Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Whole Thing About Music

Master of Sitar, Ravi Shankar.Image via Wikipedia
I was watching VH1 this weekend and I saw one of their documentaries, this one about the Monterey Pop Festival. It was maybe the coolest thing to ever happen...ever. Just think; nobody in that crowd had ever seen a band destroy their instruments before. The Who did it at the end of "My Generation." We take for granted how cliche it's become (For instance I decided to give Fall Out Boy a chance thinking "maybe I'm just a music snob and they are good." So I watched their new video, although I'm not sure what it was called and I don't care to look it up, but there were monkeys involved. And I was right. They do suck. But that's beside the point. The bass player started destroying the set and his bass and it was the worst display of a pissed off band I think I've ever seen. He looked like a total bitch. Very sad. People actually like that?).

Jimi Hendrix played to an American crowd for the first time (through the lobbying of Paul McCartney, who was on the board to decide the acts for the Pop Festival). He proceded to simulate sex with his amp and set his guitar on fire. You know, something none of those people had seen. The Who didn't want to go on after him like they were supposed to so they switched places.

Otis Redding played to a mostly white audience for the first time. In his blueish-green suit, which made him stand out among the hippie crowd, he walked on stage with maybe the greatest backing band of all time (Booker T. & the M.G.'s, who also backed Sam and Dave, Jackie Wilson and most of the Stax artists, as well as having their own records) and said, "So this is the love crowed, huh?" And then he proceded to just go off on "Shake," which they played in double time, effectively blowing everyone's mind.

Ravi Shankar, the sitar virtuoso who taught George Harrison, also played. If you ever get a chance to see video of him playing, you should watch it. He is incredible.

Jefferson Airplane had just had hits with "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love." They, of course, played those songs, but their performance was notable for what the cameraman did during their set (oh yeah, there was a documentary made by D.A. Pennebacker). He did not take his camera off of Grace Slick the whole time because she is so damn beautiful. Even when someone else is singing the camera is on her.

And there were so many acts that included people as diverse as Hugh Masekela to the Mama's and the Papa's, Johnny Rivers to the Grateful Dead and a number of blues based, psychedelic-tinged rock acts.

The look on the people in the audience was beyond words. There was so much going on that was new and revolutionary (for pop music at least), I'm not sure if they could grasp how big the event was at that moment while their jaws stood collectively dropped.

Or it could've just been the drugs.

I said I might put up some of my remix'ed songs I have been working on sporadically . So here's one of my favorite songs (also from 1967, the year of the Monterey Pop Festival) and the remix I made (listen with headphones on, I made it for the headphone enthusiast):
Alone Again Or (Original) by Love
Alone Again Or (Remix) by Love

And I'll put up my "Yellow Submarine" mix later. So stay tuned for that.
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