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Benjy says...

Welcome to the Rock of Ages newsletter ......

According to the listeners that either phoned in or emailed me the morning after, Part 2 of Live In Concert rocked as hard as the first one! When you look at what was played during the special one cannot help but be blown away with the sheer diversity of great rock and blues music ... Mountain, Janis Joplin, Grand Funk, The Doors, Neil Young, Jeff Beck and Jimi ... of course, always Jimi - Although I must have heard "Machine Gun" hundreds of times it never fails to make my spine tingle and give me goosebumps ... There are so many great live albums that we will have to do a Part 3 so lets have your suggestions.

Table Mountain Blues Summit - click for more info
This coming Thursday (16th) I will have a couple of special guests in the studio, namely Dr John Mostert and Greg Smith from the Boulevard Blues Band along with Mike Combrink who is the promoter of the upcoming blues festival. They will be chatting about the Table Mountain Blues Summit on the 25th (see the gig guide below for details) as well as the new BBB album and ... of course all things 'blues'. I will be giving away some BBB albums and a pair of double tickets for the festival - by the way I'll be there catching some great players and bands.

Be sure to catch the Barney Simon Show on Radio 2000 every Tuesday 8 to midnight for the best in South African music plus competitions, rock news, gigs, demos, new gear reviews and much more. Barney is a true rock fan who has contributed so much to the development of music in this country and his show is an absolute riot! ... don't forget to catch Mo G on the Radio 2000 Breakfast Show 8-10am, this show rocks ... I mean where else could you hear Free's "Alright now" at 8 in the morning? ... Want more music, news and cool interesting stuff? ... catch up with music uber babe Michelle Constant every Monday to Friday, 1-3pm on Radio 2000 ..... Why submit yourself and those around you to mindless grey radio when Radio 2000 is rocking - tell your friends!

This coming week's special will be one of the more interesting late 60's bands that many of you either may not be familiar with or may have not heard of them for years .... Blodwyn Pig .... You are in for a real melange of blues, acid rock, jazz and folk served up by Mssrs Abrahams, Lancaster, Pyle and Berg, I will be spinning tracks from the band's three seminal albums: "Rings out ahead", "Getting to this" and "The Basement tapes" - always something different on Rock of Ages.

The Rock of Ages Special - Blodwyn Pig



The late 1960s yielded a remarkable crop of British blues-based rock guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher, Peter Green ..... and Mick Abrahams. Back then, Mick Abrahams' guitar playing profile was on a par with that of his contemporaries. And now, nearly thirty years later, he is playing better than ever.The roots of Mick Abrahams' musical career were typical of aspiring guitarists in the mid-sixties, taking in stints with R&B groups like The Hustlers, The Toggery Five, Screaming Lord Sutch, Neil Christian's Crusaders (replacing Jimmy Page) and his own McGregor's Engine. By late 1967 Mick had become a founder member of Jethro Tull, and throughout 1968 the band built up a reputation based on the already distinctive blues guitar of Abrahams and the flute playing and wild stage persona of Ian Anderson. The band's unique blend of blues, jazz and rock was reflected in their first album This Was, an immediate UK chart hit. However, having two such strong personalities as a twin focus was always going to be a recipe for musical incompatibility, and at the end of 1968 Abrahams jumped ship.


While Tull sailed a new course away from the blues under Captain Anderson, Mick formed his own band, dubbed Blodwyn Pig by a stoned hippy friend just back from the Buddhist trail. Their two albums, 1969's Ahead Rings Out and 1970's Getting To This, were a delightful amalgam of the 'progressive blues' of This Was and the jazzier influences of saxophonist Jack Lancaster, and both albums spent several weeks in the UK Top Ten charts. America too embraced the band in the course of two tours there. At that stage Blodwyn Pig looked destined for great things - but the old ogre of musical differences reared its ugly head, and Abrahams left his own band. Blodwyn Pig soldiered on for a while, but Mick's presence had been too vital a factor in their success, and the Pig died.The early seventies saw Mick on 'Top Of The Pops' and 'In Concert' on Radio One with The Mick Abrahams Band, showcasing two fine guitar-driven rock albums in (A Musical Evening With) Mick Abrahams and At Last. The band enjoyed success throughout Europe; but record company support was less encouraging and, after a short-lived Blodwyn Pig reunion in 1974 (immortalised via another Radio One live broadcast), a disillusioned Mick Abrahams effectively quit the music business.


