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In this issue:
Radio Rats
Oz for SA
Where are they now?
On your marks...
The Hidden Years
Best of SA Rock
Then and now
Off The Edge
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....

"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.


I had the privilege of seeing a solo, impromptu performance of
Give Me The Good News by Crocodile Harris on Sunday, 11th April.

My family and I worship at the Pinelands Methodist Church in Pinelands
and Robin Graham was visiting from Somerset West. Rev Eric Dorey
introduced Robin as the artist known as Crocodile Harris and asked him
if would sing for us. Robin obliged and his performance was applauded

This song was a huge hit in SA in 1982, what a pity that the words are still
so relevant!

-- Brian Currin


Found an interesting site for any of you interested in African music.

Take a look at:

This site covers all African music from Cape to Cairo



Thanx for sending me the Rock Digest regularly --- it's gReat!!!

Is there anything one can do to persuade somebody to re-release The Radio Rats
album BIG BEAT on CD, as well as HERE COMES THE ROT by eVoid?

-- Theunis E


Will it be possible to put a message in regarding that I'm interested
to hear from all musicians that are interested to have their music
played in Sydney. I do have letters from the Radio Stations verifying
that I do have time on the air. I could send you a copy of this if
you are interested.



{Editor: go on guys, make contact, what have you got to lose?}


Nigel Walsh wants to know...

1. Whatever happened to Morning Glory? Other than the lovely Elaine 'Lazy'
Evans on vocals, who just about qualified as an older woman to dream about
when I was 16-17, I can't remember who the rest of the group were.

2. A vocalist named Miles Wakeham fronted a couple of Cape Town bands in the
early seventies, does the name ring bells with anyone?


Anton Nel wrote:

Please count me in for all issues to follow!!

On the topic of music. As a youngster I had an album by a band called Circus
(Brian Miller I think). {Ed: Bernie Millar} Anyway, I was wondering how I can get another copy of it, do you have some suggestions!!??

I was also in the army with a chap that went on to become an engineer with
Radio 5, his name was Craig Bayrooti. He later on produced a few SA rock
albums with Rafe Levine and when I last looked him up after university he had
his own recording studios in Brixton (Jhb).
Do you know about him and how I can get hold of him!!

Looking forward to the next issue

Anton Nel


Tony Groenewald wrote:

I have just received an e-mail from a friend of mine in L.A. and I am sure he is on your mailing list, his name is "stretch" AKA known as Robert Schoonraad (Zita) as I had asked him if he ever saw Cindy Alta around, well he tells me not only does he see quite often but also that she is about to release a new CD since she left the country, her last band in this country I believe was a band called "ZIA" and I wonder if there is anyone out there who knows what has happened to the rest of the guys, I often see Andre Fourie as he is playing with Mike McCully in Sixty Something, but I would like to know were Graham Clifford got to or even Patrick van Rensburg, maybe somebody out there knows.


In the last issue David Marks wrote:

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...

Deon replied...

I would like to publicly apologize to Mr David Marks for suggesting that
David Kramer was the most banned artist by the SABC during the apartheid
era. Even though this is a fact, he would obviously preferred it to
have been someone else.

--Deon Maas

{Totally unbiased editor: this subject is now closed as I don't need a slanging match!}


We can announce that 3rd Ear Music may soon become part of the Campbell Collection at the Music Department of the University of Natal in Durban where we would hope to create a 'living music museum' and a 'virtual music library'. We could then continue to transfer ours (and other) 'hidden years' analogue collections into a digital format & to negotiate the re-issue of many great acts - not just for commercial use, but to help uncover the 'cover' era when the world thought that progressive South African Music did not exist & the government of the day was trying to make sure it was dead & buried. Wronnggg!

