5/17-18/68 - THE MIAMI POP FESTIVAL, GULFSTREAM TRACK, HALLENDALE, FL. - .50,000 people - Promoted by MICHAEL LANG, and Rick O'Barry- with Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and the Mothers of Invention, Blue Cheer, Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, + Inspired by Monterey, this was Michael Lang and Rick O'Barry's first production, Other Producers of the 1968 May 18th Miami Pop Festival were Marshall Brevitz,James McBarren and Barry Taran. With special thanks to Stan Goldstein. and this is "Where The Seeds To Woodstock Were Sown" -Michael Lang. It was a two day, leave at night, come back the next day, festival. Headlined by JImi Hendrix and the Experience, who arrived by helicopter, this festival used flatbed trucks for stages. On the first day, a daytime & night time set was performed by Blue Cheer, Chuck Berry, and Jimi Hendrix. The next day bad rain storms kept Jimi from performing, and was the inspiration for " Rainy Day, Dream Away ". This was very early in my concert photography career, and I only knew how to shoot with a flash at night. This would prove to be a big problem only two frames into Jimi's night time set, I was stopped cold in my photographic tracks. I had a Honeywell strobe powered by a 510 volt battery that was very powerful, and too powerful for Jimi indeed. " There will be no more flash photography " I thought Jimi told me, and the whole audience. I took the hint, and sat and watched the rest of the concert with my friends, but there was more to the story.
12/28-30/68 - MIAMI POP II, GULFSTREAM TRACK, HALLENDALE, FL. - 100,000 people - Promoted by Tom Rounds - admission, $7.00 - Procal Harum, The Box Tops, The Turtles, Grass Roots, 3 Dog Night, Steppenwolf, Blues Image, Richie Havens, The Sweet Inspirations, Pacific Gas & Electric, Joni Mitchell, Jr. Walker & The Allstars, The Infinate McCoys, Sweetwater, Jose Feliciano, The James Cotten Blues Band, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Hugh Masakela, Chuck Berry, The Joe Tex Revue, Canned Heat, Marvin Gaye, Iron Butterfly, The Charles Lloyd Quartet, Booker T & The M. G.'s, Flatt and Scruggs, Ian & Sylvia, Country Joe and The Fish, Buffy St. Marie, Fleetwood Mac, And The Greatful Dead - The first major festival on the East Coast, 100,000 people showed up for a 3 day, leave at night festival that really had no problems to speak of. It was organized by Tom Rounds, who had previously promoted the Mount Tam Fest ,in Oakland, Ca. He worked with the local Hallendale government officials to solve difficulties over sleeping arrangements and traffic jams. With a varied line up and, two stages a few hundred yards from each other, you could see one band, then go to the other stage and catch the next act. This set up insured there would be no lag in the music, one stage always had a band playing. In between the stages were huge pieces of art work that you could climb on and explore, a giant milk carton, and a giant slide, the kind you see at fairs and carnivals these days. this was also the first time I saw the work of artist Duane Hanson. He had an exhibit of very life like human figures made of fiberglass, all in very attention getting poses. It was at this concert that I met Richie Havens, he wa standing on the side of the stage watching another band, I took this opportunity to introduce myself. Every time I went to see him after that, I would always give him pics from the previous concert. The hit of the concert was Pacific Gas & Electric, they played four times at the festival, and rocked the sox off everyone. I remember an amazing drum solo. My favorite artist at MP II was Marvin Gaye, what a sweet soulful set ," I Heard it Through The Grapevine " and all. Rolling Stone Magazine, issue 26, had a picture of Jimi Hendrix on the cover, ( which probably confused everyone, to think he played at MP II, he played at the first Miami Pop festivalin May of '68 ) and declared it " The Most Festive Festival of 1968 ". By Ken Davidoff
On the 4th of July, 2012, a historical marker was unveiled at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fl. the original venue for the May 18-19, 1968 Miami Pop Festival. Participating in the unveiling ceremony was dolphin activist, and festival producer Ric O'Barry, Leon Hendrix, Jimi's younger Brother, and Oldrockphoto's, Ken Davidoff, and Jack Connell. Over 10,000 people attended, Leon Performed, the marker named the bands that participated,and Michael Lang, Ric's co producer wrote, "this is where the seeds of Woodstock were sown".
On Nov 5th 2013 Sony Music released "Hear My Train a Commin" on Blu Ray/ Dvd. On the same day it aired on American Masters on PBS, It is the most comprehensive biography of Jimi Hendrix and includes previously unreleased footage from the Miami Pop Festival. This 3 hour award winning documentary features interviews with Jimi Hendrix, himself, Paul McCartney, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, Eddie Kramer, Steve Winwood, as well as those closest to him. Some of the images in the Miami Pop Festival segment of the documentary are taken by Ken Davidoff.
This album was released Nov 5th 2013, by Sony Music, as a Numbered Ltd. double vinyl LP, and CD, The Cover, Inside, and Back, plus a 24 page booklet filled with rare photos by Ken Davidoff
Sony Music released this Live version oif Fire / Foxy Lady as a single 7 inch/ 45, on November 29 of 2013. It features more exclusive photography by Ken Davidoff
“The Miami Pop Festival, A Photographic Experience, May 18, 1968” is Printed on 80 lb. glossy paper, with sewn perfect binding, this eight and a half by eleven, 61 page soft bound book has 40 high quality photographs, and 26 pages of interviews. List Price $29.00 now $26.00 s/h $4.99
The 61 page MPF book is a BEAUTIFUL coffee table item, containing 40 photos and 17 interviews, it makes for a very entertaining book.