Jampol: Big Brother’s first performance was legendary. I think Pennebaker was the one who cornered Albert Grossman, Bob Dylan’s manager. He said, “Albert, talk some sense into these guys. We have to film this.” Albert convinced them, although not everybody in the band wanted to do it.
Getz: Albert Grossman told her how fabulous she was. It became a big showdown. Janis was adamant about playing again on Sunday. She wanted to be successful. There was a lot of placating her at that point. There was an edge to playing a second time, because we’d been coerced.
Peter Lewis (Moby Grape): The day before, Janis couldn’t have gotten arrested. The day after, she couldn’t get rid of the guys in suits. [Columbia Records signed Joplin as a solo artist a few months later.] Big Brother was a family. Without those guys to protect her, being on her own drove Janis to an early grave.
Jampol: Listen, Big Brother had a band long before Janis was in it. And they all lived together communally, in a house in the Haight. When they were showcased at Monterey, I could see how they felt like they were losing control over their scene.
Lewis: Moby Grape were backstage with our manager, Matthew Katz, and Lou Adler. Lou talked about putting us on Saturday night, and filming it. That story is absolutely true: Matthew said, “I own the band’s name, and you have to pay me $1 million or you can’t film my band.” Adler was pissed off, and said, “Fine, you’ll play in the afternoon.” [Moby Grape singer] Skip Spence went crazy and fired Matthew right then. If we had been in the movie, like Janis, it would’ve made us huge stars.
Getz: Behind the stage there was a Quonset hut, where a lot of jamming was going on. Hendrix was playing, and I sat down at the drum set. I remember -- this is real, I’m not making this up -- someone came over and put a tab of acid in Hendrix’s mouth while he was playing. Crazy.
Lewis: Monterey was the first time I took acid. Some chick gave it to me. She mentioned getting it from David Crosby, and I split it with [bandmate] Bob Mosley. I remember thinking I was dead. Then light appeared in front of my eyes, and I realized I was lying in the parking lot of our motel, and the light was the stars. By the time the sun came up, I thought, “This is a real beginning.” I had died to my identity as [actress] Loretta Young’s son, and woke up to a new identity: a guy who played music. Making it in show business was not part of my vision of who I was. The age of the individual was coming.
Kasin: On Saturday night, Laura Nyro did a kind of New York nightclub act, dancing in unison with her singers. I say this as someone who loved her: she bombed, because she was so out of step with the festival.