MUSIC EXCHANGE (#MEX21), South Africa’s preeminent entertainment-economy-invested conference, returns this September for the 11th consecutive year, hosted by Ticketpro.

Lauded and awarded for its consistent commitment to the broader South African music industry, #MEX21 will run from 11 September to 2 October 2021, with a wealth of quality international and local speakers.

Some of the topics #MEX21 will unpack, in detail, include our streaming reality, the platforms generating engagement (Ayoba) and driving artist’s incomes (SubmitHub), right through to the importance of heritage (MEX Chairman), the state of radio in South Africa (KFM), and just how artists are rebuilding and morphing in response to the pandemic (RJ Benjamin).

Our Keynote speaker, from Australia, is Michael Smellie. He speaks about the seven deadly sins of the music business.

Michael’s career in the music business spans more than 25 years.

He has worked across five continents as former Global Chief Operations Officer of Sony BMG, Asia Pacific Head for BMG, and Managing Director of Polygram and rooArt in Australia.

He is an investor, adviser and board member to many start-ups’ creative businesses in Australia and the United States and is currently the Board Chair of the Music Council of Australia.

Stuart Rubin, from New Zealand, speaks about the importance of the song and looking to legacy for wisdom and inspiration as well as unpacking Elvis 30 Number 1’s and Neil Diamond.

At the height of his career, he was Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing for Sony BMG. Stuart’s career in music started in New Zealand in 1976 with PolyGram. 

He “crossed the ditch” to Australia and held several senior marketing roles in PolyGram and BMG, before moving to Hong Kong in the 1990s where he became BMG’s VP of International Marketing for the Asia-Pacific region. In 2001 he moved to New York, becoming Senior VP International for BMG. Following the merger with SONY, three years later, Stuart was made Senior VP International of Commercial Marketing. 

Stuart’s interview reveals a person fascinated with people, whether they are artists or music lovers. With his long experience in selling music to a global market, and as an A&R professional, he delivers a unique perspective on the industry.

Gasant Abarder, the author of Hack the Grenade, columnist, and former editor of the Cape Times & Argus speaks to the Cape Town reality for artists and his take on the media landscape in both print and online.

We speak to legacy with producer Greg Cutler, an engineer from London; regarding his relationships with Harari, Hotline and Rabbit, bands that shaped the SA sound that we know and love today.

Despite the past 18 months being the most challenging in MEX’s decade-plus dedication, investment and global outreach, Music Exchange 2021 (#MEX21) is opening its annual industry-focused indaba to the world come 11 September 2021.

Over the past 11 years, MEX has actively informed, partnered and brokered with some of the biggest and most influential players and institutions, with the sole purpose of elevating, educating and sharing a wealth of learning from all four corners of the planet and 2021’s #MEX21 commits to being no different.

If anything, #MEX21 is offering everyone, directly or indirectly professionally affected by the pandemic, an opportunity to explore the possibility of change, with speakers who exemplify talent, success, and perseverance at a time like no other.

MEX has welcomed and hosted the likes of composer Dr Trevor Jones, musician and producer Bryan Michael Cox the Orchard’s Ben Oldfield, Mark Murdoch, Mos Def, Tim Renner, Rachel Z, Tom Novy, Karen Zoid, Siphokazi Jonas, Christian Wright from Abbey Road, Arthur and Charles Goldstuck and Moreira Chonguica among many more, all in an impressive lead up to this year’s impressive list of confirmed speakers.

The #MEX21 speaker line-up includes, but is not limited to:

Michael Smellie – Chairman of Music Australia – Australia.

Jason Grishkoff – Founder SubmitHub – USA.

Stephen Werner – Station Manager @ KFM – RSA.

Stuart Rubin Former Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing for Sony BMG – New Zealand. 

Gasant Abarder Author, and former editor at Independent Newspapers – RSA.

Greg Cutler – Producer engineer visionary proud ambassador of SA Music legacy – UK.

Melissa Conradie – Music industry specialist, publicist, booker, radio plugger – RSA.

RJ Benjamin – Artist – RSA.

Sipho Mabuse – MEX Chairperson and Artist – RSA.

With more names to follow, #MEX21 talks will deliver on what MEX is known and respected for by delivering quality conversations that lead to quantifiable outcomes.

In partnership with Ticketpro, Paul Bothner MusicWestern Cape Government, AYOBA and the City of Cape Town.

 #MEX21 will host local entertainment industry thought-leaders and game-changers in 30-to-60-minute presentations on the Ticketpro streaming platform.

For a mere R100 investment, per ticket, #MEX21 delegates will enjoy an all-access pass to the full 11-day conference, comprising a series of unmissable keynote addresses and international thought leadership sessions from some of the most relevant and revolutionary minds in the business.

