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SUMMER OF LOVE – MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL 1967

by Admin

Summer of Love 1967In the spring of 1967 I drove out of Chicago on Route 66 heading back to Hawaii.

I stopped along the way to visit friends in southern Illinois, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona arriving in San Diego, California were I hooked up with some friends who lived there.

That’s when the party began. We were all in our early 20s. Partying consumed most of our days and nights back in those days. It was a way of life — one party after another forming months of what seemed like a continuous non-stop party. Life was fun, fun, fun … Life was good!

One of the guy’s family owned a boat which I learned later had a *reputation* at the marina for it’s frequent wild parties.

We all hit the beach letting the beach bunnies know we were having a boat party in Baja — talk about a chic magnet! Within a couple hours we were headed to the marina with babe’s, beer, food and assorted other paraphernalia.

Upon arrival at the marina, we boarded the boat and the party began continuing to Baja and back — 3 or 4 days as best I recall (and a story for another time, in and of itself).

Upon returning I spent the next few weeks making my way up to San Francisco with several stops along the way for surfing and partying with friends.

I had planned to spend a couple days partying with friends in San Francisco then put my car on a boat for Hawaii, and hop on a plane back to the world of — Alooohhaaaa.

But, after I got there things changed.

I had friends living in the Haight who’d told me I could crash at their pad. When I was a couple hours out, I phoned them to let them know I had arrived and get directions.

I got to their place about 9 pm after getting lost a few times finding my way around San Francisco.

I walked through the front door of their commune house into a cloud of smoke, incense, psychedelic music, strobe lights, tapestries, beads, walls covered with black light posters and painted with master pieces of art … and a group of about 20 or so very very mellow people lounging about on pillows and oriental carpets.

In a few seconds, as if a Ginnie coming out of a bottle in a puff of smoke, Kasha appeared a few feet in front of me saying, “Welcome Bob, we’ve been waiting for you. I made some brownies for you and we invited some friends over for your welcoming party”, as she extended her hand with the brownie to my mouth before I could reply. I opened my mouth inhaling the brownie saying, “Hey, love, you’re looking good. My that is a tasty brownie and you remembered I like chocolate too. You’re still just as sweet a ever.”, as we embraced in a hug.

Mike appeared saying, “Peace brother. Here, something to wash that down with”, as he handed me a Michelob. “Thanks man, I can sure use it. I’m dry.”

“There’s more in the frig, help yourself. Kasha will introduce to everyone.”

Kasha took my hand, leading me around the room as we drifted from person to person meeting everyone.

I woke up the next morning on a tapestry covered water bed surrounded by large pillows. As I opened my eyes looking up at the ceiling I saw clouds on a blue sky with the God Eye in the center surrounded by birds and flowers. I closed my eyes, as I heard the chime bells on the door softly ringing. I slowly opened my eyes again seeing the silhouette of a girl walking through the doorway saying, “Good morning, Bob. I’m Thalya. I brought you some herbal tea. Kasha and I thought you might need something to clear the cob webs out of your head”. As she glided bare foot across the room toward me with her waist length black hair flowing looking at me with her sparkling blue eyes and smiling softly, I groggily mumbled “Umm, yeah, good morning Thalya. Nice to meet you. Where am I?”

“In my room. We were rapping last night when you started nodding out. So I brought you in here.”

“Really. Thanks.”

She handed me the cup of tea saying, “Here drink this. You’ll like it”. Then took a flower from the vase next to the bed and placed it in her hair over her right ear.

“Mike brought your bags in from your car. They’re over there in the corner. The bathroom is through that door. I put out clean towels for you and lite some scented candles. If there is anything else you need just let me know”, she said with a warm smile.

“Wow. Thank you, Thalya. Were have you been all my life?”

I took a couple sips of the tea.

“I’m going to go make breakfast. When you are ready just come out to the kitchen. Mike and Kasha had to take care of something. They’ll be back in awhile. They said for you to hang out until they get back.”

“Okay. I’ll see you in the kitchen in a few minutes.”

I took a drink of the tea. Hit the shower, got dressed and headed to the kitchen.

Thalya had breakfast waiting for me of warm muffins, honey, fresh fruits and dished up a bowl of hot oatmeal as soon as I sat down at the table saying, “Hope this is to your liking. I wasn’t sure what you liked to eat. If you don’t like it I can fix you something else.”