Among the few of many that were recently mentioned are:

JOHN IRELAND (3rd Ear Music / RAP Records Publishing)
SUCK (Licensed by 3rd Ear Music from EMI - Not yet mastered to CD - legally)
ABSTRACT TRUTH (Licensed by 3rd Ear Music from EMI - Not yet mastered to CD - legally)
FREEDOM'S CHILDREN (Licensed by 3rd Ear Music from EMI - almost escaped from a major label & out on bail / CD.....)
HAWK (Licensed by 3rd Ear Music from EMI - Not yet mastered to CD - legally)
FLIBBERTIGIBBET (Licensed by 3rd Ear Music to Kissing Spell in London - out on CD in the UK & Far East)
AZUMAH (Now on CD - Licensed to a British Label by a local label that had no right to do so. A 3rd Ear Music / CAT Production).

{Editor: so maybe we can look forward to some new re-issues in the near's



Just got the recommendation to your site from a mate; brilliant, just what
I've wanted for ages....

I'm a bit of a sentimental nostalgic fool....I grew up on the East Rand from
the age of nine until 20, and have many memories (e.g. Zippers disco at the
Germiston Hotel graced by live performers such as Hotline, Ballyhoo etc.)
which I'm itching to prattle on about in the hope that there are other sad
bastards like me!

-- Trevor Perks

{Editor: yeah, there are more of us than I ever realised! And feel free to prattle, Trevor.}


Music wise I have memories of seeing Cliff Richard, Rabbitt, David Essex
and others in the Feathermarket Hall and not being able to see Suzi Quatro
because my parents wouldn't let me go as I was busy with my matric final
exams at that moment. I won her LP 'Rock Hard' though in a competition in
the EP Herald. I also remember the son of our next door neighbour in
Westering, David Woest, playing in their own band called Butterfly with
Deon Matthews, son of Boeremusiek leader Neels Matthys (the surname was
slighty changed to sound more Afrikaans). Kevin, Neels' youngest son and
part time drummer for his boere orkes, went to school with me. I remember
Butterfly practising in the garage songs like 'Smoke on the Water' and such
which were very popular at the time. Butterfly later broke up and years
later I met up with David Woest again playing for a band called Magnet.

More and more memories keeps flooding my mind as I type this email.
Mentioning the EP Herald I think of the Evening Post and the fun runs the
organised at UPE in which I participated in 1981, 1982 & 1983. And do you
remember 'Die Oosterlig' (or Oosterlieg' as we used to call it.)

Rene Mullenders


1. eVoid last played in the Springbok Bar, Shepherds Bush, London and an
article on them appear in the SA Times here in London a few month ago. You
can either contact the manager of the Springbok Bar (Mark @ 0944 171 379
1734 or fax @ 0944 171 379 1734) or contact the SA Times on 0944 171 747
9200.- They can also place an article in the SA Times for you on the Rock
Digest and I bet your circulation will triple with all the SA 'cans here in
London lately.

Christopher Bush added...
In answer to one of your reader's questions e'Void are now living in the UK and were playing live gigs at "THE SPRINGBOK CAFE" in COVENT GARDEN, LONDON every Sunday night as late as last year. I have not been recently so I'm not sure if they still do but judging by the packed audience I see no reason why they should not continue. I picked up an own- produced remake (1993) of their track "I am a Fadget" on a CD single whilst browsing through a second hand shop in Reading!!! Strange things often turn up there!!!

Just one thing I forgot to mention e'Void are now just the two brothers
Lucien and Erik but that does not seem to hinder them in any way.

On a nostalgic note I remember Lucien, before he made the big time, working
in a record shop in Kempton Park called "Stereo Heaven" (now a chain of
Musica!!), where I used to spend a lot of time listening to latest releases. We all
knew that it would only be a stepping stone for him.

Back to Anton...

2. It's really worth a trip down to Jhb to check out Bobby and the Rock
Rebels, when I lived there we (my mate Hanro Mohr and myself) never missed a
single Thursday night at Fat Arnies. Alistair must be one of the best
guitarist SA has ever had and the keyboard player is damn fine too. The
highlight of the evening must be the bands "opera song" followed very
closely by the chicken livers.

