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Classic Photographs of Monterey Pop

It Happened In Monterey, a collection of photographs by Elaine Mayes taken during the seminal rock concert, the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967, is now available. Recognized as “modern rock’s defining moment,” the weekend festival at the Monterey Fairgrounds during San Francisco's “Summer of Love” was the event that launched such legendary artists as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Mamas and the Papas, The Greatful Dead, The Who, Otis Redding and others. Billed as a weekend of “Music, Love and Flowers,” it was also the first large rock festival, preceding and setting the stage for Woodstock two years later. It was also the first “benefit concert,” and the first concert event to feature artists from different traditions and cultures, highlighted by a sublime performance by Ravi Shankar.

Elaine Mayes’ Monterey Pop photographs were in an archive until recently. A 2001 symposium in Monterey exhibited Elaine’s photos and brought her together with many of the figures she photographed in ’67. They were happy to flash back and out of the experience completion of her book idea was made possible, with a jacket design by the original Monterey Pop art director Tom Wilkes and an introduction by Festival producer Lou Adler. As a result, It Happened In Monterey is not only a book of Elaine’s exquisite photography, but a thorough recollection of a weekend that became one of the most significant in the history of modern rock and popular culture. This book successfully captures the essence and feeling of that most important bygone era.

Organizers of the Festival included Lou Adler, John and Michelle Phillips, Andrew Loog Oldham (manager of the Rolling Stones), Paul McCartney, Beatles publicist Derek Taylor, Paul Simon and others. John Phillips wrote “If You're Going To San Francisco, Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair” to invite everyone to come in peace. Sung by Scott McKenzie, this anthem remains one of the most memorable pieces of music from the 60’s.

Elaine Mayes has won numerous awards for her photography including three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a prestigious Guggenheim fellowship. Her work has been exhibited and published worldwide, and she recently retired from teaching photography at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she was Chair of her department during the last four years of her tenure. Her book, It Happened In Monterey, measures 12 1/2 X 9 1/2, album style.