SA music quotas – who needs it? (via Martin Myers)

SA music quotas - who needs it? From Channel 24 Many artists maintain that broadcast – particularly radio – doesn’t do enough to represent and promote South African music. But is that all there is to it? The Moshito Music Conference– billed as “Africa’s premier music industry event” – happens in September, and as usual it aims to carry forth the plight of music and its industry here in Africa.One planned session in particular topic caught my eye: “Day Two’s programme features w … Read More

via Martin Myers

Joanna Field “Don’t Fly Too High”


Message: Hello Brian … I am trying to find out who wrote the Joanna Field song “DON’T FLY TOO HIGH” … and i believe you may be able to help? If so … I would really be obliged as I have just recorded this song and require the writers details. I hope you can help. JADE HURLEY OAM … You can reference me here … Website:

Brian wrote:

“Don’t Fly Too High” was written by J. Frankfurter and R. Jung with English lyrics by T & J Möhring. Published by Gallo / GEMA.

Originally recorded by German singer, Nicole, as “Flieg Nicht So Hoch, Mein Kleiner Freund” in 1981.

It reached number 4 on the Springbok Radio charts in 1982.

Available to download at Rhythm Music Store.


Lefsetz Letter » Today’s Music Business Paradigm

Old schoolers think albums don’t sell what they used to because of theft. The real story is albums don’t sell because not enough people care. The audience is scattered. Then again, it’s easy to reach everybody online. You can gain great success. – Bob Lefsetz

via Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Today’s Music Business Paradigm.

Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Quote Of The Day

Bob Lefsetz: In other words, we live in a topsy-turvy world. The consumer is now the desirable item, not the act. How much are you willing to pay, what shenanigans are you willing to employ to buy the rare commodity he’s got to sell, time? We’ve got plenty of music, but they’re not making any more time.

via Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Quote Of The Day.

The History of RockFest Radio by Leon Economides


We’ve had many people enquiring about what The Rockfest is, and how it came about. The following intro will give you some idea of what/who we are, and what we do.

The Rockfest was born about 5 years ago.

When I approached the CEO of 1485AM Radio Today, Dr. Ivan May, with the view to presenting a classic rock show on the Rosebank-based community station, he was quite happy with the idea, and I started presenting a three hour show on a Friday night, repeated on a Wednesday night.

After having presented my show, dubbed “The RockIt Scientist”, for a few months on Radio Today, it dawned on me that there were a number of other presenters, all of whom were household names in their own right, whose talents and personalities were being wasted by them not being on air anymore, having been “discarded” by the major radio stations, who felt that they were either too “old”, or that their music taste and presentation was “old fashioned”. I had previous worked with Chris Prior, Phil Wright and Rafe Lavine on various other radio shows / stations since the early 80’s, and I thought that they would be very happy to be able to come back on air, onto a radio station that had no prescribed playlists or restrictions, and feature the music that made them so famous in South Africa. Dr. May agreed to this, and I approached Phil, Rafe, Chris and David Blood, all of whom were indeed happy to be on air, playing the music they love.

When the various shows started, from Friday through Monday, I called it The Rockfest. The idea of the concept was that you could listen to seasoned, knowledgeable, and in the case of the aforementioned four individuals, very professional presenters, featuring unplaylisted, unrestricted music, mainly in the jazz, blues and specifically, classic rock fields, thereby bringing back the glory days of radio when presenters had free choice of the music they wanted to play. The emphasis was on the music, but it also allowed the presenter’s personality and knowledge to be a factor in the presentation, unlike playlisted, formatted shows where the role of the presenter has been relegated to that of a “talking head”.

The Rockfest grew. After a while, I had brought on nearly 15 presenters, males and females, seven nights a week, all playing various forms of music, once again, free of restrictions. All the presenters were unpaid volunteers, doing it for the passion, and love, of music. The Rockfest became quite popular, and we staged three Rockfest gigs, at various venues, the intention being to market Radio Today and The Rockfest, as well as to highlight and promote South African artists / bands that, by virtue of the fact that they play non-commercial music, seldom get airplay in this country. The Rockfest on Radio Today came to an abrupt end in February 2009. Management ended it in a particularly cavalier and brutal fashion, but that’s another story!

Then, in early December 2009, The Rockfest found a new home, in 93.8FM Midrand Stereo. It happened just as quickly as it ended on Radio Today, and I approached many of the original Rockfest presenters, a number of whom have elected to come on board. Station manager Richard Jones and consultant Hanz Stricker have adopted the non-formatted playlist approach for the evening (Rockfest) presenters, and, once again, from 8pm til late, classic rock / progressive rock / alternative / metal / blues / 80’s rock and even 70’s disco, can be heard on the station, seven nights a week. There are a number of new presenters, many of whom have never been on radio before, but all the presenters have a common goal: to play the best possible music on 93.8FM, thus ensuring that the station is one of the very few in the country that caters for the more mature, discerning music lover who is tired of being spoonfed a daily diet of commercial pop, rap, R&B, etc, that forms the playlists of most other radio stations.