Martin Myers, founder, and convener of the conference remarked “2021 is another big year in Music Exchange’s history. Our collective and ongoing investment to help influence, adapt, evolve and remain relevant in a massively compromised economy sits at the heart of all we do.”

Follow us on Facebook to get breaking announcements, as they happen.

Secure your ticket and watch here:

For booking details, and more information, go to:

For more information and interview opportunities, please contact:

Martin Myers @ MEX

083 448 4475

Searching For Sugar Man South African TV Advert | YouTube

Searching For Sugar Man (South Africa)
Searching For Sugar Man (South Africa)

The TV advert  says that the “Searching For Sugar Man” soundtrack “includes 3 previously unreleased songs” but this is not true.

“Street Boy”, “Can’t Get Away” and “I’ll Slip Away”, recorded in 1972/73, were first released on the Australian “At His Best” album. They are also included as bonus tracks on the 2009 US release of “Coming From Reality” (which is known as “After The Fact” to South Africans).

The “Searching For Sugar Man” soundtrack album also leaves off “Rich Folks Hoax” which contains the classic opening line “the moon is hanging in the purple sky”. Sugar Man – The Best Of Rodriguez is a better collection for rounding up his best and most popular songs.

Searching for Sugar Man in South Africa | Sony Music

Searching for Sugar Man
Searching for Sugar Man



Soundtrack available everywhere starting August 13, 2012, through Columbia/Legacy

“The buzzworthy Sundance documentary” – Yahoo!

“An acclaimed new documentary goes hunting for the lost Dylan” – Grantland

“The tale is better than the telling – and the soundtrack’s better still – but music this monumental demands its moment. Now go and buy the album” – Matt Glasby Total Film UK

“I found the story in 2006. I was looking for stories, travelling around South Africa and America, and thinking the purpose was to sell them to Swedish TV, because I’d been working for Swedish TV before. I found this story and it was the best story I’d ever heard in my life and probably ever will; a great, great story.” Director, Malik Bendjelloul

We all know the lyrics, we may even have been a fan, but who knows what happened to the musician who brought us Sugar Man? SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is the most improbable but true story you will ever witness on the big screen. Rodriguez, a mysterious Detroit singer-songwriter, became a source of hope and inspiration to the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa and then he disappeared – until two South Africans set out to discover what happened to one of the biggest music sensations this country has ever known. The thought-provoking new documentary film, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, will be screened exclusively at select Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau theatres on 31st August and is not to be missed!

Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN tells a story that begins with the 1970 release of Rodriguez’s debut album, Cold Fact.

Discovered in the late 1960s, Rodriguez impressed producers with his Dylanesque songwriting. As a charismatic and mysterious artist he built a strong local following and became a true folk hero in the purest sense.

While Cold Fact was critically acclaimed, it did not succeed commercially, and despite the release of a second LP, Rodriguez drifted into obscurity. Rumors of his fate were widely and wildly exaggerated, ranging from reports of escalating depression to a sensationally gruesome suicide onstage, involving self-immolation.

Meanwhile, the LP had made its way around the world to South Africa, where it was banned by an oppressive government. Copies were bootlegged and circulated, and Rodriguez inadvertently became the soundtrack of an emerging liberal youth, including many liberal Afrikaans musicians for whom Rodriguez became an inspiration for their own music.

Over the next two decades, Rodriguez became a household name in the country, where the number of copies of Cold Fact would have earned it platinum sales status.

Both sides of the story, Rodriguez’s life in Detroit and the subsequent impact of his music in the smoldering Apartheid era proved fascinating to Stockholm-based documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul.

His subjects have included Kraftwerk, Björk, Sting, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Madonna, Mariah Carey, U2, Kylie Minogue, Prince, and others. His short documentary films for Swedish Television’s international cultural weekly show Kobra, became the basis for such films as Men Who Stare At Goats (George Clooney) and The Terminal (Tom Hanks).

For booking information please visit or, or call our Ticketline on 082 16789. Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz, or Facebook us at Ster-Kinekor Theatres.

You can also download the Nokia and Samsung Android apps and book from your mobile.

