Apologies: I had a slight problem with my address book!
If I've sent this digest to you in error and you really don't wish to
receive it again, please let me know.


In this issue:
Special welcome
Who do I think I am?
Sixty Something
Leemen Limited
Find Of The Month
Time To Suck
Going Batty?
Where's My Tuxx?
Bad Karma!
Peter's favourites
SA Rock Lists


This is a discussion forum for anything about
South African rock music; past, present and future.

Read it, digest it, enjoy it, add your comments and tell your



I won't normally welcome people who join, but this is a special
welcome to Dean "World Wide" Webb who owns the Deep Purple Digest
and who inspired this one, and from whom I "borrowed" a number of

Want to join Dean's Digest? What are you, so kind of music nut?
If you are, send e-mail to "" and tell Dean
I sent you.



Somebody (name with-held because they have not subscribed) wrote...

Q. What is your motivation/reason behind all this (I take it that it's

A. Free, yes, my motivation - I'm a frustrated musician who can't play,
or sing, but I love collecting music and I can design websites.

See: "" for more on Brian Currin,
music nut and trivia freak.

Q. What are you hoping to achieve?

A. Who knows? More exposure for SA music, meet new friends, get offered
a lucrative job in the music industry, whatever...

I receive absolutely no payment for my efforts on the SA Rock Digest
and I am not employed in the music industry.



Your website is a real winner, and you will have by now read my
"posting" on it. It amazes me still, apart from Tom and Garth, how many
people remember those days. You are performing a wonderful service -
and I for one would like to wish you all the best.

-- Owen Coetzer

{Brian "Rememeber when" Currin: I have also been amazed at the overwhelming
response I've had to my websites and this digest}


I grew up in Port Elizabeth, not to far away from where Ken
J. Larkin lived. There I saw Rabbitt in the Feather Market Hall.
What an experience! I still have the program/poster they handed out.

-- Rene Mullenders (from Holland)

{Brian "PE Rules, OK?" Currin: I also grew up in PE and Pig Iron was the big
band around town in the early 70s!}


Looking at your Rock Digest brought back a few (vague) memories:

Greasy curried mince (of dubious origin) piled high on glutinous rice in the
dark of the Rotunda on a Sunday evening waiting for the Bats to come on and
do their cabaret act. Hell ... was it 25 years ago already? And what about
Chase (not South African), also at the Rotunda, but live at least which gave
them the edge over Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago. And what about
one-time Omega Ltd guitarist (post-Greeff) Dave Gomersall, stoned and
rockin' with Vimmie at that funny little pub on the main road in Rondebosch
(half-way between the Pig and SAB headquarters if memory serves me)
[Brian: Stealers, I think]. SeveralSundays were also spent at Canters where
I think McCully's Workshop held a residency for some time. Weren't those
Sunday night jorls (with food to get round the licensing laws) something

My most powerful memories are of Hawk's Dave Ornellas climbing the
scaffolding at Green Point stadium when the band unleashed African Day on an
unsuspecting audience ... unbelievable. I'm still after those albums (CD or
vinyl). Louis Greeff shredding his fingers through the then-obligatory
marathon guitar solos. And what about traipsing round the town halls of
Somerset West and other holes to follow a favoured band? My local group was
Cosmic Prism, who never recorded anything, to my knowledge (they were crap,
though did manage a passable cover of Black Magic Woman).

Over and above the music what about those jorls at Wynberg's Purple and Soda
(Ars Nova, later, or earlier), the Clifton, that place in the basement of
the five-star hotel sort of across the road from the station in CT
(Heerengracht? ... damn my memory's shot) and that place atop the Sanlam
building. Not to mention those 'jeets' at the Rondebosch and Maitland town
halls which absolutely seethed with a bubbling undecurrent of violence ­ not
the sort of place you'd go to actually try and score, unless you fancied
fighting some Neanderthal for the right to have your throat tickled by some
'goose's' tongue ... dodgy.

Also interested to see mention of Jap re-issue lable Never Never Land, does
anyone in the Rock Forum have a website for them?

-- Nigel Walsh (UK)



Mike McCullagh's theme song from the Sixty Something shows is a great
rock song featuring superb fret-work from Andre Fourie. It was recorded
in 1997 and released on the Sixty Something Else CD sold at the shows.

This is an original song written by Mike and performed by the Sixty
Something Else band. This driving rock song has great lyrics and
name-checks Elvis, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Woodstock, acid-rock,
etc, etc. Recommended.

-- Brian "almost 40something" Currin


{Gearoid sent this in to the Deep Purple Digest (to which
I also subscribe) and I asked his permission to reprint it
here, because he makes an articulate and well
thought-out argument for his love of Deep Purple.

Place YOUR favourite artist, albums and songs in the
appropriate places and then read it again...

I especially like his second paragraph which could easily
apply to South Africa in the 70s or the early 80s. (pick your
era, maybe its even now!).}


As a person not given to having heroes of any kind, I have often wondered
about what it is that has made me such an avid Deep Purple fan. As a
teenager I was eager to emulate as well as listen to them, and did some
damage to my vocal chords and fingers trying to be a cross between Gillan
and Blackmore in school bands!

In retrospect I suppose that the times were a factor; music (and society
generally) was going through a blip of originality which will probably
never be repeated in our lifetime. From almost every genre of music there
were giants rising out of the mediocrity, and freedom of expression was
the order of the day. Business was still business of course, and groups
were pushed to produce album selling singles and do high yeild tours
which left many an outfit knackered.

