Hendrix in Miami(!?!): live 1968

Here’s what I like about the Internet: Last night I read something about the 1968 Miami Pop Festival (more about what I read in a sec), and within the half hour I had located a recording of Jimi Hendrix’s appearance and was listening to it. Not all that long ago, I probably never would even have heard about the festival, let alone been able to so quickly find a recording from one of the artists playing there.

Some quick background info on the Miami Pop Festival, then I’m going to link you to the site that got this whole post going. “Woodstock was born at Miami Pop” is the retrospective tagline attached to the event. Michael Lang, who would go on to be one of the brains behind Woodstock, was the Miami event promoter.

The two-day festival took place May 18 and 19 at the Gulfstream Park horse racing track in Hallandale Beach, which is actually just north of Miami. Featured acts included Hendrix, Steppenwolf, the Mothers of Invention, and Blue Cheer. The weather was typical Miami for that time of year – rain, rain, and more rain. Hendrix’s “Rainy Day, Dream Away” was supposedly written in response to the rain cancellation of the Sunday show. Rock legend also has it that rain and technical difficulties plagued Hendrix’s short set and resulted in Jimi tossing his guitar into the audience, only to be claimed by Frank Zappa.

The article I read was posted yesterday on a site called REV Miami. The site basically covers music, art, and similar happenings from around this area. One of the site’s creators, Ric Delgado, managed to land an interview with Ken Davidoff, a rock photog of some renown. The Miami Pop Festival the first major event Davidoff covered, and he shared his memories of that with REV Miami, including a run in with Hendrix: “My first night time shot was a beautiful full length pic of Jimi in these blue crushed velvet pants that practically glowed,” Davidoff said. “For the second shot I moved closer. As the strobe went off for the second time, I was stunned to hear Jimi stop, look directly at me, and say, ‘There will be no more flash photography.’”

The rest of the interview, including Davidoff’s memories of shooting other rock greats and some outstanding examples of his work, can all be found at the REV Miami Website. I cannot encourage you enough to go there when you’re finished here.

This is a soundboard recording of very good quality and, as far as I know, has never been officially released, although obviously it’s been bootlegged aplenty.

Foxy Lady.mp3
Hear My Train a Comin’.mp3
Purple Haze.mp3

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