The soundtrack album on Legacy will compile tracks from Cold Fact and its follow-up LP of 1971, Coming From Reality, reissued to critical acclaim in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

The original motion picture soundtrack album will be available starting August 6th through Legacy Recordings, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, a Red Box Films & Passion Pictures Production in association with Canfield Pictures & The Documentary Company, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, premiered in New York on April 24th at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The film opened in New York and Los Angeles on July 27th and will open in other markets throughout the month of August. For a complete release schedule, visit the film’s website at

Searching for Sugar Man release cinemas:

1. Rosebank Nouveau

2. Gateway Nouveau

3. Cavendish Nouveau

4. V&A Nouveau

5. Brooklyn Nouveau

6. Garden Route Mall

7. Mimosa Mall

8. Somerset Mall

Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Tracklisting















Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) will be released on July 24, 2012 | Sony Legacy

Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is a film about hope, inspiration and the resonating power of music. In the late ’60s, two celebrated producers who were struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics discovered a musician in a Detroit bar. They recorded an album that they believed was going to secure his reputation as one of the greatest recording artists of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, it became a phenomenon. Two South African fans then set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation led them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez. This soundtrack consists of a selection of songs featured in the film but originally found on Rodriguez’s records COLD FACT and COMING FROM REALITY. –


1. Sugar Man
2. Crucify Your Mind
3. Cause
4. I Wonder
5. Like Janis
6. This Is Not A Song, It’s An Outburst: Or, The Establishment Blues
7. Can’t Get Away
8. I Think Of You
9. Inner City Blues
10. Sandrevan Lullaby – Lifestyles
11. Street Boy
12. A Most Disgusting Song
13. I’ll Slip Away
14. Jane S. Piddy

Unworldly Beauty – Springbok Nude Girls (via 1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf)

Unworldly Beauty – Springbok Nude Girls Unworldly Beauty – Springbok Nude Girls (The clue is in the title) ‘Unworldly Beauty’ is one of the Springbok Nude Girl’s quieter songs. It begins with a laid back, semi-mournful trumpet led intro that has a slight 70’s feel to it and it returns to this riff throughout the song. Theo Crous’ guitar is kept in check by some lush orchestral … Read More

via 1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Soul Smiles

From Mahala

Monday, July 26th, 2010 by Duduzile Mathebula, images by Claire McNulty

Blk Sonshine at the Alexander Theatre somehow manage to transcend the venue’s rich ambience. It says a lot. Right in the heart of Braamfontein’s student district, by day the place bustles with workers and thousands of locals who live in the surrounding high rises. And by night the new middle class colonizes the streets: visible, boisterous and good-natured they trek here for sounds like no other.

Blk Sonshine is Masauko Chipembere and Neo Muyanga. Their first eponymous release came out in 1998. After ten-years, during which the duo split apart, one to the States, the other to Slaapstad, they released their second album, Good Life. They blend soulful melodies and percussive flurries over an acoustic flow evoking hip hop, jazz and folk among other traditional African influences.

The Alexander auditorium was happily full on the night. First up was Bongeziwe Mabandla, an up and comer, who dazzled with nothing besides a voice and a guitar, sincerely setting the tone for the show. After him was Two-parts Black who have rapturously diverting harmonies, then Tumi Molekane, poet turned MC, joined in. With spryly conscious rhymes and velvet lyricism, he was always going to be a crowd pleaser.  Then Blk Sonshine took over. I had to recline in my seat and take in the music. It was like a show tailored just for me. The band played a set list right out of my dreams. “Borders”, “Born in a Taxi”, “Building” and “Crazy,” – all firm favourites. Painter Nico Pocco – who did the covers for both their albums – dressed in a dashiki and white pants busied himself with canvas and paint (dirtying his pants). Soon an abstract painting emerged. The artist who has been with them from the beginning is a testament to the band’s easygoing commitment to keeping in touch with their roots. You’ve got to love that.

There’s sometimes a moment when audience and band are in unison live. Brought on by a familiar note, a gesture or a shared something in a song. At this show that moment happened during the tantric “Soul Smile”. Helped by its acoustic sparseness which enables intimacy as the vocals sink foxily in.

Songs from The Good Life made the crowd beam. It’s a much praised and understandably loved release. Watching the duo effortlessly interact with the audience, I was struck again by how consummate they are at winning a crowd, hatching a vibe and filling a room. The highlight for me was when Tumi returned with the rather dull MXO (who at this stage should like totally retire or completely renovate his sound). Along with Two Parts Black they all performed “Nkosi”. Masauko helpfully explained that Nkosi has a double meaning: “It means you know God for all those who believe, or just plain Thanks for anyone who doesn’t.”

The night came to a euphoric close with the song “Bahlalefi” (Sotho for “wise people”) from the first album. It seemed an appropriate end to a show dedicated, movingly, to the memory of Robbie Jansen and the dear departed Busi Mhlongo. Blk Sonshine are carrying the fire. We should thank them.

