Larry Magid outside the Electric Factory. Inset: the poster for the Jimi Hendrix performance.
AND THE ELECTRIC FACTORY
Like lots of Philly boys, Larry Magid headed to New York City right after college to test his mettle. In 1962, the would-be legendary rock music impresario already had some experi- ence—as an undergrad at Temple University, he booked bands for college clubs. Magid found success working as a rookie talent agent in New York, but he
was savvy enough to recognize two significant truths:
There was more money to be made with these rock
acts than as the lowest man on the totem pole at a big
agency, and Philadelphia’s burgeoning rock market
was just the place to make it. On Feb. 2, 1968, he and his
partners opened the Electric Factory club in an abandoned tire warehouse on Arch Street and founded the
concert promotion firm that would catalyze Philadelphia’s rock scene for the next 40-plus years.
Magid recounts the highlights of his industry-chang-
ing career in his new memoir, My Soul’s Been Pysche-
delicized: Electric Factory: Four Decades in Posters and
Paragraphs (Temple University Press), written with Rob-
ert Huber. The book gives a backstage view of shows fea-
turing then unknowns such as Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd,
Jimi Hendrix, the Allman Brothers and Frank Zappa; of
beating City Hall when the mayor and police commis-
sioner tried to shut down the club; and on the making of
Live Aid and Live 8. In the late ’90s, Magid sold Electric
Factory Concerts to Clear Channel, which became
Live Nation. Last February, he turned down an o;er
to become chairman of its North American Music
Division, becoming a free agent once again.
After a litany of accomplishments and nearly
50 years in the business, Magid remains future-
oriented with a head full of new ideas and plans.
Writing My Soul has allowed him to look back to note
what he’s most proud of: making it in his hometown.
Before Magid and his partners arrived on the scene,
popular entertainment in Philadelphia was limited
to record hops and American Bandstand. Disc jockeys
were the stars.
“We were among the first promoters with a con-
sistent plan,” Magid says. “Unwittingly, we were
among the architects of the new music business and
were the first to produce concerts in a sports arena on
an ongoing basis. A lot started to happen here once we
came along. We helped bring staid Philadelphia kick-
ing and screaming into the 20th century.” Rock on.
Larry Magid’s Top10 Electric Factory Shows