From The Vaults: SA Rock Digest, this week 10 years ago


[24th October 1999 – edited, 22nd October 2009]

The South African Rock Music Digest
is a free, subscription e-mag, edited
by Brian Currin and Stephen “Sugar”
Segerman and delivered direct to your

Established January 1999



This e-mag is a discussion forum for rock and pop music —
South African and International — past, present and future.

As we hurtle towards the end of the year/decade/century/millennium
(pick one or all of the above), the Digest will become more erratic,
less regular, still irreverent and always éRocking!

Please note: All e-mail contributions to the SA Rock Digest need to be in plain
text, and with no attachments. Also, all e-mails in HTML format, in lowercase, or
all in CAPITALS, tend to take quite a while to fix, so will often be ignored.


Sincere apologies to the Rage website for the wrong address last issue.
Here’s where to find them:



As promised last issue here is some info on US prog-rockers, Fountain of Tears.

I’m writing about this band and their new independently released CD for 3 reasons:
1. They sent me their CD and I really like it.
2. To show South Africans that excellent bands all over the world struggle to get recognition, its not a uniquely South African malaise.
3. To show Digest readers that self-promotion through the Net is a viable proposition.

Jeff King

From its birth, the vision of Fountain of Tears has been to write original music that is refreshing, inspiring and stimulates the creativity and imagination of the listener. Founded in 1995 by Erik Ney and Jeff King, the success of this vision would require the perfect blend of personal, creative, and musical elements. This blend was achieved through the additions of Joe Daub and Mike DiDonato. While the music was initially written as instrumental, the members believed that by adding the right vocalist they would be able to reach a broader market. It wasn’t until December of 1997 that Anna DeRose was found as the voice that would compliment their sound.

Although the success of their former bands, Believer, Sacrament and Sardonyx had won them world-wide recognition in the thrash and metal genres, the members of Fountain of Tears had not fully tapped their musical potential. In order to retain creative control and to work at a relaxed pace, they began to write for their first independent release. This unique album features not only the vocal versions of the songs, but also the instrumental versions as they were originally written.

Like many groups consisting of talented and driven individuals, dedication to the project was tested through periods of hardship and uncertainty. Family commitments, careers, school, circumstances of life and conflicting schedules prevented the members from meeting more than once per week, and set-backs had considerably lengthened the writing and recording process. Final editing and mastering for the album was completed in early 1999, and the band, relieved and somewhat exhausted, held a listening party for a very enthusiastic audience.

As Fountain of Tears promotes its self-titled CD, Erik is married and in medical school; Joe is married, has a two year old son and races on a pro mountain bike team; Jeff holds a degree in Philosophy and is a provider of web and music services; Mike builds computers, manages a specialty printing shop and plays ice hockey; and Anna pursues her degree in textile sciences. Together they continue to write music that is emotional, powerful and memorable.

Brian Currin

Their sound is 90s progressive-rock/metal with female vocals. Haunting atmospheric keyboards swirl around the soaring vocals of Anna DeRose and are punctuated with sizzling guitar work. My only complaint is that the vocals seem a bit subdued in the mix, I really would have liked to hear Anna’s voice more clearly.

This CD has 10 tracks, the last 5 being instrumental versions of the first 5.

Album opener is ‘Survive’. Fans of SA band Fetish will love this one. Strong vocals and even stronger instrumentation.

‘She Wants To Be’ is a thundering piano-driven rocker with some stunning guitarwork.

‘The Sleeper’ is the poem by Edgar Allan Poe, narrated by Sheree Kunkle over a perfectly matched aural soundscape (the atmospheric keyboards I spoke of earlier). The tolling bell adds to feeling of eerieness. Don’t listen to this one late at night on your own.

‘Carousel’ starts with some gentle guitar then picks up speed and races along with no apparent end in sight…and then it ends far too soon (after 5 and a half minutes). Anna sounds very like Kate Bush on this track.

‘Real’ is a powerful rocker with determined drumming and pounding piano, similar in places to early Renaissance.

The instrumental versions also sound great in their own right. Jeff King’s piano is really incredible. Fountain of Tears are a group of talented musicians who deserve to do very well.

