me want to see all these acts in 1968 and '69 when they performed in town. The weekend I graduated high school I saw The Jimi Hendrix Experience at a local festival in Devonshire Downs along with Spirit, The Edwin Hawkins Singers, Ike & Tina Turner and Joe Cocker.
I started organically collecting items from Monterey and attended the 1969 movie premiere of Monterey Pop in Beverly Hills at the Fine Arts Theater. I went to multiple screenings around my after-high school day job. My brother Ken, who co-authored the book with me checked out the movie a bunch of times, too. The movie theater was 25 yards up the street from where our father worked on Wilshire Blvd.

http://www.themortonreport.com/uploads/pics/Janis Joplin.jpg
How significant was the move to nonprofit event?
HK: More significant than anyone will ever realize, except for maybe producer Lou Adler. Filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker in the book told me he knew Lou and co-producer John Phillips were hatching an interesting plan when they took the money off the table. As far as the  ramifications of Monterey staged as a non-profit event, all I really have to do is point to the ongoing Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation, a music-themed charity endeavor that is in year 44 of operation, and has helped so many people.
Sometime in the early 1980s when I didn't have health insurance and had a real bad sore throat, I went to The Los Angeles Free Clinic for some antibiotics. I noticed there was a wing of the building that was made possible from support from The Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation. This was never lost on me. That place and the San Francisco Free Clinic in 1967 or early '68, right after the concerts, received some of the first grants from the proceeds.     

Was this the greatest concert ever?
HK: Possibly. Probably. Depends on what the music does to you in a live setting. However, monitor the 32 acts at Monterey over three days that were booked. And then factor in
the global platform and subsequent media coverage they received from appearing. Outdoor music festival culture was never the same. And the records you heard on the FM dial and then bought for your own record collection were different than the week before.  

Please compare and contrast with Woodstock.
HK: Can't really compare or contrast. Monterey was a non-profit adventure. Woodstock was conceived as a way to make a profit. A whole different mindset and karma is attached to Monterey. One was planned in West Hollywood and executed in Northern California. The other happened in New York.  
And one of the main investors, producers, of Woodstock saw the movie Monterey Pop and decided to help bankroll Woodstock. Chip Monck did the lights and was heavily involved in the stage design at both venues. At least six of the bands who debuted or performed at Monterey two years later played at Woodstock.      
Everything starts in the West.          
Only in 2007, after speaking with a booking agent who helped package the Newport '69 in Devonshire Downs festival, two months before Woodstock -- maybe 30,000-40,000 people -- did he tell me he earlier booked a few of the acts for Monterey in 1967. In an interview he discussed how so many agents and managers saw what Lou and John did putting on a non-profit show for an entire weekend, and they all got together and wanted to put something to make a profit.

http://www.themortonreport.com/uploads/pics/The Who.jpg
What is the quintessential MIPF performance? Did anyone steal the show?
HK: When I was a teenager I always thought the Jimi Hendrix Experience was it. Mind blowing. Then, I sort of started to feel Janis Joplin with Big Brother & The Holding Company stole the show.  Then over a 25 year period I began to vibe the scene-stealer was Otis Redding with Booker T. & The MGs, and the horn section. This century Ravi Shankar is now emerging as the quintessential performance. Maybe because he brought the East to the West that afternoon.  Ken and I just saw him in late-September in L.A. give a recital at age 91.
On the most recent DVD I encourage anyone to go watch Laura Nyro sing "Poverty Train."

Would MIPF have made Beach Boys cooler or would they have made it less cool? 

HK: Yes. It would have been even better and way cooler if they played. They were asked and initially on all the advertising. Remember, context is king. If they had gigged, their repertoire would have been pretty much tunes from Pet Sounds and also including selections from the halted or "landlocked" SMiLE, it would have really positioned them deeper into the emerging FM radio world and listenership.  
I will add, and this is something D.A. Pennebaker told me although it might not be totally accurate, but he has a great memory: he believes the sound board mix he employed for his movie Monterey Pop was mixed by Lou Adler and John Phillips on an eight-track machine that Brian Wilson owned at the time. So, Brian was involved in some technical or spiritual aspect of the festival's audio results. I asked Brian but he could not remember. But he always had the latest sound system around town, even an eight-track in 1966.        

