Falling Mirror: First Demo Session 1978, released 2nd February 2023

Nielen and Allan’s original collection of songs which would go on to appear on their iconic albums Zen Boulders (1979), The Storming of the Loft (1980), and Fantasy Kid (1981).


Released February 2, 2023

Lyrics and vocals by Nielen Mirror
Guitars and piano by Allan Faull
Recorded and Produced by Tully McCully
At Spaced-Out Sound Studios, Cape Town

Unreleased and previously unavailable material from the iconic South African Alternative band, Falling Mirror.

In memory of Allan Faull and Pat Humphreys.

Proceeds go to Nielen Mirror.

For the Falling Mirror fans: I found a rare quarter inch tape, buried in my storage area, with the first demos Allan and Nielen did before recording their debut album. Very interesting to listen to 45 years later. It’s available on Bandcamp where you can name your price if you are feeling generous. All money will go to support Nielen and your support is greatly appreciated.

I will be posting some more rarities in the future so please follow and share the Bandcamp page

Tully McCully, February 2023

SA Rock Digest Issue Number 1 went out on this day 24 years ago.

The first issue of the SA Rock Digest went out on the 27th January 1999 to 15 subscribers in a plain text email.

It grew out of conversation in 1998 between Brian Currin and Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, who had both been involved in the amazing Rodriguez story.

“What do we do now?”.

“How about remembering South Africa’s Legends of Rock?”.

So we did.

In this issue:

Memories are made of this
Freedoms Children
Where’s my Tuxx?
Lost drummer?
Info wanted
The Hidden Years
Japanese pressings of SA Rock Classics?!?
The A-Cads, anyone?
Top Ten favourite SA rock songs




This is a discussion forum for anything about
South African rock music; past, present and future.

Read it, digest it, enjoy it, add your comments and tell your



I am a South African who was a teenager in the early 70’s
and remember going to Ciro’s in Jhb to see bands like Clout
and Ballyhoo by train, as I was not old enough to drive (or
drink for that matter). I currently live in California and met
up with an old friend and started reminiscing about the good
old days in SA and started remembering all those great bands
that unfortunately never gained the recognition they deserved.

Memories of Saturday morning concerts at the Coliseum, as well
as the Ellis Park and later Free People Concerts came flooding

— Craig B

I am glad I survived the 70’s and 80’s. Anybody that used to
go to the Canterbury Inn, Stealers, Hout Bay Hotel, Mowbray
Hotel, Beverly Hills Hotel and 1886 will know what I mean.
South Africa had some good bands and I am glad I had the
opportunity to experience most of them first hand.

— Piet Obermeyer

{Brian “nostalgia rules” Currin: I was in the army at Youngsfield
in CT in the late 70s and remember seeing McCully Workshop at the
Canterbury Inn, Charles G and John T at Stealers, Baxtop at the
Chelsea, Joe Parker at the Century Hotel, Omega Ltd at the Clifton,
Ballyhoo at the Rotunda, oh the memories….}

You may recall the great Israeli band, Jericho? I had a
wonderful opportunity to see them rehearsing with Hawk in the
Sandown Town Hall in 1971. The following day, they both
featured in an open-air concert with the likes of Freedom’s
Children, Razamatazz and a whole bunch of great bands.
Those were the days, my friend…..! By the way, both Jericho
albums have been available on CD (Repertoire) for about five

And the days at the Branch Office restaurant in Jeppe Street,
Jhb? Duncan MacKay was the greatest thing since multi-speed
vibrators – SA’s answer to Rick Wakeman, Lee Michaels and
Rick van der Linden!

— Leon Economides

TIDAL WAVE are remembered primarily for the vastly and
incomprehensibly over-rated “Spider Spider” and the indifferent
“Mango Mango”. The B-side to “Spider” was infinitely better
(“Man on a String”) but their best ever (again in my humble view)
was “WITH TEARS IN MY EYES” which was vaguely popular in
late 1969 (pre-“Spider”) but which is extremely hard to find;
frustrating for me as it is well within my personal top 40.

In Kimberley in 1971 Tidal Wave and Otis Waygood appeared as a
double bill. Probably the second best concert I’ve attended.
(The best was undoubtedly Barclay James Harvest who were less
remarkable after the departure of Woolly Wolstenholme).

Tidal Wave – in concert – were asked to do “TEARS” but declined,
saying acoustics not right and a full orchestra needed to do it
justice. Oh, I think they had members who hailed from (the then)

— Peter Alston

I have lived in California since 1990 and have explored other business
ventures but over the last few years developed a keen interest in Rock
and Roll collectibles and memorabilia. I’ve also been having flashbacks
to my teens and have wonderful memories of the South African music
scene in the 70’s and early 80’s.

Thanks again for you excellent sites and if you or anyone else you
know ever needs help locating music gear or related items I would
gladly do research or send info (I know how expensive equipment is
in SA)

— Craig Ballen




(Freedoms Children) is perhaps most closely associated with the ASTRA
album (1970/1). Less frequently encountered or spoken of is its
predecessor KAFKAESQUE which includes such marvellous numbers (apart
from the title track) as “Mrs Browning” and their best ever – in my
humble view – “Eclipse”. Another song of merit was the appropriately
(for now) titled “1999” which the lead singer tried to revive last year
apparently without much success.

— Peter Alston

{Brian “detail nut and trivia freak” Currin: Kafkaesque (the album) was
actually titled “Battle Hymn Of The Broken-Hearted Horde” and was
released in 1968. “1999” comes from the “Galactic Vibes” album in 1972.}

Read more about these albums at:

Battle Hymn (including sleeve notes)

Galactic Vibes

Astra (including cover scan)



I’m interested in finding out what happend to the black guy
in Just Jinger. His name was Tuxx and I think he played bass,
it was supposed to be the beginning of inter-racial rock but
as soon as JJ got popular the guy just disappeared and there
has been no trace of him since, there has been rumours of him
disappearing to Zimbabwe and also rumours of him and cocaine.

— Craig Gibbs

{Brian “Just Jinger fan” Currin: Pri$m (a Digest member) has
a great Just Jinger site at:
home.pix.za/gk/prism/sites/jjinger/ }



…does anybody happen to know anything about a drummer called
Tony Awin? He was a South African-born drummer who moved to the
UK in the early 70’s and featured with a power rock trio called
Incredible Hog. They released a single excellent album, also
available on CD, called “Volume 1”, and split in 1973. They did
write enough material for a second album, but this never materialised.

I’ve subsequently heard that an unknown German label managed to get
hold of these “lost tapes” and is in the process of putting together
a CD of this material. I’d really like to get a chance to interview
Tony about these “lost tapes” as well as about the band, so if
anybody can help, I’d be extremely grateful.

— Leon Economides

{Brian “prog-rock” Currin: listen to Leon and Phil Wright on Dinosaur
Days on 5FM, Sunday nights from 11.30pm, great stuff!}




The year: Hmm about 1985 somewhere
The song: I want to fly in a 747
Name of the album: ?????

Lead Guitar: Andre Meyer

Song was played on the Martin Bailie show a lot on Radio 5.
I think he might have even had a hand in putting the album together.

I HAD this LP – but when I left South Africa it stayed behind.
Does anybody know if there is a CD version of this album and if
I can purchase it online?

I have tried One World already – its not on there.

Thanks for any help.

— Nico

{SA’s premier on-line CD store:

oneworld.co.za }


(extract from long posting on message board)

The irony is that if we do not [remember the music], the apartheid
security establishment would have had the last laugh! Their aim –
to prevent us from listening to ourselves – would have been achieved.

— David Marks, Third Ear Music’s Hidden Years Project

{Brian “Zappa fan” Currin: Great comment Dave! I remember receiving
lectures in the army on the evils of playing records backwards (!)
and how corrupt Zappa was, etc, etc…}


(extract from posting on message board)

…Suck, Abstract Truth’s Totem, Duncan MacKay’s Chimera,
Otis Waygood’s Ten Light Claps and another great SA hard
rocking band, Wildebeest, with their Bushrock Live album,
have all been released in Japan on a label called Never
Never Land, supposedly taken from the Pink Fairies album
of the same name! These discs have obviously been mastered
from vinyl, but they are of very good quality and the sleeves
have been very professionally reproduced in a unique “mini LP”
format, very different to a normal CD.

— Leon Economides



What about the A-Cads, circa 1965? I may be biased (I was the
guitar player), but they were considered to be an exceptionally
heavy-duty band at the time.

— Richard Laws

Not many people realise that the A-CADS were a SA group. They had
a one-hit wonder with “Hungry for Love”. Before that I believe
they provided backing vocals to another outfit, whose name escapes me.

— Peter Alston

{Brian “hungry for love” Currin: Dick Laws, the guitarist, backed Tommy Roe
on his 1969 SA tour.}



Here is a list of my favourite SA rock songs, as of this moment!
(in alphabetical order):

1. Cape Axe – Jorge Carlos
2. Eclipse – Freedoms Children
3. Goeie Nag Generaal – Piet Botha
4. Making Out With Granny – Falling Mirror
5. Sarajevo – Jack Hammer
6. Sex – Pressure Cookies (featuring Willem Moller)
7. So Cold – Hotline
8. Sugar Man – Just Jinger
9. The Thin Red Line – Julian Laxton
10.Who Killed Kurt Cobain – Koos Kombuis

Subject to change without notice.

Send me your lists and I’ll post them here.

The “rock” genre is wide-open, so don’t get bogged down too much –
if you like a song, say so…

My favourite POP song list is of course, very different to this list.

Coming soon: The South African Rock List site – watch this space for


The SA Rock Digest is compiled by Brian “Vagabond” Currin from the
“Too Good To Be Forgotten” internet message board and e-mails from
various Digest members.

Any suggestions on format or content will be gratefully received, but
may be ignored. 8)

Want to know more about me, my websites and my love for music? Go to:

Post a message on the “Too Good To Be Forgotten” message board at:

Want up-to-date news, reviews and interviews on South African and
international music, with a healthy dose of humour? Visit Sugar’s
Amuzine site at:

Want to unsubscribe from this e-mag?
I hope not, but if you really must, then just send me an e-mail,
saying “I’m bored” or “get my out of here” or “I’ve had enough”
or whatever, I’ll get the idea, eventually.



If we had had Spotify back then, we would have included a playlist something like this:

Ramsay MacKay – The Suburbs Of Ur (1982)


  1. St Judas
  2. It’s The Fashion (It’s The Most)
  3. Tarzan And The Humans
  4. The Witchdoctor Of Hillbrow
  5. I Like The Rebel
  6. Goodbye To The Islands
  7. Eyes Of Zimbabwe
  8. Crocodile Chant
  9. Benny The Side Car Man
  10. Silent Water
  11. Mumbo Jumbo
  12. The Blind Boys Of The Mist
Ramsay MacKay – The Suburbs Of Ur


  • Ramsay Mackay: Vocals, electric, bass and acoustic guitars
  • Dave Tarr: Violin, dulcimer, tenor and alto sax, acoustic guitar, penny whistle, harmony vocals and viola
  • George Spencer: Drums
  • Colin Pratley: Drums
  • Ronnie Robot: Bass Guitar on “Saint Judas” and “I Like The Rebel”
  • Trevor Rabin: Lead Guitar on “Mumbo Jumbo”
  • Brian Davidson: Voice at end of “Mumbo Jumbo”
  • Silver Creek Band: Backing vocals on “Silent Water”

Engineers – Tony Manuel, Graham Handley, Hennie Hartman, Julian Laxton and Greg Cutler

All songs written by Ramsay Mackay

Produced by Ramsay Mackay

Release information

1982, Principal, PRC 005


Thanks to Andrew King for info.

“Silent Water” (with “Saint Judas” on the b-side) was originally released as a single in 1978.

“I Like The Rebel” was released on the b-side of the single “Strange Light” in 1980, and credited to Ramsay MacKay and the Bushveld Pygmies.

“Mumbo Jumbo” was originally recorded by Hawk and released on “Live And Well” in 1974.

“Silent Water” was covered by Brian Finch on his “Living For Yesterday” album in 2014.

Brian Finch – Silent Water

Read more at The South African Rock Encyclopedia

Margaret Singana – Lady Africa


  1. I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) (1977) A cover of John Russell’s “I Never Loved A Woman The Way I Love You” from 1976. It is not the Aretha Franklin song from 1967.
  2. Light Up The Light (1973)
  3. Stand By Your Man (1975) Tammy Wynette cover
  4. Where Is The Love (1975)
  5. Tribal Fence (1977) originally by Freedoms Children in 1970, also recorded by Rabbitt featuring Margaret as guest vocalist
  6. Have You Ever Seen The Rain? (1976) Creedence Clearwater Revival cover
  7. Love Is The Power (1974)
  8. I Feel So Strong (1974) not the Hotline & Steve Kekana song from 1982
  9. Mama Tembu’s Wedding (1973) from The Warrior
  10. We Are Growing (1986) with Julian Laxton, from the Shaka Zulu TV series; reached number 1 in The Netherlands in 1989
  11. Orang Outang (1977) originally by Hawk in 1972
  12. Johannesburg (1977) originally by Julian Laxton in 1976
  13. Help! (1974) The Beatles song, also covered by Hotline in 1982
  14. Many Rivers To Cross (1976) Jimmy Cliff cover
  15. Gimme Your Love (1973)
  16. Why Did You Do It (1977) Stretch cover
  17. When Will I Be Loved (1976) The Everly Brothers cover. Also a big hit for Linda Ronstadt
  18. Stop The Rain (1974)
  19. My Name Is Margaret (1978) a cover of Billy Lawrence’s “Playground In My Mind (Mama Je’Taime)” from 1971, and “Playground In My Mind” by Clint Holmes in 1973.
  20. Love Will Find A Way (1975)

Release information

1996, Gallo, CDRED 603 J


A powerful compilation from the soulful voice of Margaret Singana. Different to the 1973 album with the same title. Margaret has covered a number of classic South African rock tracks, including Freedoms Children’s ‘Tribal Fence’, The Julian Laxton Band’s ‘Johannesburg’ and Hawk’s ‘Orang Outang’.