3. I can remember a club on the top floor of the Heerengrach Hotel in Cape
Town in the early 80's, could that be what Peter Alston was talking about?

4. In issue number 6 or 7 you had someone give you their top 20, I would
like to compile my own but need some references (due to my youth!!!).

{Ever-helpful editor: visit }

5. Chris Roper mentioned Circus (remember I asked you about them in our
correspondence). Please keep me posted. By the way, is Chris related to Mark
Roper (cameraman/director.)?

{Editor: well Chris, are you?}


Anton Nel


Christopher Bush asks...

Have you heard of anything in the pipeline from Derek Smith as to whether
there will be a release date to "Best of SA Pop vol 4" as it does say on the
notes of vol 3 that this is an ongoing series! Great! Does Derek know if
Vol 4 is likely to be the last as I do know that he was planning, what could
even be a more exciting series, "The Best of SA Rock" ??

{Editor: Gallo have almost finalized the Best Of SA Rock 2 CD set. Derek Smith
would like as many Digest members as possible to submit their ideas of songs that
they consider essential for inclusion on such a CD. Derek also said that anybody who
submits a list of songs will have their name printed in the sleeve notes. Way cool!

So send your list of 10 Essential SA Rock songs to }

Christopher again...

On your McCully Web Page <> I was pleased to see the "Buccaneer" album was available but with some re-recorded tracks. Would you know if the the first two "Buccanner" and "Chinese Junkman" are the original recordings?

{Editor: they are 1998 re-recordings, see for more info.}

I found that the quality of original tracks coming out of the "Spaced Out Sound" studios were pretty good for it's day. In fact better then some of the other SA studios around at the time.

My favourite album by McCully has got to be "Workshop Revisited" and I was
wondering if there are any plans by the SA Music Industry of releasing it on
CD!! Maybe they could add a couple of extras such as "Villa Muddy
Water" (whatever happened to that track!!?) which, although not a hit in
terms of sales, was pretty good nonetheless.

{Editor: Well, Tully, you can't leave these questions unanswered, can you?}

Are there any Julian Laxton albums available on CD? Please let me know if
there are.

{Editor: The Julian Laxton Collection is available on CD. Go to: for the track listing and cover scan.
Order it from }


Werner from Brazil wrote:

Very little is known about South African progressive rock. As far as I
remember, the only South African title I ever had in my hand was the German
CD re-release of "Freedom's Children (or Freedoms Children, without
apostrophe?): Astra" (TRC 029, 1993), a highly rated psych. I saw the CD,
heard it, liked it, bought it - and sold it to a fanatic collector; but I
think I can get it again. All other re-releases on CD I have heard from come
from Japan:
ABSTRACT TRUTH - TOTEM (Progressive acid folk from 1971)
CANAMII - CONCEPT (Wonderful symphonic rock rarity with female vocals and
loads of keys)
HARAMBEE - GIVING A LITTLE AWAY (Classical folk with members of Abstract
Truth & Freedom's Children)
INVADERS - THERE'S A LIGHT THERE'S A WAY (Heavy prog from 1970 like Uriah
Heep, Head Machine & Toe Fat)
DUNCAN MACKAY - CHIMERA (a killer first full of complex organ, keys.
OTIS WAYGOOD - TEN LIGHT CLAPS & A SCREAM (Heavy rock from 1971)
SUCK - TIME TO SUCK (heavy rock from 1971 with bonus track)
THE THIRD EYE - BROTHER (organ prog from 1970)
WILDEBEEST - BUSHROCK 1 (female vocals, seering violin, crashing guitar and
heavy rhythm section).

The Bushrock Live album has been released in Japan on a label called Never
Never Land, which released as well, Suck, Abstract Truth - Totem, Duncan
Mackay - Chimera, Otis Waygood - Ten Light Claps & A Scream.
Maybe this label released the other titles I mentioned above as well or
other progressive titles.

