Monthly Archives: October 2013

On the Road in the 90s

Episode 24

In this episode, Brett bends Leon’s ear about some the bands whose paths he crossed in the late 90s while on the road with One Large Banana. Touring with a band was not only an opportunity to play your music but also to watch some great musicians at shows and festivals on the circuit around South Africa.

In this episode we feature:

  • Amersham
  • The Springbok Nude Girls
  • Squeal
  • One Large Banana
  • Valiant Swart
  • Sons of Trout
  • Dorp
  • Famous Curtain Trick
  • The Blues Broers
  • Wonderboom
  • The Honeymoon Suites

Here are the links to some of the stories we covered in Gigs, Gossip & Grooves:

Bertram Street

The upstairs room in Bertram Street, Grahamstown, the digs where both Just Encasement and One Large Banana were based. OLB rehearsed here amid the laundry of non-musical digs-mates. These 5-star accommodations were sometimes offered to other bands passing through town.

We really appreciate your feedback. We’re always open to suggestions and even requests! If you’re a South African musician living or touring internationally, do let us know about your concerts, album releases or tours – we’d love to give you a punt on the show. Our email address is yesno@tunemewhat.com But most importantly, if you enjoy the show, tell your friends about Tune Me What?! If you’d like to advertise on the show, drop us a line at adverts@tunemewhat.com

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On a Gallo Guitar and a homemade speaker box

During our chat on the current episode with Ivor Haarberger – the former head of Gallo in South Africa – the fact that the company made guitars (and other items) as well as records in its early days came up. I mentioned that David Kramer sang of a “Gallo Guitar” in his song chronicling the early rockers called “Budgie & The Jets” and thus the instrument had its place in SA rock mythology.

What I didn’t know was that it also had a place in international rock ‘n’ roll iconography. Ivor pointed out that there was a Beatles connection. And so there is. This photograph of a young John Lennon is famous, but I bet you didn’t know that he’s clutching a South African-made Gallotone guitar. I didn’t!

John Lennon, with the Quarrymen

John Lennon, with the Quarrymen performing at St. Peter’s Church fête in July 1957.

Doing a little research on the Gallotone guitar (there isn’t very much) I discovered that another rock colossus started out on a guitar from a factory outside Durban with the marketing slogan: “guaranteed not to split” .

Guaranteed not to split label

The tell-tale sign of an authentic Gallotone guitar.

Indeed, Jimmy Page of the Yardbirds and later Led Zeppelin fame is also pictured as a lightie with a Gallotone ‘Wonder’ model:

A young Jimmy Page

A young Jimmy Page with his Gallotone Wonder

Now you may be wondering how these South African guitars become seemingly so popular in Britain. The answer is that in the 1950s there was a Board of Trade ban on the import of American goods into the UK, and even when it was lifted the duties were quite heavy making Gibson and Fender guitars too expensive for aspiring teenage rockers. In contrast, cheap guitars made in the Commonwealth were very obtainable.

There is one small inaccuracy in David Kramer‘s song, however. When he sings that Budgie played ‘a Gallo guitar’ with a home-made amplifier and used the whammy-bar like ‘Hank Marvin’ he’s taking a bit of artistic license: Gallo never manufactured electric guitars, “only acoustics,” Haarberger reminded us.

Catch the episode where we chat to Ivor Haarberger the here.

That Iconic Chicken

Episode 23

In this bumper edition of Tune Me What?, Leon & Brett speak to Ivor Haarburger, the South African music industry pioneer and former head of Gallo Records. The conversation covers the history of Gallo, some of the great artists Ivor has worked with, the current state of the industry and the impact of technology.  We also have time to spin some fantastic records, several of which Ivor has a personal connection to.

Ivor Haarburger is now the CEO of Content Music Services which provides consulting to the industry and content to mobile and broadcasters.

In this episodes we feature the music of:

  • West Nkosi
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  • Lucky Dube
  • Dolly Parton (feat. LBM)
  • Paul Simon (feat. LBM)
  • Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse
  • The Parlotones
  • PJ Powers and Hotline
  • Steve Kekana
  • Nakhane Toure
  • Simphiwe Dana

And of course there’s more news in Gigs, Gossip & Grooves, including:

We really appreciate your feedback. We’re always open to suggestions and even requests! If you’re a South African musician living or touring internationally, do let us know about your concerts, album releases or tours – we’d love to give you a punt on the show. Our email address is yesno@tunemewhat.com But most importantly, if you enjoy the show, tell your friends about Tune Me What?! If you’d like to advertise on the show, drop us a line at adverts@tunemewhat.com

Trouble using the player? DOWNLOAD the show.

Fantastic Tony Cox offer

Tony Cox

Master-guitarist Tony Cox has turned to crowd funding to raise money for his new album. He says he has no record company support at this time – which is beyond comprehension! How can an award-winning, internationally respected musician with many successful albums to their name be abandoned like this? But you can’t keep a great muso down.

