Firstly thanks for all the wonderfully complimentary emails regarding the "1967 Summer of Love' special that we aired 2 weeks ago, I'm so glad that you enjoyed it as much as I did. When I was preparing the special I was struck by just how many influential records were released that year and that it was going to be impossible to fit them all in one show. During the pre-record itself I kept thinking 'I forgot so and so, this and that song' - so we'll have to do it again ... soon. Send your suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try to track them down and incorporate them into Part 2 ..... Last Thursday's special on David Gilmour's solo work brought scores of Pink Floyd fans out of the woodwork and onto the phone - thanks for all the calls and to answer the question about the live version of "Comfortably Numb" with David Bowie sharing the vocals with the main Dave? It's from a limited edition, four track promotion only sampler which was specially culled from the David Gilmour "Remember that night" dvd set that has just been released - thanks to Nigel at Sony BMG who managed to get a copy from the UK ... and no it's not available commercially as a CD at this stage so you'll have to see and hear it on the DVD (which if you are a Floyd fan you should rush out and get) ....... So what's happened to my Led Zeppelin reunion concert ticket which I went online to try and book? Well as you know it was entered, along with an estimated 25 million (!) other requests, on the ballot and at the stage of writing it would appear that I have been unsuccessful in securing a ticket for the event of the century (boo hoo hoo)...
Win the Complete Bob Dylan Catalogue!
October (or Rocktober as some like to call it) is close to the 'season of giving' so here at Rock of Ages we are, with help from our friends at the music labels, in an extremely generous mood - go to the website at www.rock.co.za/rockofages and enter online to win the complete Bob Dylan CD catalogue (see pic) - all you have to do is name your favourite Dylan tune and send the entry in ......
Win Pink Floyd's debut album!
Also up for grabs is the limited edition 3 CD set of Pink Floyd's debut, "Piper at the gates of dawn" - this one is slightly more involved and requires you to exercise your writing skills by sending me your opinion as to why the 'Floyd are one of the most influential bands of all time .... get writing ...... and there's more!
Win tickets to Jethro Tull concert!
... on this Thursday's show (18th October) I will be giving away 6 double tickets to the Jethro Tull show as well as 6 copies of the Best of Jethro Tull album (courtesy of EMI).
The Rock of Ages Special
I have been asked quite a few times if I could let listeners know in advance what specials are coming up on the show. Although I don't like to plan too far in advance this is what you can expect in the coming weeks, subject of course to the odd change due to timing, moods, etc......
18th October ... Fronted by the wildly eclectic vocals gymnastics of David Surkamp, Pavlov's Dog burst out of Middle America in the mid 70's with their brand of prog soaked rock. Featuring violin and mellotron to the fore, as opposed to the guitar heavy line-ups of the day, the 'Dog made a handful of albums before splitting up - the most notable of which was "Pampered menial" with it's eterenal single "Julia".
25th October ... This week we are celebrating the work of one Robert Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan or His Royal Bobness (whichever you prefer). Arguably the most influential singer songwriter of the modern world Dylan has released over 50 albums, many of which appear regularly in Top 100 Album lists around the globe. The special will concentrate on his most requested tracks and I will be joined in the studio by Dylanologist, Duncan Gibbon, to chat about the songs and all things Dylan.....
1st November ... Jethro Tull are due to perform 4 concerts in South Africa in November and to underscore the importance of this legendary band we have dedicated this special to the band. I'll be playing some interview excerpts as well as all your faves - Aqualung, Locomotive breath, The Whistler, Thick as a brick and many more ...
8th November ... Although they had a huge worldwide hit with "Carry on my wayward son", Kansas were by no means a one hit wonder. In fact during the 70's and early 80's there were few rock bands who could compete with the sheer power and majesty of this underrated band. So prepare yourself for violent violins ... duelling guitars ... soaring harmonies ... thundering drums ... and some of the most exciting and complex music from this progressive rock powerhouse.
The band, Pavlov's Dog, was originally from St. Louis, Missouri USA. The band was formed by Mike Safron and David Surkamp. Members of the original band were: David Surkamp - lead vocals, guitar, David Hamilton - keyboards, Doug Rayburn - mellotron, flute, Mike Safron - percussion, Rick Stockton - bass guitar, Siegfried Carver - violin, vitar, viola, Steve Scorfina - lead guitar .When talking to former members of the band, there is some difference of opinion about how the group came to be formed. According to Mike Safron, he and Siegfried Carver formed the band. David Surkamp auditioned as a guitarist, but Mike was not overly impressed with David's abilities. Before leaving, David asked if he could sing a song. When Mike heard David's voice, he was shocked and he immediately decided on the spot that David had to be the lead vocalist for the band.