Incredible Hog (featuring South African born drummer Tony Awin) - Volume 1
has been released on German Repertoire label (WP 4511) in 1994 and is
fantastic! Beware of another (English?) pressing on a label called Third
Thunder (TTCD 023) - it's inferior and seems not to be a legal issue!

I have no information about South African releases (LP and CD); as far as I
know, on CD only Freedom's Children: Astra has been released there (by the
way, I have a friend who could release LP-titles on CD, with excellent
quality! But from Brazil, it's difficult to contact South African bands or

These are the only dates I have about South African progressive artists at
this moment.

Brian, I had no time yet to see all your Websites. But what I have seen
already is absolutely great!!!

{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

His catalogue is on the Net at:

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


Dear Brian (or vagabond!! whichever doesn't matter)

Since my early teens when I used to live in Zimbabwe, my first interests
in music were bands in South Africa. I remember vividly the first cassette
I bought: "Jive" by Hotline. From there things really took off. I was mad,
literally mad on P.J. Powers' music! Latter I went to quite a few concerts
when she toured in Zim (by then Hotline had already disbanded: '88).
Then later I obviously discovered other music, rarely hating a type of music,
things such as U2, Deep Purple, Metallica, Guns n' Roses, Bob Marley, Prodigy etc
(as I said all types: Reggae, Techno, African, Rock, metal-whatever).

These last years, I've been going through a period of nostalgia and I
going back to my origins. The problem is that a lot of the music I
bought in Zim at the time were on poor quality cassettes and recorded
badly. The cassettes later stretched. I regret having not bought LP's
for some of my music as in Zim they were of reasonable quality but I
didn't have a turntable. CD's were, of course virtually unobtainable and
3 times more expensive!

Back here in Geneva (where I study) I am of course extremely spoilt
music wise. There are malls and shops which are more specialised (in
African music) everywhere. Recently I discovered a shop which sells old
and new LP's (there is a strong vinyl revival).
All this sounds positive but I'm desperate to find the good old P.J.
Powers & Hotline albums again. I've only been able to find the "best of"
here and believe me it was hard to find! None of the shops seem to have
them in their catalogs. I presume because they were released only
My big question is: ( I presume you've guessed it) Are there
possibilties of ordering them (CD or LP - I presume you can somehow get
some second-hand or re-pressed) and getting hold of them through the web
or through an address? I would be extremely grateful if you can tell me
what are the different possiblities. There must be an answer!!

-- Neil Menzies

{Editor: Try Neil Daya <> at Vibes in Cape Town for old vinyl}


Jim Collins, an e-mail friend and Deep Purple fan from the States, recently wrote an article which I thought very appropriate for a number of us SA Rock Digest members. So with Jim's kind permission here it is...

With my 42nd birthday rapidly approaching,
I thought I'd take time to reflect on the changes I've been through
since I was a teenage Deep Purple fan. Surprisingly few actually, although there
are a few minor ones. In 1974 I was 17, so lets see:

Then: Embarrassed my parents by having long hair and listening to loud
Now: Embarrass my kids by having long hair and listening to loud music.

Then: DP was my favorite band, and I eagerly awaited each new album.
Now: DP is my favorite band and I eagerly await each new album.

Then: Worried my folks would find drugs in my room.
Now: Worried I might find drugs in my kids rooms.

Then: Lamented re-buying the entire DP catalog on vinyl, just as I
completed my collection on 8-track.
Now: Despairing as I re-buy the entire catalog's 25th Anniversary
remastered CD's.

Then: Had sex on an irregular basis, sometimes with a partner.
Now: Married 19 years, so see above.

Then: Worried that my parents would object to the social rejects I ran
around with.
Now: Hope that the social reject at the front door isn't here to see my

Then: Looked at scantily clad young women with lust in my heart.
Now: Look at scantily clad women and wonder if their parents know how
they're dressed.

