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Listen to Benjy Mudie every Thursday night between 8 and 12pm on Radio 2000.

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SA Rock Encylopedia This website is part of the South African Rock Encyclopedia

Benjy says...

Dear rock fans, Lots of rock news and live gigs this week plus, as per usual, last week's playlist. I took a few calls about the Foreigner special, a couple of fans felt that the band were not a bonefide 'rock' outfit and shouldn't be on Rock of Ages (!) but the majority loved hearing rockers like "Double vision", 'Jukebox hero", "Dirty white boy" and the like. My opinion?? I saw them live twice and they were awesome, they may have had a few pop radio hits along the way but they are as important to classic rock as Boston, early Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Rainbow et al ..... Anyway there are many angles to the mighty ROCK and we play them all on Rock of Ages.

Next week's special will be a quantum leap backwards to the dawn of what was to be called 'heavy' music, the time of bells, beads, flowers, incense, drum solos ..... and ...

Iron Butterfly

Iron Butterfly

The Los Angeles music climate of the late sixties and seventies was characterized by the heavy sounds and sentiments that reflected the revolutionary attitudes of the generation. Bursting onto that scene was a new group whose sound not only epitomized the hard attitudes of the youth with its heavy drumming and bass lines, but also embraced more delicate aspirations through its intricate guitar and keyboard overlays. Iron Butterfly was signed to ATCO records (a division of Atlantic Records) in the spring of 1967 and released their first album, aptly titled "Heavy", the following winter. While the band was on the road with the likes of: The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Traffic, The Who, and Cream, their impressive debut stayed on Billboard's album charts for almost a year.

In July of 1968, Iron Butterfly released the monumental LP, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", featuring the 17:05 minute side-long track that shook the entire music industry with its phenomenal reception. "Vida" outsold every record in the history of recorded music within the first year of its release (over eight million copies sold) and therefore outgrew and outsold the standard of the music industry's "Gold Album" award. For this achievment, Iron Butterfly was subsequently awarded the industry's very first "Platinum Album"! "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", stayed on the charts for 140 weeks, with 81 weeks in the Top Ten. To date the album has sold in excess of 30 million copies and remains an undisputed classic in the archives of rock with DJ's and audiophiles worldwide.

Within a year of releasing "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", Iron Butterfly had charted a third album, "Ball", - which surpassed "Vida" (still in Billboard's Classic Rock Top 10) turning gold, and climbed to No.1. "Ball" remained on the charts for 44 weeks, followed by two more album releases in 1970 - "Live", and "Metamorphosis", each charting respectably in the Top 20. Iron Butterfly toured extensively, appearing throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, where they appeared at London's world famous Royal Albert Hall. The band also appeared on stage with: Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Chicago, Janis Joplin, Steppenwolf, Canned Heat, Three Dog Night, Quicksilver, Yes, Creedence Clearwater, Rush, The Turtles, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Stills & Nash, & The Byrds, just to name a few! In the 70's, two albums titled, "Scorching Beauty" and "Sun of Steel" were released on MCA.

Iron Butterfly continues to perform to this day with the current lineup sporting original members bassist Lee Dorman and drummer Ron Bushy. For more information go to So join me next Thursday for 45 minutes of one of the heaviest of the early heavy bands and yes ... I will be playing the full length version of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" so get your drumsticks ready!!!

Rock of Ages's recommendations

Mostly Autumn

Mostly Autumn

There is still a shortage of new interesting bands or albums at the moment but one outfit that I have recently 'discovered' is Mostly Autumn. Hailing from the UK they are among the leading lights in new progressive rock and have been around since 1992, having released 13 albums including live and greatest hits packages. Their new album "Storms over still water" is their best by far, fusing Floydish guitar workouts, with Celtic folk, classical keyboard washes and beautiful vocal harmonies, the title track hasn't been off my iPod for weeks. If you are looking for something challenging and melodic check Mostly Autumn out.

Piet Botha

Saturday 25th February 2006 the South African music industry pays tribute to one of it's great legends, Piet Botha, at a festival to be held at the Foundry Fly Lounge, cnr. of Hans Stydom Avenue and N4 (Witbank) freeway, Silver Lakes, Pretoria East.

The event, which is appropriately named "A Good Friend of Mine", a title of one of his favourite songs, starts at 13h00 in the afternoon and will feature top acts like Karen Zoid, Albert Frost, Anton Goosen, Gert Vlok Nel, Southern Gypsey Queen, Not My Dog, Scicoustic, Akkedis and many more of SA's best acts currently playing on the local music circuit. All the artists participating in this festival, have at some or other stage been involved with Botha, either by playing with him, having shared the stage with him, had an album produced by him or have been mentored by the master.