Warrick Sony unleashes his latest Kalahari Surfers album

Kalahari Surfers - One Party State Album Cover
One Party State by Kalahari Surfers

One Party State (Lester Gabang):

Warrick Sony, fresh back from the African Soul Rebels tour (12 cities across the UK with 2 other West African bands) unleashes his latest Kalahari Surfers album. This one features heavy dubstep style wobbly-bass-groove tracks and cut up voice samples from some of poet Lesego Rampolokeng’s performances. Themes tackle some of the bizarre aspects of living in a third world banana republic (nothing specific though always hinted) – the track “A New Kind of Leader” features a woman voice saying these words in an atmosphere of twisted electro uncertainty “He was a new kind of leader / He spoke simply Everyone could understand / He was a man of the people / He had his own vision For boys and girls“. Danceble and simultaneously unsettling.

A lot of the tracks are strangely scary or haunting while they do underscore some of the current South African terrors and dilemmas. Hugely danceable the title track, One Party State, is almost a Krumping classic with crowd chant and a megaphonic voice samples. The album is a return to a shorter ‘song’ format with lots of radio and TV voice cut ups and one haunting song Twin Peaks type song which includes the lyric “good people have left / criminals have rights.” The most powerfully political album since their 80’s Recommended Records releases ‘One Party State’ is a musical tour de force of the variables of a fallible democracy.

Available at Rhythm Music Store

SA music conference returns with digital theme for 2010


Cape Town

3 February 2010: Music Exchange, South Africa’s first independent music conference returns for round two in March 2010. The conference which has made huge waves in the South African music industry will be held on March 22 and 23 at Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa in Cape Town. In line with the ever-changing landscape of the music industry globally, a strong digital theme will be an integral part of the keynote talks and panel discussions that are scheduled for this year’s event.

The highlight this year is the keynote address by Charles Goldstuck. The CEO of Touchtunes and former COO of Sony Music will be flying out from New York City for a day to share his knowledge of the evolving music arena from a global point of view. Other speakers and panellists include Jake Larson, the Head of Music for MEA for Nokia Music, Peter Lacey, Managing Director of Musketeer Records, Yoel Kennan founder of Keevision and South African music legend Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse, who is on board as a partner in the Music Exchange entity.

“South Africa has some of the best talent in the world but we have to up our game with strong business acumen from everyone involved in putting a record out there,” said Martin Myers, founder of Music Exchange. “The aim of the conference is to empower people in the industry with the tools and knowledge to assist in making a success of their creative efforts and our long-term vision is to put South African music on the global map.”

Topics of discussion this year include an overview of the changing revenue landscape and a specific look at needle-time; the physical side of digital that will focus on all the different media available and how one should approach a web marketing strategy; and an intimate look at how some of South Africa’s most successful bands interact with their fan bases through traditional and digital methods.


There is an optional third day to the conference where delegates will be able to attend half-day workshops. These will cover more in-depth topics on the contract by top industry lawyer Nick Matzuckis and the digital arena by digital marketing expert Brian Currin.

Demos encouraged

This year delegates are encouraged to bring demo copies of their work to hand out to the bouquet of industry movers and shakers who will make themselves available to offer strategic insights and advice. There will be a showcase evening on the second night and delegates are requested to submit their demos for consideration and 5 performing artists will be given the opportunity to perform in front of some of the biggest names in the music industry in South Africa.

Music Exchange is the brainchild of Martin Myers, a long standing music industry publicist and Peter Lacey, the Managing Director of Musketeer Records. The inaugural conference was held in March 2009 and was sold out within days of it being announced.

Peter Lacey, Musketeer Records and Martin Myers, founder of Music Exchange.

For more information contact Martin Myers

Founder, Music Exchange 083 448 4475

About Music Exchange

Music Exchange is South Africa’s first independent music conference and is the brainchild of industry professionals Martin Myers, a long standing industry publicist, and Peter Lacey, MD of Musketeer Records with the creative input of communications specialists Total Media, the innovators behind successful sister conference Fashion Exchange +27. The 2 day conference is jam-packed with keynote talks and panel discussions and delegates will have access to over 20 big shots in the South African and international music arena. From contract discussions to the age of digital delivery and beyond, the conference aims to give budding musicians, singers, songwriters, promoters etc. an insight into the workings of the business as well as the opportunity to ask hard hitting questions of those professionals who “know it all”! For more information click to


Tickets are available through for R1,250 for two days and R750 for the optional third day of workshops. Delegates who attended Music Exchange 2009 will be given a special price of R1,000 for the two days.

