So, what you do if you're a scion of one of the richest dynasties in America? Well, you turn to music, of course. John Henry Hammond, Jr., born in 1911 into a branch of the Vanderbilt family, was never destined to tread a path into the world of banking. From an early age, he was only interested in music.
In the year 1967, during the height of the ‘Summer of Love,’ a young man living in San Francisco realized that Pop-Music was changing. Like many who attended the Monterey Festival in June of that year, he got the vibe that the whole movement had shifted. From a joyous escape from the mundane realities of life, the joys of a youthful had turned into a free love, alternative society with the music at its heart.
The Beatles manager Brian Epstein had just come out of a drug-induced collapse in May 1967, in the Priory Hospital in Roehampton in West London, when he heard the group he had propelled to international stardom’s latest album. A stereo had been set up by his bedside and acetate provided; he closed his eyes, lay back and listened to the magic that filled the room.