Tuesday, August 16, 2011



Be still my beating heart!! One of my favourite performing artistes is in South Africa. And she is performing at the hip & happening venue Tanz Cafe, and I have a ticket. One of my dearest friends and most kindred musical spirit and I are going to see Michelle Shocked!

We have to face it, we are star-struck. We have listened to, related to and idolised the amazing story teller, song writer and singer. We have sung her songs. All of them. For the last 25 years. We are transported back to our days of guitar plucking, perfect ideals, peace on earth....we are back in our magic yesteryears. Hey ‘Chell, we were wild then....ah....nostalgia!

And finally, we are in the car, on our way, tittering and gibbering and shaking with anticipation.

Kindred spirit friend receives an SMS from someone in-the-know at the venue : Michelle may not perform. Please wait.

We go anyway. We will camp outside. We will picket. We will see this performance. Superstars don’t do this one hour prior to doors open, do they? Nah.....

The line-up, as advertised, is GHAPI (and let us be perfectly honest now ladies, we’ve have all had some sort of crush on the singing drummer dude at some stage in the last 2 decades, or at the very least, coveted his wild mane of blonde curls), and then, oh yes, MICHELLE SHOCKED.

We get into the venue. OK....exhale.....Michelle will perform, but she will go on first. We are so very excited, so revved up, so expectant....we surely know the very heart and soul of this woman. We have LIVED her every song. She is our universal soul sister.

Michelle Shocked is a hugely gifted performer. She tries to (and mostly does) connect with her audience through her stories, her music, her belting raw and beautiful vocals, and her absolute presence and ownership of the stage. Her music is real. It comes from her soul, you know? In-your-face lyrics. Say it, sister!

Sadly, this angel from our past seemed very disconnected and removed from this country when she tried to entice from us, her host Africans, a confession (if you will) of our demons that she veritably insisted were still lurking from pre-1994. Our “elephants”. Huh? A little nerve went “twang” in my head. Was I misreading her tirade on apartheid and bigotry and slavery and Bush and Obama and people who judge and discrimination and big-haired Texan women and femininity and originality and sexuality and conspiracies, the all white audience, (she’s Michelle Shocked, she’s in South Africa and she’s surprised? I’m thinking this chick is lucky that anyone knows her at all) the brotherhood of man, our universal family, and....and....and..... I thought she should add “condescending” to the list....thankfully no one asked me. At this early stage of the evening it would be like standing up at a dinner party and saying loudly “I DON’T LIKE DOGS”.

Trying valiantly to let this bizarre new energy wash over us, her vocal performance was still great. Not so much the band, though. Oh make no mistake, Michelle Shocked had some cream SA musicians backing her, but it was completely obvious to any Shocked fan that only one member of the band actually knew her music. Michelle has a quirky off-beat funky feel in all her songs. You might get away with calling most of it “blues” (if you had to give it a label). But if you tried to actually play it in a standard “twelve bar blues” way, you would be off the mark. Right off the mark. The music would lose the Shocked-ness. And that is exactly what happened.

Now in-between all of this; the disturbing undertone of bitterness, the shoddily rehearsed band, the tacky sound check.....(and I tried not to, I swear I tried not to)....I overheard a few reasons that Michelle almost didn’t perform. Hairs that I didn’t even know I had stood on end.

And as the night wore on, the beautiful songs that connected us to our idyllic and ill-spent youth started to sound loud and aggressive and “eina”. It wasn’t the music so much as the persona that left us feeling, well, betrayed I guess. Toxic nostalgia.
One sideways glance at my kindred musical friend and I knew that her memories were crumbling like mine. We were losing a piece of something we knew we would never regain.

Dotted throughout the evening was Michelle’s constant reminder that people often say “just shut up and sing”. Lady, take the advice. No really, TAKE THE ADVICE!

Now here follows folks, the piece de resistance of the final demise of a musical demi-goddess, in my humble opinion, of course. Now picture the scene.....

At the end of her show, she said they very nearly didn’t perform because of a “double booking by mistake”. She told us that she had to leave the stage “because another band, um...”......(awkward silence – you know the kind?).......leans over to bass player with a “quick tell me” look.....(another awkward silence – you getting the picture?).......”nope, didn’t get that”, leans closer to bass player who by this time is yelling into her ear (for FS, even I can hear him by now).....( I kid you not, another dramatic pause)......and finally......she spits out – “oh yes, GHAPI is going to play for you”.

You all know this moment I am talking about....a moment where you go...WTF? Did I actually just see that? No really.....WHAT THE F*CK??????????????

She had committed the unforgiveable sin. She had publically tried to humiliate another performer. Is this what I dragged myself from the “rustig” Magaliesburg for? Risking personal injury with Jozi road rage, potential road blocks so “sorry, no Jagies for me”? Did she really just insult one of our own?

And with a flourish and a fond farewell she left the stage in a puff of peace and light (give me strength), with the band playing their twelve-bar-blues in the background.

And the band played on. The audience called for an encore. And Michelle stayed put. Time passed, a stupendously embarrassing time for her band and the audience, and she was very clearly NOT coming back out (duh, she had locked the band room door behind her on her dramatic exit). How much twelve-bar-blues can you listen to? It starts to scratch, you know? To grate on your last bloody aching nerve when all you’ve had to drink is an Appletizer.

