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Benjy says...

Greetings fellow rock fans,

My thanks to fellow Rush fan, Martin Myers, for an entertaining and informative 50 minutes playing a wide variety of songs from the band's extensive back catalogue. As I said on the show we could easily have done 2 hours, my apologies if you didn't hear your favourite Rush tune ..... drop me a line with your faves and I'll try and fit them in over the coming weeks .... next week's special with be the Kings of classic Southern Rock ...

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd

The band, first called My Backyard, was formed in Jacksonville, Florida in the summer of 1964 by teenage friends Ronnie van Zant (vocals), Allen Collins (guitar), Gary Rossington (guitar), Larry Junstrum (bass), and Bob Burns (drums). Their early influences included British Invasion bands such as Free, The Yardbirds and the Beatles, as well as Southern blues and country music. During the 1960s, the band changed names several times (most notably The Noble Five and One Percent) while playing local dances and clubs in Jacksonville.

The final band name came about, inspired as a mocking tribute to Rossington's and Burns' gym coach Leonard Skinner who would strictly enforce the school's dress code, which did not allow boys to have long hair touching the collar or sideburns below the ears. After being punished several times, the bandmates played a show, still as One Percent, but Van Zant jokingly announced from the stage that they were now called Leonard Skinner. The name stuck, soon becoming Lynard Skynard, and finally Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band continued to perform throughout the South in the early 1970s, further developing their hard-driving, blues-rock sound and image. In 1972, Leon Wilkeson replaced Larry Junstrom on bass. Wilkeson left just before recording their first album. Strawberry Alarm Clock guitarist Ed King was called in to fill the role as bass player. After the album was completed, Van Zant informed King that he was "the worst bass player he'd ever played with". He suggested King move to guitar so they could reproduce the studio album's three-guitar sound. Soon the band's triple-guitar attack became a signature sound.

Producer Al Kooper was impressed with the band during a live performance and signed them to MCA Records. He produced their first album, 1973's Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd, which featured the song "Free Bird", a tribute to recently deceased Duane Allman. "Free Bird" began to receive national airplay, eventually reaching #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts charts. The song has also become the subject of a rock and roll cliche which is the shouting of a request to hear the song at almost any live concert, regardless of the performer. This practice has become so commonplace at live concerts it has largely evolved into a parody of itself. Lynyrd Skynyrd's fan base continued to grow rapidly during 1973, due in large part to their opening slot on The Who's Quadraphenia tour in the U.S. During one of these shows, at the Cow Palace in California, The Who refused to go on after them, because the crowd was still calling for more. Their second album, 1974's Second Helping, was the band's breakthrough hit. It featured their most popular single "Sweet Home Alabama", an answer song to Neil Young's "Alabama" and "Southern Man". In a response to their response, Warren Zevon recorded his song "Play it All Night Long" which contains the chorus: "Sweet Home Alabama / Play that dead band's song." However, the belief that Van Zant and Young were rivals is incorrect; they were actually fans of each other's music and talked of collaborations together. Young has covered Lynyrd Skynyrd songs at his own live concerts as a tribute to Van Zant. Second Helping reached #12, eventually going multi-platinum. The band also toured the U.K. in 1975 with Golden Earring and in 1976 with the Rolling Stones. Van Zant

In 1975, Burns left the band and was replaced by North Carolina drummer Artimus Pyle. The new lineup's first album, Nuthin' Fancy, was released, becoming their first Top Ten album. It features the hit song "Saturday Night Special". Gimme Back My Bullets followed in 1976, but didn't reach the same success as the previous two albums. In December 1975 Leslie Hawkins, Cassie Gaines and JoJo Billingsley were added to the band. Guitarist Steve Gaines, replaced King in 1976, just in time to record the double-live album One More from the Road, the band's second Top Ten hit. While at their peak, Skynyrd's unique sound was complete with a triple guitar attack, usually including one slide and a rocking Gibson Flying V. Adding to the wall of sound was the meoldic bass playing, the wild yet ryhthmic percussion section, along with Van Zant's strong vocals and the furious keyboard/piano playing of Powell. Lynyrd Skynyrd's sixth album, Street Survivors, was released in October of 1977. It would be the final album released by the original line-up.

