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Road trip for the long weekend (Video)

If you leave Nashville before midnight tonight, even driving the speed limit you should make it to Jupiter, Florida in time for another historic event that honors the South's contribution to Rock Music.

Event Flyer
Jack Connell

The Palm Beach Pop Festival of 1969 will be commemorated with the unveiling of a historical marker, tomorrow afternoon. This special celebration is actually being held on the 43rd anniversary of the event and starts at 2:00 p.m. at the Palm Beach International Raceway, where the festival originally happened.

If my suggestion makes no sense to you, or doesn't at least elicit a chuckle or a smile, you are probably not from my generation. Many of us wouldn't have even thought twice about piling into a car and driving all night to a warmer locale, just to be part of a historic Rock and Roll happening.

The event is open to the public, with music provided by The Fog band. You will get to see an eight and a half minute documentary trailer produced by OldRockPhoto about the original festival, and have a chance to meet founding Vanilla Fudge member Mark Stein, who will be offering copies of his book "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and giving his fans a chance to talk to him. There will also be food and drink vendors and Rock merchandise for sale. The Rock memorabilia is related to the festival and includes replica posters.

In a press release, my friend Jack Connell says:

This festival was one the most important ROCK FESTIVALS of the summer of ’69. It was the only festival appearance of The Rolling Stones, who were the closing act. This festival featured the Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter and Vanilla Fudge Jam. It also had the majority of the rock bands that played at Woodstock, including the first band to perform there, Sweetwater. This festival almost never happened; the combination of government opposition and extremely bad weather conditions was almost overwhelming.

This historic event is provided by Palm Beach International Raceway and hosted by OldRockPhoto, Ken Davidoff and Jack Connell. If you end up taking my advice on the weekend road trip, please snap a few photos and send them to me. I'll be glad to credit you in a follow-up article.

Peace, y'all.

--Ken Utterback is a long-time musician who writes a blog on MySpace as well as the occasional essay for other publications. You can email Ken at:

Note from Ken: Do you have a passion for writing? If the idea of writing for the Examiner appeals to you, please click here for more information.


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