Then suddenly on stage, this huge presence, this giant of a man has commandeered her microphone and is SINGING. Is this part of the act? And the band plays on. What else can they do? Off the cuff this man is praising Michelle with his voice in song. With as much passion and energy as the woman herself gave us just moments before. He serenades her talent, her unsurpassed poetry, her magnificent performance, the legend that she is. Thanking her and asking...nay BEGGING her to come back on stage. She needs to give us more of her Shocked-ness, because we love her.

Another one of those WTF moments is hitting me. The man on stage....it’s GHAPI! A white Praise Singer? UBUNTU! With this one offering, he is saving an entire evening that really should have gone to hell. And I am proudly South African. If I had a flag, I would wave it. Hell, I’d paint the f*cking thing on my face!

Ms Shocked came back. She had to. If you know our drummer-singer, he’s large and in charge. No chance of saying no to him....even if you have barricaded the band room door behind your sorry self.

Sigh. Enough of that. She did some more songs and the band completely missed the essence of the last number “If Love was a Train” (did someone bother to give the drummer her original track??).....performance over.

Moving gaily forward however, GHAPI’s performance rocked. Powerful, electric – the stuff that makes your gut throb. Singer/drummer Phillip gave me a “we’re not worthy” moment. (Thanks for lending Michelle Shocked’s drummer your kit babe, mega professional courtesy!) The lead guitarist and bass player were wicked. Polished, edgy, tight – styling synergy, killer band!

Note to self : Sister, you don’t have to go far to be star struck.....it’s happening here in Jozi!

GHAPI –Renewed respect dude. For your awesome talent, but especially for your professional grace. Local is lekker – VIVA!

MICHELLE SHOCKED – If your intention was to ‘Chell Shock us, you surely did! Next time, please just shut up and sing!


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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Eish but it's cold - Passion-Killer cold!

I'm not too sure what makes a 4x4 splutter and fart, and backfire louder than a 38 special, but ours is doing that.  Couple to this loud jerky travel machine, 30cm flames that shoot out the side every 20 seconds when we drive into the town.  Sigh.  I've been trying to sit low and hide behind my Raybans, but I've realised this is a futile attempt at anonymity.  People know its us.  DUH!
Today it is well below freezing and our goose pond is a solid block of ice.  I know it is solid because I rested a full box of biscuits on it, and the man's favourite pen.  I could probably have sat on it myself.  The wind is bringing down the temperature too (as well as 4 of my glass lanterns which were hanging outside).  Some of our windows still don't have latches, and there is a round window in the lounge that has been too high and too oddly shaped to replace.  And of course.....ta-ra...no electricity!
I now dress according to my station in life which is plotta-ma-plotter girl, or squatter farm lady.  And I care not.
Bring it on, Mother Nature, I can still add copious layers of socks, spencers, long-johns and hats!  At least if I fall down on the iced up ground, I'll probably bounce right back up, like the Michelen Man!
And gimme an Old Brown Sherry, dammit....


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Love Through Thick and Thin ?

Last week I received a request from a journalist wanting to write an article in a popular woman's magazine titled "Love Through Thick and Thin". The basic content was meant to uplift and inspire the reader.

She was looking to write about someone, anyone, who had become disabled while being in a mutually exclusive relationship, and how the partner/spouse continued to love and support the previously able-bodied person. How their unconditional love enabled the gimp to carry on. How great and awe-inspiring must such a love be.....to stand by the disabled, to not leave when the going got tough. Love through thick and thin.....

What a crock!

My question would be - Why would losing a limb, or losing the ability to walk, inspire any kind of greater love? Surely we must be talking sympathy......(not empathy).....and are we offering up some kind of noddy-badge-medal to the person who does not walk away, who stops loving...who refuses to see the disabled as half-brained or half the person they were before.

I am looking forward to reading this "inspirational" article. I would like to see just how they portray this unconditional love. And more importantly, how they portray the newly disabled person.

I did ask nicely that the journalist be wary of showing us gimps in a poor and weak light. I am wondering if she could.....

Pffffft!!!!! Love through thick and thin indeed!

My most humble and personal opinion of course....


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Just received a call from my CP (arty leg-man). He is going to climb Kilimanjaro (only Africa's highest mountain) with Heinz (only a pro-athlete).

He asked me if I wanted to go along.....
Then I realised he was serious...... !!

Hell's bells, talk about nutters! Lawdy lawd, the only reason I believe that WALKING is still considered appropriate excercise, is that one has to, by some means, get from the front door to the car!!!!!

Taken from http://www.theherald.co.za/

Endurance amputee will climb for charity

DISABLED long-distance athlete Heinz Mueller and the trustees of the Kililane Sport Development Trust are going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to reach the Uhuru Peak in October.

The team members say they hope to boost the establishment of the Kililane Sport Development Trust for the benefit of the Eden community.

They hope to raise enough money to cover their costs and an additional R3-million for sport development.

“The whole idea of Kililane is to raise money and help those people who‘d like to take part in sport but don‘t have the means,” Mueller said yesterday.

Mueller, 49, lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident 26 years ago. Since then he has completed a full marathon and four Argus cycle tours.

