Keeping the Blues Alive / Blues News  / Photo Of The Week – Frank Zappa At Miami Pop, 1968

This week’s “Photo Of The Week” is Frank Zappa At Miami Pop, 1968.  

In May 1968, the “Miami Pop” Festival drew an estimated 25,000 rock fans to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. For two days of rock greatness, “Miami Pop” is the first music festival on the East Coast. It boasted performances from the festival’s big headliner, Jimi Hendrix, along with John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and others. 

“Miami Pop” took place at Gulfstream Park less than a year after the groundbreaking “Monterey Pop Festival.” But it predates “Woodstock” by more than a year, making it the first rock festival on the East Coast.  The bands and musicians performed on flatbed trucks that doubled as stages.

Michael Lang organized Miami Pop

Michael Lang, the promoter of “Woodstock”, also organized the South Florida festival. Nobody at the time realized what a vital role the Magic City played during a pivotal era in American music history.  He said, that “the seeds of Woodstock were sown” here.  Lang didn’t take out an insurance policy against the weather. 

The weather was so bad on the second day, that they only let one act perform.  It was “John Lee Hooker” and only because he was acoustic.  People say that Hendrix had the idea to write Electric Ladyland’s “Rainy Day, Dream Away” at Miami Pop.

About the photographer Eddie Kramer

This photo was taken by Eddie Kramer – who was backstage and taking photos of the bands at the Miami Pop Music Festival.  He is a rock legend. In the course of a production and engineering career that has spanned over 4 decades, Kramer has been behind the boards and behind the camera for the biggest names in music.

His work with Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin produced music which continues to influence rock musicians and producers today. In addition, he has worked with The Rolling Stones, Traffic, Peter Frampton, Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, David Bowie, The Beatles. 

As for Zappa, Kramer captured him on stage during his Saturday performance with the Mothers of Invention.

You can check out more about Eddie Kramer on his website: http://www.eddie-kramer.com/

CREDITS: Sun Sentinel / Miami New Times

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