Each presenter is strongly encouraged to feature South African music on their shows, and, in many cases, the presenters are conducting interviews with South African bands / artists. The Rockfest is also going to be, in conjuction with Benjy Mudie, heavily involved in promoting the Monsters of Rock concert, featuring Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash, in late April. I will be doing live and telephonic interviews with various band members from all three bands, on my RockIt Scientist show in due course. It’s also my intention to restart the Rockfest gigs, and I already have a large number of bands, known and not-so-well-known, that are keen to perform under the banner of The Rockfest on 93.8FM.

The Rockfest has a website / blog (, and many of the presenters’ playlists can be seen on the site. The interest in The Rockfest is starting to build up again, and we are all very grateful that Steve Milo, Richard Jones and Hanz Stricker have given us the opportunity, and the means, to get The Rockfest back on the road, and on the air.

There is also a strong possibility that 93.8FM will have audio streaming in the near future, and it’s the station’s intention to approach DSTV for an audio signal, thus affording listeners throughout the country the opportunity of hearing the broadcasts.

The Rockfest line-up on 93.8fm Midrand Stereo is currently as follows:


8 – 9pm – Linda Sue (80’s/90’s rock/metal)

9 – midnight – Leon Economides (classic/progressive/Latin rock/metal/brass rock/blues/folk/Southern rock/jazz)

Midnight – 02am – TBA


8 – 10pm – Ingrid Botha (classic rock/metal/AOR)

10pm – midnight – Lesley Wright (MOR/rock/80’s/70’s disco)

Midnight – 02am – Greg Tucker (Industrial/alternative)


8 – 10pm – Phil Wright (metal/blues/classic rock)

10pm – midnight – Jurgen Becker (classic rock/alternative/new wave)

Midnight – 02am – Renier Coetzee (classic rock/metal)


8 – 10pm – Tamara Jeunette (Industrial/alternative/goth/metal)

10pm – midnight – TBA ( possibly blues singer/songwriter/guitarist Kathy Raven – will confirm shortly – will feature SA rock/blues)

Midnight – 02am – Frank Heydenrych (classic rock/progressive/metal)


6 – 8pmRosemary Royeppen (classic rock/jazz/blues/funk)

8 – 11pm – David Blood (classic rock/blues/AOR)

11 – 01am – Mike Tymvios (classic rock/metal/80’s)


8 – 10pm – Max Aston (classic rock/progressive rock/folk rock/Southern rock)

10 – midnight – Aris Binikos (70’s disco/funk)

Midnight – 02am – Andre Durand (classic rock/metal)


8 – 11pm – Robert Laing (South African rock/metal/blues)

11 – 01am – Rick Gardiner (hard rock/metal)

Leon Economides (0824402836)

Joe Blog Show 24 January 2010 8Pm to 11Pm on Midrand Radio 93.8FM

Guests tonight: Newtown taking us throught their new album “The Bridge” which gets launched at the Bohemian next Friday

1. Newtown – & I’m OK (new album featured tonight)
2. One Night Stands – The Heart of Japan The One Night Stands (Sting)
3. Ashtray Electric – Swing SA Tunes Vol 1 (Sheer)
4. Bride’s Reunion – Kamikaze SL Compilation
5. Juggernaught – Only Love her when she’s gone Purity Mag Compilation
6. Death Valley Blues Band – Full Throttle Demo
7. Gently Scar’d – All about the money Demo
8. Walt – Somewhere Walt (Authentic Ideas)
9. Newtown – Newtown EP
10. Concussion Girl – Tie me up Ride (Primotive)
11. Jeremy Franklin – Siyabonga Mandela (self published)
12. Japan & I – Sunrise Will take over the world (Red Ambulance)
13. The Slashdogs –  …everything is going to be just great The Hunger (Self published)
14. Taxi Violence – Devil ‘n Pistol The Turn (Sheer)
15. New Holland – waiting.wanting.craving One Small Seed compilation
16. Tidal Waves – What u got… Manifesto (Oppikoppi)
17. Gang of Instrumentals – Woza December Sama Nominees
18. aKING – Safe as Houses (Sheer)
19. Jack Parow – Cooler as ek South African Indie Vlume One (Rhythm Records)
20. Radio Kalahari Orkes – Blaas Jou Vuvuzela Heunginland (Rhythm Records)
21. Rokkeloos – Herrinner My Nooiensvaart (One F Music)
22. Rambling Bones – Old Man of the Ocean Watching & Waiting (Cocktail Records)
23. Fuzigish – Blow my Mind Roll with the Punches (Red Ambulance)
24. Hog Hoggidy Hog – Out of Control Method to the Madness (Sheer)
25. Frankie Beagle – The Sounds The Sound (demo)
26. Submachine – Jungle Boogie Submachine EP
27. Swivel Foot – The Last Round (from demo EP)
28. Half Price – Banned Banned (Red Ambulance)
29. Van Coke Cartel – Wat het van ons geword? Waaksaam en Wakker
30. Fokofpolisiekar – Antibiotika South African Indie Vlume One (Rhythm Records)
31. The Cavalier – Lonely King of Hearts South African Indie Vlume One (Rhythm Records)
32. Black Pimpin Jesus – Paul got arrsted last night SL compilation
33. Heroes Wear Red – Be Universal Surviving September (Headline Artists)

