Drugs, Hell, Angels and Doors

Although often overshadowed by the larger events of the era, America’s first rock festival – the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival – took place on June 10 and 11, 1967, at Mount Tamalpais in Northern California. The location was a natural choice. A summer of love was blooming in neighboring San Francisco and the hippie counterculture was ready to join together to celebrate. Local radio station KFRC hosted the event, and local charities profited from ticket sales (which cost $2 each).

Up until this point, outdoor music festivals have been quieter, focusing on jazz or folk.

said Maria Moldor, who performed at the Fantasy Show with Jim Kweskin Jug Band rolling rock That “harbinger of turning things into rock festivals was when [Bob] Dylan first played the electrician in Newport [in 1965]. The “alternative lifestyle” – hipsters, jazz lovers – were already drawn to Newport, but things were much more straight and straight. There are still remnants of the 1950s.”

As America’s first rock festival, the Fantasy Fair will dramatically change the festival’s layout.

For starters, access to the scenic festival site was limited. Attendees had to park in the nearby Marin area and take chartered school buses to attend the event, dubbed the “Trans-Love” bus line. Meanwhile, the local motorcycle gang Hells Angels have been recruited to keep the peace.

They weren’t hired,” festival co-producer Tom Rounds explained. “It was their land and we needed their support. I don’t think it was our intention to use it as security; it was only our intention for them to have present to be intimidating.” [Laughs.] It was completely non-confrontational, just being there they said, “Okay, there’s law and order.”

The fairy tale also played up its theme, with decorations including a giant inflatable Buddha balloon and banners displaying each astrological sign. Stalls and tents housed a wide variety of local merchants selling food, jewellery, handmade candles, clothes, bongs, and any other trinket you could dream up.

Jack Cassady, Jefferson Airplane bassist, noted that “the fair portion was based on the Renaissance fairs, where people were dressed in costumes of antique pieces and they had jugglers and acrobats and people reciting ancient poems.” “It was part of the festival’s appeal – to have so many talented people in their community who are able to express their talents in so many different ways.”

Photographer Eileen Mays said, “There were children sliding down the hill on cardboard, people selling trinkets and incense, drawing faces, all kinds of people in the woods smoking pot – it was the most wonderful thing.” Marine . magazine.

“There were cops everywhere, and no one noticed. This has never happened before.”

Watch clips from the movie Fantasy Fair and the Magic Mountain Music Festival

Despite all these additions, the Fair of Fantasy was still a music festival. Organizers presented an eclectic lineup, including Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, Dionne Warwick, Byrds, Steve Miller Blues Band, and – in one of the biggest gigs outside of Los Angeles at that point – The Doors.

“I remember seeing the Doors and thinking it was more theater than music,” recalls John York, who was playing with the Byrds at the time. Jim [Morrison] It was like Hamlet or Macbeth. He created the kind of character that generates this energy where people want to see what happens next.”

Unfortunately, the Doors singer wasn’t exactly playing his game.

“Morrison was drunk, and there were these two poles on the corner of the stage holding the light,” San Francisco music critic Joel Selvin later recalled. “He was swinging around. There was one minute, and the other, he wasn’t. He fell off the stage about 15 feet away, but he came back and finished the song as if nothing had happened.”

See shots from the doors at Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival

Dors’ performance was just one of the most memorable moments of the weekend. The Byrds delivered their group with a stage as a drummer. “He had no idea who we were. York remembers just realizing we were four guys on stage with guitars and bass but no drummer. Unable to find a spare set of drumsticks, the stage worker played using the broken legs of the coffee table.” He didn’t know the songs. He just listened to and played music. And no one was bothered by what it looked like.”

However, the festival’s best performance is up to Captain Bephhart. During his Magic Band’s second single, something happened to his namesake showdown star Don Van Vliet.

“Don’t totally freeze,” said drummer John French. “I see Don turn around, panicked, and walk out of the back of the stage like there’s been no tumbling and falling.” According to the French, Van Vliet suffered from severe acid reflux. He looked at this girl with displeasure [from the stage] Her face turned into a fish and bubbles came out of her mouth.” Captain Beefhardt wasn’t the only one seeing things in the fairy tale. By all accounts, drug use was rampant. Salvation’s Art Resnick admitted, “Everyone was doing acids, if nothing” Another.” “San Francisco was in the summer of love, for Christ’s sake. After all the drugs and shit, man, I don’t even remember playing it.”

Watch amateur footage from the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival

Fantasy fair was celebrated and praised in the local press as a huge success. The San Francisco Chronicle He described it as “wild sounds and wild colours, skydiving and sideshows, grotesque Hit-Ashbury hippies and Cal T-shirt boys, dancing guys. …there was something for everyone.”

Despite breaking new ground and creating many items that are still used in music festivals today, the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain have been largely forgotten. The Monterey Pop Festival was held a week later, followed by the 1969 Woodstock Festival, and is usually held as the historically significant festival of the era.

“[Fantasy Fair] Singer-songwriter Penny Nichols later explained: It was a weekend that symbolized who we were and how we felt at the time. “By the time Monterey comes along, we are all now feeling self-aware of how important we are.”

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