Vanilla Fudge's Mark Stein Reminisces about Touring with Jimi Hendrix from His Fort Lauderdale Home

"I don't know about this weather lately. Everybody's getting colds. I've had bronchitis. Oh man, it's bad." The weather classic rock band Vanilla Fudge's founder, singer, and keyboardist Mark Stein is referring to isn't related to the snow storms that have been plaguing our Northern neighbors. Actually, he's complaining about the climate here at home in South Florida.

All this seems strange coming from Stein who's a New Jersey native. But he's resided in Fort Lauderdale for the past fifteen years, one of a growing number of aging rock stars who have sought shelter in the sun.

"My son was living down here in the '90s, and my wife and I were in New Jersey at the time," Stein explains. "When we'd come down and visit, I just fell in love with Fort Lauderdale and the whole tropical vibe. I remember driving up by the ocean and looking at all the boats and the beautiful blue green water and enjoying the warm temperatures. At the time, I was really into swimming and a lot of outside activities, and we just got the bug."

Even if he's not exactly satisfied with the current atmospheric conditions, he still has reason to rejoice. Vanilla Fudge, once heralded as one of the forebears of progressive symphonic rock, have released a new album, only its second since they reformed in 2005. Dubbed Spirit of '67, it finds the band putting its spin on some familiar standards from 1967, the year when the Fudge first formed.

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Lee Zimmerman