How did LA vs SF play out? 
HK: It's pretty much documented in the book. The "Hollywood" people, the bands and their commercial reality weirded out a lot of the closed-minded Bay area folks. Believe me, most of them wanted to have hits on the AM radio dial. From the bands to the crowd members. If it wasn't for the production acumen of Adler and Phillips and their attention to detail in advance of the dates - can you imagine any other team trying to do this sort of event in a six week  period?
Needless to say, all these San Francisco bands and their managers at the time, right after Monterey signed with Hollywood and Southern California-based record labels and many of these anti-Hollywood musicians ended up recording their debut LP's and other albums on Sunset Blvd. at studios like RCA.
How do you think Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow would sound if not tracked and mixed in Hollywood?     

What are the significant technical achievements?
HK: Certainly the sound system Adler and the staff made possible at Monterey helped the artists and the audience. I'm sure advances were made for outdoor events that evolved from what was initiated at Monterey in logistics involving sound delivery, monitors, speakers, travel and food arrangements.  
Plus, Chip Monck had to invent so many things subject specific to the sound and lighting collaboration. And building a vehicle for sound and light to travel. Until then, many bands and performers had little amps, or played through a house PA or a sound system provided by the show promoter.
In 1971, Chip Monck did the lights for George Harrison & Friends and The Concert For Bangla Desh. Another non-profit event that still helps out the world today.             
Sonically and technically, Monterey in 1967 changed the game. And we all get to benefit from it. From Newport '69 at Devonshire Downs in the Northridge area of Southern California held in June 1969, to the yearly Coachella festival in California.  
http://www.themortonreport.com/uploads/pics/Lou Adler and John Phillips.jpgWas MIPF a "moment"? Was it a beginning or an end? What was the spirit of MIPF? 
HK: It was a moment but that moment continues. From the charity foundation to writers and music lovers like myself who were and still informed by some of the ideals and concepts gleaned from Monterey. Adding to the music and recordings millions of people first experienced as a direct result of what was presented that June 1967 weekend in Monterey.
Al Kooper, who was the assistant stage manager and also played a set at Monterey, made a couple of musical connections in and around his Monterey world that helped him when he formed Blood, Sweat & Tears. Go listen to that debut album.  
Things were never the same after that June festival ended. The recording artists began to get more control of their artwork and recordings. I'm sure established record label advances went up for new artists. And concert fees probably were higher in 1968 from 1967, primarily owing to what Monterey put in motion. Then factor in record label executives, like Clive Davis and Joe Smith, who inked bands from seeing them for the first time live. 
Things changed quickly. By 1968 all sorts of moments happened that were not what was on display or captured on film at Monterey. Fashion always moves and the music always moves, too.Steve Cropper told me he was real pleased, now looking back, and glad, that Monterey took place in 1967. Because in April '68 in Memphis, his regional horror was a new reality with the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. Then in Los Angeles with the murder of Robert F. Kennedy. 
The thing is, Monterey never ended. Even Lou mentioned to me since he deals daily with the Monterey Foundation and licensing of items that aid musicians and people, "It's like managing an act."  
I see the spirit of Monterey continuing. All the time. This book brings it to a whole new level, augmenting the existing CD soundtracks and the DVD's culled from the original festival.
With all the CD reissues of many of the acts that played at Monterey, coupled with new mono versions of the Mamas and the Papas debut LP in release again, new ears discovering Moby Grape, the increase in people buying vinyl, and all the constant interest around this book and the still glowing Summer of Love mentality, I keep believing it still has a potent spirit. It has become cross-generational. Parents and their kids buying all the products associated with this cosmic and very real deal era will always keep going. 

