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In this issue:
Quote of the week
What's going on?
Where are they now?
Music search
Banned on the run
SA charts?
One hit, wonder where they've gone?
Reviews - Piet Botha
In my car this week
Fine Music Radio
All time great SA guitar solos
Top current albums worth listening to
Rock lists
Top 20 SA hits of each year
SA Music Day - 27 March
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....

I am overwhelmed at the response this Digest has been
receiving. If your request, question or submission does
not appear here, please be patient - I just don't want
to make this digest too long.


"Sharp Cuts" was born not out of profit, but out of an inherent and
unshakeable belief in the musical legacy of this country.

-- Benjy Mudie, August 1992
(extract from the liner notes of the first CD
in the "Sharp Cuts" series.


Valiant Swart and Koos Kombuis are appearing at Kirstenbosch Gardens on
the 7th March. This is part of the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts.

Visit the Gig-Guide for "What's On" in Cape Town.



The little I know about SA rock, stems from many, many, moons ago, when
I was what you could call a PETIT CHEVAL 'groupie'.

Whatever happened to Jonathan Selby and the boys?

To me their studio recordings sucked, but they were a brilliant,
brilliant live band. I used to follow them all around JHB from venue to
venue, they would sometimes open with a great cover of John Lennon's
Imagine, but their own stuff really rocked.

-- Nick Sophos

{Editor: "Petit Cheval" is French for little horse. Tusk released a CD
compilation in 1995 titled "Young Lions" - catalogue no. WOND 127}

Where can you get hold of John Ireland's "I Like"?

Did he not in fact have an earlier album with "Your'e Living Inside My
Head" featured on it?

And didn't he train to become a doctor? Or was that fiction?

By the way do you know where Shabby Tiger came from?
And if their hits "Slow Down" and "Lovely Lady" are available.

-- Christopher Bush


Editor's report...

In my search for old vinyl in Cape Town, I've found 2 places:

Vibes in N1 City has a great collection of old vinyl, especially
South African stuff. They also have a wonderful prog-rock CD section.
Very friendly, helpful and knowledgable staff.

E-mail Neil Daya at mailto:


Outlaw Records, at 55 Castle Street in the centre of Cape Town, is a
small shop specializing in second-hand vinyl and CDs. Always something
new whenever I go in there.

Phone: 238145

Anybody got any other recommendations for other parts of the country?


Hello. My name is Leon Muston, and I am a media and journalism honours
student at the University of Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
I am trying to find a list of songs which were banned by the Apartheid
government in South Africa during the 70's and 80's. A search of the net
proved unsuccessful. The only sites I found were your's and the list of
songs banned in the USA. I was wondering if you could help me with any
possible sites or ways of finding out this information.

I already know of "Gimmie hope Johanna" by Eddie Grant; "Sing
our own song (Amandla Awethu)" by UB40; "Biko" by Peter Gabriel;
"Oliver's Army" by Elvis Costello and "We won't play Sun City" by
various artists. I am trying to find a larger, more enclusive list. If
you could pass this on to other people who may have access to such
information, it would be much appreciated.

-- Leon Muston



Just seen your rock lists website and think what you're doing is great
and long overdue. Sure it will become essential reading for anyone
interested in SA music.

Hoping you can assist with my request. I'm music ed at Fair Lady
magazine and contributor to a music site on
For pieces that I'm researching, I urgently require info on what was
top of the SA charts in a particular week or month 10, 15, 20 etc years
ago. Where can I get hold of that info in a hurry?

-- Mike Behr


I have noticed recently that a lot of record companies worldwide are
actually using tracks from vinyl to transfer onto CD when the masters
cannot be found or as in the case of that record company in SA (was it
EMI?) that had a lot of masters burnt.

One of my first ports of call in trying to get hold of the remaining
tracks on (my wish) list was the SABC Record Library and it turns out
that in their wisdom all their vinyl singles were dumped so hence it
would appear that some One Hit Wonders may have disappeared forever.
Were you aware of this?

