This website is part of the South African Rock Encyclopedia
If hard rocking blues based boogie is your kettle of fish then I'm sure that the Cactus Special on Thursday would have blown your boots off! What an amazing band they were - a virtuoso pedigreed bassist and drummer, a scorching hot guitarslinger and a singer whose vocal chops were up there with the likes of Plant, Rodgers and Gillan (but whose excessive rock n' roll lifestyle took a fatal turn) .... For new fans of the band I can highly recommend the Cactology compilation out on Rhino Records - it's available in SA on import.
You just don't get bands like that anymore, or is that just my imagination? Think about it - Purple, Sabbath, Jimi, Cream, Zeppelin, Free, Who, Allmans, AC/DC, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, ELP, Freedoms Children, ZZ Top, Audience, Budgie, Otis Waygood, Creedence, Rush, Zappa, Hawk to mention just a handful. Scores of bands whose music inspired, revolutionised and changed our lives and still rejuvenate us when we hear them.
It seemed back then that every month saw the release of a major album: Are you experienced, Disraeli Gears, The Wall, Aqualung, Fire & Water, Made in Japan, Astra, Tommy; so many great records that has stood the test of time. It seems that, particularly over the last decade or so, the rich creative vein that fed the mighty rock machine has dried up, either that or I'm missing something. I just can't get my head around most of the modern rock bands, they all sound the same. With the exception of a handful of bands and albums what legacy is today's modern rock going to leave? I'd like to hear your views on this so feel free to drop me a line at .
For all those Dream Theatre fans that have been looking in vain for their amazing new album "Systematic Chaos" the local distributors, David Gresham Records, have given me a list of dealers in Cape Town and Durban who, at this point, have ordered or have stock (still waiting for Joburg stores). I would suggest calling the store concerned to make sure that they do have it.
- Musica Megastore, Waterfront
- Look & Listen Cavendish
- Look & Listen Canal Walk
- Look & Listen Willowbridge
- Look & Listen Worcester
- CD Select Cape Gate
- CD Select Tygervalley
- Look and Listen Pavilion
- Musica Megastore Gateway
- Rhythmic Beat value centre, Durban Airport, Kensington Square and Hillcrest Heritage Market.
Rock of Ages moves back to Joburg ....... as you heard on Thursday I am relocating back to Joburg in mid July for business reasons. I have a small indie label called Fresh Music that signs and develops original SA music as well as releases classic rock albums by the likes of Suck, Otis Waygood, éVoid, Freedoms Children, etc. You can check it out at www.freshmusic.co.za. For over the past 2 years I have been hosting the show from the SABC in scenic Seapoint and I must admit that I am going to miss my colourful little studio there as well as beautiful Cape Town. However I'm looking forward to being back in the Big Smoke again, there is an energy there that fairly crackles and I've missed that vibe.
Of course this has no real impact on Rock of Ages since Radio 2000 is a national station with a broad reach around the country. However in the short term I am going to be pre-recording 2 shows in order to give me the time to get the move over with and get the Rock of Ages music library up and running in Joburg - so the shows of 5th and 12th of July will be pre-recorded, I will be back live on air on the 19th.
This coming week we will be featuring a legendary band who single handedly popularised both keyboards and classical music in rock; Emerson,Lake & Palmer so tune in on Thursday for 45 minutes of Hammond and Moog mania................................
Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) were an English progressive rock group who formed in 1970. The trio consisted of Keith Emerson (originally from The Nice) keyboards; Greg Lake (originally from King Crimson) guitars, bass guitar, vocals and Carl Palmer (originally from Atomic Rooster) drums, percussion.
After playing at a few of the same concerts with their respective bands in 1969, Emerson and Lake tried working together and found their styles to be not only compatible, but complementary. They wanted to be a keyboard/bass/drum band, and so searched out a drummer.Before settling on Carl Palmer, they approached Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience; Mitchell was uninterested but passed the idea to Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix, tired of his band and wanting to try something different, expressed an interest in playing with the group. Jimi was considering joining the group; the British press, after hearing about this, speculated that such a supergroup would have been called "Hendrix, Emerson, Lake & Palmer", or HELP. Due to scheduling conflicts such plans were not immediately realized, but the initial three planned on a jam session with Hendrix after their second concert at the Isle of Wight Festival (their debut being in Plymouth Guildhall a day or two earlier), with the possibility of him joining. Hendrix died shortly thereafter, so the three pressed on as Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Greg Lake made this comment on ELP's discussions with Hendrix:
"Yeah, that story is indeed true, to some degree...Mitch Mitchell had told Jimi about us and he said he wanted to explore the idea. Even after Mitch was long out of the picture and we had already settled on Carl, talk about working with Jimi continued. We were supposed to get together and jam with him around August or September of 1970, but he died before we could put it together."
