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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 <>


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 ( 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 <>

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

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??}


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!

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 1 minute and 33 seconds of this great song.

MP3 is a streaming medium, which means if you don't like the song, you haven't
wasted precious on-line 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: <>


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. You could also try to buy on-line.

Point your browser to: 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 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:
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


{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 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 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: }


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 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....

This week's question:

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

Need help? Visit:

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....


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.

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?

The SA Rock Files...the online archive for the History of South
African 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:

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.

Visit Evan Milton's Gig Guide at
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.

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


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