-- Christopher Bush


This first solo album of modern, Afrikaans folk/blues songs happened on
the instigation of Eckard Potgieter, the owner of Wildebeest Records.
He suggested an album of slow, soft and relevant Afrikaans songs. After
four months of production at the Sunset Studios in Stellenbosch, under
the guiding hand of Jurgen von Wechmar, ‘n Suitcase Vol Winter’ was
released. Although many of Stellenbosch’s finest musicians helped with
the album, it was mostly Piet Botha’s labour of love and was very
different to his previous work with Raven and Jackhammer.

The 12 songs on this album are acoustic-based, laid back and emotional.
Botha wrote all the songs (with the exception of Valiant Swart’s
‘In Die Transvaal’ and the Koos Kombuis written-and-sung ‘Gipsey In Jou
Oe’) and delivered the finest vocal performance of his career with
ballads like the beautiful and sad ‘Van Tonder’ and the reflective
title track. Along with Swart, Kombuis and Koos du Plessis, Piet Botha
was responsible for establishing Afrikaans as a competitive rock music
"taal" again. These sensitive and narrative songs cover all those SA
subjects that had affected Piet Botha as a South African growing up in
the apartheid-era. From the Anglo-Boer war, SA Border war (‘Goeienag
Generaal’), life, death and politics to wives, film stars and "the
road", Botha covers all these relevant topics with strong lyrics,
steady and sympathetic backing and a wide range of feelings that leaves
this album up there with the best from Koos Kombuis and Valiant Swart.

The other artists appearing on this album are Jorik Pienaar (drums),
Jason Phillips (bass), Jonathan Martin (guitars, cellos and vocals) as
well as Koos Kombuis, Valiant Swart and Brenda (?). While it must be
mentioned that Piet is the son of the long-serving Nationalist Party
Foreign Affairs minister, Pik, it should also be said that Piet Botha’s
alternative career certainly puts paid to that old Afrikaans cliché,
"Die appel val nie ver van die boom af nie". A great SA artist and

-- Stephen "Sugar" Segerman

See CD cover at:

Read more at:


Pink Floyd - The Soundtrack From The Film The Wall...this is a C90
cassette recorded from the laser disc of the movie. Why? I hear you ask.
Because the movie has some songs in it which are not on the CD and
vice versa.
For more info visit:

McCully Workshop - Ages...more info at:

Otis Waygood Blues Band...see:

Piet Botha - 'n Suitcase Vol Winter - see review in this issue

Various Artists - Sound Offerings From South incredible
eclectic collection of SA music compiled by Derek Smith from Gallo.
Commissioned by the SA Tourism Board as a souvenir item, this is a
compilation that covers nearly all aspects of SA music, old and new.
I don't like everything on it, but at around R90 for a double CD, you
can't go far wrong. I bought it at The Max in Cavendish Square in
Claremont, Cape Town. They have a huge section of the store devoted to
SA music with a wonderful selection of old and new stuff.


André Fourie writes...

If nobody else has said it yet, thanks for creating a site for SA music.
About time, me thinks!

{Self-promoting editor: please visit:
This was the site that started my own rediscovery of SA rock in
particular and SA music in general}

With regard to Leigh Barrett and KRVM, (see issue #3) I too have my own
radio programme on Fine Music Radio 101.3 every Wednesday evening at
12 midnight until 2am playing only South African Music. This is
unfortunately only available in Cape Town at this stage. So if any
band, solo artist or whatever would like their music to get airplay,
then I can be contacted at FMR ph. 480-3180 or fax 480-3174, or

I am also on the lookout for any OLD material like Otis Waygood Blues
Band, Suck, Hammak etc. Likewise, if any of the musicians from those
days are around then please let me know where you are and what you are

-- André Fourie

(a list from André Fourie, himself a guitarist of note)

Louis Greef - Tchaikovsky 1 and the B side - Flight of the Bumble Bee
by Omega Ltd - Brilliant!