A PERFECT HAZE:  The Illustrated History Of the Monterey International Pop Festival
(Santa Monica Press)
Of all the "turning point" musical events of the 1960s, perhaps none stands out more than the fabled June, 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. There's so many great bands, songs and stories to recall from that zenith in American pop culture history, the best of which is finally put into a "retrospective" print form by authors Harvey Kubernik and his brother Kenneth Kubernik in a 
beautifully laid out and designed book entitled "A Perfect Haze - The Illustrated History Of the Monterey International Pop Festival."
Released in late 2011, as a fantastic, prominent coffee table edition by Santa Monica Press, the 256 page book is perhaps the ultimate exposé on the Monterey Pop event. With this first ever officially endorsed illustrated history of the Monterey Pop festival, the Kubernik brothers put the event into context through a myriad of color pictures of the festival as well as keen
editorial insights and detailed interviews with some of the key surviving artists who appeared at the festival. For example, the part of the book chronicling the set by The Byrds is quite graphic in its remembrances, including discussing the rift that was ironically tearing the band apart at the time.  
Interviews in the book with both Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman clearly depict that rift between them and soon to be departing Byrd David Crosby, who clearly had other things planned for his future outside the Byrds. A shame and a real loss for music fans at the time, but with Crosby Stills & Nash just a couple years off, and The Byrds still releasing brilliant studio albums who, at the time, was going to complain? It's just that cool with the book
exquisitely laid out in print form, featuring a myriad of key pictures detailing the great and extensive list of bands and artists who brought their now fabled music to the Monterey Pop stage that weekend-including The Mama's And The Papa's, The Who, The Association, Jimi Hendrix, Buffalo Springfield, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and much, much more.
Harvey Kubernik is one of the key music history authors in America today and his, and his brother Ken's, insights into this amazing, once in a lifetime event is brought into sharp focus within A Perfect Haze, which also features a foreword by festival organizer Lou Adler and an
afterword by the Mama's And Papa's Michelle Phillips.
Pop culture enthusiasts-don't miss A Perfect Haze.

mwe3.com presents an interview with HARVEY KUBERNIK, co-author of A Perfect Haze
Interview written by Robert Silverstein for mwe3.com

Why Monterey Pop and why now?
HARVEY KUBERNIK: Why not? It is a landmark event that changed the world we inhabit. I've always felt it was somewhat neglected for all the acts and concepts introduced that then enabled musical pop culture to advance in so many directions.  There is a distinct line that can be drawn from this Monterey festival to Coachella. Let alone the music and subsequent recording artists first exposed in a national showcase that have invaded your LP and CD
collection for 44 years.
As for why now? As Dennis Dragon says, "We don't define it. We just do it."
I'm a writer.  The producer of the Coachella festival emailed me and told me that when he
started producing his first shows they were done at Lou Adler's Roxy Theater years ago.  He also volunteered that he really learned and appreciated from producers Lou Adler and John Phillips at the time of Monterey, was the idea of a multi-stacked lineup of rock bands for three days and nights.  

mwe3: What inspired the title A Perfect Haze and what were the key factors involved in the book coming together in 2011?
HK: The title emerged after a discussion with my younger brother Kenneth, the co-author.  It's a nod to "Purple Haze," the Jim Hendrix tune. And, the festival went off perfectly. So the title is a variation on this and the publisher dug it.  

mwe3: How challenging was it to assemble all the new interviews with the key surviving artists from the Monterey festival?
HK: It is always a challenge. However, there were enough characters still around who wanted to participate. I had interviewed Ravi Shankar in 1997 for "HITS" Magazine about that Monterey event. And, in 2004, I conducted the first in a series of interviews with filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, who directed Monterey Pop, the festival film, after he shot Don't Look Back, his
black and white celluloid portrait of Bob Dylan's 1965 UK tour. 
In 2007 I then interviewed a lot of musicians who performed at Monterey, and producer Lou Adler for a couple of UK and US music magazines. Al Kooper is really a yenta and had tremendous recall on every aspect. He was the assistant stage manager and also played a short set. It's now on the DVD.
I had some potent archive and never published or unedited catalog material waiting for a larger print home.  I then added many new voices for the book who were on the bill, the never 
included or overlooked acts with a plethora of concert-goers, booking agents, photographers and technical people. Everyone I asked was happy to go down memory lane, except for a couple of people whose PR person could not deliver.