Listen to MP3s and buy the CD on their website:


Roger Glover

Last issue we posted Garry Smith’s review of the Deep Purple and Friends concert at the Royal Albert Hall on the 25th September.

Here is an insight from Deep Purple bassist, Roger Glover, reprinted here with his kind permission…

It has been a few weeks now, and time enough to put some perspective on
things. The two concerts at the Royal Albert Hall were, in a word, bloody great.
(yes, I know, that’s two words, so there’s no need to start threading about it, I’m a bass player, and Welsh, so I don’t know any better!) None of us could really have anticipated the feeling that we experienced together on those nights. What a joy. Thank you all, the most loyal and intelligent bunch of bananas any band could ask for. To stand there on that stage and be given the welcome that we received was truly unforgettable. We do love you, especially all you that work so hard on our behalf on the Net.

As you know, I am a fan of IP, SM, JL and IG, and I think that everyone
put in a stellar performance. I loved all the solo pieces. Working with
Ronnie [James Dio] after all these years was such a treat as well. In particular I would like to say how proud I am of Jon, who was not only inspired enough to write the Concerto in the first place, but to devote all his time and energy over the months before these dates to ensure that it all went swimmingly, as they say. Great job.

The five days of rehearsals were super; a lot of concentration, laughs,
nerves, memories, old friends, new friends, pizza. Big accolades for our trusty crew, along with various unsung heroes, all part of the team; Charlie Lewis deserves a special mention, a giant among men, talk about grace under pressure. Colin Hart, who has been with us since 1971, did a superb job under intense stress. Alison Hussey was indispensable. Moray and Louie, our sound and lights, and Rob on monitors, all did wonderful things. We stand in the spotlight but all the crew, every single one of them (including the ones that weren’t there but were with us on the tours over the last couple of years) deserve your applause. If it wasn’t for either you or them we’d still
be in a rehearsal room somewhere.

The other day I was recounting the events that led to the Concerto being performed again thirty years on, to someone who doesn’t know much about us, and as I related it I realized what a fantastic tale it is. The circumstances and coincidences that culminated in the shows on 25th and 26th September 1999 are quite magical; the manuscript for the Concerto being lost for all those years and then Marco De Goeij approaching Jon in Rotterdam last year after having spent two years of laborious detective work on the score and writing it out again; Paul Mann, Colin Hart’s nephew, who as a young boy grew up listening to the Concerto and dreaming of one day becoming a conductor; the LSO, one of the busiest orchestras in the world, having a free weekend; The Royal Albert Hall, just as busy, finding a free weekend; Ronnie Dio, Sam Brown, Miller Anderson, Graham Preskett, Steve Morris, Eddie Hardin, Dave LaRue, Van Romaine, all the singers, the Kick Horns, all being available and willing to offer their services in the name of the charity; and Deep Purple, a band in need of a special event to round off this touring season and a kick off towards the next album. Serendipity, a word that was invented for such occasions.

Anyway. When’s the next one?

Good luck,


{Editor: boy, I wish I had been there…
Maybe DP will come to tour South Africa again sometime?}

Visit The South African Deep Purple Website at:




I think WE SALUTE YOU by Reg de Beer was a spoken word song.
Trumpeter Murray Campbell (normally known for instrumental tracks) also roped in various people to record spoken vocal parts for his songs.

Chris Kimberley



A number of people have told me about meeting up with old friends, and making new ones, thanks to the Internet, e-mail and in some cases, this Digest.

Stephan Forster and Nigel Walsh got together in London and swopped LPs, CDs and tapes.
Stephan also met up again with Craig Ballen in San Diego recently. And Rene Mullenders and Bas Mollenkramer have met in Holland. Read on…