Legend Of A Mind

Legend Of A Mind

Another one of those fantastic classic rock label retrospectives that seem to be the rage these days is "Legend of a mind" ... and this time it is the turn of Decca's Deram, Threshold and Nova labels. A 3 CD set with biogs, rare photos and exclsuive interviews, over 235 minutes of music from the legendary UK 'underground' and progressive rock scene 1967-1975. Artists featured include early Thin Lizzy, Caravan, Camel, Ten Years After, East of Eden, Moody Blues, Trapeze, Keef Hartley, Savoy Brown plus some real rarities that I have only ever read about like The End, Aardvark, Egg and Clark-Hutchinson ... and the ultra ultra rare Mellow Candle. Talk to Richard Filmer at CD Wherehouse about this (address below).

Acid Alex

Acid Alex

It's unusual for me to recommend a book, let alone one that isn't about rock music but Alex Lovejoy's "Acid Alex" is probably the best biography that I have read in the last decade. The reviews that I have read compare him to the late Hunter Thompson and whilst I love Gonzo's early work this is better ... you see Alex Lovejoy speaks my language, about towns and cities I know personally, situations and events that strike a chord within, even musos that I knew well ... It's a 'ware' South African story of a life lost in the darkness and eventual redemption, about what happens when the monkeys call the tune and Shylock comes calling for his pound of flesh. It's in short one of the great South African rock 'n roll stories ever written and if there is any justice he should win a literary prize ... Highly recommended.

Astral Daze
Psychedelic South African Rock 1968-1972

Astral Daze

A new RetroFresh compilation has just been released. 'Astral Daze - Psychedelic South African Rock 1968-1972' features 18 classic, rare and obscure tracks (16 of which have never previously officially been released on CD before). This CD was compiled by myself and Brian Currin with major input from SA rock collector Tertius Louw.

  1. The Whip - Suck
  2. Astral III - The Invaders
  3. The Boy And The Bee - Omega Limited
  4. Straight Ahead - Otis Waygood
  5. My Back Feels Light/What Can You Say - Abstract Truth
  6. The Eagle Has Landed - Dickie Loader with Freedom's Children
  7. You Keep Me Hanging On - The Flames
  8. Blurry Visions - Buzzard
  9. Fire - The Third Eye
  10. Predictions - Hawk
  11. Kafkasque - Freedom's Children
  12. Blue Machines and Dreams - Bryan Miller's Destruction
  13. The Mad Professor - John and Philipa Cooper
  14. Cathy Come Home - The Fireflies
  15. Morning Light - Tidal Wave
  16. Race With The Devil - The Bats
  17. Magic Dragon - The Idiots
  18. Birds Flying High - McCully Workshop


Congrats to the winners of last night's on-air competition who each one a copy of the "Definitive Foreigner" albums, courtesy of Gallo Music: Gordie Lawrence (Austenville); David Sutherland (Strand); Nicky van Rooyen (Parklands); Peter Cook (Westville) and Abraham Halam (Alabama). Please allow 4 weeks for delivery.


Jimmy Page has come out on top of Eddie Van Halen and others in a list of the greatest guitar solos ever recorded. Britain's Sun newspaper quotes an online survey that chose the guitar solo in Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" as the best of all time, followed by Van Halen's "Eruption." The tag-team of Gary Rossington and the late Allen Collins are third on the list for Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird."

Page told us he's extremely proud that his music is still held in such high regard: "You know, it's the most rewarding part of it, having, you know, been part of music like that which has stood up to the test of time. I think every musician hopes that their music will hold up, and it's wonderful."

The Top 10 Greatest Guitar Solos Of All Time, according to

1) "Stairway To Heaven," Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin
2) "Eruption," Eddie Van Halen, Van Halen
3) "Free Bird," Gary Rossington and Allen Collins, Lynyrd Skynyrd
4) "Comfortably Numb," David Gilmour, Pink Floyd
5) "All Along The Watchtower," Jimi Hendrix, the Jimi Hendrix Experience
6) "November Rain," Slash, Guns N' Roses
7) "One," Kirk Hammett, Metallica
8) "Hotel California," Don Felder and Joe Walsh, the Eagles
9) "Crazy Train," Randy Rhoads, Ozzy Osbourne
10) "Crossroads," Eric Clapton, Cream


Those of you who, like myself, were fans of Chris Prior, Rafe Lavine and Phil Wright were dismayed that their unique style of rock and roll radio seemed to fall out of favour at contemporary radio. The great news is that the trio are back on the air!!!