She is probably most famous for ‘Mama Tembu’s Wedding’ from ‘Ipi ‘N Tombia’ and also the brilliant theme song from the Shaka Zulu TV series, ‘We Are Growing’. This song went to number 1 in The Netherlands in 1989.

Patric van Blerk wrote a few songs for her and also produced most of her albums. Trevor Rabin makes an appearance on some of her songs as well.

There are also some very strong soul songs on this CD including ‘I Never Loved A Man’ (sounds nothing like the Aretha Franklin song with the same title, actually a cover of John Russell’s ‘I Never Loved A Woman’), Jimmy Cliff’s ‘Many Rivers To Cross’ and Tammy Wynette’s ‘Stand Up Like A Man’ (done in a reggae-style).

So if you enjoy strong female vocals with a touch of rock, a bit of Africa and a lot of soul, then ‘Lady Africa’ is for you.

Brian Currin

Read more at The South African Rock Encyclopedia

Hawk – Africa She Too Can Cry

This classic album been released at least 4 times with different track listings. It was first released in 1972 in South Africa. It was then released in 1973 in Europe with a slightly different track list and credited to Jo’Burg Hawk. In 1998 an unofficial CD was released by the Never Never Land label in Japan with a different cover and track list. In January 2004 Retrofresh released a CD of the European version with bonus tracks.

The album cover was a gatefold with the image actually sideways. It is shown here in the “wrong” position for better effect. Cover painting was by B. Funnêll. The European album release has the same cover, but “Hawk” is replaced with “Jo’Burg Hawk”.


  1. Africa (Ornellas) [2.48]
  2. Dark Side Of The Moon (R Mackay) [2.54]
  3. Predictions (Kahn/Ornellas) [5.15]
  4. The Rolling Of The Bones (R Mackay) [2.40]
  5. Elegy For Eden (R Mackay) [2.34]
  6. War Talk (Kahn/Ornellas) [2.39]
  7. My Spear (R Mackay) [2.01]
  8. This Elephant Must Die (R Mackay) [3.00]
  9. The Return (Kahn) [2.41]
  10. White Bird Of Peace (Kahn/Ornellas) [3.28]
  11. Uvuyo (D Ornellas/M Kahn/R Mackay) [3.11] listed as Jabula on inside sleeve
Hawk – Africa She Too Can Cry
Hawk – Africa She Too Can Cry


  • Dave Ornellas: Vocals
  • Mark “Spook” Kahn: Guitar
  • Braam Malherbe: Drums
  • Les “Jet” Goode: Bass
  • Julian “Ipi” Laxton: Guitar
  • Ivor Back: Drums
  • Alfred “Ali” Lerfelo: African drums, vocals
  • Billy “Knight” Mashigo: Percussion, vocals
  • Audrey Motaung: Vocals, percussion
  • Pete Kubheka: Vocals, percussion

Read more at the South African Rock Encyclopedia

June Dyer – South Africa’s first female rock vocalist

June Dyer was born in Durban on 19 June 1942. She was not deterred by the fact that she was almost totally deaf from the age of 10, and mastered lip reading and getting the music beat by holding the piano or bass. June won several talent competitions and eventually caught the eye of talent scout, Alan Marshall. She passed away 14 January 2011.

Tertius Louw
June Dyer

Read more at The South African Rock Encyclopedia

Abstract Truth – Totum


  1. Jersey Thursday [3:47]
  2. Coming Home Babe [6:32]
  3. Oxford Town
  4. Fat Angel / Work Song [10:16]
  5. Summertime [5:40]
  6. Scarborough Fair [3:44]
  7. Parchman Farm / Moaning [2:57]
  8. Ain’t Necessarily So / Take Five [10:02]
  9. Total Totum (Acid Raga) [5:10]
Abstract Truth – Totum

“Ain’t Necessarily So / Take Five” not available on Spotify.


  • Ken E Henson: guitar, sitar, vocals
  • Robbie Pavid: percussion
  • Brian Gibson: bass, vocals
  • Sean Bergin: sax, flute

Release information

LP: 1970, Uptight, STIC 101
CD: 2005, Mason Records, MR 56409 (unofficial release, included all tracks from Silver Trees as bonus tracks, except for “All The Same”)
CD: 2005, RetroFresh, freshcd146 (omitted “Ain’t Necessarily So / Take Five”, included all tracks from Silver Trees)
LP & CD: 2009, Shadoks (Germany), SHADOKS 111

The album ‘Totum’ was recorded in Johannesburg over a single weekend using a 4-track machine. The album was released in early 1970. “According to today’s standards it’s pretty rough,” says Henson, “but I guess it was an honest interpretation of what we were doing.”

In a newspaper review reporter Carl Coleman had this say about the release of Abstract Truth’s debut album: “Sean, Brian, Robbie and Ken have lifted South African pop from the syrupy blare of bubblegum music to new heights of progressive pop. What an achievement!”

The Freak Emporium online store had this brief review of ‘Totum’ on their website: “Excellent early ’70s melodic wistful freak rock blends with African sounds featuring assorted instruments: keyboards, flutes, electric guitars, saxophone, percussion, etc. A refreshing approach.”

Most of ‘Totum’ consists of unusual reworkings of jazz, folk and blues songs. The only band composition is the sitar-drenched ‘Total Totum/Acid Raga’. Donovan, Dylan, Gershwin, Simon and Garfunkel and others all get given the special Abstract Truth treatment that is reminiscent of early King Crimson in places.

Brian Currin

Read more at The South African Rock Encyclopedia

Freedoms Children – Galactic Vibes


  1. Sea Horse (Laxton/Davidson) [4.13]
  2. The Homecoming (MacKay) [15.55] live version including drum solo
  3. That Did It (Laxton/Davidson) [3.47]
  4. Fields And Me (Laxton/Davidson) [5.50]
  5. The Crazy World Of Pod: electronic concerto (Laxton) [2.00]
  6. 1999 (Mackay) [4.03]
  7. About The Dove And His King (Barry Irwin) [3.41]

Bonus track on 2002 Official CD:

  1. 1999 (extended version) [6.21]
Freedoms Children – Galactic Vibes


  • Julian Laxton: Guitar
  • Colin Pratley: Drums
  • Barry Irwin: Bass
  • Brian Davidson: Vocals
  • Ramsay Mackay: bass on “The Homecoming”

Release information

LP: 1971, Parlophone, PCSJ (D) 12075
CD: May 2002, RetroFresh, freshcd 126

In the 18 months I worked at EMI South Africa the group I believed the most in was Freedom’s Children——this is with the line up of Julian Laxton, Colin Pratley, Ramsay Mackay and Brian Davidson. In fact I believed so much in them that I came close to leaving EMI to manage the group full time with a view to trying to get them to London to “make it” on the world stage, so to speak. In those days, however, there were all sorts of obstacles with work permits, UK Musicians Union, SA Exchange Control, etc, not to mention the fact that I was only 23, had no capital and had virtually no contacts anywhere outside of SA……..so nothing came of this particular “dream” and sadly the limitations of their having to try and evolve creatively within the narrow confines of the SA music scene at that time, coupled with personal differences some of the members were having, ultimately led to the disintegration of what in my opinion was then and probably still is today (30 years later) the only SA rock group that given the right circumstances in the right geographical location, could have become an internationally successful rock band just by being themselves and doing what they did.

Clive Calder, January 2002

Read more at The South African Rock Encyclopedia

Freedoms Children – Astra (1970)


  1. Aileen [2.01]
  2. The Homecoming [6.19]
  3. The Kid He Came From Hazareth [5.24] 
  4. Medals of Bravery [3.25]
  5. Tribal Fence [4.12]
  6. Gentle Beasts, Parts 1 & 2 [5.26]
  7. Slowly Towards the North, Parts 1 & 2 [7.04]
  8. Afterward [4.57]

Bonus tracks on 2005 CD re-issue:

  1. The Coffee Song single a-side 1967
  2. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction single b-side 1967
  3. Little Games single b-side 1968

All songs written by Ramsey MacKay

Produced by Clive Calder and Freedoms Children

Freedoms Children – Astra


  • Julian Laxton: Guitar
  • Ramsay MacKay: Bass (died 4 December 2018)
  • Gerard Nel: Piano, Harpsichord, Bells
  • Nic Martens: Organ, engineer
  • Brian Davidson: Vocals (died 4 December 2002)
  • Colin Pratley: Drums, Percussion

Release information

LP: 1970, Parlophone, PCSJ(D) 12066
8 Track: 1971 Parlophone X8-PCSJ-12066
LP: 1990, PVB Music, PVBC 7
Cassette: 1990, PVB Music, ZPVC 7
CD: 1993, TRC 029 unofficial German CD re-issue
CD: 1997, 3eM, CDRED 619 official CD release, distributed by Gallo
CD: April 2005, RetroFresh, freshcd 145 official CD release

The Kid He Came From Hazareth was covered by Wildebeest and released on the Bushrock 1 album as ‘Russian And Chips’ (cleverly combined with a traditional Russian folk song). Piet Botha (Wildebeest bassist in the early ’80s) performed this song as an unplugged version on his Summer 2001 tour.

Russian and Chips‘ was covered by Jack Hammer (featuring Piet Botha) and released in April 2005 on the album The Pilgrim.

Tribal Fence was covered by Rabbitt (featuring Margaret Singana) on their A Croak And A Grunt In The Night album. Margaret Singana herself also recorded a very powerful version of ‘Tribal Fence’ which was released on the Lady Africa compilation CD. ‘Tribal Fence’ was also recorded live by Wildebeest (featuring Piet Botha) and released on the Bushrock 1 album in 1981. In April 2005 ‘Tribal Fence’ was covered by Jack Hammer (again featuring Piet Botha) and released on The Pilgrim.

Slowly Towards The North was covered (and extended) by Hawk on their Live And Well LP in 1974. This track was also recorded live by Wildebeest and renamed ‘Pofadder’ when released on the Bushrock 1 album.

The Homecoming: An edited version (2:50) was released as a single in 1971.

A 16-minute live version of ‘The Homecoming’ (including a drum solo) was released on Galactic Vibes.

Brian Currin

Read more at The South African Rock Encyclopedia

Freedoms Children – Battle Hymn Of The Broken Hearted Horde (1969)


Movement One:

  1. Introduction
  2. Season
  3. Judas Queen
  4. Mrs. Browning
  5. Country Boy
  6. Your Father’s Eyes

Movement Two:

  1. Eclipse
  2. Ten Years Ago
  3. Kafkasque
  4. Boundsgreen Fair
  5. Miss Wendy’s Dancing Eyes Have Died

Bonus on CD re-issue

  1. My Death (Kafkasque, 2nd Movement) originally released on the b-side of “Eclipse” single in 1968

All tracks written by Ramsay MacKay.

Freedoms Children – Battle Hymn Of The Broken Hearted Horde


  • Ramsay MacKay: Bass, vocals, narration
  • Julian Laxton: Guitars on “Eclipse” & “Kafkasque”
  • Colin Pratley: Drums
  • Nic Martens: Keyboards
  • Pete Clifford: Guitar
  • Dennis Robertson: Vocals
  • Stevie van Kerken: Vocals
  • Steve Trend: Vocals
  • Peter Vee: Vocals
  • Harry Poulos: Keyboards on “Eclipse” & “Kafkasque”
  • Brian Davidson: Vocals (unconfirmed)

Release information

LP: 1969, Parlophone, PCSJ 12049
CD: 2008, Fresh Music, freshcd 152

This album has all the wonderful excesses of early progressive rock; the deep “meaningful” poetry, spoken words, majestic organ-playing, sound effects, choirs, long guitar solos, etc. I love it!

The unusual Scottish/South African accent of Ramsay MacKay guides us through this album of contrasts. From the country sounds of “Country Boy” to the Traffic-style rock of “Judas Queen” this album does not let up for a moment. It rocks, it soothes, it challenges, it even refreshes (thanks to the inclusion of a Pepsi advert!). A great album, which has seen the light of day on CD (at last!), thanks to Fresh Music.

Brian Davidson says that he sang a bit on this album, but this is unconfirmed.

Stevie van Kerken was Robert John “Mutt” Lange’s first wife.

Brian Currin

Read more at The South African Rock Encyclopedia

Hotline – Burnout [1981]


  1. Runaway Child (Van Dyk) [3.38]
  2. You’re So Good To Me (Powers) [3.57]
  3. Nobody’s Fool (Van Dyk) [3.13]
  4. Don’t Leave Me Now (Powers) [2.50]
  5. Mystery (Powers) [3.51]
  6. Like You (Powers) [3.22]
  7. One More Night (Powers) [4.22]
  8. So Cold (Powers) [3.17]
  9. Bad Girl (Powers) [3.00]
  10. Freedom (Powers) [3.27]


  • P.J. Powers: Vocals
  • Alistair Coakley: Lead guitar
  • George van Dyk: Bass
  • Patrick van Rensburg: Drums
  • Geoff Sedgwick: Keyboards
  • Ron “Bones” Brettell and Greg Cutler: Producers

Release information

November 1981, MFM (distributed by Gallo), ML456


You’re So Good To Me … I’m not supposed to be alone with you…” sings the 21 year-old P.J. Powers (born Penelope Jane Dunlop in Durban in 1960). Is he married? Or is she? Possibly a same-sex liaison, or more likely the lyrics refer to an inter-racial relationship which was illegal under the Apartheid system of the time. A powerful song which never fails to stir the emotions.

Brian Currin

‘You’re So Good To Me’ was a South African #8 hit in February 1982, backed by ‘So Cold’. ‘So Cold’ is one of my all-time great magic moments in South African Rock – stunning vocals, driving bass-line… this track rocks, man!

The title track for ‘Burnout’ actually only appeared on their second album ‘Help’ in 1982.