Last weekend I went to visit Bas Möllenkramer, the guy with the Flames website. He has quiet an amazing record collection including LP’s of Freedom’s Children, Hawk and Otis Waygood. On his Flames site he mentions the different pressings of each Flames album, he in fact owns a copy of each pressing. He has different pressings of various other LP’s as well including about 8 copies of Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’. He moved from the then Rhodesia in 1975 so he missed the whole Rabbitt hysteria though he’s quiet an admirer of Trevor Rabin’s guitar work. He actually saw him perform on stage with Yes (with the complete line-up). Well, I brought my ‘Rabbitt – The Hits’ CD along and introduced him to Rabbitt and he was impressed. I also brought along my ‘Best Of SA Pop’ CD’s and that brought back a lot of memories. He’s been looking for the Staccatos’ ‘Cry To Me’ for years. He was also impressed with Lesley Rae Dowling’s first LP with ‘Grips Of Emotion’ on it. Another interesting LP he has is one of Jeremy Taylor with Spike Milligan. We didn’t listen to it but it must be quite something. I can go on and on and on about what I saw (and I didn’t even go through all his LP’s, that would take days).

Rene Mullenders

{Editor: I have that Spike Milligan and Jeremy Taylor LP. It was recorded at Cambridge University in December 1973. The funniest part, among a double LP of very humourous songs, stories and poems, is Jeremy explaining the words of ‘Ag Pleez Daddy’ to his English audience.}



I love the music from Africa. I have all the albums by Johnny Clegg,
I love Trevor Rabin (as I am Yes fan)…I love Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Oyaba.
Lately I ordered soundtrack from the TV series Shaka Zulu…

I told you already about my Treasure Island on the radio, it would be great if I could have news about music from South Africa weekly.

Thank You

{Editor: Now thats the type of “may I subcribe” letter we really like! Lukasz is a DJ on a radio station in Poland and he plays “beautiful music from all over the world”}



For my money, “Dog Detachment” and “Asylum
Kids” were THE business in the early 80’s.

Any idea of what ever happened to the Armstrongs? I’m sure Barney Simon would know. I used to work with them at CSIR in Pretoria. One of them was an MSc aeronautical engineer, and the other was working on a PhD in radar technology….if I remember correctly.

I’m in SA every 6 months or so. Do you know if their albums have been
re-released on CD? I would certainly buy!!

Mark Pratz



After numerous requests for info on the Dynamics, the Digest made contact with keyboardist Jimmy Florence (thanks to Jonathan Handley).

Jimmy is not yet on-line, but as soon as he is, we should receive some e-mails about the Dynamics, Extremist and all the other things he has been involved in. Watch this space!



During the past weekend I went on one of my regular nostalgia trips and came upon a recording I made of an interview which, after the re-release of ‘Astra’, Robin Clark of the then Radio 5 had with Julian Laxton. In it they play tracks off the album and Julian gives some very interesting information regarding the recording of ‘Astra’. After Julian’s mention of Mel, Mel and Julian, I just had to listen to the album again and as always found it a very good early Simon and Garfunkel (‘Wednesday morning 3:00 AM’ era) imitation. It is difficult to imagine Julian walking out of M. M. and J. into Freedom’s Children.

During the interview Robin Clarke mentions that he met Colin Pratley at a Hawk/Freedom’s Children concert at Durban City Hall and that by pretending to be the drummer of a fictitious band, got access to the concert via Collin. The mention of Colin Pratley in turn triggered Wildebeest and I was compelled to listen to the whole of ‘Bushrock 1’ recorded live at Upstairs (Sunnyside, Pretoria) on 28 Feb and 1 March 1981. One tends to forget the great sounds Wildebeest produced with the interaction between the frentic violin of Dave Tarr and driving lead guitar of Boet Faber. Can someone tell me where Dave and Boet were/are before/after Wildebeest? I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten that ‘Bushrock 1’ features ‘Slowly towards the North’ (as ‘Pofadder’), ‘The kid he came from Nazareth’ (as ‘Russian and Chips’) and ‘Tribal Fence’.

I often find myself using the stereotyped expression *they were well before their time* when referring to some SA talent in general and Freedom’s Children and Hawk in particular. But then what time would have suited them best to have entered the spotlight?


Dave Malherbe

Visit the Freedoms Children website at:

and Hawk is at:

and just to round it all off, Otis Waygood is at:

All part of the SA Rock Legends website
Where South Africa’s rock legends still live



I didn’t know Johnny Clegg is South African. I’ve heard (not seen) him & Savuka live back in 1988 somewhere in France while interrailing with Maarit (my wife). We were outside a big tent where he was performing, so we couldn’t see him, but the music was really relaxing. There were lots of people outside that tent, so the atmosphere wes great there, too.