“When I started to run I suffered from terrible infections because I didn‘t have the right prosthesis for running.

“I decided to climb Kilimanjaro for the challenge ... I want to know, for myself, that I can do it, even with one leg,” he said.

“I was a marathon runner before I lost my leg and last February I started to run again. Four months ago, while preparing for the Two Oceans marathon, I broke my hip when I fell off a mountain bike and I‘ve only just recovered recently.

“Now I‘m going to the gym three times a week, swimming and cycling to prepare for Kilimanjaro,” he added.

Mueller, who has two sons and a daughter aged between 21 and 27, moved to George to look after his elderly parents.

He will accompany Neels van Zyl and Lana Miles, both trustees of Kililane, on the trek up Kilimanjaro, which at 5895m, is Africa‘s highest mountain.

Yesterday Miles and Van Zyl said they were already involved in fund-raising initiatives, including offering businesses and individuals the opportunity to sponsor the climb at R1 per metre.

“The trust aims to create equal and quality sport opportunities for individuals, sport clubs, educational institutions and disabled people within the Eden district, which will facilitate a healthy lifestyle and instil human dignity,” they said.

The Kililane Sport Development Trust was established to assist previously disadvantaged sportsmen and women, disabled people, sports clubs and educational institutions with the promotion of equal and well-organised sporting events.

For more information on the initiative, visit http://kililane.co.za/

I'll be here with pom-poms, on my couch, cheering you guys all the way.....lol


Marshall Harmse & Brendon White win International Awards!!!!

Well done Marshall and Brendon!!!!! Awesome news!!!!

From "the Star ' Malasia
Monday June 9, 2008
Copyright (c) 1995-2008 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)
Managed by I.Star

S. African wins music awards

KUALA LUMPUR: Marshall Harmse, a contestant from South Africa, bagged the Best Composition prize at the Sounds of the Human World International Musical Composition Quest 2008. Singer Brendon White son of the late Alida White, a well known artist in South Africa took the coveted Best Vocalist award and cash prize for the same composition. They woved the audience of over three and a half thousand at the Plenary hall in a 2 hour live broadcast on A.E.G. channel Malasia.

Wanita MCA deputy chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun presented him the prize, which he won for his song "I Vow" at the event, organised by the Fo Guang Shan Affairs Committee, Malasia and Singapore here on Saturday.

Contestants from more than 20 countries, including Austria, Britain, Taiwan, South Korea, U.S.A., South Africa, Malaysia, Brazil and China took part in the competition.

Their compositions consisted of a range of musical styles such as soft rock, classical, folk, sentimental and new age .

The Sounds of the Human World was first launched in 2003.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tonya Koenderman, a shining star....

The show was THE CONVENT GIRLS RETURNS and it did a humble run in Durban at the Rhumbelow Theatre earlier this year.

Humble indeed!!!!

Our very own Tonya Koenderman has been nominated for not 1, but 3 awards.

1. Best performer in a musical revue
2. Best director for a musical revue
3. Best production for Convent Girls Returns

The awards ceremony will be held in Durban (am I invited?) on 26 November 2007.

All the best, my friend. But didn't we always know that you are one of our finest entertainers?? I surely did.....

Now if only I could get this silly Blog to allow me to post a pic.......

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tyrone Clarke

It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to Tyrone Clarke - a well-known and loved musician, producer and friend.

I'd like to blame bloody South Africa, but to my knowledge, it's the damn weather on Saturday 6 October 2007 that claimed him. And FUCK motorbikes!!!!!!!!!!!


I received this mail from my dear friend, Tonya Koenderman, on Monday the 8th. I'd like to share it with you.....

What would you do if your friend was gone tomorrow and you never told them how you felt? So I just want to say you are special to me and you've made a difference in my life. I look up to you, respect you and truely cherish you. Send this to me, and all your friends, no matter how close you are. Let old friends know you haven't forgotten them.

I never forwarded the message..........

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Animals in Distress

Did anyone catch PAT from Animals in Distress on Highveld yesterday morning? She got herself into the draw that everyone is buzzing about for the car, house and million bucks. It comes as NO surprise to me that my very dear (slightly demented) friend would do something like......rolling in a mound of horse poo in a feather boa and crazy fluffy slippers.

Pat is one of the most honest, profound, deeply passionate people I have had the pleasure to call my friend. Perhaps one day we will write a book on all of our schemes and travels throughout the years. Not the least will be when she fell off the pavement outside the Ritz in London under a taxi cab and sprained her foot and dirtied her jeans in the London muck. So much for us saving money on a bus....

All the best of British luck with this competition my Pats. There couldn't be a more deserving winner then you, and your animal friends.

I certainly owe my sanity (??) and slightly warped sense of humour to you! I will adore you forever!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Otherworld Soireé Circle - Syd Kitchen

Saturday 24 February 2007

It's been a long break (too long we think) since the last soireé circle event. Mainly due, says Sue Condie, to the stage being ripped apart by nature and not having the resources to fix it. But finally she is back on track. And they're starting the year off with a bang!

SYD KITCHEN is coming to perform!!!!

If you've never seen this master perform, don't miss this chance. If you have, well....you know what an amazing entertainer he is. He's up in Jozi to promote his new album, "Africa's Not For Sissies".