Thanks to the untiring efforts of fellow rock fanatic and DJ Leon Economides, Chris, Rafe and Phil have joined the ranks of Radio Today .... REJOICE ALL YOU ROCK FANS!

8.00pm to 10.00pm: Rafe Lavine (Hot Dog Radio)
Repeated 11.00pm and 01.00am on Mondays
10.00pm to midnight: Leon Economides (The RockIt Scientist)
Repeated 11.00pm and 01.00am on Tuesdays
8.00pm to 10.00pm: Chris Prior (The Rock Professor)
Repeated 10.00pm and midnight on Wednesdays
10.00pm to midnight: Phil Wright (The Metalhead)
Repeated 10.30pm and 12.30am on Thursdays
9.00pm to 11.00pm: David Blood (In Your Vein!)
Radio Today lineup (Visit for more details.
1485 Radio Today (also on DSTV Audio Channel 70)

Rock of Ages is brought to you by CD Wherehouse
- where the obsessed unite.

Contact Rock of Ages

Email: click here
Snail mail:
PO Box 782022, Sandton 2146
Studio phone: 089-1102003
Richard Filmer @ CDW

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.

Latest Playlist
News from the
World of Rock
The Rolling Stones have taken the top spot in a survey of the biggest earners in the music business last year. Forbes magazine has just published their list of music's biggest moneymakers, and the Stones are Number One with $168 million. U2 came in a close second, having brought in $150 million last year. The list, which also includes the Eagles, Paul McCartney, and Elton John, was compiled using a combination of tour data and record sales to come up with the dollar amounts.

The Forbes List Of The Top Music Moneymakers includes:
1) The Rolling Stones ($168 million)
2) U2 ($150 million)
3) Kenny Chesney ($110 million)
4) Green Day ($99 million)
5) The Eagles ($84 million)
6) Paul McCartney ($83 million)
7) Celine Dion ($81 million)
8) 50 Cent ($79 million)
9) The Dave Matthews Band ($74 million)
10) Elton John ($66 million)

David Gilmour is once again telling people that Pink Floyd is history, just as he's done for the past seven months. The singer-guitarist said, "I think enough is enough. I am 60 years old. I don't have the will to work as much anymore. Pink Floyd was an important part in my life, I have had a wonderful time, but it's over. For me, it's much less complicated to work alone."

Gilmour, keyboardist Richard Wright, and drummer Nick Mason reunited with singer-bassist Roger Waters at the Live 8 show in London last July, which was the first time they had all played together since 1981. Gilmour said there were a few reasons why they did the benefit: "Firstly, to support the cause. The second one is that the energy-consuming and uncomfortable relationship between Roger and me that I was carrying along in my heart. That is why we wanted to perform and to leave the trash behind. Thirdly, I might have regretted it if I declined."

The comments were made to La Republica magazine, and reprinted by the news service.

Gilmour's new solo album, only his third, is called "On An Island" ..... out March 7th.

Sources tell Rock of Ages that Van Halen is in the market for a new lead singer, and the marketplace will be the upcoming reality show 'Rock Star: The Series.' Last October, Van Halen reps vehemently denied the band would use 'Rock Star' in a talent search for a new lead singer. The reps are now singing a different tune. Van Halen publicist Larry Solters said "I'm not denying it. I'm not going to answer any questions about it."

Last year, the band INXS used 'Rock Star' to find a new lead singer. J.D. Fortune won the competition, and the band is now making a comeback with a hit new album and a sold-out tour. As for Van Halen, the group has had three lead singers since it hit the scene back in 1978: David Lee Roth, who left the band in 1985, Sammy Hagar, who split in 1995, and Gary Cherone, who did just one album and tour with the band in 1998. The next season of 'Rock Star,' produced by Mark Burnett for CBS, is scheduled to air during the summer. Neither Burnett nor CBS would comment on the Van Halen buzz.

Fans of late AC/DC frontman Bon Scott want a statue honoring the rock legend as part of a planned Fremantle redevelopment. And the city's mayor is backing the idea. Of 380 public submissions received by Fremantle council on a multimillion-dollar upgrade of Phillimore St, 345 were interested in honoring the dead singer.