And Trevor Rabin. I know Yes, too.

Heikki Heino



Now the good news is that I have been in touch with Tully McCully about the Mirror and he given me the go ahead to remaster the ‘Zen Boulders’ album for a release in early 2000…if this goes OK then it will see the emergence of ‘Storming of the loft’, ‘Fantasy Kid’, ‘Johnny calls the chemist’ and hopefully sometime in the not too distant future a new version of ‘Shattered’ (perhaps a title change) on CD.

One of the most pressing problems that I have is accessing the original album artwork, I’m going to try my old compatriots at Tusk (Gallo) but I’m not holding out too much hope. If I can’t find it I’m going to have to rescan a virgin cover (if that is possible….lets see…)

I’m also desperately trying to get hold of my fellow Brakpanian Lucien Windridge of éVoid in London.

Benjy Mudie

Fresh Music

Falling Mirror on the web at:



Let me introduce myself. My name is Paul Petersen. I am from Cape Town, South Africa but currently living in Kentucky, USA. I came across your website last night and decided you might be the person to help me.

In the early 80’s, I was a member of the band Spirits Rejoice. I sang the song ‘Shine On’. I am now looking for a copy of the video that was made of this song by the SABC. Would you happen to know where I might get a copy? I tried the SABC a while back, and they were not able to help me.

Please let me know if you can help. I would appreciate it very much.

Paul Petersen



This superb Beatlesque track, recorded by the reformed McCully Workshop in 1998, would not be out of place on any Oasis album. That begs the question why Oasis sells millions of CDs and this track is ignored? Even by South African radio programmers!

‘She’ is one of 6 new songs on the 12-track ‘Buccaneer’ compilation CD released in 1998. The McCully brothers (Mike and Tully McCullagh) decided to rework some of their classic songs and record some new ones. They went into Tully’s renowned Spaced-Out Sound studios in Cape Town in 1998 and a while later they emerged with a freshened-up ’98 version of their 1978 chart-topper ‘Buccaneer’. The original late 70s band members, Richard Black (lead guitar and vocals) and Rupert Mellor (keyboards and vocals) were recalled to help flesh out these songs. Mike McCully played drums and Tully handled the guitar, bass and vocals while Kevin Gibson (drums) and ex-Falling Mirror guitarist Allan Faull helped out as well.

McCully Workshop have lost none of the spark that made them one of SA’s greatest pop/rock bands and ‘She’ is a great example of how good they still are at writing and playing catchy, listenable pop/rock songs.

Visit the McCully Website at:



Brian Currin

Think you can’t afford to have your own website? Think again!

It is actually very easy to design and host a website for very little cost using Internet magazines (like OTI and .Net) and some superb websites.

I am not a computer genius and basic HTML is about my speed, so I need all the help I can get. Here are some of the websites that supply free hosting of different web resources, if you don’t mind a banner ad or two.

Free Vote
Voting booths with very easy-to-use functions for both the booth owner and visitors.

a website search engine…brilliant…

Inside The Web

Inside The Web

message boards…you choose the colour scheme so it matches your site

The Counter
free visitor tracking, even invisible counters are available


Hosting Solutions

webhosting – free and unlimited space…no pop-ups or adverts on your pages…I read about this in .Net mag and its really great. The SA Rock Digest back-issues are archived at Crosswinds.

another great host site…adverts only appear on index page, not like those horrible Geocities pop-ups…ugh!
redirect addresses for those of us who can’t afford our own domain names.


a superb HTML editor

Free e-mail…and you can even check your normal POP mail through them.

There are a lot of others, but these are the ones I use the most…

Also Internet Cafés are great and reasonably priced so you don’t even have to own a computer or have a dial-up connection.

Café Vodacom in Milnerton Cape Town charges R15 an hour and the staff are very helpful and friendly and I go there often.

And don’t forget…


Gareth Sherwood, SA musician and computer nut, offers a design and hosting service for a very reasonable fee.

Use the Web, it’s the future of self-promotion…

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