Their first four years were a creatively fertile period. Lake produced their first six albums, starting with Emerson, Lake and Palmer (1970), which contained the hit "Lucky Man". Their best known early performance had been a relatively modest show at the August 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, one of the last of the great Woodstock-era festivals. At the end of their set, Emerson and Lake lit two cannons either side of the stage.Tarkus (1971) was their first successful concept album, described as a story about "reverse evolution". The March 1971 live recording (Newcastle, UK) of the band's interpretation of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition was issued as a low-priced record, the success of which contributed to the band's overall popularity. The 1972 album Trilogy contained ELP's best-selling single, the understated "From the Beginning".In 1973, the band had garnered enough recognition to form their own record label, Manticore Records, and purchased an abandoned cinema as their own rehearsal hall. In late 1973 Brain Salad Surgery, with an eye-catching sleeve designed by H.R. Giger, was released and became the band's best-known studio album. The lyrics were partly written by Peter Sinfield, who was the creator of the King Crimson concept and only lyricist for King Crimson's first four albums. The subsequent world tours were documented with a massive three-LP live recording, Welcome Back my Friends to the Show that Never Ends.
By April 1974, ELP were top of the bill during the California Jam Festival, pushing co-stars Deep Purple to second billing. ELP's California Jam performance was broadcast nationwide in the US and is often seen as the summit of the band's career.The ELP sound was heavily dominated by the Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer of the flamboyant Emerson. The band's compositions were heavily influenced by classical music in addition to jazz and – at least in their early years – hard rock. Many of their pieces are arrangements of, or contain quotations from, classical music, and they can be said to fit into the sub-genre of symphonic rock.Onstage the band exhibited an unorthodox mix of virtuoso musicianship and over-the-top theatrical bombast. Their extravagant and often aggressive live shows received much criticism in this regard – although in retrospect it was all rather small change compared to later rock spectacles: the theatrics were limited to a Persian carpet, a grand piano spinning end-over-end, a rotating percussion platform, and a Hammond organ being thrown around on stage to create feedback (it was the same organ every time, called the L100, that was repaired overnight for the next show). Emerson often used a knife given to him by Motorhead's Lemmy (who had roadied for Emerson's previous band, The Nice) to force the keys on the organ to stay down. Another unusual factor was that Emerson took a full Moog modular synthesizer (an enormous, complex, and touchy instrument under the best of conditions) on the road with him, which added greatly to a tour's complexity.
ELP then took a three-year break to reinvent its music but lost contact with the changing musical scene. The band toured the US and Canada in 1977 and 1978 on a killing schedule of night after night performances - some with a full orchestra, which was a heavy burden on the tour revenues. These late-1970s tours found ELP working harder than ever to stay in touch with their audience. But as disco, punk rock, corporate rock and new wave styles began to alter the musical landscape, ELP could no longer generate the excitement of being forerunners in musical innovation. Eventually they drifted apart due to personality conflicts and irreconcilable differences concerning musical direction.
Their last studio album of the 1970s, Love Beach, (1978), was dismissed even by the trio itself, who admitted it was delivered to fulfill a contractual obligation. The Love Beach album has been ill-received not only by the music press but also by the fans, who easily understood that the group was tired, something Greg Lake admitted in various interviews. Side One features Lake and consists of several shorter songs in a late 70's attempt to put something in the pop charts although one of them, "Taste of My Love", is an R-rated ode to one of the perks of rock stardom. Side Two's composition, "Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman", is a four-part narration of the tale of a soldier in the Second World War, and his ordeal of love and death as well as tragedy and triumph. The album's cover engendered no small amount of ridicule, with Palmer complaining the group looked like the Bee Gees.Shortly thereafter Palmer left the band and formed Asia with Steve Howe .In 1985, Emerson and Lake formed another "ELP" band with heavy metal drummer Cozy Powell but this didnt pan out and Palmer was approached to reunite which he declined,preferring to stay with Asia. Rumours also linked Bill Bruford to their new lineup, but the former Yes drummer remained committed to King Crimson and his own group, Earthworks. The album Emerson Lake & Powell charted reasonably well, with a major single, "Touch and Go" generating some radio and MTV exposure for the trio. However, the old interpersonal tensions between Lake and Emerson resurfaced during the 1986 tour. Emerson and Palmer subsequently joined with Robert Berry to form the unsuccessful band 3.