mwe3: How did you become involved in the A Perfect Haze book and how did you get involved with Santa Monica Press?
HK: I was always planning and researching a book about Monterey for this entire decade. It was something I first discussed with Ravi Shankar in his home in Encinatas, California, in my 1997 encounter with him.  
I had gone to the premiere of Monterey Pop in 1969 at a Beverly Hills movie theater. I just heard from the girl Lesley I took as my date that night.  I saw another couple of showings as well. I've been connected with the enduring and endearing 1967 world of Monterey for over 40 years. My brother saw it as well at the same theater.
Anytime there was a CD or DVD, like the 2007 Jimi Hendrix DVD from the event, I wrote about it and did deeper research and interviews. As you know, I write for myself. Even when there's no book, magazine or online assignment.
Then I joined forces with my brother Ken, who is an excellent writer, who loves the lore and the lure of the ongoing Monterey legacy.  A book company I had worked with previously did offer a contract but their requirements were just not acceptable. And I kept collecting items and making connections 'cause I knew a book would happen.
Plus, I was always encouraged by record producer and author, Andrew Loog Oldham, who was part of the production team that created the Monterey festival in the first place. "Man, just keep going."
Then, the owner of Santa Monica Press called me up after the publication of my "Canyon of Dreams: The Magic And The Music Of Laurel Canyon" book, congratulating me on the work, the writing and the photos and memorabilia displayed.  I had known him for over 25 years since he was a student at UCLA and wrote for "The Daily Bruin." Fellow Pisces. He had politely passed on my previous four books and manuscript ideas over the last 10 years. He said, "When you
have something again, bring it to me with a proposal." So, I called him up and it developed from there.

mwe3: Also what's going on these days wit h Monterey Pop producer Lou Adler and what part did Lou play in the A Perfect Haze book?
HK: The roles Lou Adler and Howard Frank from his office played in the book were plentiful. Not just Lou making himself accessible for my interviews and information, but way beyond by also providing his own 'Monterey' archives for usage and exhibition.
In addition, suggesting some specific people to track down and interview like lighting and stage designer Chip Monck and the initial contact for Michelle Phillips, who assisted in the event planning in West Hollywood around her Mama's and the Papa's gig.
Both Ken and I learned a lot about how Lou has been shaping and guiding the Monterey International Pop Festival Fund for the last 44 years. Some of that specific charity work is acknowledged in our book.
Lou is still very active in the music business. He has a slew of CD and DVD reissues out. From Carole King's Deluxe Edition of Tapestry, an album he originally produced for his Ode Records label, to four Spirit expanded re-releases. There's also a blu-ray DVD of his The Rocky Horror Picture Show movie. A few years back he reissued several Merry Clayton albums in Japan.

mwe3: How would you compare festivals: Monterey to Woodstock?
HK: There really should be no comparison. Monterey was a nonprofit venture.  Woodstock, by initial design, was produced for profit. But the influence of Monterey on Woodstock is obvious. From some of the bands that were introduced nationally in 1967 to their Woodstock booking in 1969: Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Paul Butterfield, Canned Heat, Country Joe and the Fish, Janis Joplin, though not a member of Big Brother & The Holding Company at that time.  And, cats like Chip Monck, who initiated some of the technology of lighting and sound at Monterey later did that same function at Woodstock and handled the stage announcements. His technical acumen still benefits contemporary arena and festival concert lighting and sound endeavors.  
Monterey was some sort of model for the birth of the Woodstock festival.  Only in the sense that their outdoor festival was a direct result of what John Phillips and Lou Adler accomplished at Monterey. In fact, one of the producers of Woodstock saw the movie Monterey Pop just before he became one of the major investors in Woodstock to put it in motion.
I also think the girls were cuter at Monterey.

mwe3: How about your other favorite reflections / revelations of Monterey Pop?
HK: In the Monterey Pop movie, the original print and film, Ravi Shankar, Otis Redding and his band, Jefferson Airplane and the seamless direction Pennebaker wove around the gathering. No interviews in the documentary.  The movie shows the crowd and the artists who played as one in some sort of sonic and mind collaboration.  In the more recent The Complete Monterey Pop Festival, out in DVD and blue-ray, a few new highlights have emerged with these retail items.
Just finally seeing some film of The Association that afternoon. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Country Joe and the Fish and The Electric Flag with Michael Bloomfield documented. Very groovy.
When pressed, my fave rave moment is the appearance of Laura Nyro singing "Poverty Train." Just stunning.