AC/DC: Iron Man 2 Album on Monday April 19, 2010

AC/DC Iron Man 2

Los Angeles, CA. January 28, 2010 – Through a unique collaboration between Marvel Studios and Columbia Records, AC/DC’s music will be featured in Marvel Studios’ “IRON MAN 2,” the sequel to the 2008 blockbuster film. In addition, Columbia Records will release the album AC/DC: Iron Man 2 on Monday, April 19, 2010. AC/DC: Iron Man 2, features 15 classic AC/DC songs selected from ten of the band’s studio albums, ranging from 1976 to 2008. The complete track listing can be found below.

The film opens internationally beginning on April 28, 2010 and in the U.S. the film is scheduled for release on May 7, 2010.

The debut video from AC/DC: Iron Man 2 is the AC/DC’s classic album cut Shoot To Thrill,” which was filmed live last month in Buenos Aires during the band’s highly acclaimed Black Ice World Tour, the secondhighest grossing world tour of 2009 according to concert industry trade publication Pollstar. The video also incorporates exclusive footage from “IRON MAN 2” and debuts today worldwide. Check and for more information. “Shoot To Thrill” was originally recorded for the band’s 50-million selling album Back In Black, one of the best selling albums of all time.

“Jon Favreau’s vision and passion for AC/DC’s music blend seamlessly into this incredible film” said Steve Barnett, co-chairman of Columbia Records. “The music really underscores the high energy and excitement of the film.”

“Music is an integral part of the Tony Stark and Iron Man experience, and we are pleased that Columbia and AC/DC are taking part in the franchise’s phenomenon. Through this relationship, the band is delivering fans supercharged Iron Man branded music through all our combined consumer touch points, from the movie to retail outlets and even virally with the debut of the new video,” said Tim Connors, Chief Operating Officer, Marvel Studios.

Jon Favreau returns to direct “IRON MAN 2,” with Robert Downey Jr. reprising his starring role as the larger-than-life leading character, along with Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Samuel L. Jackson.

Based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero, “IRON MAN 2” continues the story of 2008’s box office smash hit “IRON MAN,” which grossed nearly $600 million worldwide, and was the first feature film produced independently by Marvel Studios. “IRON MAN 2” is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President, Kevin Feige.

AC/DC: Iron Man 2 Track Listing:

  1. Shoot to Thrill
  2. Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation
  3. Guns for Hire
  4. Cold Hearted Man
  5. Back in Black
  6. Thunderstruck
  7. If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)
  8. Evil Walks
  9. T.N.T.
  10. Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be
  11. Have a Drink on Me
  12. The Razor’s Edge
  13. Let There Be Rock
  14. War Machine
  15. Highway to Hell

About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics). Marvel’s strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world, including feature films, consumer products, toys, video games, animated television, direct-to-DVD and online. For more information visit

About Columbia Records

One of the most respected and successful record labels in the world, Columbia Records is home to established superstars and exciting new talent. Columbia Records is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment.

Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a roster of current artists that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America., Slash Remix The Who’s ‘My Generation’ For Haiti Charity Single

A fresh remix of The Who‘s “My Generation” is coming to raise money for Haitian earthquake relief.

The Black Eyed Peas‘ tells that he was commissioned to remix the iconic 1965 rock anthem, which will air during the Super Bowl XLIV broadcast on Feb. 7 — where the Who is performing at halftime — and then go on sale via iTunes. “It’s the Who, their song, and then I altered the lyric to fit my generation now and then have Slash on it,” says. “It was awesome. I loved that song way before this even came up, and talking to Pete Townshend on the phone is like, ‘What?! I’m talking to Pete Townshend on the phone?!’ That was awesome, being able to just hear their advice and everything. Those guys are just awesome.”

The “My Generation” remix will be part of a big month for and company as the Peas head to the Grammy Awards, where they’re up for six trophies, including Album of the Year for “The E.N.D.” and Record of the Year for “I Gotta Feeling.” won’t hazard a guess on how many they’ll win, however; “I don’t want to jinx it,” he says with a laugh.

The group is also gearing up for the Feb. 14 launch of a world tour that will stretch into the spring of 2011. “We’re turning the whole arena into a club,” he says. “It’s like futuristic partying on stage — robots and androids and funky beats, crazy lights and lasers, crazy costumes, subwoofers, like just bass in yo’ face!…AEG’s doing this tour with us, and when they came to see the (rehearsal) they were like, ‘Wow, you guys got more stuff than Michael (Jackson), so that felt pretty good.” He says the set list will encompass everything, including earlier hits such as “Let’s Get Started,” “Where is the Love” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” says all of the shows will be recorded and show on his Dipdive Internet platform. He also hints that some new Peas music may surface during the course of the tour. “We’ve got some tricks up our sleeves for something as early as June,” he says, noting that it will be a recording but declining to specify further because “I just don’t want the group to get mad at me. I’d rather say it as a group.”

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.