|Emerson, Lake & Palmer
|Emerson, Lake & Palmer
|Emerson, Lake & Palmer
|Pictures At An Exhibition
|Brain Salad Surgery
The original ELP lineup reformed and issued a 1992 comeback album, Black Moon, on Victory Records. Their 1992/1993 world tours were successful, culminating in a performance at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles in early 1993 that has been heavily bootlegged. But, reportedly, Palmer suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome and Emerson has been treated for a repetitive stress disorder in one hand. So it was no surprise that the follow up album In the Hot Seat (1994) did not live up to expectations.Emerson and Palmer recovered to hit the road again with tours in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Conflicts about a new album inspired a new and final break up with Greg Lake insisted on producing the next album, having produced all successful ELP albums in the early 1970s. Keith Emerson complained in public (on the internet) that although he and Carl Palmer worked out on a daily basis to maintain their musical skills, Greg Lake did not make the effort to do the same. Lake admitted that he did not train his voice: a few live shows were generally enough to get it in shape, he claimed.
|Emerson, Lake & Palmer
In 2003 UK independent label Invisible Hands Music released a 3CD box set under the title Reworks: Brain Salad Surgery. This was a new work created by Keith Emerson in collaboration with British dance maverick Mike Bennett, using sampling technology and with an eye on club and ambient music styles. Emerson and Bennett sampled musical elements from the entire ELP oeuvre, creating entirely new music in an exotic, electronica style, opening with a dramatic reinterpretation of Fanfare For The Common Man. The musical complexity of the source material provided rich pickings for sampling and while not universally loved by ELP fans, the album found favour with critics and, impressively, the dance music community. Cuts from the album were widely played in clubs and, fleetingly at least, the band's music found a gigantic new audience who had never heard (or even heard of) Emerson Lake & Palmer.Emerson toured Britain with his old bandmates from The Nice during 2003, and played another tour with The Keith Emerson Band across North America and Europe. Drummer Carl Palmer tours on an irregular basis with his Carl Palmer Band, playing electric guitar adaptations of ELP's keyboard work on the club circuit and in 2006 rejoined the other three members of Asia for a 25th reunion world tour.Greg Lake has toured the USA with Ringo Starr in 2001, and most recently has recorded with The Who. Lake has recently formed his own band featuring David Arch.
* Recommended listening
- Emerson, Lake and Palmer (1970) *
- Tarkus (1971) *
- Pictures at an Exhibition (1971)
- Trilogy (1972) *
- Brain Salad Surgery (1973) *
- Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends (1974)
- Works, Vol. 1 (1977)
- Works, Vol. 2 (1977)
- Love Beach (1978)
- In Concert (1979)
- Black Moon (1992)
- Live at the Royal Albert Hall (1993)
- Works Live (1993)
- In the Hot Seat (1994)
- I Believe In Father Christmas (1995)
- Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (1997)
- Live in Poland (1997)
- Reworks: Brain Salad Perjury (2003)
Rock of Ages presents "Footstomping Music"
The distribution problems that plagued the initial release seem to have been rectified, however if you do have a problem finding the album please email the information to me so that I can take it up with the distributors. In the meantime you can securely order the album via the Rock of Ages website. Click on www.rock.co.za/rockofages for details.
|Rock Of Ages Presents Footstomping Music
- Grand Funk Railroad - Footstomping Music
- Deep Purple - Burn
- Uriah Heep - Look at yourself
- Black Sabbath - Sweat Leaf
- Thin Lizzy - Chinatown
- Robin Trower - Too rolling stoned
- Mountain - Never in my life
- Wishbone Ash - Blowin' free
- Foghat - I just wanna make love to you
- Budgie - Baby, please don't go
- Santana - Toussaint l'Overture
- Alice Cooper - Muscle of love
- Nazareth - Go down fighting
- Blue Oyster Cult - The Red & the Black
- Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme back my bullets
- Free - The Hunter
- Taste - What's goin' on
Buy this 'Footstomping Music' CD direct from Rock Of Ages
Rock Of Ages News
Perry joins Jones ... Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry is to play with legendary crooner Tom Jones at Wembley Stadium on July 1. This is at the 'Concert For Diana' extravaganza, in celebration of the late Princess Diana.
Former Journey man goes punk ... Former Journey singer and part time reclusive Steve Perry has been in the studio working with punks Guff. He produced the band's version of a previously unreleased Journey song called 'I Can See It In Your Eyes' and also guests on it. This is to be included on the Golf album 'Symphony Of Voices', due out later this month on Go Kart.