Brian Currin


South African Music Mixes: “The Suitcase Show” feat Piet Botha, Koos Kombuis, Valiant Swart, David Kramer, Anton Goosen and many more.

'n Suitcase Vol Musiek
‘n Suitcase Vol Musiek

Every vagabond needs a suitcase.

These are two, mainly South African, mostly Afrikaans, shows with some well-known tjoons and many obscure ones.

Some happy songs, some angry songs, a few light songs, and quite a few dark ones.

The name of these shows is inspired by the song “Suitcase Vol Winter” by South African Music Legend Piet Botha.

Some lyrics are explicit and/or offensive.

Photo of Piet Botha by Hein Waschefort, 2013

THE SUITCASE SHOW feat Piet Botha, Valiant Swart, Anton Goosen, David Kramer, Akkedis, Beeskraal

Track List

1. Girlfriends In Die Wimpy Bar (live 1996) – Die Naaimasjiene
2. Suitcase Vol Winter (live at Oppikoppi 1998) – Piet Botha & Jack Hammer
3. Die Gezoem Van Die Bye (live 1966) – Des Lindberg
4. Bokkie Bokkie – David Kramer
5. Somerslied – The Radiators
6. Pappa Ek Wil ‘n Popster Word – Springbok Nude Girls
7. Geraamtes In Jou Kas – Brixton Moord En Roof Orkes
8. Hou My Vas Korporaal – Bernoldus Niemand
9. Bossies – Wildebeest
10. Anderkant Die Berg – Akkedis
11. Boy Van Die Suburbs – Anton Goosen
12. Hell’s Angel – Al’astair
13. Bus Na Toronto – Andries Bezuidenhout
14. Jong Dames Dinamiek – Randy Rambo En Die Rough Riders
15. Strate Van Pretoria – Beeskraal
16. Cape Flats – Brasse Vannie Kaap
17. Verslaaf Aan Ruk-En-Rol – Not My Dog
18. Die Volk (Is In Die Kak) – The Buckfever Underground
19. Hillbrow – Johannes Kerkorrel En Die Gereformeerde Blues Band
20. Sally Williams Nougat – Jak de Priester
21. Breyten se Brief – Jan Blohm
22. Vier Seisoene Kind – Spinnekop
23. Bicycle Sonder Slot – Koos Kombuis
24. Diep In Gauteng – Stefan Lombard
25. Afrikaners Is Plesierig – Karen Zoid
26. Rockpop – Diff-Olie
27. Roekeloos – Valiant Swart
28. Onder Engele Verniel – Voël
29. Meneer Geweer – Wouter van de Venter
30. Suikerbossie – The Peanut Butter Conspiracy
31. Binneland In (live 2001) – Spinnekop
32. Die Sommige Ou Tannies Blues – Koos Kombuis
33. Jane S. Piddy – Rodriguez

THE SUITCASE SHOW feat Koos Kombuis, KOBUS!, Piet Botha, Valiant Swart, Anton Goosen, Mel Botes

Track List

1. Meisie Sonner Sokkies (live 1998) – David Kramer
2. Sien Jou Weer (Piet Botha cover) – Beeskraal met Piet Botha
3. Die Mystic Boer – Valiant Swart
4. Kan Ons Weer Begin – Ashton Nyte
5. Sit Dit Af – Johannes Kerkorrel & Die Gereformeerde Blues Band
6. Ou Swerwer – Piet Botha
7. Lisa se Klavier – Koos Kombuis with James Phillips
8. n Brief Vir Simone – Anton Goosen
9. Bittermaan – Spoegwolf
10. Breyten se Brief (2010 recording) – Jan Blohm & Milan Murray
11. 9mm Blues (demo version) – George Harry (Jan Blohm)
12. Spook – Spinnekop
13. Die Donker Kom Jou Haal (Valiant Swart cover) – The Black Cat Bones
14. Dagdrome in Suburbia – Francois van Coke feat Spoegwolf
15. Slang – The Kêrels
16. Bloemfontein – Springcan
17. Reënvoëls – Mel Botes
18. Giant Puzzle – Al’astair
19. Matchbox Full Of Diamonds – David Kramer
20. Brixton Dae – Brixton Moord En Roof Orkes
21. Sondagmiddag – KOBUS!
22. Nikitien En Kafeïen – ddisselblom
23. Rock & Roll Jannie – Jakkie Louw & Wickus Van Der Merwe
24. Blommetjie Gedenk Aan My (Anton Goosen cover) – Stean Ennie Crank-shafts
25. Êrens – Ark
26. Mooie Vrou – Kaal
27. F.A.K. – Skallabrak
28. Mynhope In Die Bosveld – Wildebeest
29. Ventersdorp (Song Vir Angelique) – Die Kaalkop Waarheid
30. Verspreide Donderbuie – Amanda Strydom
31. Van Tonder – Piet Botha
32. Stille Soldate – Touch Of Class

South African Music History: Lungile Tabalaza by Roger Lucey

Lungile Tabalaza by Roger Lucey

One of my favourite Roger Lucey songs. Powerful re-telling of a true story. Originally released in 1979 on the “The Road Is Much Longer” album. Also appeared on the 2CD compilation “21 Years Down The Road” released in 2000 by 3rd Ear Music.

Brian Currin

Extract from a review of “The Road Is Much Longer”: This is an important and bruising album. Harsh, in your face and uncompromising it should be an essential part of any serious collection of South African music.

John Samson, May 2001

More Roger Lucey songs on Youtube

South African Music History: Jack Hammer at the Whammy Bar, 11th November 1999 and 17 February 2000

The SA Rock Digest was there!

Flyer: Whammy Bar 11 November 1999 | Brian Currin's personal collection
Flyer: Whammy Bar 11 November 1999 | Brian Currin‘s personal collection

SA Rock Digest, Issue #39, 21st November 1999

Piet Botha’s famed blues-rock band is releasing a retrospective of their 4 albums on a new compilation CD early in December. Titled simply “Anthology” this CD will include 4 or 5 new songs plus a new re-recording of the classic ‘Fort Lauderdale’ alongside tracks from all 4 previous albums.

Those of you who were lucky enough to see Piet Botha on his recent “Skopgraaf” tour would have heard a couple of the new tracks, including ‘April’.

Piet Botha, Johnathan Martin and Tertius du Plessis wowed the enthusiastic audience at the Whammy Bar in Cape Town recently. Their set included Piet Botha solo songs, Jack Hammer tracks and some covers including a stunning version of Zeppelin’s ‘Tangerine’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’.

Brian Currin

SA Rock Digest, Issue #47, 21 February 2000

The Digest caught Piet Botha and Johnathan Martin’s unplugged set at two different venues in Cape Town recently. First at the Big Tree in the Strand on the 12th February and again on the 17th February at the Whammy Bar in Table View.

These 2 musicians are incredibly talented and they entertained the enthusiastic crowds with songs from all 4 previous Jack Hammer albums, as well as Piet’s 2 solo Afrikaans outings.

They also played a few covers which included Nick Drake’s ‘Northern Sky’, Soul Asylum’s ‘Runaway Train’, Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’, Led Zeppelin’s ‘Tangerine’, Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’, Guns ‘N Roses’ ‘Sweet Child ‘O Mine’ and Robert Johnson’s ‘Crossroads’.

Two brilliant evenings of Acoustic Afrikaans Alternative Folk Rock (pick one or all of the above) which will never be forgotten…

Brian Currin

Slowly … From The South – a compendium of South African Progressive Music 1970-2008

Slowly… from the South – a compendium of South African progressive rock
Slowly… from the South – a compendium of South African progressive rock

Prog is a four letter word..right? So is ‘rock’, ‘jazz’ and ‘folk’ , these genres combined with classical and blues, are the foundation stones of what music scribes like to call ‘progressive music’ or ‘prog’. From rock’s emergence in the 60’s as a cultural force to be reckoned with , there have been artists and groups  that have sought to push the boundaries of music, to step outside the box and blaze new musical frontiers without a nod to the crass pop commercialism
of the ‘industry’. Far from the acid drenched musical meanderings of the mid to late 60’s San Franciscan psychedelic rock experience, musicians globally, and in particular in the prog crucible of the United Kingdom, were creating challenging new music. Experimenting with abstract time signatures, unpredictable chord changes and incorporating influences from around the globe including Indian, Celtic, Arabic and African sounds, a new, thought provoking genre was born. In the UK, bands like Yes, Gentle Giant, Jade Warrior, Gravy Train, Audience and the like influenced hordes of emerging bands across the world.

In the early 70’s South Africa was in it’s third decade of self inflicted political and cultural isolation. Despite a concerted effort by the then Nationalist government to ‘protect the youth’ by blocking the flow of progressive cultural ideas via a series of bannings,restrictions and high import tariffs, rock music per se, and all it represented, managed to reach these Southern shores and inseminate a flowering home grown rock revolution….Although some groups simply emulated the sounds of their international counterparts, some South African bands embraced their African roots, drawing on home grown melodic and rhythmic structures, meshing them with European influences and producing a heady variant of progressive music that fits snugly alongside their international compatriots.

“Slowly …from the South” showcases  the cream of South African prog rock of the last 40 years. Tucked inside  you will hear the music of some of South Africa’s heavyweight musical sons & daughters, some familiar and others only recognised in name but never heard outside these southern shores, until now. Although it documents predominantly the 70’s and 80’s it also includes several current artists who are blazing new frontiers in progressive music.

“Slowly….” is the culmination of close to two years of research and planning, tracking down long lost masters, photos and information, at times akin to a Sherlock Holmes investigation..The concept credit really belongs to Tertius Louw, who is rightly regarded worldwide as the ‘Rosetta Stone’ of South African popular music. Without his knowledge, extensive music and pictorial database this release would not have seen the light of day.

Benjy Mudie March 2009

“This double cd compilation is unique in it’s kind. It is the first indigenous compilation set that showcases the cream of South African musicians who explored both jazz and prog rock genres during the seventies and beyond. A number of the artists also enjoyed international presence with their musical output and the tracks appearing on this cd were taken from sought-after albums that are fetching exorbitant prices on E-Bay these days”.

Tertius Louw

Slowly… from the South – a compendium of South African progressive rock

Disc 1

1. Duncan McKay’s Chimera – Morpheus (edit) 8.38

2. Abstract Truth – Original man 3.40

3. Hawk – Slowly towards the North 15.05

4. Canamii – Come and fly 4.55

5. Impi – Sun 5.27

6.The Kalahari Surfers – Grensvegter 6.24

7. McCully Workshop – Stone man 9.47

8. The Square Set – Boys and girls together 6.35

9. The Tidal Wave – Get it out of your system 2.29

10. The Invaders – Ocean of peace 4.22

11. Steve Linnegar’s Snakeshed – Tao Ch’ang Wu Wei 4.38

Disc 2

1. Assagai – Telephone girl 4.25

2.The Third Eye – Awakening 14.00

3.Freedom’s Children – About the dove and his King 3.34

4.Wildebeest – Hottentotsgot 4.02

5.Otis Waygood – In the sun 8.12

6.éVoid – Urban warrior 5.43

7.Ramsay MacKay – Saint Judas 5.10

8.Rabbitt – And the planets danced 3.49

9.Falling Mirror – Theme from a dream 3.18

10.Jack Hammer – Tribal fence

11.Off the Edge – Grandfather Time 6.37

12.David’s Confession – Sometimes 9.49

13. Neill Solomon – Magic Man 4.45

Available from RetroFresh



This issue of the SA Rock Digest went out on the 7th April 1999.

The SA Rock Digest is a free
subscription e-mag, edited by
Brian Currin and delivered
direct to your mailbox.

Subscribe and unsubscribe
information at the bottom.


In this issue:

Nelson the Seagull
John Ireland
SA Rock overseas
Radio Rats
The Hidden Years, part 3
Readers Forum
Rock Rebels
More Memories
Looking For Local
Women In Music
The Italian Connection
Mandy’s Top 20
Shawn Phillips
Oh What A Circus
Alvon Collison
Pop Quiz
Next Week


This is a discussion forum for anything about
South African rock music; past, present and future.

Read it, digest it, enjoy it, send in your comments
and tell your friends….

“Rock” is a very general term encompassing rock and roll,
pop, folk, rock, ethnic-rock, prog-rock, jazz-rock, country-rock,
soul, R&B, metal, indie, alternative, new wave, reggae, etc, etc.

Don’t get hung up…if you want to say something about the music
YOU like, go ahead, say it.


There are currently 192 subscribers to this digest.

Breakdown by country:
US 10
UK 8
Australia 2
Switzerland 3
Sweden 3
Germany 2
Israel 1
Japan 1
Italy 1
Zambia 1
Brazil 1
Holland 1

As is to be expected the rest of you are from South Africa.

If you live in a country not mentioned here, please let me know.


My sincerest apologies to Rob Granville from the band Tales. “Tall Tales” was the title I gave to an article in the last issue about his band. This was my attempt at humour which may have been misconstrued. Sorry.


What has happened to éVoid & The Dynamics?
I used to watch them down at “The Dirt Box” on Commissioner St and down at Jamesons.

— Terence Hedley



Please send me the SA Rock Digest, I am homesick, living in the States now.
Any news on Ronnie “Bones” Brettell would be great too.


Tansy Clarke

{Editor: Come on, Bones, tell us where you are and what you are doing!}



I just received a copy of your magazine from someone else and found it very
interesting. I would like to subscribe please so I would be obliged if you
could add me to your list.

Also, perhaps you are the man to answer my question:

I have had a tune sitting somewhere at the back of my mind for the last
thirty years or so. I remember from the early 70’s (or it could be late
60’s) a song by a duo called Des and Dawn Lindberg. The song was Nelson the
Seagull (I think). It wasn’t particularly rock – more of a ballad but I have
never heard it since and it often comes to mind (don’t know why). For some
reason it appealed to my young tastes at the time.

Perhaps an idea of where I can get it from?
(I live in the UK now).