According to Rick Stockton, the band actually had it's beginnings in 1972-1973 as a group called "High on a Small Hill". It consisted of the following personnel:
David Surkamp - Lead Vocal & Guitar
Geoff Benson - Lead Guitar & Vocals
Rick Stockton - Bass Guitar & Vocals
Tom Keller - Drums
David and Rick proceeded to dismantle this band with the goal of developing a group capable of performing and recording original music. They auditioned dozens of local musicians, including several drummers before Mike Safron joined the group. Next came Seigfried Carver (real name Richard Nadler), followed by Steve Scorfina, David Hamilton, and Doug Rayburn, pretty much in that order. Tom Nickeson came on board during preparation for the 2nd album and later replaced David Hamilton on keyboards for the Sound of the Bell tour. Regardless of how the group came to be formed, the important thing is that they got together and produced some terrrific music over several albums. Prior to releasing their first album in 1975, the group recorded several songs at a studio in Pekin, Illinois and an acetate album was produced as a result. According to Rick Stockton, "It's got some incredible tracks on it, only a few of which made their way on to an album. That recording exhibited the pure energy that the band produced and was famous for in those days before the record executives got a hold of us and "toned it down some". In my opinion, the "Pekin Tapes" were awesome. That studio burned to the ground in the late 70's and the master was lost (at least that's the story that went around in those days)."
The group released their first album - "Pampered Menial" - in 1975 on ABC Dunhill Records. When the band was signed, they received a $600,000 advance from ABC. This was the largest advance for any new group signed. But, remember that this was 1974. The band then switched labels to Columbia Records for their second album - "At the Sound of the Bell". The first album - "Pampered Menial" - featured an interesting cover. The front covered featured a white dog and the back had a photo of a hound type dog in an old time setting. So where did the artwork for the first album originate? Steve Scorfina explains: "The artist for the original artwork for the cover, inside and back of the Pampered Menial album are Original Steel Engravings by Sir Edwin Landseer, master English animal painter. Sir Edwin Landseer, 1802-1873, is perhaps the most well known and respected painter and illustrator of animals. The engravings were chosen from the Robert Vernon Collection published by D. Appleton & New York in 1850, which Gwen Scorfina, (Steve's mother) had bought at a Monastery booksale. On the front cover titled "Low Life" -- were one about to write a natural history of the dog, in his domestic character, the works of Mr. Landseer would furnish as truthful authority for the habits and manner of the various species, as the study of the living model itself could afford. His knowledge of the creature was most profound, and must have so resulted from a study deep enough to engage the attention of a philosophical physiognomist of the human race. The animal pictured under to cognomen of "Low Life" (front cover of album) has undoubtedly no claim to higher rank, either by birth, education, or those with whom he associates. Such an ill-looking mongrel is rarely seen in the company of a gentleman, and yet there is such an air of impudent self-complacency in the countenance of the creature as he sits basking in the sunshine - so much assumed dignity, as would warrant the supposition that he were of royal race, and proper company for anyone. Evidently, he is a dog not to be played with by a stranger; that broad chest and deep jowl, those short, thickset legs, would render him a formidable enemy if attacked, and a valuable ally to his master, whether good deeds or evil. The true character of a thorough fighting dog has never been better portrayed, and whatever the duties which devolve upon him there can be no question of his performing them faithfully and vigorously. By the butcher's block and knife, which form a portion of the accessories, we should surmise that his master belongs to that fraternity.
The striking contrast to "Low Life" is found on the back cover of the Pampered Menial album titled "High Life" shows us a dog, of the hound species, seated in an apartment of a castle, which judging from the furniture and its other contents, is that more especially occupied by the lord of the mansion, probably a knight of the olden time, for helmet and sword, breastplate and glove lie there. The master is evidently a Bookman and a Scribe, as well as warrior, for implements of writing are scattered on the table, interspersed with heavily clasped volumes. The breed of the dog, and the objects by which he is surrounded, clearly bear out the title of the work -- "High Life". The engravings provided by Gwen Scorfina to CBS Records were never recovered. Hence, Stephen and Kathleen have been collecting Landseer's engravings. British Art Journals had been published during the 19th century. Finally, just last year they were able to grace Stephen's mother with the framed engravings she had once lost. When the group switched to Columbia, there are several different stories about what happened. One story is that they simply switched labels for their second album and Columbia simply re-released their first album. Another story says that Columbia actually paid the group another $600,000 for their first album and released it less than a week after ABC Records released it. Still a third story says that Columbia Records traded groups with ABC Records - Columbia gave the group Poco for Pavlov's Dog. So which story do you believe? According to Mike Safron, formerly of Pavlov's Dog, the story is as follows: "Pavlov's Dog probably had the most screwed-up situation of any group in history. The chance we had was just unbelievable. We signed the biggest contract ever for a starting-up national band. We signed for $650,000 to ABC/Dunhill, then were fired. Two weeks later we signed for another $600,000 to Columbia. The first album came out in all stores on the same day, on two labels. Never before in history."