Here we are in the new millennium, and Mick Abrahams' recording career is busier than ever. After spending the rest of the seventies and most of the eighties in civvy street, with just the occasional appearance at charity gigs to remind us of what a great guitarist the ex-Pig was, Mick Abrahams was persuaded by the enthusiastic response of the fans to these one-off gigs to resuscitate Blodwyn Pig - and what a fine decision it has been. Far from simply trading on past glories, Mick has spent the nineties writing and recording new music, both with Blodwyn Pig and as a solo artist. 1991's All Said And Done featured an impressive selection of new songs and stage favourites, while 1993's Lies was a sparkling collection of self-penned tracks. The Blods' dynamic stage performance was captured on the live 1994 album All Tore Down, and the 1996 solo electric blues album Mick's Back featured four new songs alongside a number of standards. And in between he has found time to guest on a number of other artists' albums, most notably on the Peter Green tribute album Rattlesnake Guitar alongside an illustrious Who's Who of the blues.The most remarkable 1996 album though was the solo release One, which featured Mick just on acoustic guitar ("unpigged"), augmented on four tracks by the mandolin, harmonica and flute of his erstwhile Jethro Tull cohort Ian Anderson. The renewed working relationship with Anderson had started in the early 1990s with a couple of live reunions at fan conventions, and has continued with Mick making special guest appearances at Jethro Tull concerts, while Ian has even played live with Blodwyn Pig. That Ian should volunteer to play on One is as high as any testament to Mick's remarkable talents.


And still the man continues to produce new music. Mick's brand new album See My Way further demonstrates what a fine songwriter Mick Abrahams is in a range of styles, from slow tear-jerking blues to acoustic finger-picking ditties to driving fist-waving rock. The current line-up for this brilliant new album has some very distinguished guest musicians such as Elliott Randall, Dave Bronze, Geoff Whitehorn and Jim Rodford to name but a few. This has to be Mickıs finest album to date. It also marks a new direction for Mick, as this is his debut as a producer and this album is proof of his dedication to continue to make and produce great blues, country, rock and jazz influenced music that is unique and heart felt.There are plenty of good guitarists around, one of the hallmarks of a great guitarist is the development of a personal style - and the big, rich sound of Mick's rolling and tumbling licks are instantly recognisable, whether he is blasting out a blurred-finger eye-bulging rocker or making his guitar weep to a mournful slow blues - all of which impelled Record Collector recently to describe the band as the "rockin', rootin', ripsnortin' Blodwyn Pig".The fans too have welcomed Mick back with open arms. All the old Blodwyn Pig and Mick Abrahams Band albums are now available on CD alongside the newer material, and the band continues to tour and entertain the audiences of Europe with its powerful bluesy rock and rockin' blues .... The Mick Abrahams and Blodwyn Pig story - to be continued...


Rock of Ages presents "Footstompin' Music"

Our first classic rock cd compilation, "Footstompin' Music", will be released for Xmas through Universal Music, more details to follow but here is the final tracklisting for you to drool over .... guaranteed to get any self respecting rock party hopping! As you can see we have tried to avoid the usual tracks by these timeless artists, hence no Free Bird, Smoke on the water, Paranoid, Mississippi Queen, etc .... I hope you all rush out and buy it!
  1. Grand Funk Railroad - Footstompin' Music
  2. Deep Purple - Burn
  3. Uriah Heep - Look at yourself
  4. Black Sabbath - Sweat Leaf
  5. Thin Lizzy - Chinatown
  6. Robin Trower - Too rolling stoned
  7. Mountain - Never in my life
  8. Wishbone Ash - Blowin' free
  9. Foghat - I just wanna make love to you
  10. Budgie - Baby, please don't go
  11. Santana - Toussaint l'Overture
  12. Alice Cooper - Muscle of love
  13. Nazareth - Go down fighting
  14. Blue Oyster Cult - The Red & the Black
  15. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme back my bullets
  16. Free - The Hunter
  17. Taste - What's goin' on