Thanks to Harvey Kubernik and Jeff Goldman @ www.SantaMonicaPress.com
 All photos copyright © Henry Diltz

Brothers Reveal Culture
By Michael Juliani · Daily Trojan
Anyone who was lucky enough to be a teenager during the ’60s can recall the iconic image of the not-yet-famous Jimi Hendrix summoning ghosts from his flaming guitar. 
When people reflect on the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967, that’s mostly what they recall, too.  A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival, by Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik — brothers infused with the spiritual fury of rock‘n’roll — chronicles the moment in musical history that, perhaps, demanded the most attention. 
The Kuberniks have been compiling information — interviews, artifacts and photographs — about the festival since 1997. Their interest in Monterey dates back to 1968, when documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker released his film Monterey Pop, which Harvey Kubernik saw on a date as a teenager.
The Kuberniks’ book is a comprehensive study of the festival that helped solidify rock‘n’roll music’s impact on the consciousness and pulse of the United States and the world in the middle of the 20th century.
The book, which is much more than just a coffee table read, details the myths of our greatest rock‘n’roll shamans: Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, for example. And it gives remarkable attention to the culture of the audience, the offstage moments and the production of the epic event. 
The Kuberniks secured never-before-seen images, such as Janis Joplin walking her dog, that uncover random moments in the lives of significant American musicians of the 20th century and highlighted how rock stars used to sit among notable festival attendees (The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones and Warhol/Velvet Underground associate Nico in thrall with someone else’s act, for instance). 
Interviews with audience members and scans of actual telegrams sent from the managers of bands, like Jefferson Airplane, narrow the scope of the festival to moments of humanity that fill in the abstract concept of the 1960s rock festival. Who knew rock‘n’roll had time and energy for telegrams? 
The modern rock fan is too often led down a road of inaccessibility; they are trained by the way contemporary culture relates to famous people or made to believe talented musicians have access to a level of soul or mind that is above and beyond him or her. What the Kuberniks’ book shows is how the original spirit of rock‘n’roll served to include everyone in the bliss.  Popular music in the ’60s encouraged a communal spirit. The music’s goal was to tune everyone in to the blues of a guitar, the aesthetics of stage antics and the colors music can create in the mind. The book illustrates that the Monterey Pop Festival harnessed the opportunities that this music presented and shifted how human beings relate to albums and live shows. 
The form of a concert was extended into a theater show and spiritual experience in addition to an artistic performance. It wasn’t perverted by any sort of public obsession with larger-than-life personalities, and it certainly didn’t need to beg you to feel something. There are no photos of fans screaming for autographs, nor does there seem to be any sort of security force protecting performers from audience. 
The festival was about finding something new — a new way to look at life, love and art. Its power lies in the fact that it’s one of the few American events in the last hundred years that didn’t celebrate myths. 
More than anything, the unique aspects of the book accurately paint rock‘n’roll phenomena as a truly involved process. There are color pictures of The Doors at the Mount Tam Festival, a precursor to Monterey and Woodstock, before “Light My Fire” brought them enormous acclaim. The Doors did not merely explode in popularity and turn into legends. These pictures show them on their steady climb. 
A Perfect Haze shows, in scrapbook form, the genesis of the Summer of Love, a cultural movement that turned the tide of American identity. 
Readers discover the intricate webs of this historical moment. The snapshots of moments like Jimi Hendrix shopping for flowers or Art Garfunkel watching a show have such a level of documentary realism that flipping through this book is like taking a stroll through festival grounds. 
The Kuberniks’ intent in the aesthetic of this book seems to have been geared toward providing a portrait of Monterey from a primary source perspective. The oral history interviews that make up the text transcend any form of secondhand reporting. They let the festival speak for itself by being the sum of multiple first-person accounts from musicians, organizers, documenters and festival attendees alike. 
And, like the moment itself, the festival sees no need to invent its own worth or beauty — it has absolutely nothing to do with myths.

