Hip­piefest bring­ing old-time rock ’n’ roll to Fort Laud­erdale

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Local - By Rod Stafford Hagwood Staff writer

Things are about to get groovy at Parker Play­house, with the Hip­piefest tour stop­ping today at the Fort Laud­erdale the­ater.

The con­cert puts the spotlight on clas­sic rock acts from the 1960s and ’70s, in­clud­ing Vanilla Fudge, Rick Der­ringer, Mitch Ry­der and the Detroit Wheels, and Joey Mol­land of Badfin­ger fame. This is the ninth Hip­piefest tour.

“I think the rea­son that Hip­piefest has been so suc­cess­ful over the years is be­cause it’s an even­ing full of great music, hit af­ter hit, that has spanned the decades and gen­er­a­tions per­formed by the orig­i­nal artists,” tour pub­li­cist Jeff Al­bright says in an email. “Of course, there’s an ad­di­tional fun fac­tor to the show that’s in­her­ent in the name it­self.”

Vanilla Fudge scored their first hit with a scorch­ing cover of the Supremes’ “You Keep Me Han­gin’ On,” a ti­tle lead vo­cal­ist, key­board- ist and ar­ranger Mark Stein, who lives in Fort Laud­erdale, bor­rowed for his mem­oir.

“We were liv­ing in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and my son was liv­ing in Fort Laud­erdale since the ’90s, so my wife, Patty, and I used to visit him all the time,” Stein says in an email. “We loved the weather and trop­ics, so we fi­nally de­cided to buy a condo on the Galt [Ocean] Mile in 2000 to be on the beach. Now, we have two grand­chil­dren who live up in Stu­art, so we also have a house up there and we go back and forth, but love the beach.”

Back in their hey­day, Vanilla Fudge toured with Jimi Hen­drix and shared the stage with Janis Jo­plin, Jef­fer­son Air­plane and Cream. Vanilla Fudge’s lat­est al­bum, “Spirit of ‘67,” was re­leased in 2015. The band’s lineup has ba­si­cally re­mained the same over the years.

“We re­ally do love play­ing to­gether,” Stein says. “We started out to­gether, and over the decades we weath­ered many a storm both per­son­ally and in a busi­ness sense. And we con­sis­tently get of­fers to still play shows not only in the U.S., but around the world. We pride our­selves on the fact that al­though we’ve been play­ing to­gether over 50 years now, we still bring power, en­ergy and dy­nam­ics to the stage. Peo­ple have been re­spond­ing in a very pos­i­tive way, which helps keep the fires burn­ing within us to


Stein — who says he hangs out at Shoot­ers Wa­ter­front, Isle Casino Rac­ing Pom­pano Park and Vito’s Gourmet Pizza when in town — has also been on a solo tour this year.

“My solo show con­sists of music that I have per­formed through­out my ca­reer. In the [1970s], I toured and recorded with Tommy Bolin, Dave Ma­son, Alice Cooper, etc., and I also play some of the iconic Vanilla Fudge ar­range­ments that the fans want to hear. We also do a taste of Deep Pur­ple, who I’ve made guest ap­pear­ances with and, as re­cent as last year, I made sev­eral ap­pear­ances with Carl Palmer. I ba­si­cally bor­row a lit­tle bit of music from each of the acts I played with, com­bined with per­sonal sto­ries about all these artists I’ve known in rock.”

Fel­low Hip­piefest act Rick Der­ringer first hit the charts in 1965 with the McCoys and their chart topper “Hang On Sloopy.” Solo suc­cess came in 1973 with the song “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo.” Der­ringer has worked with Alice Cooper, Steely Dan, Edgar Win­ter and Weird Al Yankovic.

Mitch Ry­der and the Detroit Wheels be­gan their run on the charts in the

The con­cert puts the spotlight on clas­sic rock acts from the 1960s and ’70s.

mid-1960s with “Devil With a Blue Dress,” “Sock It to Me, Baby” and “Jenny Take a Ride!” The ac­tor Wi­nona Ry­der, whose real name is Wi­nona Laura Horowitz, made Ry­der her stage name be­cause her fa­ther was a fan.

The Bri­tish rock band Badfin­ger, who were signed to the Bea­tles’ Ap­ple music la­bel, en­joyed early 1970s hits such as “Come and Get It” (writ­ten and pro­duced by Paul McCart­ney) and “Day Af­ter Day” (pro­duced by Ge­orge Har­ri­son). Other hits for Badfin­ger in­clude “No Mat­ter What,” “Day Af­ter Day,” and “Baby Blue,” a song that was used in Martin Scors­ese’s movie “The De­parted” in 2006 and the fi­nale of tele­vi­sion’s “Break­ing Bad” in 2013. Gui­tarist Joey Mol­land, who joined the band in 1969, is the lone sur­vivor of Badfin­ger.

“A typ­i­cal snap­shot of the crowd [at a Hip­piefest con­cert] shows a com­bi­na­tion of flower kids from the ’60s and hip­sters from the ’70s, along with their kids, their grand­kids and a host of oth­ers who just en­joy good music,” Al­bright says. “Hip­piefest is a chance to es­cape for a few hours and take a trip down mem­ory lane, en­joy­ing the mem­o­rable music of days gone by. I don’t know what it is, other than per­haps great rock ’n’ roll, but ev­ery time I hear Rick Der­ringer’s ‘Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo’ on the ra­dio, I crank it up de­spite the fact that I might have just heard it the day be­fore. That must be the true music def­i­ni­tion of ‘time­less.’ ”

Hip­piefest will be­gin at 6 p.m. today at Parker Play­house, 707 NE Eighth St., in Fort Laud­erdale (in Hol­i­day Park). Tick­ets cost $47-$77. To or­der, call 954-462-0222 or go to


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