{Editor: The Seagull’s Name Was Nelson is one of SA’s greatest folk songs by the husband
and wife duo, Des and Dawn. Originally released in 1971, it can be found on CD in a couple of places; The Des And Dawn Collection (Gallo, CDGMP 40523, 1994) or The Best Of SA Pop Volume 1 (Gallo, CDGMPD 40485, 1994). Both CDs are currently available and can be ordered through One World or e-mail Sugar mailto:sugar@rock.co.za


Just read Digest 8, and on the John Ireland query, I know of two albums that he
released after ‘I Like…’. He did an album in the 80s called ‘She Speaks To Me’ which
featured a video (screened in the good old Pop Shop days, or was it Fast
Foreward??) of ‘She Speaks To Me’ which had him speaking to a plant (rather
Freudian you would say). I thought the album was really good electronica pop
with songs such as Ladies Of The Eighties, etc. I then managed to find
an album in the library entitled ‘Apple’ which for me was very disappointing.
Rumour had it that a Greatest Hits CD was going to be released but as this has
not yet surfaced.

— Rui de Sousa

{Editor: Anybody know how I can find John Griffith aka John Ireland?
Any more info on a Greatest Hits CD? I would love to see this!}


I’ve just ordered “Hawk-Africa, she too can cry”, “Freedom’s
Children-Galactic Vibes” and “Suck-Time to Suck!” from the Pandora’s
Box/Second Battle website

I’ve also found a supplier for one of the albums by Steve Linnegar’s Snakeshed
“Karate Moves”: GNP Crescendo (http://www.gnpcrescendo.com). They don’t list it on the website but the no. is GNPS 2176 – LP or Cassette only!

I’ve also (the plastic’s been busy!) ordered “McCully Workshop-Buccaneer” and
“e’Void” from One World as well as “Stingray – Operation Stingray” from Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com

Got the bug, again, now!

— Stephen Forster

{Editor: here’s a guy in the US selling various prog-rock albums including some SA stuff…

62 Crane St.
Caldwell, NJ 07006 USA
PHONE: 973-226-6332 after 4pm eastern time
FAX/ANS. MACHINE 973-226-1258
E-MAIL: mailto:douglars@hicom.net

His catalogue is on the Net.

I don’t really support buying SA CDs from Overseas suppliers, but what else
can a dedicated fan do??}


In issue number 9, there were a couple of requests for information on the Radio Rats.
Well, Herbie Parkin, the bassist, found me and sent this e-mail:

Hello Brian
Thanks for a great site.
I played with Radio Rats back in the 70’s, and have scrambled together a page of Rats trivia with lyrics and photo’s. I was also a part of Corporal Punishment and The Softies. Back in 1984 I got married and moved to Sweden. I’m still playing, as you can see from the home page below. If you’re interested you could link your page to mine and I’ll do the same for you.
Let me know what you think.


Regards, Herbie

{Editor: I highly recommend Herbie’s website. Gig lists, lyrics, photos, etc for the Radio Rats and Corporal Punishment. Wonderful stuff!

See the South African Rock Files entry at http://www.rock.co.za/files/radiorats_index.html

ZX Dan is, in my opinion, one of SA’s greatest pop/rock songs. Really good production, a very catchy sing-a-long chorus and wonderfully spacey lyrics.

This should have been an international hit…why wasn’t it?

Here is an MP3 of this great song.

MP3 is a streaming medium, which means if you don’t like the song, you haven’t
wasted precious online time downloading a whole BIG file.

Need an MP3 player? Here is a list of players I recommend:

Enjoy…and listen out for other South African MP3s in future issues of the digest.}

THE HIDDEN YEARS, part 3 (continued from last issue)

a report from David Marks

There’s no need for a Music/Record Industry TRC (as many people –
usually business people – have been calling for lately) because, I
still believe, those who run the current record & radio (media)
industries are well intentioned good, creative & talented people – as
patronizing as that may sound, it’s a genuine assessment from my point
of view. But we need to help them remember that this country does have
a wonderful & colourful (no pun intended) musical past & that we need
to put our house in order & give credit where credit is due, for that
history to be viewed & appreciated. This is why it saddens me to hear
good industry people like Deon Maas make outrageous claims – that
David Kramer was “the most banned artist” in SA music history, or for
Brenda’s team to claim that she was a proponent of the ‘struggle’ –
obviously they do not know the truth and that is what needs to be
established. Because of their outspoken views & anti-apartheid stance,
David & Brenda’s careers along with countless others, suffered at the
hands of the Record industry, the SABC & the apartheid government. But
to measure & make these claims is ridiculous. They are the sort of
‘bottom line ethics’ that we would not expect from an industry filled
as it is with creative potential, cultural dynamite & entertainment

For the record industry (and Radio) to try and be as politically
correct today as their forefathers were in the apartheid era is quite
sad actually. We need to establish an educative & informative forum to
which the current Record & Radio Industries can subscribe and hopefully
help fund. In that way a healthy ‘music’ industry will eventually
develop. That is why we proposed the Hidden Years Project – which is
being perceived to be a damaging project by a few of the ‘older
established’ music programmers & compilers within the SABC and the
Record Industry – almost seen as threat by some we believe – but
really, that is NOT the objective.

We in the record & radio industry through the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s were
all guilty, to a greater or lesser extent, of gross human cultural &
artistic violations. But please no more claims by the record companies
that those anti-apartheid artists whose careers suffered because of
politics, (Kramer, Clegg, Mchunu, Suck, Roger Lucey, Freedoms etc) and
who were lucky enough to make records, did so because the record
industry supported the struggle – that is plain old fashioned bullshit!
As vocal and as supportive of the struggle against apartheid as many
musicians were (recording artists or not), their role can not now be
demeaned by an industry who went out of its way to compromise with the
government of the day & who seem to be doing just that today. To score
points or promote sales like that is deviate, stupid and simply untrue.

(Digitally transmitted & therefore not signed)
3rd Ear Music’s Hidden Years Music Archives
Tel: (031)207-5314
Fax: (031) 207-5305
eMail: <mailto:thirdear@iafrica.com>


I came across your websites while surfing on the weekend. As a South
African musician, I felt I had to let you know how great it is to see what
is obviously, for you, a labour of love. I spent quite a while on Saturday
afternoon reading everything that is there, and enjoying it all. I’m also
looking forward to all the “coming soon” items…..such as the Battle of the
Bands. I presume you’re talking about the Cape Town B.o.t.B. Do they still
have it? I’m an ex-Capetonian, from Fish Hoek to be exact. I moved up to
Jo’burg in 1976, but used to take part in the Battle in the early seventies.
I had a band called Kindred Spirit then, which started off as a 5-piece, but
eventually grew to be a 14-piece playing Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago,
Zappa and some originals. Great fun! I was lucky enough to win Best Lead
Vocalist in the Battle of the Bands somewhere around 1971 or ’72.

I still make my living as a professional (I hope!) musician. In fact
my only “real” job was as a computer programmer for Cape Town City Council
between 1970 and 1974. Tomorrow I’m in the studio co-producing some new
songs for/with Billy Forrest, he of the many aliases!

I recently put together a new band called The Rock Rebels which
features a lot of old names with whom you may be familiar. On drums Kevin
Kruger (ex-Dickory, Music Corporation, etc.), guitar – Alistair Coakley
(ex-Hotline), keyboards – Danny Antill (ex-Stingray), bass – Denny Lalouette
(ex-Theta, Razor) and lead vocalists me, Bill Flynn and P.J. Powers. They’re
all old friends of mine, and there’s a nice mixture of good musicianship and
insanity in the band! Apart from any other gigs we get, we play every
Thursday at a club called “Fat Arnie’s” in the Kyalami area of Jo’burg, so
if you’re ever up here then please pop in and say hello.

Once again a big well done for your websites, and please keep up the
good work.

All the best,
Bobby Louw (15 March)


Thanks for sending the Digest. It’s really great, and I’ll be
looking forward to every issue, so please keep on sending it!
And sure, if there’s anything in my muso’s brain worth picking, then
pick away….
By the way, I told Billy Forrest about your sites, and about the
forthcoming item “The Many Faces of Billy Forrest”. He was really interested
to hear about it. He doesn’t have a computer himself and therefore, of
course, no internet or e-mail. He did say he had (on paper) a comprehensive
CV which may or may not be of interest to you.

— Bobby Louw


My thanks to Peter Alston who pointed out that the club in the old Trust
Bank building (top floor) was the Van Donck. I don’t remember it too well
except for the exorbitant prices. But no, addled my brain may have been but
there was definitely a club/disco in the basement of the Trust Bank
building/Heerengracht Hotel in the mid-70s (Bee Gees circa Saturday Night
Fever and Tavares a speciality). If Peter had to resort to the Van Donck for
late night drinks he must have been earning more than I did. Speaking of
late-serving clubs in the CBD, Peter was obviously never a client at
salubrious joints such as Disco-Snak (which if memory serves me was kind of
diagonally opposite, up the road a bit, from that Spur steak ranch in the
city centre). Went in there at about 1.30am looking for somewhere to
continue a friend’s 18th birthday celebration (bad choice really) and
thought we could hustle a cheap entry because it was ‘so late’. Naive or
what? The bouncer politely informed us they stayed open until 7am and we
could pay full-price or combine sex and travel. We did get in and were
treated to the jolly sights of CT’s underworld at play (the Rockets were on
stage). The band was great but the women fighting on the dancefloor and the
passageway to the toilets an inch deep in puke and urine were salutary
reminders to our party that it could be a savage world once you were legally
entitled to enter premises such as these. Dancing was dangerous as looking
anywhere but directly into your partner’s eyes ­ looking at or near anyone
else was likely to attract aggro. To cut a long story short we ordered a
24-pack of Castle, avoided the approaches of any women younger than our
mothers (there weren’t that many), stayed well away from any attractive
women (they invariably turned out to be blokes) and crawled back home to
Green Point as the sun came up over the Tygerberg Hills.

I have vague memories of several (obviously forgettable) clubs in the
Loop/Long Street area of the city. A girlfriend (he stresses) dragged me to
Wings where the androgynous mid-70s look which meant, beard aside, I could
pass as most anything (which pained my father). But there were a couple of
really alternate venues around … can someone out there jog my memory?

— Nigel Walsh


I was forced to return to SA for 3 weeks and have only
just got back due to an forseen heart attack by my father. He fortunately
is ok although he will be needing a triple bypass in the next few weeks.

Under my fathers blessing he advised I should go out and check out the local
record shops and try and get the CDs I’m after (re SA music POP N ROCK). I
managed to get hold of a few but trying to get sense out of some of the
young lads there was most frustrating. It seems they were too young to be around
when “Local Was Lekker” and did not understand my needs. Anyhow the most
elusive CDs to find were “Sharp Cuts”. Would you know just exactly how many
volumes have been released thus far??

It was great to be back in SA but different circumstances would have been

— Christopher Bush, UK

{Editor: There are 3 volumes of Sharp Cuts, which are great compilations lovingly
compiled by that Keeper of the Flame, Benjy Mudie. I have seen them in a few places
around Cape Town…Vibes, The Max and the like.

Point your browser to:
http://rock.co.za/files/sarock_classic_albums_comp.html for some recommendations on other SA compilations. No track listings yet, I’m afraid…what, you think I’m a robot?}


Well, Tuesday March 16 was designated “International Day” for my Women
In Music show on KRVM radio in Eugene, Oregon. I started with a triple
play from Qkumba Zoo’s CD “Wake Up and Dream”, followed by a double from
Henry Ate and a single cut off Joretha’s CD. The response was terrific
and I would not be at all surprised if the bands concerned start getting
orders for their material. I will be lending the Joretha CD to the guy
who presents the 3-hour “Acoustic Junction” show on Saturday afternoons,
so hold thumbs for that.

I would like to thank Qkumba and Joretha for responding so positively to
my request for SA material to play here. They were the only two who did
reply and send material to me (I brought the Henry Ate CD with me).
People here love to hear new and different music, and look forward to
hearing more. I will be playing all 3 CD’s a lot more on my show, in
between the other stuff on my extensive playlist. If anyone is
interested, the krvm.com website should be posting my playlists on a
regular basis, and you can keep track of the SA material played on my

It would really be nice to get some more variety, however, and I
continue to look for co-operative bands to send CD’s to me, seeing as
the record companies don’t seem to be bothered to support their artists.
The genre of the music really doesn’t matter. I’ll be playing other
African music, with artists like Angelique Kidjo from Benin, West
Africa, and similar. KRVM loves variety!

I can be contacted at:
E-mail: mailto:leighbarrett@hotmail.com
Postal: 2720 Roosevelt Blvd, Suite N1
Eugene OR 97402
Fax: (541) 688 8987

Come on you guys! Get those good sounds to me NOW!!!

— Leigh Barrett


My name is Sabotti Luigi and, I’m an italian independent
music journalist/opinionist. I’m the Editor-in-chief of
ROCK IN ACCESS, the first and only Italian web
magazine available at end September 98.

I’m the Art Director of Radio Show Program called “ROCKLAND”
specialized in Progressive Rock, Prog Metal, Melodic Rock/Metal,
AOR, FM, Fusion from RADIO WAVE AREZZO FM 91.5 Mhz
associated at italina important music showcase festival called

So, I send and write you this info-sheet about my music activity because
I’m interested, if possible, to received a promotional copy of your last
demo or cd for review and possible interview (if I’ve a good time) for all
my magazine/zine/radio show program.

P.O BOX 354/A,
P.zza S. BABILA 4/D,

Band, Zine, Labels, Distributors please send your news, newsletter,
information, update news, upcoming out release news to include
all in my mailing list newsletter available every week.

