Look Back: Musicians Who Inspired The Summer of Love

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Creative Commons/Wikimedia
At one time, festival posters like these decorated the streets of San Francisco and Monterey.
Janis Joplin/Public Domain
For many, Janis Joplin helped define the Summer of Love. She was a band member in San Francisco psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company before striking out on her own, and she lived in Haight-Ashbury. She died tragically at the age of 27. Her infamous rainbow Porsche 356C, which has since become a symbol for the psychedelic, sold for more than $1.5 million in 2015.
Creative Commons
Considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Jimi Hendrix's awed audiences at the Summer of Love festival in 1967. His mainstream career spanned only four years — like Joplin, he died an untimely death at the age of 27 — but his legacy lives on. There has since been some controversy over the commercialization of Hendrix iconography; His estate sued over unlicensed merchandise.
Flickr/Creative Commons
The Grateful Dead has inspired generations of musicians. Formed in the South Bay, the band is heralded for their innovative, extemporanious approach to concerts. "We don't make up our sets beforehand," lead singer Jerry Garcia once told an interviewer. "We'd rather work off the tops of our heads than off a piece of paper."
Jefferson Airplane
Jefferson Airplane is perhaps best known for the song "White Rabbit." In 1967, the band released the album "Surrealist Pillow," which was — wait for it – shadow produced by Jerry Garcia. The band credited The Grateful Dead musician as a "spiritual advisor" on the album, and rumor has it that the record's title comes from a comment he made: he said the album "was as surrealistic as a pillow is soft."
The Mamas & The Papas
Band member John Phillips wrote "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," a song that has since come to represent the so-called Flower Children of San Francisco. Unlike the other entries in this list, however, Phillips' reputation has tarnished with age, especially after reports that he molested and carried on an incestuious relationship with his daughter, actress Mackenzie Phillips. Meanwhile, the late lead singer Cass Elliot, whose silky vocals would go on to carry four solo albums, continues to be the subject of cruel jokes surrounding her weight.
The Who
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