Sixties throwback:  A Perfect Haze paints and animated portrait of the bands and attendees of the Monterey Pop Festival - photo courtesy of Santa Monia Press

The Hype, the Image, the Shuck, the Jive of the Monterey Pop Festival: 'A Perfect Haze'

What if rock ‘n’ roll was taken as seriously as a ‘high art’ form as jazz? Paul McCartney, at Cass Elliot’s house in 1967, discussed this with The Mamas and the Papas’ John and Michelle Phillips, and their manager Lou Adler. A few nights later, this shifted into what became the first mass concert, over three June days in The Summer of Love, that raised funds for charity.
This carefully documented, well-illustrated history, interspersed with reminiscences from musicians, participants, planners, and fans, brings this festival into the spotlight, where often it has been overshadowed by the far-more hyped and arguably less-successful Woodstock. Editors Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik note that Monterey Pop as a non-profit enterprise generates music scholarships, academic endowments, and healthcare for musicians over 44 years and counting.
Guided by Beatles publicist Derek Taylor and Rolling Stones manager Andrew Oldham, and supervised by a “board of governors” listing McCartney, Adler, John Phillips, Mick Jagger, Terry Melcher, Johnny Rivers, Smokey Robinson, Paul Simon, Donovan, and Brian Wilson, their combined clout meant that they could invite the best in the business to perform—for no profit but guaranteed first-class expenses. Taylor wryly noted in the concert’s program: “Entertainers who have starved and become rich are forever haunted by guilt.”
This convinced many top-drawing touring acts. Given the reclusive Beatles were recording, and The Rolling Stones were recuperating from four years on the road, Lou Adler’s harmonious quartet proved that era’s most successful concert draw, so they would close the festival. Capped by Friday-night anchor Simon & Garfunkel and Saturday night’s Otis Redding (after the Beach Boys retreated), a total of thirty performers filled the line-up.
The concert promoted hitmakers from Los Angeles, alongside folkies, Chicago bluesmen, and underground San Francisco bands. Janis Joplin earned so much attention that she and Big Brother played twice. It bloomed into an “international pop festival” by including Ravi Shankar, Hugh Masekela, Eric Burdon, The Who and then-Swinging London-emerging sensation Jimi Hendrix, all to a California coastal audience. This narrative, and often orally transcribed, history follows the concert from planning to promotion to production, and reads as if the script of a generously funded documentary, moving efficiently while showing visual elements and musical summaries that invite one to seek out the first rock concert film, D.A. Pennebaker’s Monterey Pop (1968), or the four-CD Rhino Records (1997) box set of the music, to accompany the pages and photos.
Pennebaker sums up Lou Adler’s genius: “Get rid of the money.” Once the musicians and promoters had discarded profit as the goal, egos and clashes appeared less of a difficulty, although a few interviewed here confess to witnessing or precipitating their own “trips”; Owsley Stanley, “Bear” to Deadheads, distributed a “Monterey purple” strain of LSD designed, he notes, not to induce a “purple haze” but to achieve perfect clarity. Many took advantage. David Crosby played his last show as a Byrd while ranting about the Kennedy assassination. He featured on his guitar a giant STP sticker in homage to another Owsley-concocted brand-name. He then ruined Buffalo Springfield’s appearance in his debut, replacing Neil Young who had quit a week before in jitters.
Indeed, many attest to nervousness onstage. Pennebaker’s efforts to capture the atmosphere cannot have been helped by lighting director Chip Monck’s lysergic condition, for all he registered as a color, he testifies, was red. Pennebaker was told by Janis Joplin’s then-manager to aim the camera at the ground when Big Brother stunned the crowd during their scheduled performance, Saturday afternoon. He tried, cowed by goons, but he caught enough to convince the singer and her band to come back and play the next night. They became stars.
The Who would trash their equipment, and Jimi, who won the coin toss with Pete Townshend, would follow with lighting his guitar on fire after seducing, or assaulting, it. Ravi Shankar left after The Who: “My feelings were hurt deeply, as well as my respect for music and the instruments. We ran away from the festival.” Roger Daltrey counters—after noting how Hendrix copied a lot of his Monterey stage act from Townshend, adding to it “genius” and not only musical but theatrical inspiration—how his band was hustled away. “We reminded them how the world was in a shit state, that it wasn’t peace and love at all [laughs].”
Part of the appeal of this book is finding out about the less-heralded moments. Mike Bloomfield tells of his band The Electric Flag: “Probably the biggest gig we ever played. And we played rotten, man, I ain’t jiving you. We really sounded lousy. And the people loved it. And I could see—oh my God, the hype, the image, the shuck, the jive.”
Laura Nyro left in tears, wearing a black evening gown dress out of place among patchouli and paisley, thinking she’d been booed off stage. Near her death decades later, Adler and Pennebaker working on a DVD of the concert found out that she had not. Tape analysis verified what sounded like “boo” was in fact “beautiful”. 
Stoned, a young gatecrasher brought to Monterey by her pals with no preparation or foreknowledge looks for help. After a weekend of pot and acid and backstage passes, wandering around, Djinn Ruffner meets Buffalo Springfield’s Dewey Martin. He finds a place for her to be safe, and he arranges for her a ride back down the coast with “Papa Denny and Mama Cass.”
Coming down from the Bay Area, another girl, a high school junior, scores tickets for Ravi Shankar, whom she had never heard of. Barbara Versino knew about the sitar, thanks to the Beatles. Free of drugs, she heard the ragas enter her soul as Shankar and his musicians “transported” her. She recalls how that music, that day, expanded far beyond her expectations of what rock alone could do. “To this day I can remember what I wore: a green dress that I bought at Cost Plus, sandals from India import, a white knitted shawl, and a string of blue glass beads. I didn’t bring a jacket with me. On the way home, we were all quiet and the car radio played the Beatles’ ‘A Day in the Life.’”
Monterey’s local music store owner, Mike Marotta, had to supply the sound gear (amplifiers, keyboards, drums), and some musicians absconded with the backline, which was replaced after each act and nobody kept track. The leaders of this small city, a military-dominated and tony resort, were charmed by a polite delegation of A&R Hollywood types before the event. It raised money, nobody died, and the city council approved a show that was booked for the next summer. No follow-up occurred; by June 1968, a violent summer of a revolutionary year replaced the mellower ambiance beyond the peaceful county fairground site.
Still, as curator Marisa Mercado notes accurately, the notoriety of the counterculture left its municipal mark. A few stayed, as the Bay Area’s vibrations reverberated and then faded. “Hippies became homeowners. In the end, Monterey solidified as that charming tourist town that people love to visit, but can’t afford to live in.”   
RATING:  8 out of 10  

