1969 Denver Pop Festival

1969 Denver Pop Festival

June 27, 28, & 29
Mile High Stadium
1969 festival #16

1969 Denver Pop Festival

AUD of Big Mama Thorton, “Ball and Chain”
The line-up
June 27

  • Big Mama Thornton
  • The Flock
  • Three Dog Night
  • Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention
  • Iron Butterfly
June 28

  • Aorta
  • Zephyr
  • Poco
  • Johnny Winter
  • Tim Buckley
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
June 29

  • Aum
  • Zephyr
  • Rev. Cleophus Robinson
  • Joe Cocker
  • Three Dog Night
  • Jimi Hendrix Experience
1969 Denver Pop Festival

Mile High Stadium

The Denver Pop Festival was the sixteenth rock festival of 1969. It was held at at Mile High Stadium [insert joke here].

Holding such an event inside a big stadium seemed like a perfect match. Bathrooms, food services, seating, controlled exit and entry are already present and do not have to be independently set up.

Unfortunately for the Denver festival, that amount of control was part of its problem.

1969 Denver Pop Festival

Hendrix/Star Spangled Banner

Another little known part of its history was that the Denver Pop Festival was the last performance by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, less than three years after its formation in the UK in September 1966. And Woodstock fans may be disappointed to hear that Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner, that the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was not his first public performance of that cover.

1969 Denver Pop Festival

Bill Hanley & Chip Monck

Barry Fey promoted the concert. While his name may not be recognized by many as a Bill Graham is, Fey had a long illustrious history of rock concert promotion. In fact, he promoted the first Led Zeppelin concert in the US: December 26, 1968 at the Denver Auditorium Area.

The Denver festival, unlike Woodstock’s legal challenges and trying to find a home accepted by the locals, had the support of the city government. Denver provided a campground, services there, as well as a shuttle service to and from the festival.

Like Woodstock’s impeccable sound system, Bill Hanley was the sound man. Like Woodstock, Chip Monck was an MC.

1969 Denver Pop Festival

Not a Woodstock

So why wasn’t the Denver Pop Festival another Woodstock? Looking at its line up it certainly had that potential.

Once again it is a combination of factors. The number of attendees plays a part. The Mile High Stadium accommodated approximately 50,000 people. Certainly an acceptably large amount, but no comparison to a 40-acre Max Yasgur field with 400,000.

Not filming or recording the event is another factor. The only recording I could find on YouTube was an audience one of Big Mama Thorton. She wrote “Ball and Chain” and as good as the famous Janis Joplin cover is, it’s nice to hear Thorton herself.

1969 Denver Pop Festival

Law enforcement

Part of Woodstock’s mission was to keep law enforcement away from the festival site. NYC cops were hired to moonlight, but only those who had a conciliatory attitude toward the Woodstock generation youth were hired. NY State Police were present on the periphery.

In Denver the local police were outside and around the stadium. Their presence, though not intentionally there to intimidate and harass, represented the authority that so many young people were rebelling against.

First Day

Inside the stadium was mostly OK. One minor incident was that a fan undressed, but was taken away by security. No such qualms would exist in Bethel, NY.

Outside some gatecrashers unsuccessfully tried to get past the security guards. Keep in mind, that the view of some fans and musicians was that music should be free. Tying a price to listen made the event corporate, the antithesis of to the counter culture’s ideals.

Members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the American Liberation Front were there to protest, not for the music.

At a point the first day, a bottle was thrown and hit the helmet of an officer.  The thrower was arrested without any additional incidents.

1969 Denver Pop Festival


1969 Denver Pop Festival

The second day again found gatecrashers unsuccessfully attempting entry. This time additional police were called in and they used time tear-gas to disperse the crowd. Some of the gas wafted into the stadium where Chip Monck advised the crowd to cover and protect their faces. Promoter Barry Fey subsequently handed out free tickets to avoid any further confrontations.

The free tickets were limited and the next day tear gas was again used to force gatecrashers away.

1969 Denver Pop Festival

Yes Butterfly, but last Experience

The Iron Butterfly did play in Denver, but though scheduled to play at Woodstock, they’d be left at the airport waiting for a ride after hearing a coded FU.

As mentioned above, this event was the last performance of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The next time Hendrix would play in public would be that famous muddy morning in Bethel, NY at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Drummer Mitch Mitchell would remain part of Hendrix’s larger ensemble there, but Noel Redding was no longer a member.

Click below to hear a small slice of Jimi Hendrix’s intro at Denver.

According to John Kane’s excellent book, The Last Seat in the House, The Story of Hanley Sound, Fey only made $50,000 in profit.  In two months, Woodstock Ventures would have considered such a “small” profit a complete success.

Related link >>> http://www.bobwyman.com/hendrix.html

Related link >>>  http://www.retrorebirth.com/music-festivals/denver-pop-festival-june-27-29-1969.php

1969 Denver Pop Festival

Next 1969 festival: Bath Festival of Blues

Canned Heat Larry Mole Taylor

Canned Heat Larry Mole Taylor

Played with…
Jerry Lee Lewis, The Monkees, Canned Heat, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and many others
Monterey Pop Festival
June 26, 1942 – August 19, 2019

Canned Heat Larry Mole Taylor

Canned Heat @ Monterey Pop Festival, “Rollin’ and Tumblin'”

Early years

Larry Taylor was born in New York City and seems to have played music his whole life. It was his brother, Mel, drummer for the Ventures, who led Larry into music. Larry played on a few of the Ventures’ albums.