Sabotti Luigi
Artistic Relations

E-Mail: guitz@usa.net

{Editor: If you want your music played on Italian radio, then here’s your chance!}

(in no particular order)

Charlie – Rabbitt
Cry To Me – Staccatos
Picking Up Pebbles – Cornelia
The Seagull’s Name Was Nelson – Des and Dawn
She’s A Woman – Neil Herbert
For Your Precious Love – The Flames
Let Me Into Your Life – Flood
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore – Roy Bulkin
Paradise Road – Joy
Time And The River – Dream Merchants
You Stood by Me – Alan Garrity
Goodbye Is The Saddest Song – John Edmond
I Never Loved A Man – Margaret Singana
Home Isn’t Home Anymore – Alan Garrity
Another Love To Come – Cornelia
Stand Up Like A Man – Maria
Give Me The Good News – Crocodile Harris
Superstar – Stewart Irving
Caravan Of Love – Lovemasters
Live On – Pierre de Charmoy

{Editor: my wonderful wife, Mandy, who understands my musical madness decided to submit her favourite SA pop songs of all-time.

Why not send me a list of your Top 10 or 20 or 50 or whatever, and I’ll put it up.

Visit http://www.rock.co.za/files/sa_songlists.html for more lists submitted by digest members.}


As you may know, Shawn Phillips has just back-released 10 or so of his
albums onto CD. (one of the biggest back releases ever of a rock/folk
act. His manager has contacted me and asked me to try and find him a
South African distributer, probably independant. So, any distributers
out there, please contact me.

Craig Bartholomew

{Editor: Shawn is an American artist who seems to be more popular in SA than he is back home.

If Craig Bartholomew’s name is familiar to you, its because he was instrumental in finding Rodriguez. Visit http://www.rock.co.za/files/Sixto.html for Craig’s “Looking For Rodriguez” article originally printed in Directions magazine.

Want to know which other overseas artists, albums or songs were BIG in SA, but neglected overseas? Visit: http://www.rock.co.za/files/big.html }


I’ve got the cover of the Circus album – watched them at the Rotunda in Camps Bay in the early 80s, glam rock at its worst/best. Unfortunately, some bastard stole the actual record, so I’ve missed out on that bit of history. If you want a scan, I can try and arrange it.

chris roper
features editor, SL mag
cape editor, Y mag
bureau chief, Mail & Guardian Arts, Cape Town

{Editor: other cover scans I also need for the Forgotten Rock Classics website include: Freedoms Children’s Battle Hymn, Lancaster Band’s Comic Strip Heroes, Abstract Truth’s Silver Trees and Rock Today With The Big Heavies compilation album. Can anybody help?

Visit http://www.rock.co.za/files/forgotten_classics.html and let me know if there’s anything you would like to add. A review, more info, another album or artist, whatever…}


I guess the following snippet is not really SA Rock Digest material … but
I had a good chuckle when I read it. I found this note in Sun Air’s on-board
magazine on their ‘gossip’ page.

Ag, Poor Alvon
Pity, poor Alvon Collison, the sequinned song-‘n-dance man who played
Pharaoh in Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat for about 35 years. The
other day a friend came round to help him move house and was surprised to
discover a huge pile of old Joseph LPs. Explained Alvon: “I saw them in the
sale bin at C N A. Darling, I can’t let my public see me marked down!” So
he bought the lot!


— Michelle Longman

Last week’s question:
Who originally performed the brilliant Tribal Fence?

Answer: Freedoms Children.

The winner is Christopher Bush.

More here…. http://www.rock.co.za/files/astra.html

This week’s question:

What have William E, Quentin E Klopjaeger and William Broadman got in common?

Need help? Visit: http://www.rock.co.za/files/sarealnames.html

The first correct answer will win Predictions and Things – The Very Best
of The Dream Merchants kindly supplied by Derek Smith from Gallo South Africa.


Next issue will feature a Trevor Rabin special. Rui de Sousa of Sony Music
South Africa has generously supplied 3 give-away CDs of the score from the movie
Armageddon, composed and conducted by Trevor Rabin.

Also a review of a new album by Off The Edge called On The Run.
Like Boston, Heart, Floyd, ZZ Top, Starship, Stones, etc? Then you will love this!

And lots more of the usual stuff….


The SA Rock Digest is compiled by Brian “Vagabond” Currin from the
“Too Good To Be Forgotten” internet message board, e-mails from
Digest members and other varied sources.

The opinions expressed here are not always echoed by myself, but I
try to keep an open mind. (After growing up in SA in the 70s and
spending 5 years in the Army, that’s not so easy!)

For the basic rules of the Digest please visit:
or I can e-mail them to you.

Want a digest like this for your company, band, radio station…?
Go to: http://www.rock.co.za/files/


Want to know more about me, my websites and my love for music?
Visit: http://www.rock.co.za/files/

The SA Rock Files…the online archive for the History of South
African rock…is at:

Want up-to-date news, reviews and interviews on South African and
international music, with a healthy dose of humour?
Visit Sugar’s Amuzine site at: http://rock.co.za/amuzine

Visit the Indie Music Explosion website at: indie.co.za

Are you are a SA musician looking for info or resources?
Then Gareth’s excellent backstage.co.za website is for you.

Visit Evan Milton’s Gig Guide at gig-guide.co.za
for what’s on in Cape Town.

See ZA@Play at:
which lists Cape Town music spots and also links to other major centres
around SA.


Reading someone else’s copy of this e-mag?

Subscribe yourself by sending an e-mail to vagabond@rock.co.za
with any words or phrases that vaguely indicate acceptance.

Y’know, like “I’m in”, “That’s great”, “OK”, “Here’s R1000 send me a

Or…visit http://www.rock.co.za/files/sa_rock_digest.html and fill in the
simple form.


Want to unsubscribe from this e-mag?

Surely not, but if you really must, then just send me an e-mail,
saying “I hate SA music”, “I’m bored” or “get my out of here” or
“I’ve had enough” or whatever, I’ll get the idea, eventually.




This issue of the SA Rock Digest went out on the 17th March 1999.

The SA Rock Digest is a free
subscription e-mag, edited by
Brian Currin and delivered
direct to your mailbox.

Subscribe and unsubscribe
information at the bottom.


In this issue:

Looking For Zane
Radio Rats
Oh What A Circus
Made In Japan
And Where Is The News?
You’re Living Inside…Where?
USA for Africa
The Hidden Years
Midnight Sun
Cover To Cover
If You Love This…
Top 20 Hits Of 1960
Pop Quiz
SA Music Day
Missing In Action
Freedom Day Tour
Mirror Magic


This is a discussion forum for anything about
South African rock music; past, present and future.

Read it, digest it, enjoy it, send in your comments
and tell your friends….

Apologies to Koos Kombuis for making him older than he really is.
Koos (Andre) was born 1954 not 1951 as reported in the last issue.
David Kramer is the one born in 1951 (on the 27th of June).



Does anybody remember (this is how most of my messages start nowadays
since I discovered your website!) a German band called “Elephant”?
They released, as far as I know, two albums in early/mid 80’s called
“Elephant” and “Just Tonight” and had a minor hit in SA called
“I don’t wanna lose you now”?

Although I already have the vinyl, I’d be very keen to also get hold
of the CDs.

— Stephan Forster

{Editor: weren’t they called “Elefante”, being the surname of the 2
brothers in the band? Not to be confused with 1969 SA band Elephant,
which featured Richard Black}


Maybe you can help? I need a phone number for Zane Cronje.

— Derek Smith



Hi Brian, firstly let me congratulate you on your magnificient SA Rock
Digest, it makes very interesting reading (I get to work at 7.30am &
can’t start until I check it out!) I’ve also passed it on to quite a
few interested parties who really enjoy catching up on the old bands.
My query for ‘where are they now?’ is, what has happened to The Radio
Rats? They put out some great music and then disappeared from the scene.

— John Gage


Maybe I’m not looking properly (I’m pretty new to the Net) but I
thought I might find something about Circus “In the Arena” album 80’s
vintage S.A. band in your Rock legends bit.

— Ron “Bones” Brettell
Producer & keyboard player for: Circus/Clout/Hotline, etc

PS. Keep the dream alive

{Editor: anybody got any info for me on Circus’ album? Cover scan,
track listing, catalogue number, etc needed.

http://www.rock.co.za/files/burnout.html was Hotline’s first
album which really rocks!}


I like progressive rock of South Africa very much, too, and become
the comment of Brian, deep emotion, and I am surprised at the deep

{Editor: err…thanks, I think!}

I live in Japan, and information on progressive rock of S.Africa
doesn’t truly go through me easily.

{Editor: not here, either mate!}

Won’t you teach the store which can purchase the original analog record
of S.Africa (Though it can obtain a CD comparatively, it is …. by the
thing which isn’t interested in the CD in having been troublesome.)

Incidentally, the following record is being looked for:

ABSTRACT TRUTH / Silver Trees (Parlophone 70′)
ABSTRACT TRUTH / Heads (Parlophone 70′)
ABSTRACT TRUTH / Totum (Parlophone 71′)
FREEDOMS CHILDREN / Battle Hymn Of … (Parlophone 69′)
QUENTIN E.KLOPJAEGER / Fantasy (Polydor 69′)
THTRD EYE / Awaking (Polydor 69′)
THTRD EYE / Searching (Polydor 70′)
THTRD EYE / Brother (Polydor 70′)

Give me contact if there is what or information.


JChifuyu Tsuboi

{Editor: I don’t quite understand all of it either… but you
get the basic idea, I’m sure}


Whatever happened to The News (an 80’s “new wave” band from Cape Town?)
I spent countless hours at their gigs in Stellenbosch.

— Zita


I was delighted to come across your webpage tonight while I was trying
to avoid preparing my Introduction to Law lecture for tomorrow!
I think your idea of having a SA Rock Page is great. One question
though – do you have any idea what became of some of the artists you
mention in your real name page? I was wondering about John Ireland
– he had a big hit in 1978 (“You’re living inside my head”) and a few
later on (“I like …”) and then nothing. I always thought that he was
commercial enough to make it internationally! I met him once in Hyde
Park, and he promised a new album (it was before the days of the CD),
but nothing happened. Do you know if he ever recorded anything after
the “I like ..” album?

— Annelize Nienaber

{Editor: John Ireland (John Griffith) keeps popping up on this digest.
I think its time somebody found him and released his music on CD,
don’t you?}


Greetings from Leigh in Oregon, USA!

It never fails to amaze me that however many people in SA are supporting
local music, that support just doesn’t seem to filter through to the
record companies! I contacted a whole bunch of companies and bands,
offering to play SA music on KRVM, a music radio station in the Pacific
Northwest, and surprise, surprise, bands and individuals and radio
stations are keen, but the record companies who are supposed to be
promoting the artists on their labels? Not a word! Come on guys – here’s
an opportunity to do something for your artists that is going to cost
you postage only, take it!

Last night was Grammy Awards night {25 February}, and I don’t know if
you saw much of it on TV there, but we had a telecast of 3 hours
duration, which really focussed on the live performances (some great
stuff from BB King, Eric Clapton and Lauryn Hill) and we got to see
some of the awards being given – that was a little disappointing as it
would have been great to see Madonna strutting her stuff on that stage.
When it comes to Grammies, she’s been almost a virgin until this year!

Each week on the Women In Music show I co-present on KRVM, I do a short
piece on what’s happening in the music scene here, and around the world.
If anyone on a SA radio station wants to get some news directly from
USA, contact me, and maybe we can do live or recorded phone-ins station
to station.

In the meantime, support SA music – as I’m really, really trying to do
here! For all of you reading this, get on the blower to the record
companies, and tell them to get their butts in gear and contact me!


Leigh Barrett
KRVM – Eugene, Oregon, USA



a report from David Marks, Third Ear Music

Don’t want to get into an argument with the ‘established’ record
companies. The ‘record industry’ is people driven by market forces
from the top down, and they have to pay the rent – but not at the
expense of the truth. The ‘music industry’ (which South Africa is
slowly trying to develop through initiatives such as your Rock Forum’)
is a bottom-up process that no amount of money, marketing & public
relations can undo. The Hidden Years project is a case in point.
It is not about ‘retribution’ for all the wrongs the record industry
did to our music & musicians over the last 30 years, it is simply about
establishing/uncovering our rightful rock & folk roots – without which
our music (as good as it sounds) will forever be blown away by those
thunderous multi-million dollar imported productions – and we will
never be heard – no matter how much money & mega watt state-of-the-art
sound systems we use.

What happened with musicians during the ‘banned era’ is important –
and with respect to many great recording artists in South Africa, one
needs to look at how dramatically the PC pendulum has swung and in
whose favour. It certainly doesn’t benefit our musicians or add to
their credibility when the Record companies try to re-invent or
re-write history just to fit into their bottom line. What happened to
music & musicians during the banned years when the current record
industry & the SABC were totally ‘politically correct’ is important to
remember. Unfortunately we also have an apathetic music media to
contend with – as the Sunday Times pointed out we have inherited
‘a mining man’s culture that disdains intellectual life……
blah, blah, blah!’

The Record Industry circumvented the international cultural boycott at
every turn – importing wonderful European ‘product’ at the expense of
our own great talent – by playing lip service to ‘His Master’s Voice’
at the time. Many great local musicians – who despite having the
talent & power at attracting large crowds to shebeens, stadiums,
campuses, coffee bars & clubs – NEVER made records. Should they be
forgotten? Insofar as the Record Industry is concerned, sure. But if
we call ourselves a Music Industry, then like all artists within the
‘folk process’ who influenced, charmed & entertained, those who didn’t
make records can not now be considered lesser musicians or forgotten

…to be continued in the next issue


Really enjoyed the material you’ve put together and stirred
up some good memories. Keep up the excellent work. By the way any
chance you would want to crit the Durban band “Midnight Sun” debut
albums “The Tide Will Turn” and “Maze” which I am in the process of
finalising? I also have a load of band info to send if interested.

For the recordings I ended up using Spook Kahn’s (ex- Hawk) Gibson SG
Custom for some of the overdubs. Really nice guitar.