A guidance counselor at San Diego State University once told Harvey Kubernik he had no communication skills. On top of that, the SDSU student newspaper rejected his application to be a staff writer. 
So when he started getting published in outlets like the Los Angeles Free Press, many journalism and English majors he knew who were struggling to get jobs wrote into the paper complaining that he had no right to have those kinds of opportunities.

Purple haze · Harvey Kubernkik’s latest book, 
A  Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival, takes an in-depth look at the iconic concert and its performers. 
- Photo courtesy of Santa Monica Press

“They didn’t have my rock’n’roll soul,” Kubernik said. “They were just robots taking college classes.”

Kubernik, a renowned rock journalist and the co-author (with his brother Kenneth) of the recently published A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival, could probably talk all night about the history of music, counterculture, literature and the icons and practitioners of these movements.

He’s the author of four books, each of which uniquely touches on the personalities behind the modern music that has shaped American culture. But his most recent publication probably ranks as his most personal work.

“All books reflect your life and who you are, but it’s only personal because this one is not exclusively about me — it’s kind of about a festival and how myself and my brother serve the festival,” Kubernik said. “The festival is always the star of this book.”

Though the Monterey International Pop Festival — which took place in 1967’s “Summer of Love” — carries its fame in the unforgettable image of Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar, the Kuberniks’ book serves as a testament to the festival’s greater importance as a world-changing moment of many characters and energy.

It’s a vivid portrait of a time when popular music served the cosmic consciousness rather than individual egos — a time when Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones wandered the festival grounds without an entourage or bodyguard; a time when Jimi Hendrix casually went shopping for flowers on his free afternoons. The book furthers the intensely human quality of the images provided by documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker’s 1968 film Monterey Pop.

“That really kind of shows you that everybody wasn’t star-struck and there weren’t the safety concerns that have kind of emerged in the last few decades at rock concerts and everything,” Kubernik said. “It adds to a different world we’re visiting.”