Journey-less again ...... It has been less than a year since Jeff Scott Soto replaced Steve Augeri as Journey's lead vocalist. Today, Journey is once more a band without a singer. A brief statement from the band says only that Journey and Soto have "parted ways" but does not elaborate. Guitarist Neal Schon says, "He did a tremendous job for us and we wish him the best. We've just decided to go our separate ways. We're plotting our next move now." Soto stepped in after Augeri developed a throat infection in the middle of Journey's tour with Def Leppard last summer. Remaining band members Schon, keyboardist Jonathan Cain, drummer Deen Castronovo and bassist Ross Vallory are "taking the rest of 2007 off to spend time with their families," according to the band's statement.
Can you believe this? ..... A new reality TV show starring Poison singer and ex Pamela Anderson paramour (along with Tommy, Kid, etc, etc), Bret Michaels called ... wait for it ... "Rock of Love with Bret Michaels" sees a bevy of beautiful women dating the singer and "getting a taste of the rock 'n roll lifestyle, sadly only one lucky lady will win an all access pass to his heart" ...
Can you believe this 2 .... Jon Bon Jovi is to launch his own fragrance. According to the press release "RSVP is sure to sure to bring out the rock god in all men this summer". It's available from www.theperfumeshop.com ... pass the sickbag.
And then there was one ... Evanescence guitarist John LeCompt has dismissed singer Amy Lee as being "about as deep as the shallow end of a child's wading pool" after being sacked by Lee, whose drummer Rocky Gray has also quit.
Saint Alice ... Alice Cooper is opening a centre for troubled teenagers in Michigan. Along with his friend and golfing partner Chuck Savale the original Gothic rocker promises "not to beat them over the head with a copy of the Bible".
Kahzakstani Freddy? ... Queen have dismissed as "pure hokum" reports that moustachioed Borat start, Sacha Baron Cohen, will play Freddie Mercury in a musical biopic of the late singer's life. Guitarist Brian May has also revealed that they turned down an offer to shoot a reality TV show around auditions for their long running stage musical "We will rock you". Says May "you will never find us on some panel bullying young performers, I detest that kind of thing and it's a shame that the public puts up with that sort of thing" ...?? What about American Idols then Brian?
Cobra snake necktie ... Rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley suffered a stroke during a show recently but his manager remains optimistic that Bo, who is 78, will perform again. He added that "playing guitar would feature in his treatment".
Bob in the news ... His Royal Bobness has been going into his grandchild's school in Los Angeles to serenade the pupils. A report off the wire claims that "The kids have been coming home and telling their parents about the weird man who keeps coming to class to sing scary songs on his guitar".
Tubular Ballsup ... Mike Oldfield was angered recently by the EMI label who allowed the entirety of his landmark 1973 album "Tubular Bells" to be given away as a 'freebie' in the UK paper, The Mail on Sunday. He is quoted as saying "I feel the same as if I had lent something to somebody and it had come back trashed" - that's putting it mildly.
Leppard n' Lange ... Def Leppard are to work again with 'Mutt' Lange. They'll be writing a handful of songs together for the band's new album, 'Songs From The Sparkle Lounge'.
Coming out soon... the first three Thin Lizzy albums as remastered deluxe expanded editions ... Asia's "Fantasia-Live in Tokyo" (also on dvd) ... The Scorpions "Humanity-Hour 1" in late June ... The Stereophonics "Pull the pin" ... former Kiss drummer Peter Criss releases his solo album "One for all" ... Ex G'n R guitarist Izzy Stradlin has a new solo album "Miami" ... Motorhead are to release a double live CD next month. It's called 'Better Motorhead Than Dead - Live At Hammersmith'.
Short Cuts ... W.A.S.P frontman Blackie Lawless has denied being hospitalised after a curtailed gig in Karlskona, Sweden. He is quoted as saying "Once again someone is trying to kill me off before my time". We say ... who cares! ... Winner of the Best New Band award at last years Classic Rock Roll of Honour, Roadstar have split just weeks after releasing their second album "Glass Mountain" ... Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson guests on the new Porcupine Tree album, "Fear of a blank planet". Lifeson, who is a big fan of PT frontman Steven Wilson, plays a scorching solo on the 17 minute epic "Anesthesize" ... Heart, Genesis, Ozzy Osbourne and ZZ Top were the four honourees at this year's VH-1 Rock Honours show held in Las Vegas. Alice in chains, Keane, Queens of the Stone Age and Nickelback were among the bands paying tribute.
More rock (and reggae)
on your radio...
