(4/5/2012) - Bill Wyman
In June of 1967, I was living with Gene Van Scoy and an MPC friend in an apartment in New Monterey. None of us had tickets to the Pop Festival. I found out that Tom Gifford had a ticket for Friday night. There were five of us who wanted to go to the concert and we thought we would try to get all of us in on one ticket. This idea was fueled by alcohol.
Anyway, it was Tom, Greg Dorman, myself and a couple of friends. Tom went through the main entrance. The rest of us gathered about 100 fee away next to the wire fence. Tom walked over and passed the ticket through to the next person. This was repeated 5 times and we all get into the fairgrounds.
We then walked over to the horse arena where we were met by a wooden fence that was about 8 feet high. Here Tom went through again and when he got on the other side he put the ticket on a rock and wrapped it in paper and threw it over the fence. He picked a spot that was a little ways away from the front entrance. This was repeated until we all got in.
Now we faced our biggest problem. We had to get past the usher that checked all tickets. We decided that when we got to him, Tom would give him the ticket and the rest of us would run left and right. Greg and I went right and fortunately security had run left. We ran and turned right and ran to the top of the bleacher seats. The two guys that ran left were caught and escorted out.
Greg and I got to see all of Friday night's activities. When it was over, we met back at Tom's Hearst and drove around the fair grounds. We met a group of young ladies who followed us back to my apartment and we had a little party; which we continued on Saturday and Sunday night.
All this time, Gene Van Scoy stayed at the festival and camped out at the MPC football field. Each night he and hundreds of others were entertained by impromptu performances by the headliners. I don't think he got much sleep.
Anyway, late Sunday night Tom talked me into going with him to pick up his congas and banjo drums and take them out to the fair grounds. So we got into the hearse, went to his house, got the drums and headed to the fair grounds. We were also, at this time, "under the influence".
We got to the fairgrounds and the side entrance was open. We hauled the drums in and set up camp and began pounding away. Tom is a fabulous drummer and so I just followed his lead. We could hear the music coming from the Horse Arena as the festival was winding down. Tom and I were having a ball. He was standing and playing his congas while I sat and did my thing on the bongos.
Finally the Pop Festival ended and people were exiting the arena and many came our way as they exited the fairgrounds. As they got to us they began to surround us and began dancing and gyrating. It became a large group and Tom and I kept pounding in an inspired way. We were having a lot of fun.
Eventually, a couple of sheriff deputies made their way through the crowd and very politely asked us if we could stop so that everyone could exit the fairgrounds. Many in the crowd yelled insults at the deputies but Tom and I decided it would be best to pack it up and avoid trouble.
So in a funny way, I would say that Tom and I were the closing act of the festival.
Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Many blessings and lots of love to us all.
(9/17/2102) - Terry (Garner) Stafford
(Commenting on attending the 45th Anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival) I'm a bit far away and start teaching tomorrow, or I'd be there.
This sounds like great fun.
My moment of glory at the first pop fest (I think it was the first?) was when Bob Dylan stepped on my foot! (Haven't washed it since.) Have fun, Terry
(9/19/2102) - Gunnar Sande
I've seen the spot on the PG 66 web page about Monterey Pop but have never written to you about it. I was there all three nights. It's something I'll never forget. It's funny how Woodstock got so much press a year later. I think it was because of the size of the crowd.
Monterey was so different a year earlier. People sat in assigned seats. The music was so diverse; think of the music we were listening to just the year before in high school. Even that week end was diverse, Friday night starts off with The Association then onto Grateful Dead, Jimi and ending with Simon and Garfunkel (the headliners). It was pretty unreal by that point after watching Jimi burn and smash his guitar. Half the groups that became huge headliners at Woodstock were unknowns a year before in Monterey.
What really was a eye opener was the campground set up on the MPC football field. There was a stage at one end of the field and a light show between the goal posts. Groups and people from the concert just jammed all night. Now you weren't in seats and this is where the real show of people came out. I'd never seen anything like it before. The Hell's Angles were riding their bikes around the track. No problems. Then I saw Tiny Tim! He got on stage and sang Tip Toe Through the Tulips. Never had heard of him! My kids bought me the concert boxed set years ago for Christmas. They enjoyed my stories of that week end.
While I was at the MPC I worked on a Montery Pop 2 committee headed by John Phillips. Lots of time, energy and public support was put in but it just wasn't working for the city. I think Woodstock scared them and you couldn't blame them at the time. - Gunnar Sande
(5/23/2013) - Jane Ruddick
I was in the class of 1970. I went with Gary Schwab, he was class of 1969. His dad drove us...I still have the ticket stubbs. We went Friday night...I remember 'The Association' and Lou Rawls, that's about it! It was so long ago! Some of the other people in my class went, Debbie Scott stood right next to Brian Jones, Kent Crawford had some kind of life experience! it's just so cool to say, "I went!" Also, we went to Altamont, which wasn't so cool! - Jane Ruddick