Bring a chair or a blanket and park around the fire and be entertained by Syd's own magic.

Otherworld (Mark and Sue) will be doing the support act after a year's break from performing together; a treat that Otherworld fans are really looking forward to.


Venue : Otherworld, plot 151, Beyer's Naude, Muldersdrift, JHB
Date : Saturday 24 February 2007
Tickets : R60 pp, kids under 12 free

Gates open 18h00, show starts 18h30.

FIRE DANCERS will add to the enchantment of the evening. And of course, we expect you to hang around long after the stage is closed to participate in the drumming circle which carries on into the wee hours of the morning.

Food and drinks available on the night, as well as secure and abundant parking facilities. There will be a stunning array of dream catchers and other artworks on sale too.

For further info (directions, booking your space, etc) contact Sue at otherworld@ananzi.co.za

And finally, from me to Otherworld.....about damn time. We've missed you!!

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Musician Jokes

Hi everyone, and a copious dose of "sorry" for not updating this blog spot for so long. Another year....let's hope it's a good one. Judging from the swing of things in 2006, it looks like live entertainment is on it's way up again after a few years of being really quiet on the corporate front.

Anyway....here are a few of my favourite musician jokes. Like they say, comedy is funny when it mirrors real life.

What happens if you play blues music backwards?

Your wife comes back and treats you okay, and you don't wake up in the morning.

What do you get when you cross a tuba player and a goalpost?

A goalpost that can't march!

How do you know when a trombone player is at your door?

The doorbell drags!

The singer says to her piano player : "I'd like to do 'My Funny Valentine' tonight, but how about we arrange it a little?"

The piano player says : "Ok, how about this; we do the first chorus in G minor, then modulate to G# minor for the second chorus in three quarter time, then modulate to A minor in three quarter time for the bridge, then cut off the last three bars."

She says : "That sounds complicated."

And the piano player says : "Well that's how you did it last night!"

Hey buddy, how late does the band play?

Oh, about half a beat behind the drummer!

What's the difference between a dead trombone player lying in the road and a dead squirrel lying in the road?

The squirrel might have been on his way to a job!

A seven year old kid says to his dad, "When I grow up, I want to be a musician."

The dad says, "Make up your mind!"

St. Peter is checking ID's. He asks a man, "What did you do on earth?"
The man says, "I was a doctor."

St. Peter says, "Ok, go right through those pearly gates. Next! What did you do on earth?"
The man says, "I was a school teacher."

"Go right through those pearly gates. Next? What did you do on earth?"
The man says, "I was a musician."

St. Peter says, "Go around the side, up the freight elevator, through the kitchen....."

Why do bagpipers always walk when they play?

To get away from the noise!

What do you get when you play New Age music backwards?

New Age music!

How many musician jokes are there?

Just one. All the rest are true!

Here's to a fabulous 2007! Let the music play on.....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tempo's Pub Idol Competition

Well, it's been running since the 19th of August and will finish at the end of October. Trevor and Cathy are putting up some wicked prize money (R20,000 for 1st place) and the place has been pumping for weeks. The competition was opened to everyone, from novice wannabe's to professional vocalists, so there's some great talent going down.

I am judging there this Saturday (30 September) from about 20h00, so if you're around, pull in and say hola. You can even buy me a zambucca if you ask nicely ...... :) It's nearly the end of the second heat, and the finals will run right through next month.

Tempo's is in Hans Strydom Drive, Kya Sands (Gauteng). I've lost count of the number of bars in the venue, and how many bands they have there over the weekend. Sometimes (mostly) it's a bit busy for me, but if you enjoy live bands and rave DJ's, then you should make a turn there.

We've seen Prime Circle, Mean Mr Mustard, Voodoo Child, Dr Vic, Gappie.....too many to mention. October will host 16 Stitch, White Rabbit, The Narrow, Fokofpolisiekar and more.

Got to give it up to Trevor - he knows how to work a venue.

See you there for an all-fall-down!

Monday, August 07, 2006

On a lighter note...music anecdotes...

Some Anecdotes taken from ANECDOTAGE.COM
Facts not checked, but we all know that the WWW is careful with it's facts - yes??

The Eagles: Like Hell
Shortly after the Eagles split up in 1981, Glenn Frey was asked when the band might be expected to reunite. "When hell freezes over," he tartly replied.

Sure enough, the band reunited in 1994 and began performing again. The name of their reunion tour? Hell Freezes Over!

Artur Schnabel was once amused to find an elderly woman in the front row sleeping right through one of his concerts. When she abruptly woke as the final ovation rang through the auditorium, Schnabel leaned over to apologize: "It was the applause, madame," he whispered. "I played as softly as I could."
Schnabel, Artur (1882-1951) Austrian pianist, noted for his interpretation of Beethoven

Exit Sandman
In May 2003, US interrogators in Baghdad revealed that they were using heavy metal songs to break Iraqi captives. Subjecting prisoners to long sessions of "culturally offensive" music, they explained, encouraged them to talk.

Among the interrogators' favourite tracks? The Drowning Pool's "Bodies" ("Let the bodies hit the floor, Let the bodies hit the floor, Let the bodies hit the flooooooor!") and Metallica's "Enter Sandman". ("Sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight!")...

