Skip to main content

Watch Mike Bloomfield Electrify the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967

Below, check out some high-quality footage of late guitar legend Mike Bloomfield performing with the Electric Flag at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967.

The clip—which represents Bloomfield's debut gig with his new band (which followed his tenure in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band)—is from a fairly recent documentary, Sweet Blues: A Film About Michael Bloomfield, which combines vintage audio interviews and performance footage with new interviews with Bloomfield’s friends and bandmates.

If not for two famous Fender Strats at the fest—the one Jimi Hendrix burned and the one the Who's Pete Townshend smashed to bits—at least some of the Electric Flag's set might've appeared in Monterey Pop, D.A. Pennebaker's iconic 1968 concert film. Alas, it did not happen. Some of the set is, however, available on YouTube.

Although he often is overshadowed by Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green, Bloomfield—with his Sunburst 1959 Gibson Les Paul—set the pace for the disruptive fervor of the Sixties youth revolution with his greasy mix of Chicago blues and freak-out frenzy.

As Brad Tolinski wrote in 2013, "In many ways, [Bloomfield] accomplishes what Eric Clapton tried to do with Cream in the Sixties: he expands on the vocabulary of his blues heroes, but does it with just a bit more restraint, taste and style."

Below, check out "Drinkin' Wine" (also known as "Wine") and "Over-Lovin' You" from the Electric Flag's electrifying June 17, 1967, set. He uses his Les Paul in the former and his Fender Tele in the latter.

That's Buddy Miles on drums, by the way. He'd go on to become a key member of Hendrix's Band of Gypsys (1969-1970). Bloomfield died in 1981, Miles in 2008.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.