When included with Monterey Pop (1968), the film was originally intended to be a television special to be shown on ABC. However, several ABC executives objected to much of the footage, especially the blatant sexuality of Jimi Hendrix's performance. In fact, Thomas W. Moore threw up his hands and said, "Not on my network" after viewing the footage.
Although they declined the invitation to perform because they had sworn off touring permanently, all four Beatles were on the festival's board of directors. George Harrison had helped recommend 'Ravi Shankar (I)', and Paul McCartney had pushed for the organizers to sign Jimi Hendrix, who was unknown in the United States at the time.
Pete Townshend of The Who and Jimi Hendrix got into a heated argument over who was going to follow each other on the bill. Townshend didn't want to follow Hendrix and vice-versa. John Phillips settled the manner by flipping a coin.