“We all love each other, right?”
Some of the world’s most notable musicians perform at the historic 1967 Monterey International Festival in Northern California.
Response to Peary’s Review:
Widely acknowledged as “the first major rock concert film”, Monterey Pop gives us “a chance to see some of the greatest rock-music acts in the world”, and accurately captures a “time when music was so central to the counterculture”. While we may be familiar with many of the types of images presented here (either from other concert films, or from random documentary footage), it nonetheless remains an invaluable time capsule in its own right, as creatively conceived and captured by D.A. Pennebaker and his team of six cinematographers, who were given homemade cameras and told to shoot whatever they saw of interest, cinema verite style. If you’re a fan of music from this era at all, you’re guaranteed to enjoy many of the performances; my personal favorite (after Janis Joplin’s heartfelt rendition of “Ball and Chain”) is Ravi Shankar’s lengthy, rousing finale.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A priceless document of late 1960s counterculture
- Janis Joplin performing “Ball and Chain”
- Jimi Hendrix’s memorable guitar-burning performance of “Wild Thing”
- The Mamas and the Papas performing “California Dreamin'”
- Simon and Garfunkel singing “The 59th Street Bridge Song”
- Ravi Shankar’s joyous finale performance
Yes, as an historically important, most enjoyable concert film.