Though interrogators also used the "Sesame Street" theme song and a selection of songs from Barney (the purple dinosaur), heavy metal was the preferred alternative. "These people haven't heard heavy metal before," US Army Sergeant Mark Hadsell explained. "They can't take it."

Diva's Playground
In a bid to improve her image as a self-centered diva one year, Diana Ross held a concert in New York's Central Park to raise money for a children's playground. In addition to $50,000 for security and $64,000 for airline tickets, the self-centered diva spent $12,000 on limousines and $47,000 on catering. The "charity event" wound up $500,000 in the red.

Ross reluctantly ponied up $250,000 of her own money to cover part of the shortfall.
Ross, Diane Ernestine ["Diana"] (1944- ) American Motown musician, actress, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (as a member of the Supremes, 1988)

Mother and Child
Paul Simon was once asked by a journalist about his "profound" song "Mother and Child Reunion". Simon's inspiration? A chicken and egg dish of the same name seen on the menu in a Chinese restaurant in New York!
Simon, Paul (1941- ) American musician

Sir Malcolm Sargent was once asked what one had to know in order to play the cymbals. "Nothing," he replied, "just when."
Sargent, Sir Malcolm (1895-1967) British conductor and organist, chief conductor at the London Promenade Concerts (1957-67)

King Alfonso: Tone-Deaf
King Alfonso XIII of Spain was so tone-deaf that he literally could not distinguish one song from another. Indeed, Alfonso once employed a so-called "anthem man" whose sole responsibility was to notify the king whenever the Spanish national anthem was being played, so that he could rise as protocol demanded.
Alfonso XIII, (1886-1941) Spanish monarch, King of Spain (1886–1931)

Lead Zeppelin?
One day the Who's late drummer Keith Moon told Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and the other members of a rival group that they'd "go over like a lead zeppelin." In a mockingly ironic move, they promptly adopted the term (Led Zeppelin) as the name of their band.

[According to some versions of this story, Moon used the words "lead balloon." According to the BBC, Led Zeppelin nearly named themselves... The Whoopee Cushion.]

Dizzy Osbourne
One day in 1991, Ozzy Osbourne arrived at a record store for an in-store promotion. The promotion went well (and according to plan). Unfortunately for Ozzy, however, the store was promoting Guns 'n' Roses.
Osbourne, Ozzy (1948- ) British musician, former Black Sabbath frontman

Celine Dion: Celine Dion Jokes
There is no shortage of jokes about Celine Dion's music. One day in 2002, for example, Conan O'Brien announced that, according to a Celine Dion fan site (celinedion.org), the singer's new CD-ROM could cause a user's computer to crash. "And if not," Conan added, "it could cause your computer to lose all respect for you."

Even Celine Dion occasionally made Celine Dion jokes. In April 2002, for example, she herself confessed that her 14-month-old baby, Rene-Charles, bawled whenever she broke into song!
Dion, Celine (1968- ) Canadian singer

Sugar Ray
"I've got the only job in the world," Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath once declared, "where every day I show up to work and there are three cases of beer and they encourage me to drink them."

Naturally, McGrath regularly made sure the band got drunk. "I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings," he explained. "I've got a little bit of class."
McGrath, Mark Sayers (1968- ) American musician, Sugar Ray frontman

Rock Journalism
Frank Zappa was not always delighted by his coverage in the music press. "I still think it's one of the smartest things I ever said," he once remarked: "'Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk in order to provide articles for people who can't read.'"
Zappa, Frank (1940-1993) American musician

Stage Dive
While performing at a concert in the summer of 1997, Iggy Pop jumped off the stage into the arms of his adoring fans. Unfortunately, his adoring fans parted like the red sea - and Pop landed on the ground, dislocated his shoulder, and had to cancel the rest of his tour.
Pop, Iggy [born James Jewel Osterberg] (1947- ) American musician

Though notoriously absentminded U2 frontman Bono Vox usually lost nothing more important than keys, money, socks, and underwear, he occasionally lost more significant articles. Shortly before entering the studio to record October in 1981, for example, Bono lost the lyrics to all of the album's songs.

The lost lyrics - which were stolen during a gig along with Bono's visa, some band photos, and other documents - were returned 24 years later, after they were found in the attic of a woman's home.
Bono Vox [born Paul Hewson], (1960- ) Irish musician, U2 frontman

Bad Review
Prince was no great fan of Michael Jackson's later work. "Michael Jackson's album was only called 'Bad,'" he once remarked, "because there wasn't enough room on the sleeve for 'Pathetic.'"
Jackson, Michael Joseph [King of Pop] (1958- ) American musician

Vanilla Ice: Singular Absurdity
In the early '90s, Robert Van Winkle {aka Vanilla Ice} was accused of stealing the unmistakable bass riff from the 1982 Queen/Bowie collaboration "Under Pressure" to anchor his hit song "Ice Ice Baby" (the lead single from his 1990 debut To the Extreme).

While the Ice man admitted that Bowie and Queen had not been credited, he had a convenient explanation: the riffs were not the same, he said, because he had added a single note.
Ice, Vanilla [born Robert Van Winkle] (1968- )

Neil Young: The Blob
"It's a wonder I wasn't dead after that show," Neil Young once confessed of the Band's 1976 farewell concert. "The things we did — Jesus Christ. The abuse [the backstage area was knee-deep cocaine], staying up 48 hours before the show... And I was still up when I got to 'The Last Waltz.'"