Jose Alves - solo on Neill Solomans hit "The Stranger" - absolutely

Mauritz Lotz - ALL his work on his album "The Turning Point" - Genius!

Jethro Butow - For his solo on "Bowtie Boogaloo" by Morocko - Inspiring!

Trevor Rabin - For his solo on "Owner of a lonely heart" by Yes - Awesome!


(another list from André Fourie)

Mean Mr Mustard - Mean Mr Mustard CDDGR 1379 N. Probably the most
underrated band in SA at this time!

Landscape Prayers - Bush Telegraph SSCD 022. Nibs van der Spuy almost
makes his acoustic guitar talk!

Errol Dyers - Sonesta NK - 008. Errol is just a genius and a gentleman
to boot!

Freedoms Children - Astra CDRED 619. At last on CD. What a mind blast!

Big Sky - Going down with Mr Green BPCD2. Steve Louw does it again!

Jimmy Dludlu - Echoes from the past CDRBL 253. Jimmy almost makes
Jonathan Butler seem pedestrian!



Songs that mention or allude to Cape Town in the title or lyrics...

Bicycle Sonder 'n Slot - Koos Kombuis
Antjie Somers - Anton Goosen
Take Me Down To Cape Town - Ballyhoo
Cape Axe - Jorge Carlos
This Boy - Sweatband
Love You A Little More Every Day - Finch & Henson
Klein Bietjie Reën - Piet Botha

Any I've missed? There must be! David Kramer, for example?
Please send them in...


The songs that South Africans sent up the charts through the years.
Each issue will feature a different year. We start with...


ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM - Everly Brothers
WHO'S SORRY NOW? - Connie Francis
WHEN - Kalin Twins
FANAGALO - Peterson Brothers (SA)
VOLARE - Domenico Modugno
AT THE HOP - Danny & the Juniors
TWILIGHT TIME - The Platters
TOM DOOLEY - Kingston Trio
DON'T - Elvis Presley
JAILHOUSE ROCK - Elvis Presley
JAMPOT POLKA - Nico Carstens (SA)
TEQUILA - The Champs
CHIPMUNK SONG - The Chipmunks/David Seville
HEAR DEM BELLS - Peter Lotis (SA)
STUPID CUPID - Connie Francis
WITCH DOCTOR - David Seville
IT'S ALL IN THE GAME - Tommy Edwards

Info from Top 40 magazine, August 1989.

(SA) indicates South African artists.

The South African Rock Lists site is under construction.

A ringsiders view of the South African Music Day:
SAMD is a project co-ordinated by the Midi trust. The aim of the project
is to create an awareness of the South African music industry as a whole
and to stimulate additional interest in everything associated with it.
Due to the wide scope of the project it is difficult for the MIDI TRUST
to really host the events themselves due to limited funding. Rather the
initiative is left with individuals to make use of the additional
attention the media and general public will be paying to anything
related to South African music. The Oppikoppi web site will soon have
links to the official SAMD web page and we hope that everyone else
follows suite. Project like these are very ambitious and need the
support of everybody in the industry (even drummers).
Additionally a studio project is being co-ordinated which will try to
give free recording time to a number of bands all over the country. I
attache a complete band application form at the bottom of the page. The
studio project is open to any original South African band from any genre
you can think of.
We hope this will help and will carry on trying until it does.
Push harder

Carel Hoffmann


Vagabond says...

Take My Heart by Pendulum is based on a classical piece of music.

Name the composer and the piece.

Send your replies to

Answer in the next issue.

No prizes yet...maybe somebody will
sponsor a CD giveaway or something...

Next issue...Suck, Robbi Robb, Flibbertigibbet, Coleske, Hawk and
a special report from Howard Butcher from the Lancaster Band and...
oh, so much more...


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 necessarily 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:


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

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?
Visit Gareth's excellent website.

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



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