Lynyrd Skynyrd's legend is grounded in a plane crash that occurred on October 20, 1977, three days after the release of Street Survivors. A chartered airplane carrying the band between shows from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana was low on fuel and crashed near a forest in Mississippi. The crash killed band members, singer/songwriter Ronnie van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and vocalist Cassie Gaines, as well as severely injuring Artimus Pyle who crawled out of the plane wreckage with several broken ribs, yet ran nearly a mile to a farmhouse to try to get help. In an ironic twist, the farmer Johnny Mote, on first seeing the wild-haired blood- and mud-encrusted drummer babbling incoherently, greeted him with a (fortunately non-fatal) shotgun blast to his shoulder. Allen Collins suffered two cracked vertebrae in his neck, and both Collins and Leon Wilkeson nearly had arms amputated as a result of crash injuries. Wilkeson suffered severe internal injuries and a punctured lung. Gary Rossington broke both of his arms and both of his legs in the crash, and took many months to recuperate. Leslie Hawkins sustained a concussion, broke her neck in three places and had severe facial lacerations. Only pianist Billy Powell was relatively uninjured in the accident, but nearly had his nose torn off and suffered severe facial lacerations. On the original pressing of the cover of Street Survivors was a photograph of the band engulfed in flames. MCA Records, out of courtesy and good judgment, withdrew the sleeve and replaced it with a cover of the band striking a similar pose against a plain black background.

Street Survivors became the band's second platinum album, and was the #5 top selling album on the U.S. album chart. The single "What's Your Name" reached #13 on the single airplay charts in January of 1978. Lynyrd Skynyrd disbanded after the airplane tragedy but reformed in 1987 with singer Johnny van Zant fronting the band. They have released several studio and live albums through the years and earlier this year they were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.

Rock of Ages's recommendations

Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival

Along with Island Records, Vertigo, Deram and Virgin, Harvest Records was one of the leading labels in progressive and heavy rock throughout the 70's. As an imprint label of EMI Records the label was responsible for introducing the musical wonders of such obscure artists like Kevin Ayers, Michael Chapman, Roy Harper and the Third Ear Band alongside such luminaries as Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Greatest Show on Earth, Edgar Broughton Band, Babe Ruth and the Climax Chicago Blues Band.

I have just acquired the "Harvest Festival" 5 CD box set covering this legendary label's output from 1969 to 1979 ..... 97 tracks in total from all the artists mentioned above PLUS The Pretty Things, Syd Barrett, Barclay James Harvest, The Move and many, many more. It is housed in a large coffee table book style with a 120 page, full colour libretto and is the best CD package I have ever come across and is highly recommended for Rock of Ages fans who want an early Xmas/birthday present. Richard Filmer from CDW is trying to source some copies of this amazing box set so get your orders in now (Richard's details below).


David Gilmour and Pink Floyd

It's David Gilmour and Pink Floyd month at Rock of Ages with a fantastic month long competition: you could win one of fifteen copies of the new David Gilmour album "On an island" on the show over the next three weeks or one of five grand prizes of the album plus the "The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story" double dvd.

Click here to enter.

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Email: click here
Snail mail:
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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.

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Click to Win!
Win one of 15 copies of the new David Gilmour album "On An Island" or one of five grand prizes of the album plus the "The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story" double DVD ... courtesy of Sony BMG.

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David Gilmour CD - click to win!
The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story - click to win!
News from the
World of Rock
Lenny Hendrix
JIMI HENDRIX's life and death is set to hit the big screen with LENNY KRAVITZ the favourite to play the rock legend. Music impresario ELLE VON LEAR has acquired the "exclusive authority" to use the name, likeness and performances of Hendrix after a lengthy battle with the rocker's estate - and the first thing she plans to do is make a controversial biopic.

