The Monterey International Pop Music Festival was a three-day concert event held June 16 to June 18, 1967, at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey. The festival is remembered for the first major American appearances by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who and Ravi Shankar, the first large-scale public performance of Janis Joplin and the introduction of Otis Redding.
Hendrix’ use of extremely high volumes, the feedback this produced, and the combination of the two along with his dive-bombing use of the vibrato bar on his guitar, produced sounds that, with the exception of the British in attendance, none of the audience had ever heard before. This, along with his look, his clothing, and his erotic antics onstage, had an enormous impact on the audience. To take things further, aware of The Who’s planned explosive finale, he asked around for a can of lighter fluid, which he placed behind one of his amplifier stacks before beginning his set. He ended his Monterey performance with an unpredictable version of “Wild Thing”, which he capped by kneeling over his guitar, pouring lighter fluid over it, setting it on fire, and then smashing it onto the stage seven times before throwing its remains into the audience.
Jill Gibson was an experienced photojournalist by 1967. She had a musical background filling in for Michelle Phillips on the Mamas and The Papas second album and was dating Monterey Pop Festival producer, Lou Adler, at the time. Jill was the official photographer for The Monterey Pop Festival. These are her images, many which have never been released prior to now.
Janis Joplin commanding almost 10,000 fans on stage
Jimi Hendrix in the midst of one of his greatest ever performances
This performance put Hendrix on the map in the US
Photographer Jill Gibson said Hendrix’s show was “unique”
The Who’s Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend and Keith Moon destroying their instruments after their set