Tune in to the many other great music shows on RADIO 2000 ..... Wake up every morning with Ray White and Nichole de Silva on the funky, vibey Rise 'n Rock Breakfast Show (6-9am) - news, weather, 2010 updates, comedy, competitions and tons of cool tunes - no 'superstar DJ ego bull...' just fabulously entertaining radio ..... Women on the Move with Celeste and Carol (9-noon) features interesting issues, guest interviews and more of the music that you like to hear ..... From 12 to 3pm it's the Empress of Cool Radio - Michelle Constant and The Lucky Packet - a daily dose of unmissable radio, a virtual melting pot of entertainment, interviews, documentary stuff, news, cultural issues, addictive music and much more ... lots of fun, fun, fun .... Tuesday nights 8 to midnight get ready to crank it up with the mighty Barney Simon on the SA Rock Show - wall to wall music, news, demos, gear reviews and some straight talking from the rock radio legend ... Sundays it's skanking time on Bongolution between 1-3pm with da man Bongani who spins the finest in roots reggae. Later you can chill with host Eric Allan's Jazz Rendezvous between 5 and 8pm where he spins the cream of classic and smooth jazz as well as some interesting fusion music.....
Keep the rock real...
Contact Rock of Ages
PO Box 782022, Sandton 2146
Studio phone: 089-1102003
The views, opinions, rants, raves and ramblings expressed on this website are the author's own and in no way reflect the views of Radio 2000 or the SABC.
All the playlists are available in the
Boulevard Blues Band
24th Berties Mooring, Gordons Bay
30th Fogey's, Muizenberg
1st July Just Wine, Sanlam Business Park, Montague Gardens CT
10th August Oppikoppi Festival, Gauteng
1st September Cape Farmhouse, Scarborough CT
22nd September Harley Davidson Rally, Colesberg
24th Madame Zingara's Theatre of Dreams Cape Town
23 June - Tanz Cafe Bryanston, Joburg
Violent Femmes (UK)
6, 10, 11 August-Venues tba
Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours' Tribute
Every Thursday-Saturday 15th June – 7th July BMW Pavilion, Cape Town Waterfront
Tanz Café, Bryanston
23rd Gently Scar'd
26th Crossing Out Jane/Outside Eden/Angelic Defeat
29th Rory Eliot
30th Josie Field/Laurie Levine
Independent Armchair Theatre, Cape Town
23rd Cassette, Ashtray Electric
Piet Botha & Jack Hammer
June 23rd Piet Botha @ Steak and Ale in the "Johnny Cash Tribute Show"
June 29th Jack Hammer @ Cafe' Barcelona, Elarduspark, Pretoria
June 30th Jack Hammer @ The Knight and Dragon, Boksburg
|You say it's your birthday...
Ray Davies - Kinks - 1944
Joey Kramer - Aerosmith - 1950
Nils Lofgren - Grin, E Street Band, All Starr Band - 1951
Joey Molland - Badfinger - 1947
Todd Rundgren - Nazz, Utopia, New Cars - 1948
Cyndi Lauper - 1953
Howard Kaylan - Turtles, Mothers of Invention, Flo & Eddie - 1947
Mick Fleetwood - Fleetwood Mac - 1942
Jeff Beck - Yardbirds, Jeff Beck Group - 1944
Colin Blunstone - Zombies, Manfred Mann - 1945
Patrick Moraz - Yes,Moody Blues - 1948
Carly Simon - 1945
Allen Lanier - Blue Öyster Cult - 1946
David Paich - Toto -1954
Ian McDonald - Foreigner, King Crimson - 1946
Chris Isaak - 1956
Mick Jones - The Clash - 1955
David Knights - Procol Harum - 1945
Bobby Harrison - Procol Harum - 1943
Ian Paice - Deep Purple, Whitesnake - 1948
Glenn Shorrock - Little River Band - 1944
Andy Scott - Sweet - 1949
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Stay tuned every Thursday 8-12pm for the best in classic rock on RADIO 2000.
Benjy Mudie is a self confessed 'rockaholic' with little chance of recovery... a music obsessive whose entire life has been spent in search of the lost chord... from discovering Jimi's "Are you experienced" at 13, he has constantly devoured music through lp's, singles, tapes, cds, dvds, books, magazines, film, concerts, radio, tv and the internet. His entire working life has also been music related: from running a record store and later joining WEA Records in the mid 70's through to his 21 year A&R/Marketing stint at Tusk Music where he signed some of the biggest names in South African rock and pop. The last 8 years have been spent nurturing new talent at his indie label Fresh Music and reissuing classic albums as part of it's ongoing Retro series.... To say that 'music is his first love' (to paraphrase John Miles's classic song) is somewhat understated.