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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. features 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
completely. 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. Visit his site at: }


I ordered and received both the Galactic Vibes and Suck CD's from
Joachim Bornelitus in Germany. Joachim has a web site at 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!


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
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:


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

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:

Buy SA CDs on-line from

Visit the Indie Music Explosion website at:

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

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



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