Rock of Ages's recommendations


I'm an huge fan of guitarist Mike Slamer whose fiery playing has graced albums by cult 70's UK band City Boy, Streets (his 80's collaboration with ex Kansas singer Steve Walsh) as well as Steelhouse Lane and Seventh Key. His new album "Nowhere Land " **** (Frontiers Records) finds Mike teaming up with vocalist/lyricist Terry Brock in what can only be described as one of the best melodic hard rock albums of the year. From the opening stanza of the brooding title track to the jawdropping riffs of "Superstar", Slamer's fretwork is very much to the fore. That's not to diss Terry Brock's vocals which are reminiscent of Davey Pattison and Jeff de Soto but it's pretty much Mike's album though and through .... By the way Frontiers Records are putting out some very cool rock these days,check them out at

***** Volcanic....not to be missed.
**** Seismic....highly it!
*** Aftershock....solid effort.
** Xmas cracker...Pooof!
* Do I need to explain this?

Competition Winners

No 'Rockpert of the week' I'm afraid, although the questions were answered on-air it turned out that the winner had won earlier this year and was not eligible. Not to worry 'tho I'll be back with another 3 stiff rock questions this coming Thursday ... In the meantime here are the winners of the new "Best of Aerosmith" album, courtesy of SonyBMG ...... Bryden McGhee (Durbanville); Gerhard Erasmus (Durbanville); Christo Groenewald (Strand); Peter Harrison (Komatipoort) and Wernich Wilsenach (Pietermaritzburg) ... Congrats to you all, please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of the prizes. If you haven't received it by then please email me.

Keep the rock real ...


Contact Rock of Ages

Snail mail:
PO Box 53585, Kenilworth, 7745
Studio phones: 089-2101004

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
Rock Of Ages News
All Aboard The Gravy Train
Cult '70s band Gravy Train are to have a two-CD anthology released by Castle on December 11. Called 'Strength Of A Dream', it packages together the band's two albums for the Dawn label, 1973's 'Second Birth' and 'Staircase To The Day', issued a year later. Also included are six bonus tracks.

Van Halen: New Bassist
Van Halen have a new bassist. He's Wolfgang Van Halen, son of Eddie, who replaces Michael Anthony. What happens next with the band remains to be seen, there are rumours of a planned re-union tour next year with original frontman David Lee Roth.

Genesis On Tour
Genesis are officially back. Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks. The trio are to play shows next Summer, including two in the UK: London Twickenham Stadium July 7, Manchester Old Trafford July 8.

Walken Is Ozzy
Watch out for Christopher Walken playing Ozzy in the upcoming Motley Crue biopic 'The Dirt'. Walken will have a cameo role as the Double O. Both Val Kilmer and David Lee Roth are also being lined up for brief appearances.

Short Cuts
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry was concussed after being hit by a camera boom during a show in Las Vegas. Fortunately, he wasn't badly injured ... Late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell is to be honoured with his own star on the Hard Rock Cafe Dallas Walk Of Fame. A ceremony will happen on November 9 ... Kiss continue their attempt at world domination. Watch out for Kiss toothbrushes in '07. Electric, of course ... There's been another change in the Guns n' Roses line-up. Drummer Frank Ferrer has temporarily replaced Brian Mantia. The latter is taking a break to spend time with his wife and newly born baby ... A movie based on the life of the late Freddie Mercury is being planned. This is expected to involve the other members of Queen ... Audioslave's Chris Cornell is to cover the Michael Jackson song 'Billie Jean' on this new, as yet untitled solo album.

