Monterey Pop

I spent a couple hours at the laundromat, and then I went to the library.  After I had lunch, I went out to the theatre to see “Monterey Pop.”  They opened the theatre late, and I was the only one there to see the movie.  I had seen it before, in the early 1980s, and it was pretty much the same movie that I remember from all those years ago, except that it wasn’t a scratchy print with muddled sound.  The good thing about digital projection is that it doesn’t degrade the picture after many showings.  I found it interesting to see someone eating an orange or sleeping on the ground.  The first song is Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco,” which is not a live performance, but it is fitting in setting the mood.  I was a bit surprised at how bright and lively the Mamas and the Papas sounded on “California Dreamin’.”  Canned Heat is not a band that I will remember for anything at all.  Simon and Garfunkel’s brief number is “The 59th Street Bridge Song” instead of “The Sound of Silence.”  Jefferson Airplane does two songs, and I still didn’t recognize either one.  Grace Slick sure had a powerful voice years ago.  Janis Joplin gave one of the best performances in the film with “Ball and Chain.”  Mama Cass is in the audience and is impressed, saying “Wow!”  Eric Burdon and the Animals perform “Paint It, Black,” which really reminds us that the Rolling Stones should have been there but weren’t, along with The Beach Boys, The Kinks, and The Doors.  One person who was part of the festival but not the movie was Laura Nyro.  The Who went into “My Generation” and ended with a lot of destruction, with Keith Moon apparently getting injured.  One thing that is a contrast with Woodstock is that people are sitting in chairs, and they probably all had a good view of the bands.  Something else that was interesting was the almost nobody waves at the camera, giving a feeling of a Fellini film.  Otis Redding sang “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.”  I wish I could get the image of Jon Cryer in “Pretty in Pink” erased from my memory permanently.  Jimi Hendrix gave perhaps the most memorable performance.  There was quite a bit of sex in his song, “Wild Thing,” so it wasn’t shown on network television.  The setting of his guitar on fire was outrageous.  I kept wondering why he should want to destroy his guitar in the first place.  Some of the audience members aren’t hip, as they seemed confused as to how to react.  They’re still accustomed to conventions and politeness.  I don’t know if they would have been ready for Iggy Pop or The Sex Pistols.  I didn’t understand why Hendrix played the guitar behind his back.  It didn’t add anything to the moment, except to show that he could do it.  It made me think of Tom Hulce demonstrating Mozart’s skills in “Amadeus.”  The last number is Ravi Shankar’s “Dhun,” which I didn’t think was the greatest for the cameras, as it showed long shots of Shankar’s fingers.  He was certainly skilled.  One woman was sleeping.  I thought this was serious music, but some people are dancing around like jackasses.  The music does build to an ending that excites the audience, and you can briefly see Micky Dolenz of the Monkees.  I thought this was a good concert film, although it isn’t as impressive as “Woodstock.”  I thought the one annoying shot of the film was Michelle Phillips upside down.  I was glad to be reminded of what happened fifty years ago.  They sold fresh roasted peanuts at the concert site, and no one carried cell phones.  They weren’t able to hold another festival the following year, which I guess is just as well.  It would have been hard to recreate the magic.  It was fun being the only one in the theatre to see this movie.  It was almost like being at home with a huge screen in front of me.  I went over to a Prince Purple Rain Listening Party.  The bonus tracks that I heard did not excite me very much.  After I returned home, I watched the Partridge Family episode “Danny Converts,” which felt like a Bridget Loves Bernie preview.  Laurie was supposed to have been eating ice cream in one scene.  My copy of The Partridge Family Cookbook arrived in the mail.  It was in pretty good condition for a 45-year-old paperback book.  I saw on the news that the A’s won their game with the Chicago White Sox.  Khris Davis hit a home run.  Some of the people who died on June 14 include Grover Cleveland (1908), Jackie Gleason (1987), Brian Keith (1997), David Tomlinson (2000), Paul Winchell (2005), and Eli Wallach (2014).  Today is a birthday for Mindy Kaling (38), Mick Fleetwood (70), Peter Weller (70), and Jeff Beck (73).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 24, “Cat Ballou,” starring Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Dwayne Hickman, and Nat King Cole, was released in 1965.  In 1971, “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, was released.  In 2014, Eli Wallach died at age 98.

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