Eddie Kramer, an engineer famous to rock fans for his work with Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, KISS and the Beatles, will be the subject of a feature documentary, “From the Other Side of the Glass,” with Joe Berlinger (“Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”) and Spencer Proffer (“Chasing Trane”) among those on board as producers, and Rolling Stone magazine taking a key role in the project as well.
Directing will be John Dorsey, whose credits include “Year of the Scab,” an acclaimed 2017 documentary for ESPN that told the story of the replacement players called to fill in during the 1987 NFL strike.
Kramer is one of those names that everyone who ever scoured liner notes during rock’s golden age knows, but few know much about. The 77-year-old, Cape Town-born music industry veteran was an engineer on five Led Zeppelin albums (starting with “Led Zeppelin II”), five Rolling Stones albums, two essential Beatles tracks (“All You Need is Love,” “Baby, You’re a Rich Man”) and one of the top-selling albums of the 1970s, Peter Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive!” His work as a producer includes several KISS albums and side projects. He also helped record and engineer the bestselling “Woodstock” triple-album released in 1969, with a history that goes from being on-site at the festival to working on the 5.1 Surround remix.
The name he is most synonymous with, though, is Hendrix’s. Besides being the original engineer on all the albums released during the guitar giant’s lifetime, including “Are You Experienced,” “Axis: Bold as Love” and “Electric Ladyland,” Kramer has been involved for decades in co-producing the many posthumous releases of previously unheard material from Hendrix.
The film is expected to focus on Kramer as a witness to rock history (he also worked with Traffic and Derek & the Dominoes, affording him a nearly complete bingo card of late ’60s rock legends), while also exploring his own psyche and personal development.
In recent years, Kramer has focused more of his efforts on developing studio technology and signature gear for musicians, including helping design software plug-ins and guitar effects pedals. He’s also exhibited his photography at places like the Morrison Hotel Gallery.
Rolling Stone has come on board in part because Kramer’s breakout as a key behind-the-scenes figure in rock coincides with the magazine’s own founding and quick success as a counterculture music bible.
Berlinger and Spencer Proffer, the CEO of Meteor 17, will produce. Three-time Emmy nominee Eddie Barbini is the project’s executive producer. Co-producing are Lia Carney, Barbini’s partner at Topspin Content and a former SVP of production at Discovery Networks, and Sterling Proffer, the former SVP of business strategy and development at VICE. On board as associate producer is Stanley Hainsworth, brand strategist and chief creative officer of Tether, Inc.
Producers plan to exhibit Kramer’s photos this year while the film is in production and capture “top contemporary artists performing acoustic re-imaginations of select classic songs he engineered.” A coffee table book of Kramer’s vintage photography is in the cards from Proffer’s Meteor 17 book division, to follow the film’s release.