When Pavlov's Dog first album came out, people either loved or hated David Surkamp's voice. His voice has been compared to Geddy Lee of Rush due to his ability to hit those "high notes". The songs on the album were unique since they combined the use of the mellotron and the violin. The song title "Theme from Subway Sue" (which appeared on the first album) was the result of someone in the band misunderstanding the lyrics, thinking David was singing, "And Subway Sue will find out where we're going" (real lyrics: "And someday soon, we'll find out where we're going"). After David finished showing the band the song in rehearsal, someone asked, "Who is Subway Sue, and why is she following us?" According to David Surkamp, it was Siegfried Carver who misheard the lyrics. The flute solo in the middle of the song "Julia" was played by Hubert Laws. According to Mike Safron, Laws did not like the solo and stated "If I get a credit on the album, I'll sue you." Hence, the band did not list Laws on the album. As noted, Pavlov's Dog released their second album - "At the Sound of the Bell" - on Columbia Records. This was another good album, similar to "Pampered Menial". "At the Sound of the Bell" was recorded at the Record Plant in New York City (some tracks were also recorded in England, most notably the boys' choir tracks for "Valkerie"). While the Dog was recording there, they were using the same studio that John Lennon was using for his album of that period. So when the Dog arrived in the studio, a lot of Lennon's equipment was there, including his Mellotron. (If you're unfamiliar with the Mellotron, it contained three tape strips [similar to 8-track cartridges] for each key, usually with violin, flute, and cello recordings. Before synthesized strings were available, Mellotrons were used in concert when a band couldn't afford real musicians [which was the case with the Dog]. Although violin, flute, and cello were the standard "voices," you could theoretically record anything on the tapes.)
Tom Nickeson approached Lennon's Mellotron, excited to be so close to the actual instrument that played the haunting flute intro to "Strawberry Fields Forever." He intended to turn the three-position knob to the flute position and recreate history, but before he did that, he reached for the first key and pressed it. Instead of hearing the characteristic wow-and-fluttery violin, flute, or cello, he and the other band members were treated to the opening guitar arpeggio from "Bungalow Bill"! Needless to say, they were knocked off their feet. Recently Mike Safron was asked if he knew of any plans to re-release the first two albums on CD in the United States. He stated that he knows of no such plans. He noted that Sony Music owns the rights to the recordings and that, in his opinion, it would not make much sense for them to re-release them, given the age of the recordings and the limited sales potential. Pavlov's Dog third album was entitled "The St. Louis Hounds" even though the band was still going by the name of Pavlov's Dog. The planned title for the third album was "Whatever Became of Siegfried?" This was a joking reference to electric violinist Siegfried Carver who left after the second album. The original planned cover art was a wonderful drawing of an overhead view of Sherlock Holmes (in classic deerstalker hat) and Watson being led down a foggy London street by an English pit bulldog that just happens to look exactly like the dog in the woodcut on Pampered Menial, which became the band's logo. The cover of the album that was eventually released was a humorous black and white drawing of the group. The name "St. Louis Hounds" and the drawings of the band members on the album were borrowed from a comic strip about Pavlov's Dog that ran in the magazine, New Musical Express, during the band's heydey.