Martin Scorsese, who was shooting a documentary (The Last Waltz), was amused to observe that, in preliminary footage, a large blob of cocaine was clearly visible in Neil Young's nose. Though Scorsese and the Band's Robbie Robertson wanted the blob (which Young's manager, Elliot Roberts, likened to "a white M&M") left alone for added authenticity, Roberts demanded that it be removed. The blob was duly airbrushed by the best rotoscope technology which money could buy - at a cost of several thousand dollars. "It was," Robertson later moaned, "the most expensive cocaine I ever bought!"

(Ironically, the blob is still faintly visible in the film.)
Young, Neil (1945- ) Canadian musician

Cyndi Lauper: Good Luck?
"My grandmother says it's good luck but I think it's disgusting!"
-- Cyndi Lauper, after a bird pooped in her mouth during a radio concert
Lauper, Cyndi (1953- ) American musician

Queen Victoria: Name That Tune
"Listening to a military band at Windsor, Queen Victoria heard a tune she very much liked but could not identify. An equerry was dispatched to the bandmaster to ascertain its title.

"He spent some little time rehearsing the tone of voice in which to inform Her Majesty that the tune which had captivated her was 'Come Where the Booze Is Cheaper.'"
Victoria, (1819-1901) British monarch, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901), empress of India (1876–1901)

World Wide Webber?

Andrew Lloyd Webber once ordered his chauffeur never to play the radio while driving. Why? The composer feared lawsuits charging him with musical plagiarism.
[Lloyd Webber also frequently ordered that music be turned off in restaurants.]
Lloyd Webber, Sir Andrew (1948- ) British composer

Curried Hash?
The Rocky Horror Picture Show's Tim Curry once issued a CD entitled 'The Best of Tim Curry'. "They couldn't call it 'Greatest Hits,'" Curry later explained.

Why not? "Because there weren't any!"
Curry, Tim (1946- ) British actor and musician

One day in 1970, Mick Jagger made a remarkable assertion: "I'd rather be dead," he declared, "than singing 'Satisfaction' when I'm 45."
Jagger, Mick (1943- ) English musician

Retarded Development
While chopping and smashing a giant watermelon on stage during a concert one evening, Alice Cooper was handed a crutch. After mashing the melon with the crutch for a while, he threw the entire disgusting mess into the audience followed by a mass of feathers.

Cooper wondered why no one had tried to avoid being hit. Only later did he learn that the first five rows were filled with severely disabled fans.
Cooper, Alice [born Vincent Furnier] (1948- ) American musician and actor

Rod Stewart: Maggie Who?
Rod Stewart once revealed that his hit song "Maggie May" had been inspired by "one of the first if not the first woman I ever loved." Maggie May, however, was not her real name. It had been used for lyrical reasons - and because, as Stewart explained, "I forget what her name was."
Stewart, Rod (1945- ) British musician

Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop was once asked why he had recently vomited on several members of his audience. "I was ill..." he exclaimed, "and when I realized that I was going to vomit, I thought I may as well do it with some style."
Pop, Iggy [born James Jewel Osterberg] (1947- ) American musician

Joan Rivers was no great fan of Yoko Ono. "Her voice," rivers once remarked, "sounded like an eagle being goosed."
Ono, Yoko (1933- ) Japanese artist and musician, former wife of John Lennon

Have a fabulous week!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Willem Visser - did I forget to say goodbye?

I wonder how many of us proscratinate. We proscrastinate about silly things. We procrastinate about semi-important things. And we proscrastinate about important things in our lives.

We procrastinate where people are concerned. And hold fast to our precious time, giving it a place in the highest echelons of our minds, people-procrastination is the most dangerous and unthinking thing we can possibly do.

To procrastinate is a sin, a spiritual crime. There is a universal law in place (for all of us) that says "do not put off for tomorrow what you can do today". And another that suggests we not let the sun go down on our anger or unresolved conflicts. Most laws are "for our own good". This could be debated to the end of time, but I believe in my heart that THIS law is definitely there to protect us. From ourselves. From our terrible selfish selves at times.

I remember well the time my precious grandfather passed away. He was senile and often mean. The only people who ever took the time to speak with him (not AT him) were 4 family members; his wife, my mother and her sister, and me. Everyone else avoided him as if he had an infectious disease. At the funeral, barely into my teens, I felt an enexplicable rage when I saw the church filled to the brim with weeping and mourning people. Including his son and the other grandchildren. I started to run, and I ran and ran until I collapsed with my grief and anger burning inside my 15 year old body. To this day I am contemptuous of funerals. It's too late to gnash your teeth and say kind words. Why don't people understand this? Dead. Gone. They don't need your throw away pity and rose-coloured remembrances of the past. For most of the black dressed mourners standing around in a funeral home, this an exercise of pure selfishness (or voyeursim?), and it turns my stomach. Let the FRIENDS of the deceased celebrate the life lost. Nobody else belongs there. Did they bother to say goodbye?