Kubernik has been compiling interviews, images and media surrounding the festival since 1997, and his attachment to the festival dates back to the first time he saw the 1968 film with a girl he asked out on a date in high school.

“A whole new world was exposed to me,” Kubernik said. “I had been aware of this world. I had some of the albums from these people already. I knew who they were. I had read about them. It was being touted on the radio.”

After marinating on the thought of doing a book on the subject, Kubernik decided to include his brother (also a music journalist) because of the extended knowledge and perspective he could bring to the project.

“Since so many siblings don’t get along with each other, we thought we’d show one time they can work together. You know those ‘I don’t talk to my brother’ or ‘I don’t talk to my sister’ people?” Kubernik said. “We’re determined not to have that.”

The Kuberniks grew up going to many shows together, and the brothers have steeped their consciousness in the memory of Monterey.  

Harvey Kubernik and Kenneth Kubernik,  
A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival 
(Santa Monica Press):   
Woodstock may well be canonized as history’s most famous rock festival, but L.A. factotum and indefatigable rock scribe Harvey Kubernik and his brother Kenneth make a good case that Lou Adler and John Phillips’ concert two years prior was the most influential. Known as the launching pad for the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who and Otis Redding, three of whom would be dead within a little over the next three years, Monterey also turned out to be the place Clive Davis discovered he had “ears,” Jann Wenner realized his career calling as a journalist, D.A. Pennebaker cemented his rep as a rock doc filmmaker, Augustus Owsley Stanley III managed to dose seemingly everyone with his “Monterey Purple” and Laura Nyro mistook cries of “beautiful” and “we love yoooou” for boos. As the Kuberniks point out, it was also the last time the music took precedence over the business, each of the acts playing for free, as Adler and Phillips decided to turn all the proceeds from the event to a self-made charity for rock-related causes, while supplying the first-class sound system, accommodations and travel which became de rigueur for the emerging art form. Taking an oral history approach, A Perfect Haze offers a behind-the-scenes view of the festival’s planning stages, then guides us through an act-to-act description of the event, which turned into a referendum for L.A.’s Top 40-based pop music industry and the emerging Bay Area, anti-mainstream counterculture scene, AM vs. FM on the radio dial, with then-popular groups like the Mamas and Papas, The Association and Johnny Rivers experiencing their last hurrah, as S.F. stalwarts like Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, Quicksilver Messenger Service and others made way for the psychedelic era. The book would be valuable for those reminiscences alone, but there’s terrific pics from legendary rock photog Henry Diltz, various memorabilia of the time, reprinted Life magazine and N.Y. Times reviews of the subsequent Monterey Pop movie, as well as a critical appraisal of each act, including several that are now footnotes in history, like Albert Grossman put The Paupers, Paul Simon’s tout U.K. troubadour Beverley (later the wife of cult figure John Martyn) and the John Phillips-inspired Group with No Name, who promptly disbanded after having to follow Joplin’s second set on the climactic Sunday night (this one, thankfully, filmed after Big Brother and the Holding Company’s short-lived manager refused to let her first one be recorded). There are also such choice revelations as The Who and Hendrix flipping a coin to see who would go first (or last), knowing both acts ended in the destruction of their instruments, and extensive coverage of Ravi Shankar’s famed Sunday afternoon performance, where his half-hour tune-up resulted in a standing ovation from the acid-addled crowd, prompting him to enthusiastically launch into his historic set, despite various misgivings. Give credit to the Kubernik boys for transforming their own youthful memories and placing the Monterey International Pop Festival in its proper context, with extra points for including Kenneth’s bar mitzvah picture alongside big brother Harvey, taken that very same month, in which the younger sibling looks like a dead ringer for Stanley Livingston’s Chip in My Three Sons.  

Eric Burdon (performing at The Monterey International Pop Festival with his "New" Animals, now comprised of US musicians) committed HIS memories of Monterey to song a short time later.
Here's the 1967 Animals' Hit "Monterey", a #10 Hit in early 1968.  (Talk about name-dropping!!!  Eric gives us a good chunk of the now superstar line-up that appeared on stage that weekend!!!)