A new Guns N' Roses track has made its way onto the Internet. The track appears to be a near studio quality demo of the song "I.R.S.", the same song that was played on Eddie Trunk's radio show by New York Mets' Mike Piazza in August of 2003. Several poor quality clips leaked onto the net last April. We also have reports that another new song titled "Better" has been partially leaked. A 1 minute 20 second clip of the song is reportedly making the rounds on the Internet as well. It is not known if the final versions of "I.R.S." and "Better" will make it onto the long delayed "Chinese Democracy", but the leak of "I.R.S." may settle some fears of the GNR faithful that the new album would be a huge departure from the classic GNR sound. It still sounds like GNR, just further down the road from "Use Your Illusion". GNR will always keep us guessing as that's Axl's nature but things tend to indicate that 2006 may just be the year for "Chinese Democracy".

HIM frontman Ville Valo was arrested afger allegedly threatening to kill his neighbour and resisting arrest. Police were called to the apartment block in Helsinki where the singer lives, after a fight broke out between him and his neighbour for undisclosed reasons. Vallo subsequently spent a night in jail.

"As the great American humorist Mark Twain once told a group of journalists: 'The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated...' I must make it clear that the current statements about a reunion of the original members of Asia circulating within the music and concert industries are somewhat premature. All four original members have met and discussed a reunion to celebrate the band's 25th Anniversary. However, at this time, no specific time frame for tours and recordings has been established, and no shows have been booked. At present, I am giving my complete focus to a North American tour of The Carl Palmer Band which will run from May through early July 2006. Ironically, 'Only Time Will Tell' when the original Asia can once again return."

All you Steely Dan fans can rejoice as Donald Fagen is set to release a new solo album entitled "Morph the Cat" on March 6. 'Morph The Cat' represents his third solo excursion following 'The Nightfly' (1981) and 'Kamakiriad' (1993). Blending rock, jazz, soul and a plethora of other musical influences with extended grooves and ever changing musical textures, 'Morph The Cat' has already been compared to the Steely Dan classic 'Aja' set in contemporary Manhattan. Fagen's renowned lyrical darkness once more comes to the fore throughout 'Morph The Cat'. The hint of alien attack in 'Mary Shut The Gate' was written after the Republican convention hit Manhattan. "I'd much rather being fighting aliens, although there are some similarities", he says.

Live Gigs
Finch & Henson
17-26 Feb. Dockyard Theatre Durban

Lancaster Band
24 Feb Acoustic Cafe, Muizenberg

The Nu Folk featuring Albert Frost, Jim Neversink, Sinister Minister and Josie Field
Sunday 5 March from 15h00 Tanz Café, Bryanston

Stoned Goblin
4/24 March Gandalfs, Observatory
11 March Belgian Beer Pub, Stellenbosch

You say it's your birthday ...
February 18
Robbie Bachman (Bachman Turner Overdrive) - 1953
Yoko Ono - 1933
Dennis DeYoung (Styx) - 1947
February 19
Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) - 1948
Mark Andes (Firefall, Heart) - 1948
February 20
Jerome Geils (J. Geils Band) - 1946
Walter Becker (Steely Dan) - 1950
Randy California (Spirit) - 1951
Jon Brant (Cheap Trick) - 1954
Lew Soloff (Blood, Sweat & Tears) - 1944
February 21
Paul Newton (Uriah Heep)
Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads) - 1949
February 23
Johnny Winter - 1944
Rusty Young (Poco, Buffalo Springfield) - 1946
Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) - 1952
February 24
Paul Jones (Manfred Mann) - 1942
Bob "Bear" Hite (Canned Heat) - 1945
Lonnie Turner (Steve Miller Band) - 1947
February 25
George Harrison - 1943
February 26
Mitch Ryder - 1945
Paul Cotton (Poco) - 1943
Jonathan Cain (Journey) - 1950
Fats Domino - 1928
February 27
Neal Schon (Santana, Journey) - 1954
Johnny Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd) - 1959
February 28
Brian Jones (Rolling Stones) - 1942
Cindy Wilson (B-52's) - 1957

Courtesy of About ClassicRock

Birthday archives


"Benjy says..." Archive

Stay tuned every Thursday 8-12pm for the best in classic rock on RADIO 2000.

Your Host

Benjy Mudie
Benjy Mudie with Void in the late 70's Benjy Mudie 2004
Then Now

Benjy Mudie was inducted into the South African Rock Hall Of Fame on 14th August 2002. Of Scottish origin, Mudie started out in the music industry working in record shops. He later became the A&R man for WEA records, signing such luminaries as Lesley Rae Dowling, Baxtop and Falling Mirror. He has ventured briefly into the realms of songwriting, getting co-writing credit for Little Sister's song 'You Got My Heart', but it is mainly for his running of record labels, notably Tusk and more recently Fresh and Retro Fresh that he is honoured. With these labels he has tirelessly dedicated himself to putting South African music out there, showing an unshaking belief in the quality of SA music.


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