He played in an instrumental surf band, the Gamblers, in the mid-’60s

Larry Taylor toured with Jerry Lee Lewis and was the session bassist for The Monkees. He also worked as a session musician for artists like Albert King, Solomon Burke, Buddy Guy, JJ Cale, Ry Cooder, Harvey Mandel and Charlie Musselwhite.

Canned Heat Larry Mole Taylor

Canned Heat

His career went into high gear when he joined Canned Heat in 1966 at the request of Henry Vestine, its original guitarist (Harvey Mandel later replaced Vestine). Taylor received his nickname from Skip Taylor, Canned Heat’s manager. Each of the band’s members had one. “The Mole” came from Skip Taylor thinking that a split in Larry’s front tooth made him look like a mole.

I suppose it could have been worse.


He described his Woodstock Music and Art Fair experience: It’s still the biggest crowd that I’ve ever played.  It’s hard to explain and to put into words.  You’d kind of have to have been there to really understand it.  I don’t really remember much.  It went by real fast.  In a way, it was like a shock. [Pop Addict interview]

Canned Heat Larry Mole Taylor


He left Canned Heat in 1970. He and Mandel joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers for a stretch.

He later played with the Sugarcane Harris Band and The Hollywood Fats Band.

He had also played with Leo Kottke, Tom Waits, John Lee Hooker, Ry Cooder, Charlie Musselwhite, John Hammond, JJ Cale, Tracy Chapman, Al Blake, and many others [All Music credits]

Taylor rejoined and exited Canned Heat on several occasions, and, beginning in 2010, became one of the members of the 2019 lineup of the band, along with de la Parra, the only consistent member since 1967.

Canned Heat Larry Mole Taylor

He died at his Lake Balboa, California home on August 19, 2019. The band’s manager and one-time producer, Skip Taylor, confirmed on Canned Heat’s Facebook that Taylor’s death after a 12-year battle with cancer. He was 77.

Larry told great stories, funny jokes, was a foodie, wine, record, and rock poster collector, computer whiz and a special human being who really ‘lived for music,’” Skip Taylor wrote in a statement. “Music was his religion! He influenced many of us in different ways and he will be missed by many throughout the music industry. Condolences to his wife, Andrea, his son Danny and his two daughters, Rebecca and Molly.” [Rolling Stone Magazine article]

Canned Heat Larry Mole Taylor

Beatles Love All Our World

Beatles Love All Our World

June 25, 1967

In 1967  what we watched on TV was mainly local other than the evening shows on the major networks. Cable TV was still in its infancy.

Yet the idea that everyone in the world could watch the same live TV program at the same was not new. The main problem was the technology and organization to do so.

Beatles Love All Our World

Aubrey Singer

Technology was no longer a hurdle. Aubrey Singer, a British Broadcasting Corporation producer, took on the organizational issues.

19 countries were lined up to participate but five Soviet bloc countries [Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, the Soviet Union, and Hungary] withdrew just before the broadcast in protest for the Six-Day War.

Those who did participate were:

  • Austrialia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France 
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Tunisia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • West Germany

Each country would contribute its own piece. No politicians. No heads of state. A live broadcast. Interpreters for each country’s contribution.

In the end, the broadcast went to 24 countries and an estimated 400 to 700 million people watch.

Some of the segments included:

  • from Canada, a Marshall McLuhan interview, views of Ghost Lake, a rancher and his cutting horse, and views from Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach.
  • from the USA, views of the house in Glassboro, NJ whre Lyndon Johnson and Soviet premier Alixi Kosygin met; a discussion about the impact of technology.
  • from Japan, views of the construction of the Tokyo subway system. 
Beatles Love All Our World

Beatles Our World

As selfish as I am, I am mainly concerned with the UK’s contribution: the Beatles. They had been asked to contribute a song.    Paul suggested their recent released “Hello Goodbye” but a new song came instead: “All You Need Is Love”.

Although the song lists as usual that it was a Lennon-McCartney composition,  John Lennon wrote it.

They started recording the song on June 14th, with Lennon on harpsichord, McCartney on double bass with a bow, George Harrison on violin (for the first time in his life!) and Starr on drums. (Rolling Stone magazine article)

Beatles Love All Our World

…and invited friends

While the ground rules stipulated a completely live performance, the Beatles and invited friends sang to a pre-recorded track for simplification. Those friends? Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richards, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, Mike McGear, Patti Boyd, and Jan Asher.

The single “All You Need Is Love” was released in the UK on July 7 and in the US on July 17. The song hit #1 in both countries.

Beatles Love All Our World

Not all enthusiasm

While the millions of Beatles fans found the show and the performance wonderful, there were some Brits who felt otherwise.

  • “This country has produced something more meritorious and noteworthy than The Beatles (much as I admire them)”
  • “We did not do ourselves justice”
  • “Have we nothing better to offer? Surely this isn’t the image of what we are like. What a dreadful impression they must have given the rest of the world”
  • “We flaunted The Beatles as the highlight of British culture, no wonder we have lost our image in the eyes of the world”
Beatles Love All Our World