He says via his Facebook page:

I’ve been working hard on my new album over several months now and will be ready to begin recording in January. Padkos is an album that is very different to all the others that I have made over the years because it has a large percentage of covers. I have made my entire career on the back of exclusively original work and so for Padkos, I decided to arrange covers of some of my favourite South African tunes that stretch all the way back to my youth. Among them are, P J Power’s, Jabulani, Bright Blue’s, Weeping, the old traditional Sarie Marais, Abdullah Ibrahim’s Mannenberg and Nico Carsten’s Zambezi. Mixed in there are a few new thought provoking songs and instrumentals that have been inspired and pushed out by my life experiences these last few years.

I have named the album Padkos (road food) because so many people write to me and tell me how much they enjoy the music while travelling and we all know music is food for the soul…

Helping me give the tunes some verve and power will be a line-up of some of my favourite SA musos such as Jimmy Dludlu and Steve Newman. There will definitely be a few surprise guests not mentioned here.

To fund the Padkos project, Tony is pre-selling signed copies of his forthcoming album to be released early next year. Copies cost a mere R160 (or $20/£12.50 for international orders). However, a great deal is available for R320. This will include the album, plus you will be Dropboxed digital copies of three more of his award-winning albums: Matabele Ants, China and Blue Anthem.

You couldn’t ask for a better deal. If you’re in SA, you can buy it via bank transfer (details here) or if you’re overseas you can buy it using Paypal  from his website.

The #1 Show

Episode 22

Leon & Brett take revisit the sounds they grew up with by spinning the records by local artists that topped the South African Charts when they were kids. Find out Brett’s earliest musical memory and what Leon’s chinas were getting stoned to in high school.

In this episodes we feature the music of:

  • Jessica Jones
  • Tidal Wave
  • The Staccatos
  • Charisma
  • Dave Mills
  • Bobby Angel
  • Barbara Ray
  • The Flood
  • Dealians
  • Glenys Lynne
  • Maria
  • Gwynneth Ashley Robin
  • David Kramer
  • Café Society

And of course there’s more news in Gigs, Gossip & Grooves, including:

We really appreciate your feedback. We’re always open to suggestions and even requests! If you’re a South African musician living or touring internationally, do let us know about your concerts, album releases or tours – we’d love to give you a punt on the show. Our email address is yesno@tunemewhat.com But most importantly, if you enjoy the show, tell your friends about Tune Me What?! If you’d like to advertise on the show, drop us a line at adverts@tunemewhat.com

Trouble using the player? DOWNLOAD the show.

A ‘Walk in Africa’ Launch Party

Tune Me What? co-presenter Leon Lazarus was lucky enough to be in L.A. to attend the launch party to celebrate the release of National Wake’s “Walk in Africa 1979-81” by Light in the Attic Records where he caught up with former band member Ivan Kadey who steered the remastering project.

Leon Lazarus with Ivan Kadey

Leon was also thrilled to meet Baba Vusi Shibambo. Vusi was a neighbor of the Khoza brothers and landed up living in the house with Ivan, the Khoza brothers and others at the age of 16. He played African drums at the launch party. A very talented man indeed.

Leon Lazarus with Baba Vusi Shibambo

If you haven’t listened to our special episode with Ivan Kadey in which he talks about his time in National Wake, the remastering of the archives and spins some of his favourite records, catch it here!

 

National Wake-up

Episode 21

In this extend 90 minute episode our special guest is Ivan Kadey who talks about his band National Wake, and the re-release of their fully remastered catalogue. It is a rare look at a South African music scene you never knew existed and the music of this unique and groundbreaking band will blow you away. Fans can buy the album Walk In Africa 1979-1981 next week on vinyl, CD and online and in-store. Whatever your preference … this is a must have!

Featured in the show is a new demo of Ivan’s song Orange, White and Blue which was written at the beginning of The Wake. -“Its the song that gave me the courage to start it all as it manifested totally the music I was dreaming of making lyrically with a ironic rock element,” he says.

Together with a pic of National Wake songs from the new anthology, we also play some other records picked by Ivan, including:

  • Allen Kwella
  • The Cherry Faced Lurchers
  • Sankomoto
  • The Flaming Souls


Because of the extra-long format this week, there will be no Gigs, Gossip & Grooves, but Evan will be back next week to keep us up-to-date about SA musicians strutting their stuff around the globe.

You can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TuneMeWhat

We really appreciate your feedback. We’re always open to suggestions and even requests! If you’re a South African musician living or touring internationally, do let us know about your concerts, album releases or tours – we’d love to give you a punt on the show. Our email address is yesno@tunemewhat.com But most importantly, if you enjoy the show, tell your friends about Tune Me What?! If you’d like to advertise on the show, drop us a line at adverts@tunemewhat.com

Trouble using the player? DOWNLOAD the show.