— Rod Nicholls

{Editor: sure, let’s hear more about Midnight Sun, Rod}


Was browsing through the latest issue and actually came across a topic
with which I was familiar! (Poster’s note: The closest I’ve ever been
to South Africa is Northern Mexico… :-)

Anyway, the Rocky Horror Picture Show started out as a stage play.
Having seen the stage version, I have to say that that one is much
superior to the movie. Just as tacky and tasteless, but the performers
get a chance to really pump up/interact with/insult the crowd in a way
the movie just can not. For obvious reasons, of course.

Anyway, with a live band and a good crowd, RHPS comes off as a wickedly
fun production. I wouldn’t see it again, as I’ve made a few decisions
about my life since then, but I *did* have fun at the time. If you
don’t object to overt descriptions of various sexual acts and don’t see
too much wrong with eating rock’n’roll singers for supper, go see the
stage show. If that kind of stuff turns you off, well, don’t go.

— Dean Webb (from the USA)

{Editor: Dean is an honorary member, because it was his original
Deep Purple Digest which inspired this one.}


I ordered and received both the Galactic Vibes and Suck CD’s from
Joachim Bornelitus in Germany. Joachim has a web site at
progrock-sb.com/ and appears to be for real – I got my CD’s
with no problems. Interestingly enough, he is credited for doing a band
interview on the re-issue of the first Eloy CD which I also ordered
from him. Apparently he gets his CD’s from an outfit in Japan called
Never Never Land but I have not been able to trace them. Everytime I
do searches in Japan for this company, I land up at a porn site!

— Piet Obermeyer (USA)

Just to let you know that my German shipment arrived safe and sound
today. The Hawk (Africa, she too can cry ), The Invaders, Duncan Mackay
and Wildebeest CD’s were all in the parcel, all on the Jap Never Never
Land label.

— Leon Economides

{Frustrated editor: why do we have to order South African CDs from
Japan via Germany? Where are our local pressings?}



A number of classic South African songs were actually originally
recorded by overseas artists. Some are well-known, some obscure.

Here are a few…

For Your Precious Love…this classic will always be associated locally
with Durban band The Flames. However many people are unware that is was
originally sung by Jerry Butler and The Impressions in 1958. The
Impressions also featured Curtis Mayfield. Jerry Butler co-wrote it
with the Brooks brothers, Joe and Arthur).

Cry To Me…the Staccato’s major contribution to SA’s pop history was
an adaption of a Bert Russell composition which has been recorded by
many others including Solomon Burke (1962), Tom Petty, The Pretty
Things, The Rolling Stones, Freddie Scott and Betty Harris.

Bert Russell is really Bert Berns, a prolific writer of soul classics.

Teddy Bear…anybody remember the CB radio craze of the early 80s?
SA country superstar, Tommy Dell, brought tears to our eyes with this
re-recording of a 1976 Red Sovine song.

(Did you ever think you would see country music mentioned on the Rock
Digest? Well did’ya? See part one of my 3-part Bles Bridges interview
next week… just kidding)

You’re Living Inside My Head – John Ireland…not a cover version, but
a wonderful adaption of the Greensleeves melody, supposedly composed
by Henry VIII (he of the 6 wives). If you like that whistling sound in
the X-Files theme you’ll love this song.

Fooled Around And Feel In Love…Julian Laxton took an Elvin Bishop
song and made it his own. Elvin had a US #3 hit in 1976 with this song.


As I Went Out One Morning (Damsel) – Tribe After Tribe reworked an
early Bob Dylan track into something completely new and innovative.
Wonderful drum sound, very err…tribal.

Hotline’s version of Help is a stunning epic remake of the Beatles
classic. PJ Powers’ vocals really soar on this track. The Hotline
album, Help, has the full-length version (5.32)…the Greatest Hits CD
edits this down to just over 3 minutes which does not do the song


Conquistador – Circus’ version of the Procol Harum classic. I would
love to get this on CD. Bernie Miller sings his heart out.

More in the next issue…Please Stay, Hungry For Love, Tchaikovsky One
(obvious really), Venus, I Love How You Love Me, etc

Feel free to contribute any others you can think of…


In the interests of providing some sort of basis for enjoying
SA artists and their music, Sugar and I compiled this list.

Its just a bit of fun, not to be taken too seriously, but will
hopefully point people in the right direction. All comments welcome.

If you love The Cranberries you will probably like Karma
R.E.M. – Falling Mirror, Bright Blue
Counting Crows – Just Jinger
Vangelis – Jorge Carlos, Julian Laxton’s film themes
Metallica – Jack Hammer
Yes – Rabbitt
Uriah Heep – McCully Workshop
Pink Floyd – Freedoms Children, Falling Mirror, some Finch & Henson,
Neill Solomon, Big Sky
Funky/disco music – Morocko, some Julian Laxton
ZZ Top – Baxtop, Jack Hammer
Boston – Stingray
The Beatles – McCully Workshop
Traffic – McCully Workshop
Alanis Morrisette – The Pressure Cookies, Karma
Fleetwood Mac – Karma
Joan Jett – Pressure Cookies
Heart – Pressure Cookies, Sweatband
Bob Marley – Lucky Dube
Nirvana – Springbok Nude Girls
Deep Purple – Jack Hammer, Mauritz Lotz, Sweatband
David Bowie (70s era) – Radio Rats
Blondie – Peach
Grand Funk Railroad – Suck
Cream – Otis Waygood Blues Band
Duran Duran – eVoid
Joe Satriani – Mauritz Lotz
Simple Minds – Celtic Rumours
Talking Heads – Psycho Reptiles
Osibisa – Hawk
Madness – Lancaster Band, Beanstalk
Sly & The Family Stone – Buffalo, Hot RS, Julian Laxton
Jethro Tull – The Otis Waygood Blues Band
Earth, Wind & Fire – Morocko
Aretha Franklin – Margaret Singana
Abba – Clout
America – Finch & Henson
Black Sabbath – Suck
Roxy Music – Niki Daly
Those old Classic Rock albums – The Soweto String Quartet
Sinead O’Connor – (Sinead O’..) Karma
Abdullah Ibrahim – Paul Hanmer
Early Carly Simon – Louise Carver
Leftfield – Jorge Carlos
Portishead on downers – Fetish
Grace Jones fronting Juluka – Busi Mhlongo
Janis Joplin on uppers – Brenda Fassie
Celine Dion – Dana Winner
Thelonius Monk and Grover Washington – Moses ‘Taiwa’ Molelekwa
Paul Simon – Ray Phiri
Heinz beans and a capella – Ladysmith Black Mambazo
World music with indigenous SA instruments – Pops Mahomed

If you like the afro-rock sounds of Osibisa and Johnny Clegg, then
there is a huge range of artists to chose from; Mango Groove, Hotline
(after 1983), Zia, Wozani, Harari, Stimela, Via Afrika, eVoid…oh the
list goes on and on.

Please feel free to add comments, suggestions, or even to disagree…
as long as you provide an alternative suggestion.



IT’S NOW OR NEVER – Elvis Presley
APACHE – The Shadows
RUNNING BEAR – Johnny Preston
EL PASO – Marty Robbins
CATHY’S CLOWN – Everly Brothers
SEEMAN – Virginia Lee (SA)
MEADOWLANDS – The Meteors (SA)
HE’LL HAVE TO GO – Jim Reeves
MY OLD MAN’S A DUSTMAN – Lonnie Donegan
TEEN ANGEL – Mark Dinning
DARK LONELY STREET – Billy Forrest & The Giants (SA)
OH CAROL – Neil Sedaka

Info from Top 40 magazine, August 1989.

(SA) means South African artist.


Last week’s question:

Name SA’s first all-female band (and no, its not Clout!)

The correct answer is The Amazons…

Nobody got this one!

Read about them here…


This week’s question:

Who originally sang the Staccato’s classic Cry To Me?

The first correct answer will win a CD kindly supplied by Derek Smith
from Gallo.



More here…


Steve Binos had his guitars stolen in Cape Town this week, please
keep a look-out…

My guitars details are a bit sketchy, but as follows:

Dan Electro 50’s re-issue electric guitar. Lipstick pickups. Colour
is mint/green. With custom bag-bag is a tan colour.

Ibanez EX Series electric guitar. Colour is mettalic light blue/grey.
Has pretty tattered black bag. Has a cusomisation – tone switch can be
pulled up/pushed down.

Case number: CAS/275/03/1999

— Steve Binos (cell: 0824451792/office: 021 4485700)



SAPRO International is bringing Just Jinger, Sugardrive, Amersham and
Boo! to London. It is called the “Freedom Day Tour” and the bands will
be playing at three of London’s premier locations namely Rock Garden,
London Astoria and the Mean Fiddler.

Watch the press for details!

— Neil Rawlinson (UK promoter)

{Editor: good luck, guys!}


I had the privilege and pleasure of hearing the new Falling Mirror
CD, Hammerhead Hotel this week. Tully McCully, famous producer and
musician invited me to his Spaced-Out Sound studios in Cape Town to
hear it.

In a word…brilliant!

In another word…stunning!

In 3 more words…Wow! Wow! Wow!

This album rocks, shocks and blows you away. Its blues-y like Gary
Moore, epic like Pink Floyd, tuneful like R.E.M., quirky like Syd
Barrett and…I’m speechless. I stood for half-an-hour with
goose-pimples listening to Allan Faull’s soaring guitar work and
Neilen Mirror’s incredible vocals and biting lyrics.

Tully played both bass and drums on this album and he provides a solid
base for Allan to leap from. And leap he does…straight into
unchartered territories. If you like Dave Gilmour, Oasis, Hendrix,
BB King, Derek-era Clapton…then this you gotta hear.

This album is not yet licenced to any record company, but we hope to
see it out soon. Watch this space!



The SA Rock Digest is compiled by Brian “Vagabond” Currin from the
“Too Good To Be Forgotten” internet message board, e-mails from
various Digest members and other varied sources.

The opinions expressed here are not always echoed by myself, but I
try to keep an open mind. (After growing up in SA in the 70s and
spending 5 years in the Army, that’s not so easy!)

For the basic rules of the Digest please visit:
or I can e-mail them to you.

Want a digest like this for your company, band, radio station…?
Go to: http://www.rock.co.za/files/


Want to know more about me, my websites and my love for music?
Go to: http://www.rock.co.za/files/

The SA Rock Files (the online archive for the History of South
African rock) is at:

Want up-to-date news, reviews and interviews on South African and
international music, with a healthy dose of humour?
Visit Sugar’s Amuzine site at: http://rock.co.za/amuzine

Buy SA CDs on-line from oneworld.co.za

Visit the Indie Music Explosion website at: indie.co.za

Are you are a SA musician looking for info or resources?
Visit Gareth’s excellent backstage.co.za website.



Reading someone else’s copy of this e-mag?

Subscribe yourself by sending an e-mail to vagabond@rock.co.za
with any words or phrases that vaguely indicate acceptance.

Y’know, like “I’m in”, “That’s great”, “OK”, “Here’s R1000 send me a


Want to unsubscribe from this e-mag?

Surely not, but if you really must, then just send me an e-mail,
saying “I hate SA music”, “I’m bored” or “get my out of here” or
“I’ve had enough” or whatever, I’ll get the idea, eventually.




This issue of the SA Rock Digest went out on the 4th March 1999.

The SA Rock Digest is a free
subscription e-mag, edited by
Brian Currin and delivered
direct to your mailbox.

Subscribe and unsubscribe
information at the bottom.


In this issue:

from the horse’s mouth
final vinyl
alpha and omega
time to suck
the folk back home
beating around the bush
magic moments in SA music
in my car this week
banned on the run
take me down to Cape Town
Pop quiz
music and memories meeting
SA music day
Rocky Horror Show
Garden Party


This is a discussion forum for anything about
South African rock music; past, present and future.

Read it, digest it, enjoy it, send in your comments
and tell your friends….

The response to this Digest has been incredible and
I am not able to fit in all the postings I’ve received
in this issue. If your request, question or submission
does not appear here, please be patient – I just don’t
want to make this digest too long.



Last issue, Nick asked “where is Petit Cheval?”

Well…Sharon Smit from Milestone studios made contact
with me and supplied Jonathan Selby’s phone number.

I spoke to him recently and he has now joined this digest
and will post his own reply to Nick’s question very soon!


Secondhand Vinyl – try the various branches of Cash Converters
and Cash Crusaders and, if you have some time on Saturday afternoons,
visit school fetes, Maynardville carnival and the like, where LP’s and
singles can often be picked up for a “song”.

— Peter Alston


Mike Brand from the original “Omega LTD” calling.

All the lads from the original Omega band who turned professional
in late ’69, are still in Cape Town…
1) Louis Greef
2) Derek Gordon
3) Alan Weinberg
4) Myself

{Cultured Editor: I used to watch these guys at the Clifton Hotel in
the late 70s. They are probably best known for their rendition of
Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto. Tchaikovsky One is available on the
“Best Of SA Pop Volume 2” 2CD set. They also covered Rimsky-Korsakov’s
Flight Of The Bumble Bee.}


Leon Economides writes:

(Time To Suck by Suck) was released in 1970 on Parlophone.
Unfortunately my original copy was liberated by a good “friend”, but
I did manage to pick up a mint copy of a French pressing on Mega Phone
records in Munich in 1992, so, unfortunately I can’t give you the
original catalogue number.

I also managed to get hold of a Never Never Land CD pressing last year,
the catalogue number being 758036005. You can hear that the disc was
made from a vinyl copy of the album, but what the hell – it’s great to
have it on disc! The sleeve is also an exact replica of the original.

The band members were:

Stephen Gilroy on Guitar (British Citizen)
Saverio Grande on Drums (Italian Citizen)
Louis Joseph Forer on Bass (S.A. Citizen)
Andrew Ionnides on Flute and Vocals (S.A. Citizen)

The track listing is as follows:

1). Aimless Lady
2). 21st Century Schizoid Man
3). Season of the Witch
4). Sin’s a good man’s brother
5). I’ll be Creeping
6). The Whip
7). Into the Fire
8). Elegy

The CD also has a bonus track:
9). War Pigs

I think King Crimson, Brian Auger, Free, Deep Purple, Colosseum and
Black Sabbath would be quite chuffed that their tracks were so well
covered! The album was produced by Julian Laxton, under the direction
of Clive Calder.


