(Adams Entertainment)


An authentic trip back in time to the heyday of ‘60s pop and psychedelia, Love-In: A Musical Celebration Of The Summer Of Love features key, nostalgic in concert performances by a number of top musicians who made history back in ‘67. The DVD was put together by Anthony Adams—who released his documentary on the history of the guitar entitled Primal Twang back in 2007. Adams’ latest venture into bringing music history into focus, Love-In the musical features storyteller Ben Vereen narrating the story of 1967 in words and song with some of the main movers and shakers of the year. Love-In highlights include Jesse Colin Young of The Youngbloods, Vinny Martell, guitarist in Vanilla Fudge, Strawberry Alarm Clock performing their great ‘67 number 1, “Incense And Peppermints” and much more. A rare set by Peter & Gordon—drawing on their ‘67 Lady Godiva album (one of four albums P&G made that year!)—mix things up with jazz-fusion guitar hero Eric Johnson—here in top form playing tribute to Clapton and Hendrix—drumming legend Buddy Miles and a host of fine players in the Love-In backing band. Similar in concept to Adams’ Primal Twang musical, Love-In benefits from it’s selective spotlight on the classic year of 1967 and as such would make a great Broadway musical. Expertly filmed and recorded, 108 minute Love-In also features 5.1 soundtrack, bonus tracks, trailer and photo gallery. The DVD starts off slowly but before you know it, you’ll be chanting ‘let the sunshine in!’ / speaks to Vanilla Fudge guitarist Vinny Martell
about his performance on the Love-In DVD and much more!

MWE3: How did you become involved in the Love-In DVD and what did you think about the concept and playing on the same bill with those giants like Jesse Colin Young and Strawberry Alarm Clock?

VM: I became involved with the Love-In, DVD when my agent made the connection with Adams Entertainment. The show was September 6 through the 9th in 2007 at the Birch North Park Theater in San Diego. It was Love-In: A Musical Celebration marking the fortieth anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival featuring many renowned acts, including the master of ceremonies, Ben Vereen.

The producers and writers, Anthony and Christina Adams came up with a great concept of storytelling—part documentary with historic footage and part live performance—by the artists who were part of this history. It was a great experience to be on stage with my comrades from the sixties: Buddy Miles, who turned sixty that week, Jesse Colin Young, Strawberry Alarm Clock, to name some.

The live shows were like being transported back in time—oils, similar to the Joshua Light Show, were part of the backdrop. A great variety of acts from the Motown sound of Earl Thomas to the East Indian Oms emanating from the sitar of Kartik Seshadri made me feel as if I had fallen through a time warp. There was footage from Monterey, with hippies dancing and grooving at the same time that the Love-In dancers and various acts performed. Everyone was represented—from east to west in the USA and across the globe.

I played "You Keep Me Hangin' On"—the Ed Sullivan version, of course, because the album version was too lengthy. Then I performed my revised arrangement of "Bang-Bang"—an intro that melds Dvorak with Grieg—with the Love-In band , accompanied by Denver recording artist Peg Pearl, who also performs with my solo project. The aura both on stage and behind the scenes was one of peace and love and diversity. It was trippy. Great artists and great people!!

MWE3: What are your current activities and can you say something about your current recording projects? Are all the Vanilla Fudge CDs still in print and are there plans for a Vanilla Fudge reunion or other projects?

VM: My current projects include performing with my solo project. Our most recent stint was at BB King's Blues Club in NY City—Concert for Bangladesh—with many renowned musicians, such as Randy Jackson of Rainbow. I also performed for Jimi Hendrix's 65th birthday—the artists included Dr. John, Honeyboy Edwards, Jack Cassidy of Jefferson Airplane, to name some. I have three solo CD's, including a tribute to Jimi Hendrix with whom the Vanilla Fudge toured extensively. My group is also part of Classic Records series which include bands from the sixties. Catch my two weekly radio shows out of WNJC in Philadelphia.

The Vanilla Fudge just completed a new CD, Out Through the In Door, on which we "Fudgized" Led Zeppelin. The four originals have reunited-we did VH-1 classics Decades of Rock at the Taj Mahal in '05 with The Doors, Steppenwolf and The Yardbirds. Currently, Mark Stein and I are playing the Hippiefest this summer alongside The Turtles and various other sixties groups. Jack Bruce was going to be part of it, but his health didn't permit. That's why we must keep rockin' while we still have the energy and the spirit.

Vanilla Fudge CD's are still out—the first album is out through ATCO, then there are re-releases of the other four albums through Sundazed Music.

MWE3: What guitars were you playing on the Love-In DVD? Can you remember what guitars you played on the original Vanilla Fudge version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" from 1967? Can you mention your favorite guitars or other guitar related news from you?

VM: On the Love-In DVD, I am using an ESP Les Paul style guitar, one of my endorsements. The guitar I used in 1967 on "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was a 1960 cherry red Gibson 335 (semi-hollow body). This was one of my favorite guitars. I also have a '64 SG that I used on a gig with The Rolling Stones back in 1968. I have had many Les Pauls from various years, including a very old '58 with a wooden bridge.

MWE3: What are some of your favorite memories from 1967 from the era of the first Vanilla Fudge album on Atco? It really was the most amazing year for music wasn't it? Can you mention some of your favorite albums from 1967 and can you also say something of your big musical / guitar influences?

VM: I think the most vivid memory of 1967 was when we heard our song on the radio—the legendary Scott Muni played the mono version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" on his station, WNEW FM (FM was the "underground" then). We took New York City by storm.

What I find so inspiring about the DVD Love-In, as well as the live performance, is that it captures the real vibe of 1967. 1967 was a time of political, social and musical upheaval. In many ways, we find ourselves in a similar social frame today: war, people unhappy with their government. Then we found peace and escape and answers through music and psychedelics. That was the beauty of that period. We were fearless. There were no limits, in our minds, as to the heights we could reach in art and social change. I think we need to join together today as one people with the same dream of harmony, peace and freedom. Music can still do this!!

Records from 1967? I treasured The Jimi Hendrix Experience. I really dug Cream. Growing up, my influences were classical music and Lonnie Mack. I loved and still love the old blues, Freddie King, also Link Wray. I was also very influenced by Django Reinhardt
what a master at his craft!

Thanks to Vinny Martell @


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