Most of these artists and songs are available on Rhythm Music Store

RockFest News from Leon Economides

From Leon Economides,

Hi there

Things are starting to get back to normal after the holidays. Hope you had a good rest and are ready for an exciting, rocking year! Most of The Rockfest presenters should be back from leave and ready to roll!

Don’t forget that, midway through the month, previous Rockfest presenters Leslie Wright (aka Leslie Chase) (Wednesdays 10pm to midnight – still to be confirmed) and Greg Tucker (Tuesdays midnight to 2am, starting 19 Jan), as well as new presenters Mike Tymvios(Fridays 11pm to 1am, starting 15 Jan), and Frank Heydenrych (Thursdays midnight to 2am, starting 14 Jan) , will be joining The Rockfest on 93.8FM Midrand Stereo.

Welcome to veteran presenter Andre Durand, who had his first show last Saturday night (midnight to 2am). .

Please be aware that the Midrand area, especially where the 93.8FM studios are located, is prone to the odd power outage, (as poor old Max found out a few weeks ago!), now and then, so if you happen to be listening or tuning in, and you hear the ominous hiss of “dead air”, we ain’t left the country, and nor has the station been overrun by aliens! Please bear with us – these things happen. We do have a UPS, but it obviously does have a time limit. I’m in the process of training an army of heavy metal hamsters that will run on a treadmill to the tune of The Scorpions’ “Blackout” and Triumph’s “When The Lights Go Down” whenever this happens. Hopefully they can keep the show on the road until the power comes back on! Yeah, right!

Heard some really tragic news last week: Eric Woolfson, pianist, songwriter and co-founder of The Alan Parson Project, passed away in London on 02 December, from cancer. I decided to incorporate a tribute to this extremely gifted and vitally important, but very much in the background, member of the Project, in my show, which was a bit longer than normal, as I was standing in for Linda Sue, this week (have a comma, whilst you’re at it, he said to himself, knowingly. Nothing like a bit of over-the-top punctuation to confuse you!)

Playlist – The RockIt Scientist – Monday 04 January 2010 – 8pm to midnight

01. Snail – Music Is My Mistress, from “Snail”. 1978 – Cream Records (criminally under-rated band from the US. One of those “not a weak track on it” albums. Drummer Don Baldwin now with Lydia Pense & Cold Blood)

02. Firefall – Strange Way, from “Elan”. 1978 – Atlantic Records (equally on a par with The Eagles, Poco, etc, if not better. Released an awesome Live Reunion album a short while ago)

03. Blackfoot – Highway Song, from ‘’Strikes”. 1979 – Atco Records (featuring Ricky Medlocke, who’s been with Skynyrd for some time now, and the sadly departed Jackson Spires. A Southern rock classic!)

04. Brazen Abbot – Dreams, from “My Resurrection”. 2005 – Frontiers Records (fantastic Bulgarian guitarist Nikolo Kotzev, with vocals from Joe Lynn Turner, one of the best rock singers around)

05. Lana Lane– Someone To Believe, from “Lady Macbeth”. 2005 – Frontiers Records (the lovely Queen Of Progressive/Symphonic Rock, together with husband and Rocket Scientist founder Eric Norlander. And no, I didn’t steal the name from him)

06. XYZ – Asking, from “Letter To God”. 2003 – FYCD Records (stunningly emotive lyrics from vocalist Terry Ilous, with JK Northrup on guitars, Sean McNab on bass and Paul Monroe on drums)

07. Queensryche – Someone Else?, from “Promised Land”. 1994 – EMI Records (vocalist Geoff Tate at his best. If this doesn’t move you, you have the emotions of a fish. One of the classiest bands, ever, from any country)

08. Fates Warning – The Road Goes On Forever, from “Parallels”.1991 – Metal Blade Records (technically excellent and thought provoking US prog metal outfit with Ray Alder on vocals)

09. Savatage – Edge Of Thorns, from “Edge Of Thorns”.1993 – Atlantic Records (words are superfluous. This much loved US prog metal band set the stage for many others to follow. With Zak Stevens on vocals. RIP Criss Oliva)

10. John Miles – Music, from “Rebel”. 1976 – Decca Records (you know it well. The kind of song you take to your grave. Unless you’re into rave/house/techno/rap, that is. Remember, the key word is “MUSIC”).