Leon again…

Folk outfit, Flibbertigibbet, had ties with what was arguably the UK’s
best ever folk rock outfit, Mellow Candle, whose sole record, Swaddling
Songs, released in 1972, is now one of the most sought after recordings
from the Deram/Decca stable, next to Leaf Hounds’ Growers of Mushroom
album. Mint copies of the Mellow Candle easily fetch upwards of 400
Pounds {R4000!) on the collector’s market.

Vocalist Alison O’Donnell (formerly Williams), and vocalist/guitarist
Dave Williams came to SA from the UK in 1975. They formed
Flibbertigibbet with vocalist Jo Dudding and guitarist Barrie Glen.
Their only album, called “Whistling Jigs to the Moon”, also featured
one of the most talented musicians this country has seen, bassist Denny
Lalouette, a man who can hold his own amongst the world’s best.

It was released in 1978 on Stanyan records, which was a private label,
as were two singles, one in 1978 and the other in 1979, when the band
broke up.

Good news for those who’ve been trying to get a copy of the album;
British label, Kissing Spell, released the album on CD in the mid 90’s
as part of their Erewhon Underground Folk-Rock Series (Catalogue number
KSCD 9510-F). An album of early unreleased Mellow Candle songs and demo
versions of tracks that would later appear on “Swaddling Songs”, called
“The Virgin Prophet” (Catalogue number KSCD 9520-F), was also released
by the label at about the same time.

Alison Williams took part in the Tortue Reviews in Rockey Street, Jhb,
before returning to the UK. David became head of light music with the
SABC in Cape Town. If Folk-Rock in the Fairport/Trees/Wooden Horse vein
is your bag, both Mellow Candle and Flibbertigibbet are essential

On the subject of Folk-Rock (well, sort of, anyway!), another band that
deserves a mention is Stone Jug. Formed by the Bush family, John and
Hugh on vocals and acoustic guitar and Jenny on vocals, bassist Trevor
Turner and Roger Sheppard on vocals and tabla, they released their
eponymously titled album on Epidemic Records (RASH 6001), in 1972.
Julian Laxton guested on guitar (he did get around, didn’t he?!), as
well as doing the engineering work. Drummer Cedric Samson also did his
bit as did Dan Hill, who played keyboards and arranged the horns.
Recorded at RPM studios in Jhb, the album was produced by Chris

Quite folky at times, they sometimes sounded a bit like Crosby, Stills,
Nash and Young with some really tasteful vocal harmonies. The track,
“Chicken Heart”, chosen as one of the two singles, was really good.
Don’t know if they had much success with it, though.

{“Folk-y” Editor: Chicken Heart by Stone Jug is on The Best Of SA Pop
volume 2 disc 1. I remember it received radio play in the early 70s}


Have had a look at your website regarding charts etc. At last I’ve
found a site that understands me. It will be really excellent when
completed I’m sure.


I was not aware that there was a 6CD set called The Best of SA Pop.
Is that the same series which I believe was issued by Gallo which came
as a 2 CD pack (When local was lekker)? By the way is that onto Vol 3
and upwards?

Is there any of the old Michael (Mike) Eagar songs such as “What Have I
done” and “Just How High” etc on there?

Hope you don’t mind me testing your knowledge but trying to find
somebody in SA with the same passion as me for music is pretty rare!!

{Passionate editor: I thought the same until this digest! There are
actually a lot of us}

Would you object to me faxing you a list of tracks I’m trying to get
hold of for nostalgia’s sake and advise if you’ve seen any around?

One to think of: Remember the novelty “Dance King Kong” by the
Schroeder Brothers and “Skateboard” By Blend. These were never chart
hits but both by SA artists released on EMI.

Finally if you like radio nostalgia I have all the SA Top 30/some Top
20, Springbok Radio, and David Gresham shows theme tunes and jingles
recorded for me by Russell Pope (an old producer for SBOK) on a
cassette tape. Not the most brilliant of copies but there anyway!!

In my desperation to find old tracks I actually spoke to David Gresham
a couple of months back and what a nice chap he actually was. He sent
me a copy of his new compilation David Gresham’s Top 20 Hit Picks.
Interesting!! Would be nice if he could bring out a series!!

Another quick question? Where did “Bubbly” come From? “O me O my
Goodbye” and “Valentino” were their SA chart hits and they were on the
PYE label. Have you seen this on any compilation?

— Chris Bush (from the UK)

{“Passionate-for-pop” editor: 2 people involved with the The Best Of SA
Pop series are Digest members, so c’mon guys lets have some feedback}


Neil Daya from Vibes, N1 City writes:

One recent CD which I haven’t seen mentioned on these pages is the
Coleske brothers effort. I feel that it fits comfortably into the
rock/pop category, and while some may feel that it is merely a
derivation of Simon and Garfunkel, Bread, America, etc, etc, etc, I
really feel that the brothers deserve some recognition for their album.
The success of the album, not only in South Africa but also in Europe,
speaks for itself.

Something which has been a topic of conversation recently is the gap
between overseas and South African production and mastering. The work
on the Coleske CD in terms of the production deserves to be
congratulated. Also, let’s not forget the musicians who contribute to
the album. Mauritz Lotz has got to be the most recorded guitarist in
S.A. in recent years (with the possible exception of Jethro Butow),
and Denny Lallouette also pops up on masses of South African L.P.’s.
I have great respect for these musicians who can fit in with the sound
of numerous bands, playing totally different types of music. With these
two names, I half-expected the drummer to be Kevin Kruger (what’s he up
to these days??), but Wally Cullis does magnificently. Accolades also
to Harold Schenk and Barry Snyman.

On the older side of things, what are the chances of our well-connected
editor getting somebody to put some of the Hawk stuff onto CD? I’m
the proud owner of “African Day” and “Live and Well” (on L.P.), and I’m
sure it would be possible to get “African Day” and “Africa She too can
cry” onto one CD. Dave Ornellas’s voice is brilliant. Check out also
his offspring in their gospel band, Naked Lyric. Danny and Beshara
obviously have inherited all the right genes from their talented father.

See more about Hawk at http://www.rock.co.za/hawk

{“Well-connected” editor: well, the people who have the rights to
release Hawk on CD are on this Digest, so-o-o-o…}


These are those incidents, that when remembered, send cold shivers up
and down your spine. If nothing does that to you, then you’re dead.

Here are a few of mine…

1.The bass riff in So Cold by Hotline.

2.Who Killed Kurt Cobain? a song by Koos Kombuis…this is a classic,
it should have made the US charts – a disgrace that it didn’t!

3.Willem Moller’s guitar on Sex by the Pressure Cookies.

I heard this song on the radio and was blown away by the guitar,
but I had no idea who it was, or even that it was local, until the
Meatloaf concert in 1996 when the Pressure Cookies were the support
band. The next day I bought the CD! (Pressure Cookies not Meat Loaf!)

Tonia Selley also autographed the cover for me, when I met her at the
Rodriguez concerts in March last year.
Never too old to be a groupie, hey?

4.”Follow me up!” – the ending from Kilimanjaro by Juluka – I taped the
live version from SABC-TV sometime in the mid-to-late 80s. Truly
brilliant. All I have left though is the audio track of this one song,
but what a great version. That last line gives me goosebumps.

5.Opening riff to Sarajevo by Jack Hammer. Like Metallica? Then you’ll
love this. Stunning guitar solo as well.

6.”Toe ons weer so kyk, het ‘n AK jou F****d-up geskiet” – from Goeie
Nag Generaal by Piet Botha. The first time I heard that line I nearly
crashed my car. Here’s someone who understands what some of us went

Maybe its not PC to talk about this stuff, but Piet does and I thank
him for that.

Another song with a similar theme, but a completely different feel, is
David Kramer’s Prisoners Of War – haunting.

7.Kenny Henson’s guitar on Playgrounds In Paradise by Finch and Henson.
Stunning atmospheric guitar solo. Reminds me of David Gilmour from Pink
Floyd in places. Brilliant.

8.Allan Faull on Makin’ Out With Granny by Falling Mirror. Incredible
fretwork from a master guitarist – lovely stuff.

Tully McCully, the producer and bass guitarist for the Mirror told me
that Allan’s guitar solo was done in one rehearsal take! Tully had the
tapes running while Allan rehearsed and captured the magic first time.

9.Max Mikula/Julian Sun on I’m Tempted To Stay by Karma. Raw and raunchy
rock guitar…superb. Karma’s One Day Soon was reviewed in last week’s
issue of the digest.

10.The vocal harmonies on McCully Workshop’s Buccaneer. Excellent.

11.Tribal Fence by Margaret Singana. Originally a Freedoms Children
track, this was re-recorded by Rabbitt (featuring Margaret Singana)
and then she re-recorded it herself. Margaret has a wonderful rock
voice and the arrangement here by Patric van Blerk is suitably epic
and powerful.

Margaret has recorded tracks by Creedence, Hawk, Freedoms Children and
Julian Laxton so her Rock credentials are more than satisfactory in my

Read more…

12.The flute-playing on the first Otis Waygood Blues Band album.
Wonderful Jethro Tull-style progressive blues-rock sound.


Please send in your comments…
What are your magic moments in SA music?
A song, a concert, a radio show, a guitar solo, a bass riff, a drum
pattern, an opening note, whatever…?



Paul Weller – Modern Classics: The Greatest Hits…
cool, hard, heavy, soulful, bluesy, progressive —
just some of the terms to describe the music of Paul Weller.

Various Artists – Only What You Want To Hear…5FMs excellent
compilation of the sounds of 1998. Includes a number of SA bands,
yeah – way to go, guys… now if only somebody would reply to my

Ramases – Glass Top Coffin…a CD-R of the old 1975 progressive rock
album from the guy who brought us the Space Hymns album


Jack Hammer – Death Of A Gypsy…Piet Botha and friends stun with
hard, heavy and harsh rock.

David Kramer – Klassic Kramer…wonderful SA imagery from this
amazing artist. His sound-paintings of life in the Platteland are
incredible. “I’m as happy as hotel in the springtime when the flowers
bloom again”. Anybody who has ever tried to find accomodation in the
Namqualand in August will know exactly what he means.


More banned songs…

The Osmond’s Crazy Horse was banned ’cause they thought it was about
Free Mandela – Special AKA
Sit Dit Af – Johannes Kerkorrel
David Kramer was the SA artist most banned by the SABC

— Deon Maas

…add to the list “Melting pot” by Blue Mink and “To Sir
with love” (banned 1965, unbanned 10 years later), also “Helter
Skelter” by the Beatles.

— Peter Alston

{Editor: Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd was banned, I’m sure.
Jesus Christ Superstar, Jethro Tull’s Aqualung and Rodriguez’s Cold
Fact were all banned from SABC radio play}


More songs that mention Cape Town in their lyrics…

Somer – Johannes Kerkorrel
N2 – Sons of Trout
Soul Vandal – Sugardrive

— Deon Maas

David Kramer’s “Going away” which mourns the forced removals from
District Six and “Piet Mockingbird” in which the title character
appears in concert at the Nico Malan.

{Editor: Also David Kramer’s Bakgat Boogie refers to a “jeet” in

By the way, who did “Take me down to old Cape Town” which was the theme
song for the 1991 Cape Town Festival – I rather think D Kramer had a
hand in the production? Where is it available?

{Editor: Isn’t this the Ballyhoo song recorded in 1982 and released on
the b-side of Don’t Go Walking With My Heart? It was written by Attie
van Wyk and Mark Grey. Mark was from the UK band Exile.}


Previous issue:

Pendelum’s Take My Heart was based on Ketelby’s In A Persian Market.

First correct answer was from Rene Mullenders in Holland!

Derek Smith wrote…

Gallo will give you CD’s as prizes for your Pop Quiz.

{Grateful editor: Thanks a stack! Derek will be supplying a list of SA
music CDs available as prizes, and every week the lucky winner will be
able to select from that list and Gallo will post them on.}

This week’s question:

Byron du Plessis changed his name and joined Toto for
a brief spell in 1990. What was the new name he sang under?

Answer can be found on the SA Rock Lists Website at:

The first correct answer will win a CD kindly supplied by Derek Smith
from Gallo.



Alan Hilton of Vibes Music has suggested a get-together of Cape Town
members of the SA Rock digest. I’ve spoken to Robbie Woodward who says
his pub, The Royal Oak in Table View, could be used as a venue.
Anybody interested?
Replies to vagabond@rock.co.za


More here…


Saw this show at the Nico on Friday – fantastic!


Valiant Swart and Koos Kombuis are appearing at Kirstenbosch Gardens
on Sunday, the 7th March. See you there!

Next issue…The Lancaster Band, McCully Workshop,
Steve Linnegar’s Snakeshed, Robbi Robb, Top 20 Hits
of 1959 (no space this week) and so much more…


The SA Rock Digest is compiled by Brian “Vagabond” Currin from the
“Too Good To Be Forgotten” internet message board, e-mails from
various Digest members and other varied sources.

The opinions expressed here are not necessarily echoed by myself, but I
try and keep an open mind. (After growing up in SA in the 70s and
spending 5 years in the Army, that’s not so easy!)

For the basic rules of the Digest please visit:
or I can e-mail them to you.

Want a digest like this for your company, band, radio station…?
Go to: http://www.rock.co.za/files/

Want to know more about me, my websites and my love for music?
Go to: http://www.rock.co.za/files/

The SA Rock Files (the online archive for the History of South
African rock) is at:

Want up-to-date news, reviews and interviews on South African and
international music, with a healthy dose of humour?
Visit Sugar’s Amuzine site at: http://rock.co.za/amuzine

Visit the Indie Music Explosion website at: indie.co.za

Are you are a SA musician looking for info or resources?
Visit Gareth’s excellent backstage.co.za website.


