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“Otis Redding was like the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the great big soda,” Miss Phillips says. “It was an inspired performance. Even his wife told us when [Mr. Redding] came back from the Monterey Pop Festival, he woke her up in the middle of the night and said, ‘I think I have just achieved my goal.’ ”
“It was absolutely the antithesis of Monterey Pop,” Miss Phillips says. “It was ugly. It was dirty. It was violent.”
She says she has never been able to watch the movie of the event. The film captures a member of Hell’s Angels stabbing a young man.
It’s easy to look back at Monterey. It remains the festival that worked. It went off without a hitch. By the end of it, even the police force was wearing orchids that had been brought in to decorate the event.
“It’s just one of those moments when, for whatever reason, the stars just align, everything comes together and comes off perfect,” Mr. Adler says.
Approximately $75,000 was left over when expenses had been paid. Organizers gave $50,000 of it to a Harlem music program that Paul Simon was championing. The other $25,000 was given to the Chicago Disc Jockey Association in the name of Sam Cooke.
Mr. Adler still runs the Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation, and profits from recordings and the film of the event have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars that have benefited various charities, including the Free Clinic in San Francisco, the Free Clinic in Los Angeles and the Thelonious Monk Institute.
“The thing stays so relevant that I don’t have to look back,” Mr. Adler says, “because I run the foundation started because of the festival. I’m always aware of the artists who were there and where they are today and how they are today.
“There’s no overhead. Everything that comes in goes out,” Mr. Adler says.
By Tammy Bruce
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