11. Kansas– Hold On, from “Always Never The Same”. 1998 – River North Records (one of their best tracks, with The London Symphony Orchestra putting it into the “brilliant” league. They have a new live album and DVD out)

12. Grand Funk – I’m Your Captain / Closer To Home, from “Bosnia”.1997 – Capitol Records (Grand Funk with an orchestra? You better believe it! Mark, Don & Mel at their best, with special guest Peter Frampton)

13. King Crimson – Epitaph, from “In The Court Of The Crimson King”.1969 – Island Records (arguably one of the albums that started the whole prog movement. The young Greg Lake showed touches of the brilliance that was to follow with ELP)

14. Novalis – Der Geigenspieler, from “Vielleicht Bist Du Ein Clown?”.1978 – Brain Records (German band formed in Hamburg in 1971. Together with Jane, Grobschnitt and Birth Control, they were one of the best Krautrock bands)

15. Spring – Grail, from “Spring”. 1971 – Neon Records (you can’t profess to be a fan of early 70’s prog unless you own this album. Brilliant, from beginning to end, mellotron to die for. Drummer Pique Withers was a founding member of Dire Straits)

16. Indian Summer – Black Sunshine, from “Indian Summer”. 1971 – Neon Records (another prog gem from the UK. Produced by Jim Simpson of Black Sabbath & Bakerloo fame, they sadly folded shortly after this highly sought-after classic was released)

Tribute to Eric Woolfson

Eric Norman Woolfson was born on the 18th of March 1945 in Charing Cross, Glasgow, Scotland. Composing music from a young age, he moved to London where he found work as a session pianist. He later wrote songs for Marmalade, Dave Berry, The Tremeloes, Marianne Faithfull, and others. He also worked with future members of 10cc, Lol Crème, Kevin Godley, Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, all of whom had worked with Ramases on his “Space Hymns” album, and a single under the name of Eric Alder, called “San Tokay”, was released.

Turning to management in the early 70’s, he signed Carl Douglas (of “Kung Fu Fighting” fame), and Alan Parsons, who had built up a solid reputation as a recording engineer and record producer, having worked with, and later to work with, the likes of Pink Floyd, Al Stewart, The Beatles, Ambrosia and others.

Woolfson and Parsons formed a collaboration that would allow Woolfson to exploit and enhance his talents as a songwriter whilst giving Parsons’ engineering and producing skills the opportunity to be utilized to the fullest extent. This collaboration lasted eleven or so years, and spawned ten albums, almost all of which had a central conceptual theme. The albums were, and still are, highly regarded by many people, from those into a more MOR(Middle Of The Road, just in case that threw you)/laid back style, to those with a preference for more involved progressive themes/tunes, with over 40 million sales being recorded worldwide.

The Alan Parsons Project was famous for employing the services of some of the most skilled musicians and vocalists in the UK. Apart from Woolfson, who was a keyboard player and vocalist of note (he sang the lead vocals on tracks such “Eye In The Sky”, “Prime Time’ and a host of others), other keyboard players included our own Duncan Mackay (whose debut solo album, “Chimera”, was recently released on Benjy Mudie’s Retro Fresh label. Buy it!), Richard Cottle and others. Guitars were handled by Ian Bairnson, surely one of the most under-rated guitarists around, bass by Laurie Cottle and David Paton, and drums by Stuart Tosh and Stuart Elliott. Then there was the dynamic orchestration and choir that gave the Alan Parsons Project its absolutely memorable and dramatic clout, arranged and conducted by Andrew Powell. Vocalists included Colin Blunstone, John Miles, David Paton, Lenny Zakatek, Dean Ford, Dave Townsend, Elmer Gantry and many others.

Ian Bairnson, David Paton, Colin Blunstone and Stuart Elliott, together with Camel’s keyboard player, (the late) Peter Bardens, released an excellent melodic rock / prog album under the name of “Keats”, in 1984. Eric Woolfson was the creative force behind the formation of this short-lived studio-only band. The album, released on EMI Records, was engineered and produced by Alan Parsons.

The split between Parsons and Woolfson occurred during the recording of what was meant to be the eleventh Alan Parsons Project album, “Freudiana” (released in 1990). Woolfson wanted to explore the possibility of realizing the project as a musical, and he was eager to write for musical theatre. He later had much success in Germany, Korea and Japan with “Gaudi” and “Gambler”. Alan Parsons continued to release albums under his own name. Other musicals included “Edgar Allan Poe” and “Dancing Shadows”, in 2007. Woolfson had also been involved in the re-issuing and re-mastering of the entire Alan Parsons Project back catalogue, in 2007/2008, complete with bonus material and elaborate booklets, photos, etc. Ironically, he released an album of previously unreleased / unfinished Alan Parsons Project tracks called “Eric Woolfson Sings The Alan Parsons Project That Never Was”, in 2009.

Eric Woolfson died on 2 December 2009, a great loss to the music and theatre world.

