Eddie Kramer, South African producer and engineer, is celebrating his 77th birthday today. Regarded as a true rock icon, Kramer is known for working with some of music history’s biggest names including The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Bad Company, The Beatles to name but a few. He is also celebrated for his long-term associations with Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Kiss. The South African moved to London where he began his recording career at legendary studios including Pye Studios, Regent Sound and Olympic Studios. Kramer engineered Jimi Hendrix’s “Electric Lady Land” LP in 1968 at the Record Plant in NYC where he also worked with Joe Cocker, NRBQ and The Vanilla Fudge. Kramer and his crew are also famous for recording the whole 1969 Woodstock festival. The studio became known as one of the world’s most popular recording studios. In 1969 he went independent where he produced Johnny Winter’s first LP and engineered “Led Zeppelin II”. In the same year, Hendrix hired Eddie to build an exquisite art studio, Electric Lady Studios, where he served as Director of Engineering from 1970 -1974. He has also worked on live recordings by Kiss, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, Curtis Mayfield, David Bowie and Peter Frampton. Kramer has won several Grammys for his audio production of the video Jimi Hendrix live album The Band of Gypsies, “The Game of Love”, with Carlos Santana and vocals by Michelle Branch, Martin Scorcese presents- Jimi Hendrix –“The Blues” which Eddie produced and engineered, Jimi Hendrix –“Live at Berkley,” Led Zeppelin- “How the West was Won”. Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, The Cure, Buddy Guy and the Pixies also owe their thanks to Kramer for producing and engineering some of their best-selling albums. He is currently working on Acoustic Experience- a contemporary acoustic remake of Hendrix’s songs with artists Jason Mraz/Crosby and Nash, Mike Mc Cready and Brandi Carlisle, Grace Potter, Rafael Saadiq, Heart, Shinedown, etc. As a skilled photographer, his work is regarded as a highly valued collector’s items that have been exhibited in some of the world’s most prestigious galleries and museums.
Today, 49 years ago, the Woodstock Festival was held outside New York on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel.
The Woodstock Festival was a three-day concert attended by over 400,000 people and involved a whole lot of sex, drugs and rock ’n roll. The event featured artists such as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Band, Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Blood Sweat and Tears, Country Joe and the Fish, Ravi Shanker Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Santana, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, Joan Baez, Melanie, Ten Years After, Sly and the Family Stone, Johnny Winter, and Jefferson Airplane.
Organised by four young men, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld, and Mike Lang, the 1969 Woodstock Festival became an icon of the 60’s hippie counterculture. The oldest of the four at the time was only 27 years old.