From the 1967 Thrifty Vinyl archives
SHANKAR ENCOURAGES DRUG USE AT MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL Thoroughly Baked Sitarist Tells Throng to ‘Get Stoned To The Bone’ During Set
Knocking back a bottle of Jack Daniels, a clearly high Ravi Shankar told his audience at the Monterey Pop Music Festival: “Whatever you got to smoke, and I mean whatever, fuckin’ spark up now! I want you to get stoned to the bone while I play.” In response, clouds of acrid marijuana smoke could be clearly seen billowing over swathes of the 55,000 strong crowd.
Previously during Moby Grape’s act, the 47-year old Indian classical musician was observed stumbling among the audience sharing bottles of wine, pulling on bongs and even huffing oven cleaner with one delighted hippie. Later, struggling to bear the weight of his instrument, he interrupted a meanering performance of “Dhun (Dadra and Fast Teental)” to lead those in attendance in a 5-minute chant of “Shit! God Damn! Git of yo’ ass an’ jam!” and honk a fattie with Tabla player Alla Rakha. “Dude, don’t Bogart,” he could be heard to say when Rakha took more than one toke.
“Seriously kids, you don’t need drugs to enjoy this,” he slurred mischievously towards the end of his set, “Just enhance it!”
“Hell yeah!” he added. “That’s what I’m takin’ about!”