This then, was a tribute to a truly gifted musician and songwriter:

17. Alan Parsons Project – In The Lap Of The Gods,from “Pyramid” (Instrumental) – 1978

18. Alan Parsons Project – May Be A Price To Pay, from “Turn Of A Friendly Card” (vocals by Elmer Gantry, of Stretch fame) – 1980

19. Alan Parsons Project – I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You, from “I Robot” (vocals by Lenny Zakatek) – 1977

20. Alan Parsons Project – Paseo De Grace, from “Gaudi” (Instrumental, with Ian Bairnson showing just how good he is, on Spanish guitar! This was the last APP album to feature Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson) – 1987

21. Alan Parsons Project – You Won’t Be There, from “Eve” (vocals by Dave Townsend) – 1979

22. Eric Woolfson – Rumour Goin’ Round, from “The Alan Parsons Project That Never Was” (vocals by Eric Woolfson) – 2009 (originally recorded during the “Stereotomy” sessions in the mid 80’s)

23. Alan Parsons Project – Sirius / Eye In The Sky, from “Eye In The Sky’’ (vocals by Eric Woolfson) – 1982

Album releases, featuring Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson

Tales Of Mystery And Imagination – 1976

I Robot – 1977

Pyramid – 1978

Eve – 1979

Turn Of A Friendly Card – 1980

Eye In The Sky – 1982

Ammonia Avenue – 1984

Vulture Culture – 1985

Stereotomy – 1986

Gaudi – 1987

Note that all the Alan Parson Project re-issues are available through Sony Music and are essential purchases for anyone into conceptual progressive / melodic rock.

24. Viking Skull – Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey, from “Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey”. 2008 – Powerage Records (third album from this very good stoner UK outfit, sort of Sabbath meets Lizzy)

25. Clutch – Struck Down, from “Strange Cousins From The West” 2009 – Weathermaker Records (difficult to describe their music. US Hard Rock/Stoner/Funk/Jam band. “Brilliant” springs to mind. Excellent vocals and guitar by Neil Fallon)

26. Wino – Smilin’ Road, from “Punctuated Equilibrium”. 2009 – Southern Lord (debut solo album from Obsessed / Hidden Hand’s guitarist / vocalist, Scott “Wino” Weinrich. Well constructed killer hard rock with intelligent, sometimes menacing, lyrics)

27. Circle II Circle – Every Last Thing, from “Delusions Of Grandeur”, 2008 – AFM Records (for fans of Savatage, Queensryche, etc. US outfit put together by ex-Savatage vocalist Zak Stevens. Highly recommended)

28. Shadow Gallery – Pain, from “Digital Ghosts” 2009 – InsideOut Records (first album with new vocalist Brian Ashland, following the death of original vocalist, Mike Baker, in October 2008. 6th studio album from this exceptionally good US prog outfit)

29. Magnum – Time To Cross That River, from “Into The Valley Of The Moonking” 2009 – Steamhammer Records (one of the UK’s best ever bands. Vocalist Bob Catley and guitarist Tony Clarkin have kept this brilliant band going since 1972)

30. Babe Ruth – The Sun, Moon & Stars, from “Que Pasa” 2006 – Revolver Records (the classic line-up of Alan Shacklock, Janita Haan, Ed Spevock, Dave Punshon andDave Hewett. Welcome back to the makers of “First Base”! Janita Haan still has it, in a big way)

31. Strider – Misunderstood, from “Misunderstood” 1974 – GM Records (2nd, and sadly, last album from this excellent UK blues rock quintet. Guitarist Gary Grainger went on to feature with Rod Stewart. Album is much sought after, and rightly so)

32. Rare Bird – Birdman, from “Epic Forest” 1973 – Polydor Records (started out as a two keyboard player/guitarist-less prog outfit, a rarity in thecompetitive late 60’s/early 70’s. Guitarist Andy Curtis joined and they absolutely cooked. A UK treasure)

33. Liquid Smoke – It’s A Man’s World, from “Liquid Smoke” 1970 – Avco Embassy Records (from the US, featuring brilliant vocalist Sandy Pantaleo, later to perform as a soloist under the name Sonny Rose, and recently collaborating with the Manhattan Transfer)

34. Faith – Such A Lady, Such A Lover, from “Faith” 1973 – Brown Bag Records (very good, but very under-rated US outfit. Changed their name to Faith Band after this album, and became a bit more commercial, but still retaining a slight jazz/rock/prog edge)

35. Mariah – Reunion, from “Mariah” 1976 – United Artists Records (a once-off gem from this little known US quintet. Guitarist Frankie Sullivan became a founding member of Survivor. Songwriter Jim Peterik was ex-Ides Of March and Chase, now with Pride Of Lions)

36. Glencoe – Airport, from “Glencoe” 1972 – Great Western Gramophone Records (formed in London in 1971, this popular melodic rock band featured bassist Garth Watt-Roy, ex-Greatest Show On Earth. They released a 2nd album in 1973 and split in 1974)