“No, no, love this is great! Are you kidding. This is the best meal I’ve had in a month of Sundays. If you keep taking this good of care of me, I might have to put you in my suit case and take you to Hawaii with me.”

“When are you leaving?”

“I’ve got to take the car down to the docks and ship it. Then I’ll grab a plane. I’ll phone the shipping company after I get done eating. Damn, girl these muffins are yummy, yummy good! Would I be a hog if I asked for another one?”

“No, not at all. I’m happy you like them. Here have two more.”

“When will they ship your car?”

“I don’t know until I talk to them. Hopefully, today or tomorrow.”

“Really? That soon? Aren’t you staying for Monterey Pop Festival?”

“What’s Monterey Pop?”

“Where have you been? It’s only the event of the century!”

“Really?! Guess I’ve been out of touch while on the road from Chicago the past couple months. When is it?”

“The weekend of the 16th.”

“What’s today?”

“The 13th.”

“So it is this weekend?”

“Yes.”

“What the hell, why not?! I can ship the car next week. Are you going?”

“Well, DUH!”

“Mike and Kasha going too?”

“Everyone in the house is going, along with most of San Francisco and the rest of the world. Where have you been, anyway, in a cave?”

“Nah, on a boat in Baja — I think that’s where I was, anyway” I said with an ear to ear grin.

“Kasha was right, you’re a trip!” she replied with a big smile.

Mike and Kasha walked into the kitchen with Mike saying, “Well, brother Bob, I see you finally came to life! Thalya been taking good care of you? Nursing you back from the dead?”

“No way man. I wasn’t dead. If I was I’d be in heaven, and there is no way I’ll ever see you in heaven. Besides where you’d be there’d never be angels like Thalya, or Kasha for that matter. How the hell are you, man?!”

“Still the same old Bob, I see. I’m good, man. What’s happening with you?”

“I’m just tripping. I was going to ship the car today or tomorrow until Thalya talked me into staying for this Monterey Pop thing.”

“Far out, man! Way to go, Thalya! See Kasha. What’d I tell you? He never could resist a pretty lady! Was I right, or not?!”, Mike boasted with an evil grin.

“Okay now, you guys stop it. You’re making Thalya blush”, Kasha chimed in.

On Thursday June 15th we headed to Monterey in a small caravan of cars, trucks and vans filled with the members of Mike and Kasha’s house and friends from the Haight.

Thus began my journey to the Monterey Pop Festival and the Summer of Love …

Below is a film of performances from the Monterey Pop Festival not released on the original documentary by D.A. Pennebaker. Nearly two hours of bonus footage from the Criterion Collection release of Monterey. The Festival that marked the beginning of the summer of love and spurred one of musics most creative and influential era’s.

Little did I know at the time that in 2 years I’d be riding helicopters to and from Woodstock 69 for three days of Love, Peace and Music (but that’s a story for another time) …

Performances are by:

The Association- “Along Comes Mary”
Simon and Garfunkel- “Homeward Bound” 3:55 “Sound of Silence” 6:46
Country Joe and the Fish- “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine” 10:00
Al Kooper- “Wake Me, Shake Me” 15:20
The Butterfield Blues Band- “Driftin’ Blues” 22:50
Quicksilver Messenger Service- “Dino’s Song” 27:34
The Electric Flag- “Wine” 30:51″
The Byrds- “Chimes of Freedom” 33:40 “He Was A Friend of Mine” 37:36 “Hey Joe” 40:30
Laura Nyro- “Poverty Train” 42:55
Jefferson Airplane- “Somebody To Love” 48:24
The Blues Project- “Flute Thing” 52:29
Big Brother and the Holding Co. w/ Janis Joplin “Combination of the Two” 1:03:07
The Buffalo Springfield- “For What It’s Worth” 1:08:57
The Who- “Substitute” 1:12:30 “Summertime Blues” 1:16:19 “A Quick One” 1:19:57
The Mamas and The Papas- “Straight Shooter” 1:28:14 “Somebody Groovy” 1:32:00 “I Call Your Name” 1:34:53
(Hilarious antics of Mama Cass) 1:38:46 “Monday, Monday” 1:40:36
Scott McKenzie- “San Francisco” 1:44:30
The Mamas and The Papas and Scott McKenzie- “Dancin’ in the Street” 1:48:05

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