Vagabond Jazz & Blues Show – Wednesday, 23 November 2016

“Still Got The Blues For You” – The Vagabond Jazz & Blues Show – Wednesday, 23 November 2016, 6pm to 8pm (Central African Time) on www.AllJazzRadio.co.za. Presented by Brian Currin from Mabu Vinyl, Cape Town

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A Year Of Presenting The Blues On All Jazz Radio

Dirk Ace and Brian Currin September 2013
Dirk Ace and Brian Currin September 2013

On the 4th of October 2012, at age 53, I started something new in my life, presenting a two-hour blues show on the then brand new internet radio station, All Jazz Radio. Despite my reluctance founder Eric Alan encouraged me to give it a go, and here we are a year later!

As my father said recently; “you are just making mixtapes like you always did when you were a teenager, except now the technology has changed, and you are getting to share you love and passion for music with other people.”

I play an eclectic mix of old, new, borrowed and blues, with a special focus on blues by South African artists.

I call the show “Vagabond Blues” because I wander around the world of music picking up scraps of information from all over and everywhere.

My very first website I created in 1997 was called Vagabond’s World and it is still on the internet.

The Vagabond Blues show can be heard every Tuesday and Thursday between 4pm and 6pm South African time on All Jazz Radio.

Podcast from 13 June 2013 featuring interview with Piet Botha & Akkedis

 

Vagabond Blues Show on All Jazz Radio every Thursday afternoon

Join me on my Vagabond Blues show on www.AllJazzRadio.co.za every Thursday afternoon from 4pm to 6pm (SA time). I play a broad spectrum of music in the blues genre, with a special focus on South African blues. – Brian Currin

Extract from an article I wrote in February 2007

I was born in South Africa 4 days after “The Day The Music Died” according to Don McLean (you work it out!). I was born and bred in a home filled with music (mainly Church Hymns and Showtunes) but soon discovered in my pre-teen years that I had absolutely no talent for singing or playing an instrument. I do play a mean air guitar solo though – I usually play a Black Fender Stratocaster Original Air Guitar. I also play Air Organ – a Hammond B3 of course – and recently I’ve started learning to play Air Harmonica.

Since I had this overwhelming passion for music, but not the skills to perform it, I started collecting music as well as information about music and also statistics and lists. Finding musical information in Apartheid-era South Africa was difficult to say the least, but my passion knew no bounds and I persevered.

In 1973 I heard the ‘Made in Japan’ version of ‘Smoke Of The Water’ by Deep Purple and my fate as a Rock Fan was sealed. I always thought that when I grew up I would lose my love of Rock and get into Classical and Jazz as “older” people did. Never happened! What did happen is that I just added and added more styles, types and genres to my musical tastes, though Classic Rock is still my first love and Deep Purple is still my favourite group. After listening to Purple and Zeppelin and Tull and Clapton and such-like I wanted to hear the original blues that inspired them … and a whole new world of discovering the Blues masters opened up for me.

Blues From The Deep South (Of Africa)

Because of South Africa’s unique geographical position and cosmopolitan population, there is really no such thing as a single defining style of “South African Music”. We seem to have everything here on the Southern Tip of Africa including African Tribal music, Zulu Township Jazz, Country and Western, Death Metal, Electronica and so much more, all with their own clearly-defined (and sometimes overlapping) niche markets. However the blues seems to be very popular in South Africa amongst most population groups, though I’ve never seen any research to support this theory of mine.

Blues in South Africa includes a wide variety of genres including Jazz Blues, Folk Blues, Traditional Blues, Blues Rock, Acoustic Blues and even blues sung in the language of Afrikaans which for want of a better name we will call Afrikaans Blues. So really South African Blues is just a term to mean Blues played by South African musicians. Cover versions of old blues classics abound, but there are also a large number of original compositions written in a variety of blues styles. Very few South African Blues musicians actually concentrate on playing the Blues exclusively, but rather play a mix of Blues, Rock, Blues-Rock and Country Rock.