37. Pacific Drift – Happy Days, from “Feelin’ Free” 1970 – Deram Records (this UK band’s album, encompassing elements of prog, blues, jazz and melodic rock, has become a minor collectible, on Deram’s Nova Series)

38. Bloodrock – Jessica, from “Bloodrock 3” 1971 – Capitol Records (stablemates to Grand Funk Railroad, and also managed by the infamous Terry Knight, this notorious US band released some fantastic material during their seven-odd year history)

39. Cressida – Depression, from “Cressida” 1970 – Vertigo Records (debut album from this highly enjoyable and accessible UK prog outfit. Both of their albums are quite collectible. Drummer Iain Clarke appeared on Uriah Heep’s “Look At Yourself” album)

Most of the above albums can be bought at or ordered through Look & Listen. They have many branches, country-wide, and a have a very large selection of cds, dvds, games, accessories, etc.

Joe@Grooveyard Records ( tells me that he has some amazing new killer guitar albums in stock, including the new Blindside Blues Band (Mike Onesko). Check them out and order online!

See you next week.



Rock Fest Update from Leon Economides

From Leon Economides


Yes, it’s been a while. Namely a few years. No comments from the peanut gallery.

You might recall that The Rockfest was terminated by 1485am Radio Today’s management, giving us less than three days notice, in February this year. It was a bit of a slap in the face for all the presenters who gave freely of their time, for over three years, and the lack of appreciation and support shown, and the way it was done, left many people feeling pretty embittered and annoyed. For many presenters, whilst being grateful to Radio Today for allowing them the freedom to play the music of their choice, it signalled the end of their short broadcasting “career”.

The Rockfest was basically put on “ice”, with very little chance of it being revived, given the strict playlisted format and programming (not to mention politically correct!) structure of most radio stations in South Africa.

It’s against this background that I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chris Prior, Phil Wright, Benjy Mudie, Melanie Walker, Rafe Lavine, David Blood, Leon Fourie, Robert Laing, Tamara Jeunette, Jurgen Becker, Lesley Chase, Rosemary Royeppen, Greg Tucker, Rui de Sousa, Adelle First, Bojan Andrejevic, Natalie Chapman, Nicole De Gruchy and Mark Vas for having been part of The Rockfest at various stages, and for sharing their music and talent with us.

In the three years and a bit that The Rockfest on 1485am was in existence, it had built up a pretty good reputation as a series of programmes in which all styles of music, from jazz to blues, from country to metal and prog, and from classic rock to folk, could be heard, seven nights a week. We had three Rockfest concerts at venues such as Tempos and The Rustic Theatre, featuring some of the best bands / artists in the country, namely Mel Botes, Ghapi, Clint & Co, Jonathan Martin, Band o’ Gypsies, Strange Brew, Agro, Radiation, Mantis, bassist Kai Horsthemke and his brilliant band, Three Foot Thang, Brad Cunningham, and a host of others, with the main objective being the promotion of South African bands as well as that of The Rockfest, and Radio Today. South African bands / artists were regularly featured and interviewed on The Rockfest, and all the presenters were encouraged to feature good, original South African music on their shows.

To cut a long story short, that all ended towards the end of February 2009. Some presenters, such as Chris Prior, Robert Laing and David Blood, remained with 1485. The rest of us resigned ourselves to the fact that it was great while it lasted, but, as is normally the case with rock shows on radio in South Africa, it was just a matter of time before the plug was pulled (I think it’s an affliction that seems embedded in the minds of the powers that be that anything that features real guitars, drums, keyboards, and that doesn’t feature the words “Yo!”, or “Was happenin??”, or has rap lyrics about some dildo with baggy pants and a backward facing cap letting the dogs out, or some “sounds like everybody else” R & B diva moaning as if she has an ice pick stuck in the back of her head, is a no-no on South African radio, especially if it’s presented by an “ethnically challenged” specimen of the masculine persuasion). Fortunately, Benjy, who had moved on to another radio station, and Barney Simon, one of the most respected and admired presenters in the country, together with Chris, David and Robert, kept the flag flying, so to speak. As did Shiloh Noone in the Cape.

Fast forward to the here and now….

A few weeks ago, I received a message to call Richard Jones. I had never met him before, but I had heard many good things about Richard in the past, mainly that he had a lot of experience in and on radio in this country, having worked on Capitol Radio and Radio 2000, and, more importantly, he was into music. Rock music. A truly rare breed: a station manager, with years of experience, into rock music! How great is that? Turns out that he also has the perfect face for radio. A marriage made in Heaven!

I called him back, and what he told me blew me out of the water: Richard had recently become station manager of 93.8FM Midrand Stereo, a community radio station based, oddly and cunningly enough, in Midrand. For those of you who don’t know where that is, it’s sort of midway between Joburg and Pretoria, hence the “mid” part….well, you get the drift. Richard wanted to know if I was keen on restarting The Rockfest. On a mandated ROCK station, with an FM signal and a pretty decent range (from some parts in Pretoria, through to the prime business areas of Randburg and Sandton, right through to the other side of the East Rand Mall, as well as to Fourways, Broadcares, etc), with a station manager of Richard’s calibre and reputation, and with total freedom to play any music as long as it has a rock slant / link / connection. Did you get that? I said R O C K, that dreaded word not normally used on South African radio for fear of being tied down on a bed of nails and forced to listen to hours and hours of mindless, nauseating R & B, Pop, Dance, Rap and other juicy bits that seem to make up the staple diet of almost every radio station in the country.