And yes, you always have a chance to say goodbye. When you put down the phone, when you leave after a cup of coffee, when you go to bed at night, when you leave for work in the morning - we all say goodbye. None of us can be so arrogant about the fagility of life to assume otherwise.

Willem Visser, a colleague and friend, was killed in a motorbike accident on July 15th. His body was eventually tracked to a morgue in Johannesburg. He had ALL his identification on him. They didn't contact the family. They contacted nobody. He lay there as a John Doe for 2 weeks.

I wonder how many people said "goodbye". I wonder if he even managed that.

For me in this instance, goodbye would have been a hug the last time I saw him, a congratulations on his last great project, a phone call every few days to say "are you ok?", saying "I appreciate the person you are". It's saying "let's do lunch", and actually doing it.

In our arrogance we forget to love. We forget to say "goodbye". And we are punished for this transgression when people we love are snatched away from us. And we all know this age-old theory so well. How can we be surprised, still, when it happens to us? I'm not talking about the shock and the sorrow that comes with a sudden young death, I'm talking about the guilt that sets in afterwards, the "why didn't I?" and the "I could have" thoughts that hound us.

A little while ago I said that I don't believe in "fate". I don't believe that everything "happens for a reason". I said that the biggest tragedy is when we don't walk away with a lesson learned.

I have no idea why it's taken me so long in my life to learn this lesson. Didn't I know it all before?

I will no longer proscrastinate with people who are meaningful in my life. I will never forget to say "goodbye".

Monday, June 19, 2006

Voodoo Child - exciting new party band

Well it's about time we think. A fabulous new party band has hit the scene in a huge way.

They are a 5-piece outfit and they're called Voodoo Child. They have been rocking at the Blues Room and at Tempo's on a regular basis. And we love them!

They play covers with a style that completely makes them their own, and also originals. In fact, one of their singles, PLAIN JANE, is getting lots of radio airplay these days.

We're thinking of doing another Winter Showcase this year, and they will definitely be one of the featured bands.

Just in time for function season....what more could you want??

Yip, we definitely are very pleased with Voodoo Child. They are going to do extremely well.

Hot hot hot, folks!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Soiree Circle - St Patrick's Celebration

Well, what a treat we had at Otherworld's soiree on Sunday the 19th of March. Celtis, from Durban, came up to Johannesburg and gave us a musical treat to remember. All I can say to ANY venue owner, is if you want genuine Irish music, best you book this band for next year right away. Their music had everyone on the edge of their seats. Just awesome.

And for the record, it has been a long long time since I have seen such talented musicians. The flautist and the fiddler were too incredible for words. You know, that kind of jaw dropping talent that is rarely seen these days.

Then again, as Sue Condie's soiree's take on a life of their own, each gathering is more spectacular than the one before. If you want to be part of the Otherworld Soiree mailing list, drop me a line and I will pass it on to Sue.

You don't want to miss the next one....or the next one....

Thanks again Sue. Definitely a Sunday that won't be soon forgotten by anyone who attended.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Pigs in the Band

"The Pigs in the Band"

Unfortunately a lot of musicians still run into this kind of mentality. When will it ever end? Some people who hire musicians have got their heads stuck firmly in Bohemia, and trust me, most of the working bands do NOT choose to live their lives in cheerful and optional poverty for the sake of their art!!!!
I sent this (as a joke) to one of my contemporary pop bands who are doing a wedding for me on Friday. I assumed that they would see the humour. Unfortunately, they had spent a good few hours trawling the internet to try to accommodate this request. I was not popular. Hehehe.

Dear Band Leader:

We look forward to your performance at our daughter's wedding.
If you don't mind, we would like to request a few of our favorite
songs. Please play these during the reception:

A Keith Jarrett composition from his solo series. Please
arrange it for full ensemble in the key of B but nothing in 4/4 please.

Mahavishnu Orchestra, "Dance of the Maya" and please have the
guitarist play John McLaughlin's solo from the live performance Nov.
16, 1972 at Chrysler Arena. My wife and I were at that show and we
liked his use of polyrhythms.

One of John Coltrane's duets with Pharaoh Sanders. Our guests
love high register tenor saxes.

We thought a little Stravinsky right after the toast would be
nice. So please play "The Rite of Spring." We like a tempo of about
1/4 note = 93 and transpose it down 3 half-steps - it will be so
much more appropriate for this occasion in the slightly lower register.

Then for the candle lighting ceremony, please play Frank
Zappa's "The Grand Wazoo." The original key of B flat, would be fine
but my cousin Jeannie would like to sing the baritone sax solo in
the key of D - she has kind of a high voice.

When my new son-in-law takes off the garter, please just a
little of Varese's "Ionization." It's such a funny piece, we think
it would go over real well. Much better than "The Stripper."

And for the bride &groom's first dance, please slow things down
a bit by doing Barber's "Adagio For Strings." It's so much better
than "We've Only Just Begun" or the "Anniversary Waltz."

When my wife and I join in the first dance, could you segue to
Thelonius Monk's "Ruby, My Dear" - it's in honor of my wife's
grandmother whose name was Ruby. It would mean so much to the family.

Thanks for all your help. Depending on the outcome we'll
certainly be happy to recommend your band to our friends.