Elvis 75 Commemorates 75th Birthday Of Elvis Presley On January 8, 2010

From Martin Myers

25 digitally restored masters includes “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Love Me Tender,” “All Shook Up,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “It’s Now Or Never,” “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” “In The Ghetto,” “Suspicious Minds,” “Burning Love” – and more!

Full-color booklet includes photos and essay

Available at both physical and digital retail outlets starting January 5, 2010, through RCA/Legacy

Kicks off year-long slate of Elvis Presley catalog releases and coincides with 75th birthday celebration with Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley at Graceland in Memphis, January 7-10, 2010

In February, “Viva ELVIS” by Cirque du Soleil® opens exclusively in a custom-built theatre at ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter, Las Vegas. Lavish spectacular created in partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises and CKX, Inc. Ticket and show schedule information available at

More than six decades have elapsed since the post-war stirrings that oozed from the primordial swamp of American southern hillbilly boogie, country and western, race music, and rhythm and blues – a gumbo stew that grabbed musicians and singers by the scruff of the neck, and led them kicking and screaming through the birth of rock and roll. There are Great Man Theories and Big Bang Theories that perennially try to pinpoint the fountainhead from which it all sprang loose. Yet it always comes back to Memphis, and always comes back to one man: The King Of Rock And Roll.

Elvis Aron Presley, born January 8, 1935, died August 16, 1977, age 42. In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Elvis’ birth – to be celebrated on January 8, 2010 – comes a new 25-track collection of his most well-known songs, ELVIS 75. This single CD follows the December release of the career-spanning 4CD box set, ELVIS 75: GOOD ROCKIN’ TONIGHT. Both titles are produced by long-time Elvis chronicler and biographer Ernst Mikael Jørgensen. ELVIS 75 will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets starting January 5, 2010, through RCA/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

As the year continues, RCA/Legacy will unveil a full slate of Elvis Presley catalog title reissues and compilations. (In July 2009, RCA/Legacy released a special expanded 40th anniversary Legacy Edition of 1969’s From Elvis In Memphis, his legendary sessions at Chip Moman’s American Studios that yielded the comeback hit singles “In the Ghetto,” “Suspicious Minds,” “Don’t Cry Daddy” and “Kentucky Rain.”)

The release of ELVIS 75 coincides with a 4-day celebration of his 75th birthday, January 7-10th, centered at the Graceland estate, outside of Memphis. Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley are set to take part in the celebration. In addition to the annual birthday proclamation ceremony on the front lawn of Graceland, events will include parties, dances, and panel discussions. For further information, please go to

In February, “Viva ELVIS” by Cirque du Soleil® opens exclusively in a custom-built theatre at ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter, Las Vegas. This lavish stage spectacular was created in partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises and CKX, Inc. “Viva ELVIS” is a harmonious fusion of dance, acrobatics and live music, and a tribute to the life and music of Elvis Presley. Nostalgia, modernity and raw emotion provide the backdrop for his immortal voice and the exhiliration and beauty of his music. Created in the image of The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll – powerful, sexy, whimsical, truly unique and larger than life – the show highlights an American icon who transformed popular music and whose image embodies the freedom, excitement and turbulence of his era. Significant moments in the artist’s life – intimate, playful and grandiose – blend with the timeless songs that remain as relevant today as when they first hit the top of the charts. “Viva ELVIS” focuses on the essential humanity of the one superstar whose name will forever be linked with the history of Las Vegas and the entire world of entertainment: Elvis Presley. Ticket and show information is available now at or by phone at 877.253.5847 or 702.531.2031.

From the moment in early 1956 when Elvis’ first string of hits on RCA Victor proclaimed his arrival on the old ‘Top 100’ – “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Hound Dog,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Love Me Tender” – there were 17 chart titles in 1956 alone – his hammerlock on rock and roll was unquestioned, his influence on the destiny of all popular music about to be engraved in stone. Even after the Beatles’ conquest started in 1964, and the revolution of Bob Dylan in 1965, Elvis continued his reign on the charts, slotting nearly four dozen songs on the Hot 100 from 1964 to 1969.
As compiled by Joel Whitburn, Elvis is the top-ranked Hot 100 male artist (by far!) of the 1950s and ’60s – and the only act (male, female, or group) ever to be top-ranked #1 for two separate decades. Elvis holds unassailable records for the Most Chart Hits (151), Most Top 40 Hits (104), Most RIAA Platinum Hits (28), Most RIAA Gold Hits (24), and Most Weeks Charted (1,598).
In Jørgensen’s book Elvis Presley: A Life In Music (St. Martin’s Press, 1998), his indispensable guide to The Complete Recording Sessions (as the book is subtitled), the author concludes his text by reflecting on the success of RCA’s groundbreaking 1992 box set, The King Of Rock ’N’ Roll: The Complete ’50s Masters:

By that time, in our worldwide culture, the name Elvis Presley had become its own definition, requiring no other point of reference, embodying all the contradictions, all the anomalies, and all the beauty that his music at its best had achieved. “We will never agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis,” declared writer Lester Bangs with the doleful romanticism of a 27-year old when he heard the news of the death. And what we agreed on most was his music.