Join me on my Vagabond Blues show on www.AllJazzRadio.co.za every Thursday afternoon from 4pm to 6pm (SA time). I play a broad spectrum of music in the blues genre, with a special focus on South African blues. – Brian Currin

The Amazing Story Of Hate Street Dialogue

Originally published on Sugarman.org, 28th September 2001

HATE STREET DIALOGUE

Woman please be gone
You’ve stayed here much too long
Don’t you wish that you could cry
Don’t you wish I would die

Seamy, seesaw kids
Childwoman on the skids
The dust will choke you blind
The lust will choke your mind

I kiss the floor, one kick no more
The pig and hose have set me free
I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree
I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree

I kiss the floor, one kick no more
The pig and hose have set me free
I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree
I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree

The inner city birthed me
The local pusher nursed me
Cousins make it on the street
They marry every trick they meet

A dime, a dollar they’re all the same
When a man comes in to bust your game
The turnkey comes, his face a grin
Locks the cell I’m in again.

I kiss the floor, one kick no more
The pig and hose have set me free
I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree
I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree
I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree
I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree…

[Song published by Interior Music (BMI)]

This song was not actually written by Rodriguez, but sure sounds like it could have been. It was written by Gary Harvey, Mike Theodore (‘Cold Fact’ producer) and Dennis Coffey (guitarist on ‘Cold Fact’). “Hate Street” actually refers to the famous “Haight/Ashbury” area of San Francisco, the famous Hippie hang-out during the late 60’s “Summer Of Love”.

HAIGHT STREET

…for years the title ‘Hate Street Dialogue’ has been bothering me, when I listened to the song I gathered the lyrics were referring to the famous hippie street in San Francisco: Haight/Ashbury, however the title on the album is spelt “Hate”. Rodriguez said (on a SA radio phone-in show in March 1998) that although the lyrics of that particular song were not written by himself they did refer to the Haight and not to the opposite of love.
– Stelios, 1998

PIG AND HOSE
In this song Rodriguez sings about being set free by “the pig and hose”. Could this mean a policeman (“pigs” was hippy slang for cops) and a piece of hose-pipe?

The quote: “pig and hose to bust our game” from the song “Hate Street Dialogue”, refers to the continual harassment of the hippy-subculture by the San Francisco police department on the Haight-Ashbury youth in 1967. “Pig” was the referrel to the POLICE, and “hose” was in reference to the length of “garden-hose” used to beat the citizens into submission [usually in the confines of the police station. The title was changed in spelling from “Haight Street”, to “Hate Street” to further emphasize that feeling of alienation, by both sides of the establishment, at that time.
– Gary W Harvey, June 2002

BLACK EYED SUSAN

Back Stabbers & Money Grabbers by Black Eyed Susan
Back Stabbers & Money Grabbers by Black Eyed Susan

South African Indie melodic grunge-rockers Black Eyed Susan recorded the album ‘Back Stabbers & Money Grabbers’ in January 1998 and released it in May 1998. Included on their album is an uptempo remake of this classic ‘Cold Fact’ song. Not actually written by Rodriguez, this song of urban decay and loneliness fits perfectly on Black Eyed Susan’s album of otherwise original material. A great version on an even greater album. If you like your rock modern-but-retro, grungy-yet-tuneful, this album is for you.

GARY W. HARVEY
4th September 2001, Darin J. Harvey wrote:

I was amazed that I finally found something about Sixto Rodriguez on the net and that I could finish a long quest with the help of your website.

Two years ago my father, Gary W. Harvey, mentioned while I was visiting him in Detroit, that he received a check for percentage for the lyrics of a song he wrote some thirty years ago! He wasn’t sure about the facts and he could only tell me the name of the song (which he thought was “Haight Street Dialog”) and that he originally wrote that one for a guy named Rodriguez. But the check was for a cover version from a band of South Africa!

Back in Germany, where I live, I started my search with the weak information I had! As I couldn’t find any hint for Rodriguez or that song I stopped my search after a few weeks! Now nearly two years later, I remembered my search and tried again! And yep, I got some hits!

My first hit was, that the song wasn’t named “Haight Street dialog” but “Hate Street Dialogue”, which brought me on the trail of “Black Eyed Susan” and finally lead me to “Sixto Rodriguez”!

