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The Los Angeles Pop Festival was held at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on December 22 and 23, 1968. It was also called a Christmas Happening, which sounds far more groovy. It hadn't been a busy year in Southern California for festivals really. The Newport Pop Fest had been held in Costa Mesa in August to an audience of over 200,000 but this was a much smaller, low profile affair.
Despite extensive research I can't find out much about the gig. It was one of the earliest to be held in a sports stadium, which was later to become the norm. And it also meant people went home at the end of the first day. So it's really not a festival in the way we think about it now with 3 days worth of bands, with everyone camping and raging around semi-naked, high on PCP. Or was that just me?
The bands that played were all festival regulars. Weird addition of the Righteous Brothers - can't quite see them fitting in with the heavy crunch of Blue Cheer. The Love Exchange were a short-lived but interesting folk-psyche band from LA whose only album came out in 1968.
Jose Feliciano was a popular act on the festival scene as he provided a cooling acoustic come-down off the peak acid rock. The Steve Miller Band had released their debut album 'Children Of The Future' in June and 'Sailor', their second in October which got to #24 around this time. Blue Cheer's first album had been released in January 1968 and had got to #11, 'Outsideinside' their second had come out in August but made just #90. The Box Tops were having hit singles and The Chambers Brothers had a growing live following for their psychedelic funk show. Sounds like a cool, low-key, pre-Xmas show.
The Box Tops
The Chambers Brothers
The Grass Roots
The Love Exchange
Steve Miller Band
The Righteous Brothers
Three Dog Night