At the time the third album was recorded, the band was still called Pavlov's Dog and was under contract to Columbia. After the album was completed, Columbia Records cut the band from its list and put the album on the shelf, never to be released. Each member of the band received a 1/4" reel-to-reel tape copy of the master to take home after the album was completed. Several members of the band bootlegged the third album on vinyl over the years (the most notable being the "St. Louis Hounds" version), and the worldwide bootleg CDs are bootlegs of these original vinyl bootlegs. The location of the original studio master is not known. As noted previously, Pavlov's Dog never officially went by the name "The St. Louis Hounds." This name was used on the bootleg to avoid any attention from Columbia Records and ASCAP. The music paper, New Musical Express, was quite taken with the American band that everyone thought was British, and NME probably gave the band more press than Rolling Stone or any American outlet. They even sent a reporter to cover rehearsals for and the recording of "At the Sound of the Bell." The magazine made a big deal about Bill Bruford (who had just left Yes) flying to St. Louis to rehearse in Steve Scorfina's carriage house rehearsal space and accompanying the band to a classic American fast-food place (Steak'n'Shake) for lunch. After being dropped by Columbia Records, Pavlov's Dog played a farewell concert on a St. Louis riverboat known as The Admiral. According to Rick Stockton, "This was indeed our farewell concert as the original band. I felt it was one of the best shows, if not THE best, that we ever did. The quality of performance and sound presentation was probably at it's highest quality level ever in front of a live audience. It should have been preserved on audio and/or video tape, but the logistics at that time just were not manageable, so we didn't do it (probably had something to do with money). I remember it was a short set, about 40 minutes, with selections from all three albums being performed. The final lineup for that day was as follows:
David Surkamp - Vocals, Valeno & Acoustic Guitars
Doug Rayburn - Keyboards, Flute
Steve Scorfina - Guitars, Vocals
Tom Nickeson - Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals
Seigfried Carver (Richard Nadler) - Violin, Sitar
Rick Stockton - Bass, Vocals
Kirk Sarkisian - Drums
The groups fourth and final album was called "Lost in America" and again was released on CD on a small, local label in St. Louis, Missouri. Pavlov's Dog was most popular in the midwest USA, particularly in cities near their hometown. Their music was predominantly played on FM radio stations - like KSHE95 - throughout the midwest. The band was also extremely popular in Europe and Australia. In fact, their first two albums can be easily found in Australia on compact disk. Pavlov's Dog released a total of four albums and each is described in more detail on these pages. All of their original vinyl albums are out of print and collectable. Some of their best known songs include: "Theme From Subway Sue", "Julia", "She Came Shining", and "Valkerie".
The original Pavlov's Dog is no longer making music as a group today. However, some of the members of the band are making music on their own or in other bands. After Pavlov's Dog, David Surkamp went on to join or form several other bands including Madshadows, Hi-Fi, and Memphis Underground. For a period of time, he lived in Seattle, Washington. After returning to St. Louis, Missouri, David worked for quite awhile as a columnist and music reviewer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (In fact to this day, he occasionally still writes music reviews for the paper.) During that time he interviewed many bands in town for concerts. Several times he had the experience of Australian bands arriving to be interviewed and on being introduced, asking "Are you THE David Surkamp?! Of Pavlov's Dog?!" and then proceding to give HIM the star treatment. David now has a new band - The David Surkamp Band. The band consists of: David Surkamp - vocals and guitar, Sara Surkamp (his wife) - vocals and guitar, Tom Surkamp (David's cousin) - keyboards and vocals, Paul Stephens - bass, and Sam Schmidt - drums. The group plays at various venues in the St. Louis area. almost every Saturday night According to Sara Surkamp: "People have come from all over the world to see the group play. In April 1998, we had a couple of visitors from England, and Steve (Scorfina) and Mike (Safron) both came down to the club, and the three of them preformed together. It was very fun." For more information about The David Surkamp Band, visit their homepage.
Rock Of Ages News
PISTOLS RE-VISIT ANARCHY
The Sex Pistols have re-recorded 'Anarchy In The UK'. This is to be featured in the game 'Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock'.
MOORE'S HENDRIX TRIBUTE
Gary Moore will join Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell to play a selection of Jimi Hendrix songs on October 25. The gig happens at the Hippodrome in London, and will be beamed live to cinemas across Europe. This is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Hedrix's performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival.
ZEP TICKET WARNING
Those lucky enough to have won the chance to buy tickets for the Led Zeppelin re-union show have been warned: don't attempt to sell these, or they'll be cancelled. An elaborate system involving passwords has been set up for the charity gig at the 02 Arena in London on November 26.
RODGERS IS NO LONGER FREE
Congratulations to legendary vocalist Paul Rodgers. He's just married his long-term girlfriend Cynthia Kereluk.
FORMER RAMONES DRUMMER SUES LATE GUITARIST
Drummer Richie Ramone is suing the estate of the late Johnny Ramone. He's demanding close to $1 million for the the fact that the songs he wrote while a member of the band (1983-7) are available digitally without his agreement. Ramone (real name Richard Reinhardt) also names Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Apple Inc., RealNetworks Inc. and the Ramones' management in the suit.
KISSOLOGY 3 ON THE WAY
Kiss are planning to releaes the 'Kissology 3' DVD before the end of the year. It will include never-before-seen footage shot in the studio while the band recorded the 'Carnival Of Souls' album.