So I read the facts you collected in your website and after all I could buy me a copy of ‘Cold Fact’ through Amazon.com, Germany (which was amazing that they could supply it in Germany). Two days later I received the album and now I really love it – as it’s interesting, unique and simply good music!

It turned out that my Dad also wrote the lyrics from the song “Gommorah”. He really was amazed that I could find the stuff we talked about two years ago and as I forwarded the links to him, so he could surf through by himself!

If you ever have the chance, get yourself a copy of the first Rare Earth Album “Dreams/Answer” on Verve Records! You might find some parallels as it was produced by the same team back then!

28th September 2001, Darin wrote again:

I would be pleased if you quote my e-mail on your website and your e-mag!

I’m so happy that I could expose some old stories and connection with the help of your work and website!

Meanwhile I got contact with Francois Bredenkamp from the “Black Eyed Susan” and even with Mike Theodore, the Producer of “Cold Fact”.

Francois Bredenkamp was very surprised and pleased to receive my mail and promised to send me a copy of their album. Unfortunately his band doesn’t exist anymore!

This is what he wrote me:

It’s a great surprise and pleasure to hear from you. We fell in love with the song lyrics and decided to make a remake. We are a South African based independent band, but unfortunately Black Eyed Susan does not exist anymore. I don’t know if you are aware of this but Rodriguez is an legend in our country. He is currently touring here till the end of September and I will watch him in Pretoria this Sunday.

This was definitely the most rewarding mail we have ever received for our efforts as a struggling rock band. (Francois Bredenkamp)

A few days later I received a mail from Mike Theodore (who’s still working as a producer in New Jersey, USA) and I was very amazed, as I didn’t try to contact him! He got information through my Dad, that I searched for Rodriguez and Black Eyed Susan!

Since I have the Rodriguez album ‘Cold Fact’, I introduced it to some friends and co-workers and everyone liked it and thought it’s very unique! They’ve been surprized that he’s totally unknown here, and that he’d never made it in Germany.

Radio Rats Set List 18 June 1978 Market Theatre

Radio Rats Set List 18 June 1978 Market Theatre
Radio Rats Set List 18 June 1978 Market Theatre

 

Martin Raphael and Ramases are not the same person | Space Hymns

Ramases and Sel on Felixstowe beach, 1975
Ramases and Sel, 1975. Photo: Pennie Smith (NME)

It was reported by many reviewers and re-issue liner note writers that the real name of the artist known as Ramases (who recorded the cult classic album Space Hymns in 1971) was Martin Raphael.

However in May 2012, Dorothy, better known to Ramases fans as Sel (or Selket), advised that her late husband, Ramases (real name Barrington Frost) and Martin Raphael were not the same person.

I would like to clear up the confusion between Ramases (Barrington Frost), born in Sheffield, and Martin Raphael who played the sitar on Space Hymns. I do not know where he was born or where he lived. I wish to confirm that Ramases and Martin Raphael were not the same person. I do not know how this misunderstanding has come about. I would be interested to hear any comments. Love and light from Selket. (Dorothy Frost, wife of Ramases)

Dorothy’s message was posted on the Space Hymns website and Facebook Page, and actor and musician, Peter Stormare responded with some information after listening to the studio out-take tapes.

Martin Raphael’s nickname was Ralph to start with….
On one of the out-takes the engineer… (Gouldman, I think) talks over the intercom to the guy on the floor … you think it’s to Ram but actually Ram isn’t even there … it’s an overdub… (track is obviously Molecular Delusion, Mr Raphael’s only contribution).

“Hey Ralph” And it sounds as if Ram is replying, but that’s a previous take…
It’s very clear on our out-take…
“Ralph” Martin Raphael is then the only one talking…
Ram did show and sing him the chord-changes, but when the sitar is laid down on the next take Ram has left.

Also the famous “Fuck” heard on Molecular Delusions is clearly not Ram but Martin Raphael … he thought the chorus was coming and plays that note but there is still 8 bars of verse to go … he goes back to the verse after a bar.