Grad Night 1967

Grad Night - By dawn you were on PCH heading to Monterey Pop, Tux and all.

It’s June 16, 1967 – You’re A Teenager – You Live In L.A. – It’s Grad Night – You Don’t Know It Yet, But You’re Heading To Monterey.

Grad Night 1967
Grad Night – By dawn you were on PCH heading to Monterey Pop, Tux and all.

June 16, 1967 – KRLA – Casey Kasem –

Okay – this one goes down in the history books as the perfect night – the night all the planets aligned – the night which all other nights for the rest of your life would be considered poor runners up by comparison. You know in your heart of hearts it’s never going to happen quite like this again – ever.

It’s taken you the better part of the semester to drag up enough courage to ask her to Grad Night. You’ve been carrying this torch around since 11th grade. But it’s now or never – you heard she’s going to College somewhere in Vermont. She says yes and grabs your arm, bringing a smile and an eye-lock along with it. You wonder why it took you a year to talk to her – you wonder about yourself sometimes. Your blood resumes circulating. The pounding in your head stops.

The big day, the one you thought would never come travels at a snails pace.

The ceremony is endless – you never knew there were so many of you graduating. There must be fifty people giving speeches, each one is a cure for insomnia. A sea of blue robes, quietly baking in the sun.

When it’s finally over you get that jolt of adrenaline. The party begins.

Everybody gets formal – your friends and their dates are dressed to kill. This is the big farewell party – you’re all heading off in different directions – whole new lives are looming on the horizon. Gotta make the most of it – and nobody wants the night to end and certainly nobody wants the party to stop.

By two in the morning, with varying degrees of buzz going on, you all decide to head over to Canters. By now there’s 10 of you, crammed into a booth, wolfing down Blintzes; still in tuxes, still in ballgowns. You decide you’re going to move to Vermont; your date has become your soulmate. You’ve been holding hands the better part of six hours.

Somebody at the far end of the table comes up with a brilliant idea – The Monterey Pop Festival started today and you should all go. A ripple of heads nodding in agreement spread down the table. What a perfect idea! And if you leave now you’ll get there before the second day starts.

A caravan of VW’s, Plymouths and Mustangs make their way to PCH and head north. The sky is getting lighter.

Somewhere between San Luis Obispo and Big Sur someone lights a joint and passes it around. You forgot to bring sunglasses.

You don’t remember who you saw, but you remember it was loud. You also remember you didn’t want it to end. Why didn’t it move as slowly as your graduation did? Your lips are swollen. Your date, the girl it took a year to get the nerve to talk to wound up seeing you every day of the week all Summer. You became an item.

You owe a fortune for the Tux rental because of all the burn-holes, they also said grass stains were a pain to get out and was I rolling around in the dirt? You’re guaranteed to be in hock for the next six months.

And Grad Night was the best night of your life.

To prove it, Casey Kasem, just as he sounded on KRLA from June 16, 1967.




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