This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival, the landmark blast that brought acts such as Jimi Hendrix, the Who, and Janis Joplin to the American consciousness and provided last, best shots for the Mamas and the Papas (their string of hits ended), Otis Redding (he died six weeks after he smoked the predominantly white crowd), and David Crosby (his last show with the Byrds). Monterey was the show where Hendrix genuflected before his flaming (literally) guitar. And these brief anecdotes make up only a small part of what was the Monterey Pop Festival. I recommend an excellent new book by Joel Selvin, with photos by Jim Marshall, called Monterey Pop, for anyone who cares to remember.
I wage a constant battle to keep this space free of naughty words that might shock your fragile sensibilities and cause the New Times corporate superstructure to crumble like so much re-pressed cocaine tapped with a hammer. And so it is that in a recent column I chose to call some of you askiniffers, instead of the more precise but messy "butt sniffers." A couple of my brothers, the twins, Chuck and Roger, to whom the etymology of "askiniffers" can be traced, took great exception to my use of the word. Believe me, of all the people in the world you do not want to offend, Chuck and Rog rank at the tip top. Either one can easily crush a human skull with two fingers, although they'd argue they could do it with just one digit. My bros insist the word should be spelled "ass-kiniffer." The origin rests in an experience a few years ago when two older, somewhat marble-mouthed men were working. One bent down to do something, the other leaned over from behind him. The first guy looked back over his shoulder and said, "Damn, I didn'ts knows youz was an ass-kiniffer." So take that, William Safire.
Show me your hits: Wet Flower, the Itch, and XSF enlouden the Button South on Thursday. Naked Rhythm bares all at the Reunion Room on Friday. On Saturday, try some Picasso Trigger with Purple Mustard at Uncle Sam's.
Butthorn of the week: The FCC. America's best TV/radio reporter, the Sun-Sentinel's Tom Jicha, writes that WLUP-AM in Chicago is standing up to the feds and fighting fines levied for naughty jokes about - how should we put this? - penis size. Local stations such as WIOD-AM have answered similar FCC charges by dutifully paying the fines, but Jicha says the folks at WLUP aren't pushovers. They're taking the big boys to the wall, and we wish them luck.
The media circus: Jim DeFede's recent cover story about ICTV was wonderful, or at least ABC News thought so. The network sent a crew to the D.C. Hotel last week for two days of shooting, and should air a segment on World News Tonight soon. You know how the damn news media is - ABC couldn't say exactly when they planned to show the piece. This week a crew from Telemundo is visiting Ol' Graybar for another shoot about ICTV, which will change DeFede's story from national to international. Now if HBO would begin airing Public Defender Live and Inmate Evening News....
Greg Brown lyric of the week: From 1992's "So Hard" on Dream Cafe: "Why is it so hard/Why is it so hard/Why is it so hard/Why is it so hard/To love, love, really love somebody?