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1963 Beverly Hills Pop Festival

Woodstock.  Monterey.  Isle of Wight?

Beverly Hillshippies

Fans camped out for days

All great concerts.  But without the ground-breaking 1963 Beverly Hills Pop Festival to clear the way, we might never have witnessed such iconic shindigs.

Revelers at the 1963 BHPF

Featured bands included the Who, the What, the Stones, the Monkees, the Donkees, Scott and Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Country Joe and the Fish, and the first and only performance by Cocoon the Movie: the Band. Jimmy Hendricks (no relation to Jimi Hendrix) actually ATE his Stratocaster on stage, after carefully barbecuing it during his extended acoustic set.

The strange case of Cocoon the Movie: the Band has occupied fans’ hearts and fueled historical buffs’ parlor-room “what if” arguments ever since the mercurial duo first appeared on the scene in San Francisco at the tail end of the Beat Situation.

CtM:tB co-founder Traveler Alpha, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, CtM:tB co-founder Traveler Beta, Lawrence Ferlinghetti in front of City Lights Books in San Francisco, 1955

CtM:tB co-founder Traveler Alpha, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, CtM:tB co-founder Traveler Beta, Lawrence Ferlinghetti in front of City Lights Books in San Francisco, 1955

After a few spoken-word slumber parties at Ferlinghetti’s City Lights bookshop, plans were made for the most amazing psych-folk-rock concept of all time.  It would be a band based on a fictional movie… and so named for that very same fictional movie.

Cocoon the Movie: the Band was born.  It was not until 20 years later that an actual movie called Cocoon was released and the prophetic genius of CtM:tB fully realized.

Click below for an excerpt from their seminal 1962 single “Stellar Safari”:

As you can tell from the clip, it’s obvious that Cocoon the Movie: the Band was even able to anticipate the rough plot of the not-yet-actual-film.

Cocoon the Movie: the Movie

Cocoon the Movie: the Movie

How they did it, and why, will likely confound scholars for eons to come.

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