(RCA/Legacy 88697 60626 2)

Title Chart(s) From album or detail Rec.___
1. That’s All Right – For LP Fans Only 7/5/54
2. I Forgot To Remember To Forget C#1 A Date With Elvis 7/21/55
3. Heartbreak Hotel H#1, C#1, R#3 Elvis’ Golden Records 1/10/56
4. Blue Suede Shoes H#20 Elvis Presley 1/30/56
5. Hound Dog H#1, C#1, R#1 Elvis’ Golden Records 7/2/56
6. Don’t Be Cruel H#1, C#1, R#1 Elvis’ Golden Records 7/2/56
7. Love Me Tender H#1, C#3, R#3 Elvis’ Golden Records 8/24/56
8. Love Me H#2, C#10, R#7 Elvis 9/1/56
9. All Shook Up H#1, C#8, R#1 Elvis’ Golden Records 1/12/57
10. Jailhouse Rock H#1, C#1, R#1 Elvis’ Gold Records Vol. 2 4/30/57
11. Trouble – King Creole o.s. 1/15/58
12. It’s Now Or Never H#1, R#7 Elvis’ Golden Records Vol. 3 4/3/60
13. Are You Lonesome Tonight? H#1, C#22, R#3 Elvis’ Golden Records Vol. 3 4/3/60
14. Little Sister H#5 Elvis’ Golden Records Vol. 3 6/25/61
15. Can’t Help Falling In Love H#2, AC#1 Blue Hawaii 3/23/61
16. Viva Las Vegas H#29 50 Worldwide Gold Awards 7/10/63
17. How Great Thou Art – How Great Thou Art 5/25/66
18. Guitar Man H#43 Clambake 9/10/67
19. If I Can Dream H#12 Elvis – TV Special 6/23/68
20. In The Ghetto H#3, C#60 From Elvis In Memphis 1/20/69
21. Suspicious Minds H#1, AC#4 50 Worldwide Gold Awards 1/22/69
22. Polk Salad Annie (live) – On Stage 2/18/70
23. An American Trilogy (live) H#69 Elvis Aron Presley 6/16/72
24 Burning Love H#2 Burning Love And Hits 3/28/72
From His Movies
25. Always On My Mind C#16 Separate Ways 3/29/72

Tracks 1 and 2 originally issued as Sun Records single sides, all other tracks originally issued on RCA.
Bold Title indicates track included on ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits.
C indicates Billboard Top Country Songs chart
H indicates Billboard Hot 100 chart
R indicates Billboard Hot R&B chart
S indicates Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales chart

Download Elvis Presley MP3s at Rhythm Music Store

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.

