Grant Fisher's story
by Grant Fisher, December 1999
I started with a band called 'Preamble' in Cape Town in 1973 while we were together
at Westerford High - Craig Fisher (my brother) on guitar, Peter Goodacre (KFM
presenter) on lead guitar, Ian Liddle on drums and myself on bass guitar. We
won the schools "battle of the bands" talent contest in 1974 with covers of
the Beatles' 'Please, Please Me' and 'Ticket to Ride', etc... We wrote a host of
originals and did plenty of covers (including 'Buccaneer' [McCully Workshop] would you
believe?), playing gigs at the ice-rink in Greenpoint and the odd Scout hall
disco... That is when I wrote 'High & Dry', which was finally recorded with
Streetalk in Jhb in 1983.
Other bands in CT included 'Limousine' in 1977/8 with (fat) Des Hudson on
drums, Gary on guitar, 'Wildeside' in 1979 with Peter Hanmer (guitar) and John-Paul Geyer (drums) - (
the Dire Straits era...). 2 years of Military service saw me playing in the Infantry School
(Oudtshoorn) 'vermaaklikheidsorkes", doing gigs throughout the 'Klein Karoo'
on weekends, while fellow 'studente' stood beat or did inspections (an army
I started a trio in 1981 with Simon Walker (guitar) and Pete Harrison
(vocals, blues harp), called the "Bash Street Kids" and held down a number
of gigs around town doing mainly blues and rock covers.
I then joined Dr Jive & the Bluenotes (Clive, Greg and Tony Ridgeway), and
recorded "Let it rock & roll" with Winston Mankunku on Sax in Marco
Cellotti's studio in CT.
More about Dr Jive and the Bluenotes below...
I left CT in May 1982 to join Peter Hanmer, Garth Potterton (guitars) and
Colin Heaney (drums), who had a band called "Boss", doing heavy rock
originals. This was the pinnacle of my playing career in that it was exciting,
fulfilling and stretching my abilities for the first time. We were writing
stuff together that when I think back on it, was ahead of it's time and
We then hit a few line-up changes and Streetalk was formed, with the
incorporation of a keyboard player for the first time. The band eventually
turned 'pro' and I left in Dec 1983 to get married.
I formed a new band in 1984 with the keyboard player (Rob Hendry) and
drummer (Johnnie ...) - both later ex-'Betamax', called 'Jeraz'. We had Liz...
and Vic... on vocals, Marshall Harmse on lead guitar. We opened a club in
Pretoria called "Club '84" and played 3 months after which we fired Rob for
'questionable financial tactics', and Johnny left too. We replaced them both
with Eddie Gilbert (keys and sax) and Andre Vos (drums) and stayed together
for a further 9 months.
Various other bands followed - trios, dance bands etc, until 1987 when Peter
Hanmer and I got together with Stuart Mattison (vocals) and formed "Domino",
a club band (complete with backing tapes, courtesy of Peter and Dave Sharp)
that stayed together (miraculously) for 3 years until 1991, when I quit
playing 'semi-pro'. Peter, Dave and I got "Off the Edge" going again a a
club band, but we didn't reallly crack it as a foursome. Peter and Dave kept
in contact and were doing very well as a two-piece, last time I saw them.
I now live in Switzerland on a long term contract with my employer and I
play regularly in our Church Band with a bunch of pro musicians from all
around Europe (French keyboard player, Indonesian Sax player, Polish
Samurai - Dr Jive and The Blue Notes
Brian Currin, November 1999
I bought this seven single (remember those?) in 1982 and knew nothing about
this song except that I loved its strange haunting sound and powerful
Far-East imagery. Last week, reading through the Off The Edge biography on
the net, I discovered that Dr Jive and The Blue Notes were a South African band!
Clive Ridgway from KFM in Cape Town takes up the story...
The band was formed and run by my older brother Greg who played
lead guitar and was the lead voice on the bands records. He was very
much the driving force behind the band and produced 'Samurai' which
was recorded at Spaced Out Sounds Studio with Kevin Shirley
behind the desk. My younger brother Tony was the drummer
and I sort of fitted in somewhere in the middle.
Under Greg's direction we played a progressive brand of pop that
reflected our broad musical influences. These included amongst
other styles, rock, blues, country, soul and funk. When Greg decided
to call it a day to focus on film and his other artistic interests,
Tony and I formed a country-rock band called Rocking Horse.
- SA Rock Digest Issue #40, November 1999
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