Then: Worried that my dates fathers knew what I was thinking.
Now: Watch boys look at my daughter (she's 16) and know what they're
thinking. *sigh*

Then: Bought expensive boots to wear.
Now: Buy expensive boots to listen to.

Then: Thought that $10.00 for concert tickets was outrageous.
Now: Think that $30.00 and 700 mile roadtrips are a bargain to see DP.

Then: Laughed at the notion that I was destroying brain cells with pot.
Now: Hmmmmm, I forgot what I was talking about.

Well, as 42 looms, I find I have, my health, my family, friends all over
the world, a secure job, and my favorite band keeps chugging on, putting
out great material again and again. What more could a man ask for?

{Editor: not so far removed from growing up in South Africa and digging SA music, is it?}

Jim's reply to my request to re-print:

Hi Brian,

Feel free to quote from it. I write from the heart, and it makes me
feel good to know that people everywhere seem to grow up with similiar
feelings/experiences. All to often, we seem to concentrate on the
differences we have rather than the similarities. Thanks for the kind
words as well.

Cheers, Jim C. <>



This is a new-old album, by an old-new band.

Cryptic? You bet! But the music isn't, its just good Rock (with a capital R).

The album On The Run released independantly this year by Off The Edge,
features the stunning guitar-work of Peter Hanmer, the solid bass and vocal
talents of Tony Groenwald and the incredible voice of Judy Marshall.

The late 70's/early 80's rock scene worldwide was sadly overshadowed by Punk and Disco and Electropop at the time, but some great Overseas bands were around recording some great albums...Boston, Rainbow, Foreigner, Yes, Starship, Kansas, Styx, Heart, etc to name just a few.

The album On The Run has been 16 years in the making and the influences of those bands mentioned, shine through brightly. Peter's guitaring goes from Pink Floyd-style atmospherics to chugging Keith Richard or ZZ Top-type riffs to soaring epic guitar solos.

The lyrics are inciteful, challenging and important. From love songs to street children to running away from SA, the issues of life and living are tackled boldly.

Judy's vocals are a revelation. Her powerful rock voice soars and swoops and leaves you wanting more.

The band is unsigned, but the CD packaging is superb with all the lyrics included.

The album is available through One World at:

A full review will be featured on Amuzine <> soon with cover scans and some this space for details.

You are going to hear a lot more about this album, not least because I like it and will keep talking about it. It really grows and grows on you.


Last week's question:

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

Need help? Visit:

Answer: they are all Billy fact William Broadman is his real name.

The first correct answer came from Peter Alston who wins Predictions and Things - The Very Best of The Dream Merchants CD kindly supplied by Derek Smith from Gallo South Africa.

This week's question:

Name Yes's 1983 US number 1 chart hit composed by Trevor Rabin.

Sony Music South Africa have supplied 3 copies of the score from the movie
Armageddon...this is the complete Trevor Rabin score, not the compilation album.

Wonderful atmospheric stuff with stunning guitars and even a harmonica in places.
Heavy going in places, but Trevor's fretwork shines out.

So the first 3 correct answers get prizes this week, courtesy of Rui de Sousa from Sony Music SA.


Its election year so go and vote for your favourite SA Rock album at:

...or your all-time favourite SA song at:

Go on make your mark!


Back to Index
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.

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Go to:


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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:

News, new releases, classifieds and general music info at The Powerzone... - The Hub of South African Music

Buy your South African (or any other) CDs from

Visit the Indie Music Explosion website at:

Are you are a SA musician looking for info or resources?
Then Gareth's excellent website is for you.

Do you live in Cape Town?
Evan Milton's Gig Guide at
will let you know what's on.

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

Try SonicNet's music guide for info on international artists at:


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Firstly thank the person who sent it to you, for being someone of
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