A few immediate questions / thoughts came to mind: Do snakes have hips? Do bears shit in the woods? Does puke always have carrots and peas in it, irrespective of what you’ve been eating? You get the drift, part 2.

Needless to say, a number of frantic phone calls and sms’s followed. I wanted to get as many of the original Rockfest people on board as I could, with the intention of starting immediately. Foreplay was not part of the equation. As you can see on the (almost complete) programming schedule below, quite a few of the original Rockfest people are on board, but there are also quite a few new people, many of whom have never done broadcasting before. Everybody has the same passion: to play the best possible music in the country, on 93.8FM Midrand Stereo. As before, you can hear anything from metal to blues to 70’s disco (listen to classic disco tracks such as “Devil’s Gun” and tell me that hasn’t got serious rock links!). Two weeks into the new Rockfest, and some new kids on the block are already starting to shine!

As before, Brian Currin, who has started a blog for The Rockfest (, is as supportive and enthusiastic as ever, as are advertisers such as Look & Listen, who did not hesitate to come on board, and I want to say thank you to Howard Lazarus, CEO of Look & Listen, for his unfailing support, help and friendship.

We plan to restart The Rockfest gigs, and it’s our intention to have these at The Rustic Theatre, which is a fantastic indoor / outdoor venue with good food and plenty parking, with our “relaunch” possibly at the end of January / early February.

Each presenter has been encouraged to have their playlist for the week placed on the website / blog (I STILL have no clue what the difference between the two is!), so you will able to get an idea of the kind of music each presenter features on their show.

The station is offering extremely attractive advertising rates, up to the end of January 2010, with great benefits, such as one month FREE advertising, so if you would be keen to advertise on the station (and you would also be helping to keep 93.8FM alive and growing!), please contact either Richard on 0822212201 or station advisor Hanz Stricker on 0825613531. As Angus and the boys said: “You Want Rock? You Got It” – your help in keeping the whole thing alive would be beneficial for everyone.

Well, that’s it, for now. Don’t expect long newsletters every week – some of us work for a living! But you can certainly expect to see the playlists, at least, on the blog / website / whatever! You get the drift. Part 3.

This is for you, for us, for Rock ‘n Roll, for SA music, for non-playlisted radio shows. For the freedom to hear what YOU want to hear on the radio.

Thank you to all the guys and girls who share in the same dream and who will give of their time and energy, and who will share their passion.

Thank the Lord for people like Richard Jones and Hanz Stricker………

I wish you a very happy and blessed Christmas, and hope that the New Year will be safe, prosperous and successful for us all.


Leon Economides – The RockIt Scientist. Playlist: Monday 14 December 2009, 21H00 to Midnight

01. Home – Dreamer, from “Home”. 1972 – CBS Records

02. Titanic – Macumba, bonus track on “Eagle Rock”. 1974 – CBS Records

03. Jade Warrior – Eyes On You, from “Released”. 1972 – Vertigo Records

04. Randy Pie – Kitsch, from “Kitsch”. 1975 – Polydor Records

05. Lake – On The Run, from “Lake”. 1977 – CBS Records

06. Atlantis – Friends, from “Live”. 1974 – Vertigo Records

07. Keef Hartley Band – Sinnin’ For You, from “Halfbreed”. 1969 – Deram Records

08. Walrus – Who Can I Trust, from “Walrus”. 1970 – Deram Records

09. Alan Bown – Through The Night, from “Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal” (Island Anthology 1967 – 1972). 2005 – Island Records