More Classic Rock?
I can highly recommend the About Classic Rock website run by Dave White. Not only does Dave host one of the most knowledgeable classic rock blogs on the Net but the site itself is very entertaining and informative. There are always great indepth stories on the artists and the rock quizzes are addictive. If you are like me, a classic rock fan, then the weekly About Classic Rock newletter is a must. Sign up at

More rock on R2K ......
Suffering from Rock withdrawal symptoms on a Tuesday night? Well then tune the dial el pronto to Barney Simon's show between 8 and midnight every Tuesday on Radio 2000 (or R2K as Barney calls it) for the best in South African rock plus gig guide,albums reviews, demos, new releases, news from around the country and much more ...... Unmissable! .... Also don't forget to catch Michelle Constant between 1pm and 3pm Monday-Friday for news, music, interviews and loads of cool stuff .... and of course .... Mo G on the morning drive, weekdays 8-10am ... Exclusively on Radio 2000.
Live Gigs
Table Mountain Blues Summit - click for bigger pic

Table Mountain Blues Summit

25th November Tafelberg Tavern, Hope Street Cape Town

Featuring: Blues Broers, Boulevard Blues Band, Albert Frost Trio, Piet Botha & Jack Hammer, Southern Gypsy Queen, Terri & Harper Jnr Blues Duo, Gerald Clark ... For ticket sales or more information, contact Mike Combrinck 083-4599748 (

Animal Abuse Gig

18th November Corner Bar, Durbanville – Mind Assault, 12th Avenue, Zenith


15th/27th Bertie's Mooring

Harris Tweed

17 November The 88 lounge, Norwood

The Hellphones

11th The Deck, Gonubie, EL

Jack Hammer

16th November Back to Basix, Westdene

'Ranges of Rock'

11th Nov - featuring Zenith, SolTree and debut heavy rockers OVERHEARD at COOL RUNNINGS, 227 LONG STR

Boulevard Blues Band

15th - Berties Mooring 8pm till 11pm (Acoustic Sessions)
19th - Berties Mooring 5pm till 8pm
25th- Robertson Rocks Festival
29th - Berties Mooring 8pm till 11pm (Acoustic Sessions)
30th - Die Boer Durbanville

Jim Neversink

18th November Radium Beer Hall, Orange Grove

London Calling (Fairview JHB)

25th November Metal Night IV with Architectureof Agression, Chromium and Psordid
8th December The Privates, Desmond & The Tutu’s and Greenisforturbo

Larry Amos 17th November Steak n' Ale Pretoria
18th November Toninios, Orange Grove JHB

Chris Letcher (Ex Urban Creep & Van der Want/Letcher)

Sat 11 Nov - Mystic Boer, Victoria Street, Stellenbosch. 9pm

Springbok N*de Girls on GO Summer Tour in December

15 December - DBN – Rocky Ridge Restaurant, Margate (TBC)
16 December - DBN – Wavehouse, Umhlanga (TBC)
18 December – EC - The Deck, East London
19 December – EC – The Station, Port Alfred
22 December – EC – Tapas Al Sol, Port Elizabeth
23 December – WC – The Workshop, ST Francis
27 December – WC- Plush, George
28 December – WC – Camelot, Mossel Bay
29 December – WC – The Finale Show in Somerset West (Venue TBC)

You say it's your birthday...
November 9
Joe Bouchard - Blue Öyster Cult - 1948
Tom Fogerty - Creedence Clearwater Revival - 1941-1990
Alan Gratzer - REO Speedwagon - 1948

November 10
Greg Lake - Emerson Lake and Palmer - 1947
Ronnie Hammond - Atlanta Rhythm Section - 1950

November 11
Chris Dreja - The Yardbirds - 1945
Vince Martell - Vanilla Fudge - 1945

November 12
Neil Young - 1945
Buck Dharma - Blue Öyster Cult - 1947
November 13
Roger Steen - The Tubes - 1949

November 14
James Young - Styx - 1949

November 15
Steve Fossen - Heart - 1949

Courtesy of
About ClassicRock

Birthday archives


"Benjy says..." Archive

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

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Benjy Mudie
Benjy Mudie with Void in the late 70's - click for bigger picture Benjy Mudie 2006 - click for bigger picture
Then Now

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.


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