No Priest Reality is reporting that JUDAS PRIEST have snubbed the opportunity to appear in a reality TV show because they fear it will cast a shadow over their other achievements. The British heavy metal legends weren't willing to risk being ridiculed, despite the success of shows such as "Rock School" starring KISS bassist Gene Simmons.

JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford says, "Everybody is an exhibitionist these days. I've been offered a reality show to get country singers to do a metal-country song in Tennessee. It's mad isn't it? [bless you Rob!]

Eno Denies Roxy
Despite widespread media reports the legendary Brian Eno is not working on the new Roxy Music album. The official Roxy Music website had announced the news a while back, but have since deleted all posts. Now Brian Eno website EnoWeb claims the reports were "untrue and just in-good-faith wishful thinking from the journalists -- Brian has no involvement with the band's current recording or tour plans.

Audioslave R&B
According to, AUDIOSLAVE have set "Revelations" as the title of their third album, due in June. For the follow-up to last year's "Out of Exile", singer Chris Cornell wanted to explore a vocal style he feels closest to but has never touched on before: R&B. "I love rock music, but my favorite singers are not in rock bands," Cornell confessed. "They're Stevie Wonder, Mavis Staples, the CHAMBER BROTHERS.

Country Halen
David Lee Roth will be singing Van Halen songs again this spring, but not with the band. Roth is featured on three tracks on Strummin' With The Devil, a collection of Van Halen songs done in bluegrass style that will be released on June 6th.

Def Lep CD Release Set
Coming hot on the heels of their Platinum-certified 2-CD hits package, Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection, Def Leppard have announced that they will release their 12th studio album YEAH! (Island/UMe) on May 23, 2006. On their highly anticipated new album, Def Leppard have created a heartfelt and hard rocking tribute to their musical heroes of the late 60's and 70's - the Kinks, Badfinger, T. Rex, David Bowie, Sweet, Roxy Music, Mott the Hoople, Free, Faces, and Thin Lizzy.

PC Beatles
In a controversial move, record company bosses have decided to erase the cigarettes off the front cover of a Beatles album. Compilation 'Capitol Albums Volume 2' gets its re-release on April 3, but the new cover will be devoid of cigarettes in the fab four's hands. It's not the first time a label has erased cigarettes from a Beatles cover. In the mid eighties when 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' was re-released by EMI in America, Paul's cigarette was removed from the frame. [Wonder what Lennon might think? Perhaps? Warning: complaining about my smoking may be hazardous to your health!]

Motley Bob Rock
Motley Crue is expected to head into the studio this June and July for the follow-up to 2005's compilation Red, White and Crue. The eighties metal legends have been at work with rock producer Bob Rock, who produced the group's 1989 album Dr. Feelgood, and have a month of rehearsals scheduled to prepare.

"We need a month to get all the songs together and demo them, because there are lots and lots of ideas floating around," said singer Vince Neil to Rolling Stone.

Live Gigs
Jack Hammer
21 April Steak & Ale, Centurion

Piet Botha Unplugged
15 April Potter's Place, Jeffreys Bay

Red House
4th April Bucaneers, East London
5th April The Deck, Gonubie
6th Tapas, Port Elizabeth
7th Café Havana, Jeffreys Bay
8th Snorting Grunter, Port Alfred

Architecture Of Aggression
Friday April 7 @ London Calling, Fairview

Stoned Goblin
8th April – 350 Stark Rd, Goodwood: Blackout Charity Rock Festival 10 Bands, door open 2pm R30 entry
14th April - The One Ring, Lower Main Rd, Observatory
22nd April - Gandalfs, Lower Main Rd, Observatory

You say it's your birthday...

No April birthday info at the moment...

Courtesy of About ClassicRock

Birthday archives


"Benjy says..." Archive

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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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