10. If – Child Of Storm, from “If 3”. 1971 – United Artists Records

11. Annie Haslam & Magenta – Night And Day, from “Night And Day (4 track EP). 2006 – F2 Music

12. Quidam – Credo, from “Pod Niebem Czas”. 2002 – Rock Serwis

13. Doro – Herzblut, from “Fear No Evil”. 2009 – AFM Records

14. Mostly Autumn – Flowers For Guns, from “Glass Shadows”. 2008 – Mostly Autumn Records

15. Hawkwind – Orgone Accumulator, from “Space Ritual”. 1973 – United Artists Records

16. Beggars Opera – Passacaglia, from “Act One”. 1970 – Vertigo Records

17. 707 – A Sinful Woman, from “The Fourth Decade”. 2006 – Renaissance Records

18. RPM – A Legend Never Dies, from “RPM”. 1982 – EMI Records

19. Cobra – Blood On Your Money, from “First Strike”. 1983 – Sony Music

20. Malo – Dilo Otra Vez, from “En Vivo / Live”. 2005 – EMI Latin

21. Abraxas Pool – Baila Mi Cha Cha, from “Abraxas Pool”. 1997 – Miramar Productions

22. El Chicano – El Ojo Rojo, from “Latin Legends Live”. 1997 – Thump Records

This coming Monday night (21 Dec), I’ll be doing a four hour show, from 8pm to midnight, standing in for the lovely Linda Sue’s 8 to 9pm show, (she’s on leave). Joining me in the studio as a special guest will be guitarist Peter Hanmer, of Off The Edge and Clint & Co fame, from around 8.30 onwards. One of the country’s best guitarists, Peter has recorded some fantastic solo material as well as some world class music for Off The Edge. We’ll be featuring a number of tracks that can quite easily compare with some of the best guitar-based prog and hard rock music you’ll hear anywhere!

I was very fortunate to catch the dynamic Dilana, together with guitarist Erik, at The Rustic Theatre in Lonehill this week. This woman is phenomenal! She has a fantastic stage presence, is ridiculously talented as a songwriter, and has one of the most incredible voices. I interviewed her on 93.8FM Midrand Stereo last week, and, believe me, she pulls no punches! She has years of experience, having worked with the likes of Golden Earring, Metallica, Joe Cocker and others, and it shows. Toni Rowland, previously with the prog metal band Mantis, and who recently recorded a fantastic album with Ken Hensley of Toe Fat, Uriah Heep and Blackfoot fame, was also in the studio that night. They did a duet, accompanied by Erik on acoustic guitar, live on air. Wow – what a rush! Rumour has it that Dilana will be touring SA again sometime next year, and that our own Ingrid Botha might be getting involved in bringing Dilana out here.

By the way, the support act to Dilana was Dave (Sharpe) and Gabi. If you thought Dave Sharpe was good on keys (with Off The Edge), sax and bass, you should hear him on guitar! Gabi is a seasoned and very good vocalist, and they compliment one another perfectly.

Talking about Uriah Heep, you have no doubt heard that they will be visiting SA in May next year, together with (Andy Powell’s) Wishbone Ash and Deep Purple! At last – SA fans can finally be treated to some REAL rock, by some of the most respected bands in the world! (If you want to get REALLY sick, get yourself a copy of any Classic Rock magazine and take a look at the gigs page. When you see the famous and not-so-famous bands / artists, some of them playing at really small, innocuous venues, on any day of the week, it’s enough to make you weep!)

I’m in the process of finalizing The Rockfest line-up on 93.8FM Midrand Stereo. There are still a few gaps, but these will be filled as soon as the various presenters come back from leave. As things currently stand, the line-up is as follows:


8 – 9pm – Linda Sue

9 – midnight – Leon Economides

Midnight – 2am – Kevin Flee


8 – 10pm – Ingrid Botha

10pm – midnight – Lesley Chase (starting mid January)


8 – 10pm – Phil Wright

10pm – midnight – Jurgen Becker

Midnight – 2am – Renier Coetzee


8 – 10pm – Tamara Jeunette

10pm – midnight – Kevin Stuart


6 – 8pm – Rosemary Royeppen

8pm – 11pm – David Blood

11 – 01am – Mike Tymvios (starting mid January)


8 – 10pm – Max Aston

10pm – midnight – Aris B


8 – 11pm – Robert Laing

11pm – 01am – Rick Gardiner

Please note that because of the festive season, some presenters are away and will not be able to do their shows. Their places will either be filled by other presenters, or automated playlisted music will be featured.

The ROCKFEST is Back!

From RockFest

Greetings one and all

The Rockfest is back and we are overjoyed! After nine and a half months of holding our breaths, we have been adopted by 93.8 FM Radio Midrand which has grown in 2 years to a listener-ship of over 65000 people! You can find us on 93.8FM and can listen from Pretoria West all the way to Melville. This is our first week riding the airwaves at night and the line-up of presenters is fantastic.

This is what it will look like and we hope it makes you pleased to see many of the old presenters back on board:


20:00 – 21:00 Linda Sue
21:00 – Midnight Leon Economides


20:00 – 22:00 Ingrid Botha


20:00 – 22:00 Phil Wright
22:00 – Midnight Jurgen Becker


20:00 – 22:00 Tamara Jeunette
22:00 – Midnight Kevin Stuart


18:00 – 20:00 Rosemary Royeppen
20:00 – 23:00 David Blood


20:00 – 22:00 Max Aston
22:00 – Midnight Aris Binikos


22:00 – 23:00 Robert Laing
23:00 – 01:00 Rick Gardner

Please pass this message on to everyone you know! We have no playlists and the only pre-requisite is that we play rock! So, as of this week your radio will be capable of playing rock in all it’s genres from blues to metal and alternative to classics. This is a fantastically exciting venture and a huge leap forward for Community Radio!

Yours in rock and metal
Tamara Jeunette

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