We'll have your check for the fee of $250 (minus our expenses in
contacting you of $12.50) by the end of next month: we're a little
short as the young lady doing the balloon arch wanted her $1,850 in
advance and the DJ had to be paid up front his $2,500 as normal.

Our daughter assured us that your love of music was greater
than your need for money, and that you would welcome the exposure
you would get from playing this wedding.

Before you leave, please feel free to ask the caterer for a
snack sandwich and a soda (the bottles are returnable or you can pay
the deposit to the butler).

Please use the back entrance to avoid disturbing the guests. We
hope you and your musician friends have an enjoyable time.

Lol - this would be funny if it weren't so true!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas blessings to everyone

Well, Christmas day has come and gone. Must admit, the Christmas spirit didn't really attack me until THE day. And now I'm tryingto hang onto it until the New Year at least. Perhaps one day I will be able to shut down, and take a REAL break - you know, the ones that last 3 to 4 weeks and leave you wondering why on earth you choose to live life at a rat's pace.

We've had STUNNING weather here in Jo'burg and I'm considering a spell in the African sun to get one of those 'bad' tans that make you old before your time. I know, I know, irresponsible, but hey, it gives you a dose of vitamin D, right?

I trust everyone has had a lovely Christmas with family and friends, lots of love, and feels all warm and fuzzy.

Be safe,

Thursday, December 08, 2005

You know you're too old to gig when...

You know you're too old to gig when.....

It becomes more important to find a place onstage for your box fan, than your amp.

You refuse to play out of tune.

Your gig clothes make you look like George Burns out for a round of golf.

Your fans have left by 10:30 p.m.

All you want from groupies is a foot massage.

Your aftershow party is at the International House of Pancakes

You love taking the elevator because you can sing along to most of your playlist.

You hire band members for their values instead of their talent.

Instead of a fifth member, your band wants to spring for a roadie.

You've lost the directions to the gig.

You need your glasses to see your amp settings.

You've thrown out your back jumping off the stage.

You're thrilled t o have New Year's Eve off.

The waitress is your daughter.

You stop the set because your bottle of Ibuprofen fell behind the speakers.

Most of your crowd just sways in their seats.

You find your drink tokens from last month's gig in your guitar case.

You no longer use a tip jar.

You refuse to play without earplugs.

You ask the club owner if you can start at 8:30 p.m. instead of 9:30 p.m.

You check the TV schedule before booking a gig.

Your gig stool has a back.

You're related to at least one other member of the band.

You need a nap before the gig.

You don't let anyone "sit in."

After the third set, you bug the club owner to let you quit early.

During the breaks, you now go to your van to lay down.

You prefer a music stand with a light.

You don't recover until Tuesday afternoon.

You can't operate without a set list.

You have a contract.

You say you double on bass.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Into Africa trip

Well it's been a while since I last blogged. Apologies. I spent some time away at Ngwenya Lodge near Komatipoort, Maputo in Mozambique, and visited Mpumalanga's Hazy View, Grasskop, Pilgrims Rest and Sabie.

We booked Ngwenya Lodge through RCI, the time share folk. Even though we specified that we needed a ground floor unit for a physically challenged person, we arrived to find that we had been allocated a unit on the 1st floor - up some very steep wooden steps. It took them hours to find us anohter chalet. The Ngwenya staff blamed RCI, and RCI it seemed, were clueless anyway. Had we been in the company of a wheel chair bound person, the cottage would have been totally unsuitable. I would not recommend booking anything through RCI, or visiting Ngwenya Lodge if you are a PWD.

Pilgrims Rest is lovely. However, if you are a WC user, give it a wide berth. Skip it completely. Get yourself a picture postcard instead. Almost the entire town will be out of your reach.

The Kruger Park was kind to us, in that we spotted a huge amount of game. Even though a lot of the park is dry and desolate, there are still some rivers that are running fairly well, and the animals are looking none the worse for wear.

Maputo is gutted. And so sad. 30 years of war and 11 years of peace have left this once thriving country in ruins. How the people of Maputo manage to scratch out a living is beyond me.

To take a look at some holiday snaps, visit this website and look for the Holiday October 2005 pages.

Ah well, back to the grind stone I guess. Got to get ready for the silly season, which is upon us even as we speak!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Soirée Circles.....making a comeback?

Well, earlier this year, Otherworld (Sue Condie) started hosting soirée circles at her home on a plot in Muldersdrif. I am always pleasantly surprised when I go there. The music is great, the atmosphere stunning, and there are always late night drumming circles and fire dancers, and the inevitable handful of people who remain until the sun comes up. (I know this because they tell me so....)

The next soirée is being held on Saturday the 24th of September, Heritage Day. Sue has aptly named this one the "Feast of Friends Festival".

There will be live music, story telling, drumming, light meals (catering for vegan's too), and gates open at 3pm.

Artists performing on the day include Brendan O Tim, Dave Large, Chris Smith, Dom, Mutha Tung, Lusk, Africa Green, Mark Jones, Tom Revington, Fire Tree Circle, Otherworld, Saucetone, River Blue, and Mike Rowe from Ko-Ko.

Tickets are R50.00, kids under 12 welcome and free. Visit the Otherworld Website if you want directions, or if you'd like to be put on the mailing list for future events. Or just drop me an e-mail and I will pass it on to Sue.

And it's so much fun too!