June 1967. The Monterey Pop Festival. It was designed to do for rock and pop music what the Monterey Jazz Festival and Monterey Folk Festival did for their respective genres. And it succeeded beyond anyone's expectations.
Canned Heat, Steve Miller, and Laura Nyro became stars overnight. Otis Redding effectively introduced himself to white audiences. The Who stunned the crowd by smashing their gear at the end of "My Generation." Jimi Hendrix followed them and ended his set by setting his guitar on fire.
But the stand out highlight in a weekend of exceptional performances was the one that Janis Joplin delivered with Big Brother & the Holding Company. The reviews were glowing:
Janis was a “burning lava flow of energy.”
She was a “force of nature.”
She was a “maelstrom of feeling that words could barely suggest.”
She "wasn’t pretty. She was just plain shake-that-thing erotic.”
Catching her onstage at the Monterey Pop Festival, the reporter from The Village Voice proclaimed that “to hear Janis sing ‘Ball and Chain’ just once is to have been laid, lovingly and well."