STONES GET RICHER - SHOCK!
The Rolling Stones have officially earned more in the last financial year than any other musicians. They top the Forbes Rich Musicians list, having pulled in $100 million. Bon Jovi are fourth, earning $67 million.
Slash is to have his autobiography, called just 'Slash', published later in October. It was co-written by the Velvet Revolver guitarist with Anthony Bozza.
'The Greasy Truckers Party' live album, recorded at the Roundhouse in London on February 13 1972, is to be released as a three CD set on October 15. It features Hawkwind, Man and Brinsley Schwarz.
ROLLINS' WRONG ROLE
Henry Rollins has a role in upcoming movie 'Wrong Turn 2: Dead End'. He plays a retired miliary commander in this straight-to-DVD release.
NIRVANA UNPLUGGED ON DVD
Nirvana are to have their 1993 'MTV Unplugged In New York' performance released on DVD next month.
Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen is to open a bar/restaurant/museum in Rockford, Illinois. It's to be called Rick's.
Godsmack are to release a compilation called 'Good Times, Bad Times - 10 Years Of Godsmack' in late November. This will include a new recording of the Led Zeppelin classic 'Good Times, Bad Times'.
The legendary Jethro Tull return to South African shores in November for their second tour (they came in the 90's). In a recent phone interview founder Ian Anderson promised SA fans 'the best of Jethro Tull drawn from a cross section of albums' .... can't wait ..... book now at Computicket.
PODCAST: Listen to Benjy Mudie interviewing Ian Anderson about the upcoming Jethro Tull tour (22MB podcast)
7th November - Grand West Casino, Cape Town
9th November 2007 – Lords and Legends, Amanzimtoti, Durban
10th November 2007 – Carnival City's Big Top Arena, JHB
11th November 2007 – Carnival City's Big Top Arena, JHB
Tuesday 21st / Wednesday 22nd November - Big Top Arena @ Carnival City
Friday 23rd November - Arena at Grand West Casino, Cape Town
Book at Computicket www.computicket.com.
Boulevard Blues Band
14th V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre
21st Berties Mooring,Gordon's Bay
26th Kunskafee Durbanville
28th Guzzlers Tableview
31st DVD shoot at Fogeys
27 October - Bohemians, TJ's Meltdown (Celebration Gig)
31 October - Steamers, Northcliff
03 November - Tempos
23 November - Red Door, Pietermaritzburg
24 November - Burn, Durban
29 February 2008 - RAM Festival
13 October The Hidden Cellar, Dorp Street Stellenbosch
18th October Tanz Cafe, River Rd, Bryanston
19th The Asylum, Cnr 10th Ave & 4th Street, Edenvale
26th The Bohemian, Park rd, Johannesburg
13 October Burn Nightclub, Walls Avenue, Stamford Hill, Durban
22nd Nov - Foundry Fly Lounge (Pretoria) with Lonehill Estate.
Simon van Gend Band
Saturday 20 October Independent Armchair Theatre Cape Town
Friday 26th STEAK 'N ALE, 66 Botha Avenue, Lyttelton
TABLE MOUNTAIN BLUES SUMMIT
The Acid Blues Band / The Lonesharks with Dave Ferguson / Delta Blue / Boulevard Blues / Dan Patlansky.
10th November Tafelberg Tavern
Thunder Road Diner
14th Dr John Monster and DJ Dylan-70's rock
16th Jam Session
20th RWC Final
21st Dave Marks
23rd Jam Session
26th AK Massive
27th Nux Schwartz
28th Dr John Monster and DJ Dylan-70's rock
30th Jam Session
Disclaimer: The views, opinions, rants, raves and ramblings expressed on this website are the author's own and in no way reflect the views of Radio 2000 or the SABC.
Stay tuned every Thursday 8-12pm for the best in classic rock on RADIO 2000.
Benjy Mudie is a self confessed 'rockaholic' with little chance of recovery ... a music obsessive whose entire life has been spent in search of the lost chord ... from discovering Jimi's "Are you experienced" at 13, he has constantly devoured music through lp's, singles, tapes, cds, dvds, books, magazines, film, concerts, radio, tv and the internet. His entire working life has also been music related: from running a record store and later joining WEA Records in the mid 70's through to his 21 year A&R/Marketing stint at Tusk Music where he signed some of the biggest names in South African rock and pop. The last 8 years have been spent nurturing new talent at his indie label Fresh Music and reissuing classic albums as part of it's ongoing Retro series.... To say that 'music is his first love' (to paraphrase John Miles's classic song) is somewhat understated.