I first became aware of Deep Purple when a friend stuck In Rock on the
turntable in his suitably darkened attic bedroom. I was aware of the
distinction between commercial sessioning and inspired musicianship, but
I had never imagined the possibility of individual AND synergistic
musicianship, energy, subtlety and creativity such as this! The enigmatic
photography of the band at the time added a sense of mystery as well. I
was hooked right up until Stormbringer. In a sense, the demise of the
band after this was a salutary lesson that there are things in nature
that just happen and can't be artificially generated.

I've been collecting all the CDs going back to Shades, and although I
know that most of the magic existed during the life of the mark 2 lineup,
I have noticed a number of fleeting samples of vocal and instrumental
phrases which became essentially what distinguished mark 2 from the rest
of music history. Obviously one needs to look at the wider picture too,
and at other innovators such as Arthur Brown, Hendrix and so on, as well
as a music scene which allowed people to get out and play to hone their

My taste in music is without limits today as ever, and I enjoy a well
presented and cheeky rap song or a well crafted ballad or even a smooth
evocative slow harmonica backdrop to a film sequence. Whenever I hear
something new which I think is great though, I usually put on a CD with
either Child In Time (especially the mellow start of the solo with the
odd time signature) or Fireball (all of it!). Although individual
performers (very) occasionally pass this litmus test, no other group of
performers ever has, in over 25 years of listening carefully and without

-- Gearoid Dullaghan

{Brian "Speed King" Currin: Visit the DP Web Index for all the DP links
you could ever need. }



I was most impressed with the first edition and am very pleased
to see that you already have people contributing towards it.
I have lots of pretty much unknown info about Joburg Hawk,
Freedom's Children, Clout, etc., as I was involved with all of
them at some time or other with the former two bands being
off-shoots of the Leemen Limited.

-- Mick Jade



I'm not a big fan of SA Rock -- I think Barney Simon single-handedly
pushed every aspiring SA Rocker over the "alternative" edge
because those were the bands whose demos got played on his show.
But I listened to Sugardrive's Sand Man Sky for two weeks while I was
reviewing it, and it's a brilliant album. (I gave it to a German cousin of
mine because I wanted to do my bit for exporting our culture).
It's got a very grungy type feel to it, but it's surprisingly
listenable. I'm going to have to marshall my pennies and buy it again.

-- Erich


[Suck is] probably the most rocking of all South African groups,
extraordinary psychedelic progressive-Rock.




The difference between Manfred Mann's "Do wah diddy diddy"- the
"original single" version and the "unreleased" version (both on
MM Gold) is quite perceptible. Can anyone describe the difference
between The Bats' "Shabby little hut" released v unreleased
versions, (both on their blue Best of CD): I can't, other than
to note that the latter is two seconds shorter!

-- Peter Alston


WHERE'S MY TUXX? (PART 2) see issue #1

About Tuxx, I received this from the band at the beginning of '98:

"Yes, Tuxx resigned. Believe it or not, seemed to lose interest.
Would be late for a gig, then would miss another gig altogether.
We brought Denholm in. Denholm will be with us on a trial basis,
which will depend on how well he gets on with the members of the band.
This, only time will tell. So we will try him out for a few months
and then make a decision. But Just Jinger goes on at all costs.
We have a responsibility towards our fans, and our music."

Lately I've heard rumours that Verny has left as well?!

-- Pri$m



>We need your help. Please forward this message to as many people as
>possible. This is an urgent request from Karma and the band.

>The following guitars were stolen from their gig venue:
>Gibson Chett Atkins (black) - gold hardware
>Gibson Les Paul Special (custard) - silver hardware
>Spector Bass kneck through blue stain - black hardware

>If you are offered the following items or know anyone with more details,
>there is a reward available for their return.

>Please check pawn shops, music shops etc over the next couple of
>weeks......we would be eternally grateful !!!!!

-- Karma

>If you have any information regarding these items please contact David at
>"" immediately or phone 082-901-0721

>As you can imagine Karma and the band are distraught, please keep your eyes
>open and lets get these back.



Peter Alston's SA Top Ten (in order of merit)
2. ECLIPSE - Freedom's Children (I agree with you here)
4. CAROL KARINA - Square Set
5. GOIN' AWAY - David Kramer
6. TIME AND THE RIVER - Dream Merchants
8. IMAGE - Bats
10. MAN ON A STRING - Tidal Wave

I need/want #1 and a "clean" copy of #2 - the rest I have.

SQUARE SET - also known for "Silence is golden" which in
August 1967 was #1 on Springbok Hit Parade. Tremeloes song
of same title was #2 at same time!!!! Neville Whitmill went
out on his own - did a good version of the Bee Gees "Sinking
Ships" among others. Drummer died in 1996 or 7.

STACCATOS - Steve Lonsdale lead singer. What news of him/them ?

-- Peter Alston



The South African Rock Lists Website is up and very much under construction.
Anybody got any interesting lists to add or suggest, feel free...



Back to Index
The SA Rock Digest is compiled by Brian "Vagabond" Currin from the
"Too Good To Be Forgotten" internet message board and e-mails from
various Digest members and others.

Any suggestions on format or content will be gratefully received, but
may be ignored. 8)

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

Post a message on the "Too Good To Be Forgotten" message board at:

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