51 Years Ago Today… a footnote
When I posted the article on this, the 51st anniversary of Jimi Hendrix becoming a star, I saw the video of Jimi burning his guitar many times over the years and other shots on documentaries and stills of that seminal moment in music history that launched careers of musical heavyweights and changed a generation, the nation and eventually the world. No small feat, but music did that, and this was a critical spot, with 1967's Monterey Pop Festival, during the "Summer Of Love."
The picture of the burn mark that is still on that stage gave faint clue to the magnitude of what transpired from that act. After posting, that guitarist/photographer, Rob Espinosa, sent me a few other pictures.
The first, from the stage, revealed how small the arena was for that event, that also changed the way concert festivals around the world would be done from that point onward. That small arena held some 30,000 to 90,000 people over a three day period, estimates vary, but the impact was huge.
Rob is a good friend that I met in Boulder, Colorado back in the stone ages... late 70's I think. We went our ways and he ended up playing guitar for the band It's A Beautiful Day touring the world and sharing the stage with Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis Joplin’s band), Quicksilver Messenger and others.
In this picture of It's A Beautiful Day onstage at at the 40th Anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival, Rob is the guitar-slinger on the left.
The shot of the burn mark of Hendrix, was taken more recently when he was performing with Rio Salinas after Rob parted ways with IABD. Its kind of a local boy done good story, and I thank him for letting us share a small part of a big piece of history.
"Playing on that stage was a major trip! To think of all the people who had graced that stage over 40 years and stand in that spot was pretty surreal. As far as channeling his essence..... naw, not even close. I thought briefly about bringing my lighter fluid and matches, but then......"