Anyone who considers themselves a frequent concert goer has their moment. That moment that they see as the greatest moment in music. For some it’s Woodstock. Others might say Shea Stadium 1965 watching the Beatles. While others might argue Soldier Field 1995 for the Dead’s last show. There are even some who say it’s just that local band with the lead guitarist who grew up down the street, playing at the small venue in their home town. All music lovers can pinpoint a moment in time that they believe to be monumental. So with all these great moments does anyone wonder what really is the best? What is the mountain top, the peak of live performances? What is the greatest moment in music?
Rolling Stone Magazine has two lists that might help come to a conclusion. According to Rolling Stone the greatest guitarist of all time is the one and only Jimi Hendrix, hardly any room to argue. Rolling Stone’s other helpful list is the 500 greatest songs of all time, in which they say that Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” is the greatest song of all time (interesting choice Rolling Stone Magazine). Using these two lists, a person might be able to pinpoint the greatest moment in music history.
Let’s set the stage. It’s the Monterey Festival, 1967, on the Monterey County Fairgrounds in California. The lineup was a collection of artist that decorate the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Ravi Shankar, Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Steve Miller band, Simon and Garfunkel, Otis Redding, Buffalo Springfield, The Who, Grateful Dead, The Mamas & the Papas, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience were all included in the lineup. With such as amazing group of performers and Jimi’s late Sunday evening set, there was probably a large majority of the crowd who were sure they had seen their magic moment. He was just two songs into his set when the greatest guitarist of all time told the crowd that he’d like to play one of his favorite songs by another artist, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” Watching the man who wrote the book on modern electric guitar play a song written by the man who very well could be the most influential songwriter ever is a moment that music gods whisper about. A once in a lifetime experience that can’t be duplicated or replicated. Could this be the greatest moment in music history? It’s certainly on the top 100 list.