Rock Of Ages Radio – Playlists for 5th & 12th November 2009

  • Playlist – 12th November 2009
    Benjy Mudie
    12 Nov 2009


    Artist Track Album Label Year
    Motley Crue Kickstart my heart Dr Feelgood Universal Music 1984
    Europe Gonna get ready Last look at Eden Next Music 2009
    Chickenfoot Turning left Chickenfoot Edel Records / Next Music 2009
    Mountain Mr Tambourine Man Masters of War Big Rack Records 2007
    Mastodon Crack the skye Crack the skye Reprise Records / Gallo Music 2009
    Living Colour What’s your favourite colour? Vivid Epic Records / Sony Music 1988
    The Isley Brothers Climbin’ up the ladder Go for your guns Epic Records / Sony Music 1977
    Eric Gales Cut and run The story of my life Blues Bureau Records 2009
    Jon Butcher Axis Writing on the wall King Biscuit Hour Live King Biscuit Records 1987
    The Headpins Breakin’ down Turn it loud Solid Gold Records 1982
    Coverdale / Page Shake my tree Coverdale / Page Geffen Records / Universal Music 1993
    Rush Limelight Moving Pictures Universal Music 1987
    Scatterbrain Down the road Scamboogery Elektra Records / Gallo Music 1991
    Wishbone Ash Vas Dis Wishbone Ash MCA Records 1970
    Big Brother & The Holding Company Joseph’s coat Be a brother Evangeline Records 1970
    Cream World of pain Disraeli Gears Polydor Records / Universal Music 1967
    Atomic Rooster I cant take no more Death walks behind you Sanctuary Records 1970
    Rhinoceros When you say you’re sorry Rhinoceros Elektra Records / Gallo Music 1969
    Otis Waygood Blues Band Fever Otis Waygood Blues Band Fresh Music 1970
    Humble Pie I don’t need no doctor Rocking the Fillmore A&M Records / Universal Music 1971
    AC / DC The Jack If you want blood you got it Epic Records / Sony Music 1978
    Blodwyn Pig See my way Getting to this BGO Records 1970
    Wild Turkey Butterfly Battle Hymn Mason Records 1971
    Jethro Tull Nothing is easy Stand Up Chrysalis Records 1969
    Blossom Toes Kiss of confusion If only for a moment Sunbeam Records 1969
    The Moody Blues Legend of a mind In search of a lost chord Decca Records / Universal Music 1968
    Caravan C’lu Thlu For girls who grow plump in the night Decca Records / Universal Music 1973
    Boys Club A whiter shade of pale Live from California Next Music 2008
    Creedence Clearwater Revival As long as I can see the light Cosmos Factory Fantasy Records / Universal Music 1970
    Dan Patlansky Namaste / Love City Move my soul Next Music 2009
    John Lee Hooker Funky Mabel Face to Face Eagle Records 2006
    Jeff Beck A day in the life Live at Ronnie Scotts Eagle Records / Next Music 2008
    Farryl Purkiss Man of alibi Fruitbats and crows Sheer Music 2009

  • Playlist – 5th November 2009
    Benjy Mudie
    5 Nov 2009


    Artist Track Album Label Year
    King’s X Looking for love Ear Candy Atlantic Records / Gallo Music 1996
    Deep Purple Bloodsucker Deep Purple in Rock Harvest Records / EMI Records 1970
    Led Zeppelin Whole lotta love Led Zeppelin 2 Atlantic Records / Gallo Music 1969
    Mountain Mississippi Queen Climbing Columbia Records / Sony Music 1969
    Jericho Featherbed Jericho A&M Records / Universal Music 1972
    Budgie Crash course in brain surgery In for the kill MCA Records 1974
    Buckcherry Highway star Rock Songbook Vol.2 Classic Rock 2009
    Lynyrd Skynyrd Skynyrd Nation God and Guns Roadrunner Records / DGR 2009
    Skunk Anansie Tear the place up Smashes and Trashes Just Music 2009
    Frost Welcome to nowhere Experiments in mass appeal SPV / Inside Out Records 2008
    Dream Theater A rite of passage Black Clouds and Silver Linings Roadrunner Records / DGR 2009
    Pink Floyd Money Dark side of the moon Harvest Records / EMI Records 1974
    Vanilla Fudge Shotgun Psychedelic Sundae Rhino Records 1968
    Triumph Be my lover In the beginning Universal Music 1978
    Freedoms Children Seahorse Galactic Vibes Fresh Music 1972
    Iron Butterfly In-a-gadda-da-vida In-a-gadda-da-vida Rhino Records 1968
    Badlands High Wire Badlands Atlantic Records / Gallo Music 1989
    Cinderella Shake me Rocked, Wired & Bluesed Universal Music 1986
    Fastway Misunderstood All fired up Columbia Records / Sony Music 1984
    Rainbow All night long Down to earth Polydor Records 1979
    Ted Nugent Cat Scratch Fever Great Gonzos Epic Records / Sony Music 1984
    Soundgarden Spoonman Superunknown A&M Records / Universal Music 1994
    The Black Crowes Hard to handle Greatest Hits Sony Music 1990
    The Rolling Stones Brown sugar Hot Licks Universal Music 1970
    The Fixx Saved by zero Greatest Hits MCA Records 1983
    Harry “The Hipster” Gibson Who put the Benzedrine …. Chemical Components Mojo Music 1946
    Ronnie Montrose Heads Up Open Fire Warner Bros / Gallo Music 1978
    Mike Slamer Perfect Circle Nowhere Land Frontiers Records 2006
    Proto-Kaw Melicus Gladiator The Wait of Glory SPV / Inside Out Records 2006
    Camel Sahara Rajaz Toff Records 1999
    Anthony Gomes Music is the medicine Music is the medicine Adrenaline Records 2006
    Dion Hoodoo Man Blues Son of Skip James Verve Records 2007
    The Hootchie Kootchie Men Lonesome traveller blues Live at The Basement Next Music 2008
    The Steepwater Band No good for me Brother to the snake Evangeline Records 2005
    Fairport Convention Meet me on the ledge Unhalfbricking Island Records 1969
    Santana Europa Amigos Columbia Records / Sony Music 1976

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