It was the summer of Flower Power, the summer the Beatles first blew our minds
with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was the summer the Woodstock
generation had its coming-out party at the Monterey International Pop Festival,
and the summer Scott McKenzie instigated a vast pilgrimage of youths to San Francisco
when he sang that period's countercultural anthem, penned by Papa John Phillips:
"If You're Going to San Francisco" (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your
Hair)." It was indeed the Summer of Love.
ideals that came out of those bygone days have not gone unnoticed by Walther
Productions, which is warmly remembering this anniversary season with the
staging of Summer
of Love ... 35 Years Later this weekend at Marvin's Mountaintop in Masontown,
WV, 15 miles Southeast of Morgantown. So if you're going to West Virginia for
Labor Day Weekend, be sure to wear flowers in your hair.
of Love ... 35 Years Later is a three-day, 20-band Labor Day Weekend experience
aimed at connecting the vibe of peace, love, and musical expansion that blossomed
during that monumental cultural moment in 1967 with the soundtrack of today's
cultural phenomenon - the jamband scene. Starting on Friday and continuing
through Labor Day, the festival features two sets of Dark
Star Orchestra recreating an entire Grateful Dead show Friday and Saturday
night. (Trivia Note: The Grateful Dead were on the bill opening night of the
Monterey Pop Fest.)
Also headlining are The Wailers, the Steve Kimock Band, Victor Wooten and the
Derek Trucks Band. The rest of the lineup includes Ray's
Music Exchange, The Alison Brown Quartet, the Kelly Bell Band, The Catfish Hodge Band, Psychedelic Breakfast,
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, the Gordon Stone Band, ulu, Dr. Didg, Moon Boot Lover,
The Bomb Squad, Jabali Afrika, The Bridge, Guest and Keith & Joan Pitzer.
Summer of Love ... 35 Years Later is the only national celebration saluting
the enormous cultural impact of the unforgettable summer of '67. It pays homage
to the music festival movement launched by Monterey Pop and embedded in this
country's collective consciousness two years later with Woodstock.
bands we work with today are carrying the torch for what was initiated in the
late '60s -- particularly during the summer of '67," says promoter Tim
Walther. "'Summer of Love ... 35 Years Later' is a celebration of the personal
freedom and community spirit that we strive to keep alive at all of our festivals."
For Walther, the ultimate reaffirmation that freedom and spirit is still thriving
was personally witnessed this August, when he and his family were among the
tens of thousands who attended the long-awaited reunion of the Grateful Dead
in Alpine Valley, WI. Experiencing the familiar atmosphere surrounding this
historic event was the utmost endorsement of Walther's decision to select Dark
Star Orchestra as his festival centerpiece. Overall, the 20 bands that make
up the "Summer of Love ... 35 Years Later" display a keen diversity
that appeals to old hipsters and newcomers alike.
There is no doubt that for many, the original Summer of Love was a season to
treasure. Monterey Pop was the turning point when its musical soundtrack became
a world-class industry. The underground music movement emerged above ground,
and it was no longer just hippies who were growing their hair. As the music
industry was launched toward the corporate behemoth it has become today, it's
refreshing to know that the sense of communal freedom and improvisational spirit
that gelled that summer can still prevail.
Tickets are $60. A 1-day Sunday into Monday pass is $50. Gates open at 4 p.m.
Friday and close at noon Monday. Children under 12 admitted free with accompanying
adult. For details, call the Home Grown Music Network's Buzz-A-Band Hotline
at (919) 563-4936 or check the Summer of Love website at Walther-Productions.com.