Reading someone else’s copy of this e-mag?

Subscribe yourself by sending an e-mail to mailto:vagabond@rock.co.za
with any words or phrases that vaguely indicate acceptance.

Y’know, like “I’m in”, “That’s great”, “OK”, “Here’s R1000 send me a

Want to unsubscribe from this e-mag?

Surely not, but if you really must, then just send me an e-mail,
saying “I hate SA music”, “I’m bored” or “get my out of here” or
“I’ve had enough” or whatever, I’ll get the idea, eventually.




This issue of the SA Rock Digest went out on the 25th February 1999.


The SA Rock Digest is a free
subscription e-mag, edited by
Brian Currin and delivered
direct to your mailbox.

Subscribe and unsubscribe
information at the bottom.


In this issue:

Quote of the week
What’s going on?
Where are they now?
Music search
Banned on the run
SA charts?
One hit, wonder where they’ve gone?
Reviews – Piet Botha
In my car this week
Fine Music Radio
All time great SA guitar solos
Top current albums worth listening to
Rock lists
Top 20 SA hits of each year
SA Music Day – 27 March
Pop quiz


This is a discussion forum for anything about
South African rock music; past, present and future.

Read it, digest it, enjoy it, send in your comments
and tell your friends….

I am overwhelmed at the response this Digest has been
receiving. If your request, question or submission does
not appear here, please be patient – I just don’t want
to make this digest too long.


“Sharp Cuts” was born not out of profit, but out of an inherent and
unshakeable belief in the musical legacy of this country.

— Benjy Mudie, August 1992
(extract from the liner notes of the first CD
in the “Sharp Cuts” series.


Valiant Swart and Koos Kombuis are appearing at Kirstenbosch Gardens on
the 7th March. This is part of the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts.

Visit the Gig-Guide for “What’s On” in Cape Town.



The little I know about SA rock, stems from many, many, moons ago, when
I was what you could call a PETIT CHEVAL ‘groupie’.

Whatever happened to Jonathan Selby and the boys?

To me their studio recordings sucked, but they were a brilliant,
brilliant live band. I used to follow them all around JHB from venue to
venue, they would sometimes open with a great cover of John Lennon’s
Imagine, but their own stuff really rocked.

— Nick Sophos

{Editor: “Petit Cheval” is French for little horse. Tusk released a CD
compilation in 1995 titled “Young Lions” – catalogue no. WOND 127}

Where can you get hold of John Ireland’s “I Like”?

Did he not in fact have an earlier album with “You’re Living Inside My
Head” featured on it?

And didn’t he train to become a doctor? Or was that fiction?

By the way do you know where Shabby Tiger came from?
And if their hits “Slow Down” and “Lovely Lady” are available.

— Christopher Bush


Editor’s report…

In my search for old vinyl in Cape Town, I’ve found 2 places:

Vibes in N1 City has a great collection of old vinyl, especially
South African stuff. They also have a wonderful prog-rock CD section.
Very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff.

E-mail Neil Daya at vibes@fast.co.za

Outlaw Records, at 55 Castle Street in the centre of Cape Town, is a
small shop specializing in second-hand vinyl and CDs. Always something
new whenever I go in there.

Phone: 238145

Anybody got any other recommendations for other parts of the country?


Hello. My name is Leon Muston, and I am a media and journalism honours
student at the University of Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
I am trying to find a list of songs which were banned by the Apartheid
government in South Africa during the 70’s and 80’s. A search of the net
proved unsuccessful. The only sites I found were your’s and the list of
songs banned in the USA. I was wondering if you could help me with any
possible sites or ways of finding out this information.

I already know of “Gimmie hope Johanna” by Eddie Grant; “Sing
our own song (Amandla Awethu)” by UB40; “Biko” by Peter Gabriel;
“Oliver’s Army” by Elvis Costello and “We won’t play Sun City” by
various artists. I am trying to find a larger, more enclusive list. If
you could pass this on to other people who may have access to such
information, it would be much appreciated.

— Leon Muston



Just seen your rock lists website and think what you’re doing is great
and long overdue. Sure it will become essential reading for anyone
interested in SA music.

Hoping you can assist with my request. I’m music ed at Fair Lady
magazine and contributor to a music site on 24.com.
For pieces that I’m researching, I urgently require info on what was
top of the SA charts in a particular week or month 10, 15, 20 etc years
ago. Where can I get hold of that info in a hurry?

— Mike Behr


I have noticed recently that a lot of record companies worldwide are
actually using tracks from vinyl to transfer onto CD when the masters
cannot be found or as in the case of that record company in SA (was it
EMI?) that had a lot of masters burnt.

One of my first ports of call in trying to get hold of the remaining
tracks on (my wish) list was the SABC Record Library and it turns out
that in their wisdom all their vinyl singles were dumped so hence it
would appear that some One Hit Wonders may have disappeared forever.
Were you aware of this?

— Christopher Bush


This first solo album of modern, Afrikaans folk/blues songs happened on
the instigation of Eckard Potgieter, the owner of Wildebeest Records.
He suggested an album of slow, soft and relevant Afrikaans songs. After
four months of production at the Sunset Studios in Stellenbosch, under
the guiding hand of Jurgen von Wechmar, ‘n Suitcase Vol Winter’ was
released. Although many of Stellenbosch’s finest musicians helped with
the album, it was mostly Piet Botha’s labour of love and was very
different to his previous work with Raven and Jackhammer.

The 12 songs on this album are acoustic-based, laid back and emotional.
Botha wrote all the songs (with the exception of Valiant Swart’s
‘In Die Transvaal’ and the Koos Kombuis written-and-sung ‘Gipsey In Jou
Oe’) and delivered the finest vocal performance of his career with
ballads like the beautiful and sad ‘Van Tonder’ and the reflective
title track. Along with Swart, Kombuis and Koos du Plessis, Piet Botha
was responsible for establishing Afrikaans as a competitive rock music
“taal” again. These sensitive and narrative songs cover all those SA
subjects that had affected Piet Botha as a South African growing up in
the apartheid-era. From the Anglo-Boer war, SA Border war (‘Goeienag
Generaal’), life, death and politics to wives, film stars and “the
road”, Botha covers all these relevant topics with strong lyrics,
steady and sympathetic backing and a wide range of feelings that leaves
this album up there with the best from Koos Kombuis and Valiant Swart.

The other artists appearing on this album are Jorik Pienaar (drums),
Jason Phillips (bass), Jonathan Martin (guitars, cellos and vocals) as
well as Koos Kombuis, Valiant Swart and Brenda (?). While it must be
mentioned that Piet is the son of the long-serving Nationalist Party
Foreign Affairs minister, Pik, it should also be said that Piet Botha’s
alternative career certainly puts paid to that old Afrikaans cliché,
“Die appel val nie ver van die boom af nie”. A great SA artist and

— Stephen “Sugar” Segerman

See CD cover at:

Read more at:


Pink Floyd – The Soundtrack From The Film The Wall…this is a C90
cassette recorded from the laser disc of the movie. Why? I hear you ask.
Because the movie has some songs in it which are not on the CD and
vice versa.
For more info visit: http://www.rock.co.za/files/thewall.html

McCully Workshop – Ages…more info at:

Otis Waygood Blues Band…see:

Piet Botha – ‘n Suitcase Vol Winter – see review in this issue

Various Artists – Sound Offerings From South Africa…an incredible
eclectic collection of SA music compiled by Derek Smith from Gallo.
Commissioned by the SA Tourism Board as a souvenir item, this is a
compilation that covers nearly all aspects of SA music, old and new.
I don’t like everything on it, but at around R90 for a double CD, you
can’t go far wrong. I bought it at The Max in Cavendish Square in
Claremont, Cape Town. They have a huge section of the store devoted to
SA music with a wonderful selection of old and new stuff.


André Fourie writes…

If nobody else has said it yet, thanks for creating a site for SA music.
About time, me thinks!

{Self-promoting editor: please visit:
This was the site that started my own rediscovery of SA rock in
particular and SA music in general}

With regard to Leigh Barrett and KRVM, (see issue #3) I too have my own
radio programme on Fine Music Radio 101.3 every Wednesday evening at
12 midnight until 2am playing only South African Music. This is
unfortunately only available in Cape Town at this stage. So if any
band, solo artist or whatever would like their music to get airplay,
then I can be contacted at FMR ph. 480-3180 or fax 480-3174, or
e-mail: fmrradio@iafrica.com.

I am also on the lookout for any OLD material like Otis Waygood Blues
Band, Suck, Hammak etc. Likewise, if any of the musicians from those
days are around then please let me know where you are and what you are

— André Fourie

(a list from André Fourie, himself a guitarist of note)

Louis Greef – Tchaikovsky 1 and the B side – Flight of the Bumble Bee
by Omega Ltd – Brilliant!

Jose Alves – solo on Neill Solomans hit “The Stranger” – absolutely

Mauritz Lotz – ALL his work on his album “The Turning Point” – Genius!

Jethro Butow – For his solo on “Bowtie Boogaloo” by Morocko – Inspiring!

Trevor Rabin – For his solo on “Owner of a lonely heart” by Yes – Awesome!

(another list from André Fourie)

Mean Mr Mustard – Mean Mr Mustard CDDGR 1379 N. Probably the most
underrated band in SA at this time!

Landscape Prayers – Bush Telegraph SSCD 022. Nibs van der Spuy almost
makes his acoustic guitar talk!

Errol Dyers – Sonesta NK – 008. Errol is just a genius and a gentleman
to boot!

Freedoms Children – Astra CDRED 619. At last on CD. What a mind blast!

Big Sky – Going down with Mr Green BPCD2. Steve Louw does it again!

Jimmy Dludlu – Echoes from the past CDRBL 253. Jimmy almost makes
Jonathan Butler seem pedestrian!



Songs that mention or allude to Cape Town in the title or lyrics…

Bicycle Sonder ‘n Slot – Koos Kombuis
Antjie Somers – Anton Goosen
Take Me Down To Cape Town – Ballyhoo
Cape Axe – Jorge Carlos
This Boy – Sweatband
Love You A Little More Every Day – Finch & Henson
Klein Bietjie Reën – Piet Botha

Any I’ve missed? There must be! David Kramer, for example?
Please send them in…


The songs that South Africans sent up the charts through the years.
Each issue will feature a different year. We start with…


ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM – Everly Brothers
WHO’S SORRY NOW? – Connie Francis
WHEN – Kalin Twins
FANAGALO – Peterson Brothers (SA)
VOLARE – Domenico Modugno
AT THE HOP – Danny & the Juniors
TWILIGHT TIME – The Platters
TOM DOOLEY – Kingston Trio
DON’T – Elvis Presley
JAILHOUSE ROCK – Elvis Presley
JAMPOT POLKA – Nico Carstens (SA)
TEQUILA – The Champs
CHIPMUNK SONG – The Chipmunks/David Seville
HEAR DEM BELLS – Peter Lotis (SA)
STUPID CUPID – Connie Francis
WITCH DOCTOR – David Seville
IT’S ALL IN THE GAME – Tommy Edwards

Info from Top 40 magazine, August 1989.

(SA) indicates South African artists.

The South African Rock Lists site is under construction.
Visit: http://www.rock.co.za/files/sarocklists.html

A ringsiders view of the South African Music Day:

SAMD is a project co-ordinated by the Midi trust. The aim of the project
is to create an awareness of the South African music industry as a whole
and to stimulate additional interest in everything associated with it.
Due to the wide scope of the project it is difficult for the MIDI TRUST
to really host the events themselves due to limited funding. Rather the
initiative is left with individuals to make use of the additional
attention the media and general public will be paying to anything
related to South African music. The Oppikoppi web site will soon have
links to the official SAMD web page and we hope that everyone else
follows suite. Project like these are very ambitious and need the
support of everybody in the industry (even drummers).

Additionally a studio project is being co-ordinated which will try to
give free recording time to a number of bands all over the country. I
attach a complete band application form at the bottom of the page. The
studio project is open to any original South African band from any genre
you can think of.

We hope this will help and will carry on trying until it does.

Push harder


Carel Hoffmann

EMail: oppikoppi@icon.co.za
Web: oppikoppi.co.za


Vagabond says…

Take My Heart by Pendulum is based on a classical piece of music.

Name the composer and the piece.

Send your replies to vagabond@rock.co.za

Answer in the next issue.

No prizes yet…maybe somebody will
sponsor a CD giveaway or something…

Next issue…Suck, Robbi Robb, Flibbertigibbet, Coleske, Hawk and
a special report from Howard Butcher from the Lancaster Band and…
oh, so much more…


The SA Rock Digest is compiled by Brian “Vagabond” Currin from the
“Too Good To Be Forgotten” internet message board, e-mails from
various Digest members and other varied sources.

The opinions expressed here are not necessarily echoed by myself, but I
try to keep an open mind. (After growing up in SA in the 70s and
spending 5 years in the Army, that’s not so easy!)

For the basic rules of the Digest please visit:
or I can e-mail them to you.

Want a digest like this for your company, band, radio station…?
Go to: http://www.rock.co.za/files/

Want to know more about me, my websites and my love for music?
Go to: http://www.rock.co.za/files/

Want up-to-date news, reviews and interviews on South African and
international music, with a healthy dose of humour?
Visit Sugar’s Amuzine site at: http://rock.co.za/amuzine

Visit the Indie Music Explosion website at: indie.co.za

Are you are a SA musician looking for info or resources?
Visit Gareth’s excellent backstage.co.za website.


Reading someone else’s copy of this e-mag?

Subscribe yourself by sending an e-mail to mailto:vagabond@rock.co.za
with any words or phrases that vaguely indicate acceptance.

Y’know, like “I’m in”, “That’s great”, “OK”, “Here’s R1000 send me a

Want to unsubscribe from this e-mag?

Surely not, but if you really must, then just send me an e-mail,
saying “I hate SA music”, “I’m bored” or “get my out of here” or
“I’ve had enough” or whatever, I’ll get the idea, eventually.



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