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Benjy says...

Greetings,

A bit of a mixed reaction to the Family special on Thursday with some listeners who were clearly fans and others who said that it didn't move them at all. I even had one person who asked 'how could you play such crap, that's not rock'!!

Before I answer that, it is important to accept that our rock loving family, like all families, has different tastes - on Rock of Ages we have metal and hard rock fans, folk-rock lovers, garage 'n punk aficionados, late 60's psychedelic travellers, classic 70's stoner rockers plus blues, prog, jazz-rock, alt-country and acid rock fans ... not to forget Kraut rock, Brit rock, 'jambands', alternative, etc, etc - you know what I mean. The point being is that as your weekly host, I try to play as many different strands of the rock tree as I possibly can - as one now portly singer songwriter once sang "It's still rock and roll to me". From the feedback that I get this is why most ROA listeners tune in - to hear a wide variety of rock music, not just the hit bands and songs but also, as I call them, the great unknowns ..... as far Roger Chapman of Family? Well love it or hate it his rich, vibrato enhanced rock voice was an integral part of not only the band but of the emerging 'underground' music scene in the late 60's.

This coming week we once again 'internationalise' the Rock of Ages Special and take a trip down the Rhine to Hanover, Germany to hook up with perhaps that country's most successful rock export - the hard rocking Scorpions. Join me on Thursday 8.45-9.30pm as we crank up the volume and shake our manes to "Blackout", "Wind of change", "Rock you like a hurricane" and the like - don't forget that we have 5 copies of their 3 CD Platinum Collection to give away, courtesy of EMI.

The Rock of Ages Special - The Scorpions


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The Scorpions are a hard rock band from Hanover, Germany, best known for their '80s rock anthem, "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and their singles "Wind of Change", "No One Like You", and "Still Loving You".

Formation and early history (1965-1973)
Guitarist, Rudolf Schenker set out to form a band in 1965, at first this was a school-kind- of- band with beat influences with Schenker himself on vocals. Things began to come together in 1969 when Schenker's younger brother Michael and vocalist Klaus Meine joined the band. In 1972 the group recorded and released their debut album Lonesome Crow with Lothar Heimberg on bass and Wolfgang Dziony on drums. During the Lonesome Crow tour, the Scorpions opened for upcoming British band UFO and at the end of the tour the members of UFO offered guitarist Michael Schenker the lead guitar job; an offer which he soon accepted.The departure of Michael Schenker led to the temporary break up of the Scorpions. In 1973, guitarist Uli Roth, a friend of the Schenker brothers, was in a band called Dawn Road. He had been offered the role as lead guitarist in Scorpions after Michael Schenker's departure (and even performed a gig with them) but turned the band down. Rudolf decided that he wanted to work with Roth but did not want to resurrect the last Scorpions lineup.Rudolf Schenker attended some of Dawn Road's rehearsals and ultimately decided to join the band, which consisted of Roth, Francis Buchholz (bass), and Juergen Rosenthal (drums). Roth persuaded Rudolf Schenker to invite Klaus Meine to join, which he did soon after. While there were more members of Dawn Road than the Scorpions in the band, they decided to use the Scorpions name because they had released an album and were known in the German hard rock scene .

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Rise to popularity (1974-1978)
In 1974 the new Scorpions released their second album Fly to the Rainbow which proved to be more successful than Lonesome Crow with songs such as "Speedy's Coming" and the title track . It wasn't until the following year that the band hit their stride with the release of In Trance which marked the beginning of the band's long collaboration with German producer Dieter Dierks. The album was a huge step forward for the Scorpions and firmly established their hard rock formula, while at the same time garnering a substantial fan base, both at home and abroad. Cuts such as "Dark Lady", "Robot Man" and the title track are still considered classics by fans today.In 1977, they released Virgi n Killer. The album's cover, which featured a fully nude prepubescent girl, brought the band considerable criticism and was ultimately pulled or replaced in several countries. In spite of the controversy, the album garnered significant praise from critics and fans alike.The followup to Virgin Killer, Taken by Force, was the first Scorpions record to be aggressively promoted in the United States. RCA Records, the band's label, made numerous efforts to promote the album in stores and on the radio. The album's single, "Steamrock Fever", was added to some of RCA's radio promotional records. RCA also supervised the album cover design avoiding any controversy by including introduction-type photographs that included the names of each member under individual photos. Roth was not happy with the label's efforts and the commercial direction the band was taking. Although he performed on the band's Japan tour, he departed prior to the release of the resultant double live album Tokyo Tapes, which was released in the US and Europe six months after its Japanese release. By that time, the Scorpions were already moving forward with new guitarist Matthias Jabs.

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Commercial success (1979-1990)
Following the addition of Jabs, the Scorpions left RCA for Mercury Records to record their next album. Just weeks after being evicted from UFO for his alcohol abuse, Michael Schenker also returned to the group for a short period, giving the band three guitarists (though Schenker's contributions to the final release was limited to only three songs). The result was Lovedrive, an album which some critics consider to be the pinnacle of their career. Containing such fan favorites as "Loving You Sunday Morning," "Holiday" and the instrumental "Coast to Coast," the "Scorpions formula" of hard rock songs mixed in with melodic ballads was firmly cemented. The album's provocative artwork was named "Best album sleeve of 1979" by Playboy magazine but was ultimately changed for American release. Lovedrive peaked at #55 on the US charts proving that Scorpions were gathering an international following. Michael, still coping with alcoholism, left during the following tour when Matthias Jabs was hired to fill in for him on those occasions when he couldn't perform.In 1980, the band released Animal Magnetism, again with a provocative cover showing a girl kneeling in front of a man's crotch. While Animal Magnetism contained classics such as "The Zoo" and "Make It Real," it was a critical disappointment when compared with Lovedrive. Soon after the album's release, Meine began experiencing throat problems. He required surgery on his vocal chords and there were doubts as to whether he would ever sing again with the Scorpions.

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While Meine made a full recovery, the band began working on their next album, Blackout. Don Dokken was brought in to provide guidance and backing vocals so that Meine could let his vocal chords completely heal. Meine's throat eventually healed completely and was able to finish the album. Blackout was released in 1982 and quickly became the band's best selling to date, spawning three hit singles: "Dynamite," "Blackout" and "No One Like You" and eventually going platinum. It was not until 1984 and the release of Love At First Sting that the band finally cemented their status as rock superstars. Propelled by the single "Rock You Like A Hurricane", Love At First Sting went up the charts and went double platinum. However, the Scorpions did manage to stir up controversy once again with their provocative album cover. This time it was a boy kissing a girl and at the same time planting a tattoo on her naked thigh. Some shops refused to sell the album, mimicking a gag from the satire movie This Is Spinal Tap that came out the same year. MTV gave the album's videos "Rock You Like A Hurricane," "Bad Boys Running Wild," "Big City Nights," and the power ballad "Still Loving You" significant airtime, greatly contributing to the album's success. The channel even supplied the Scorpions with the nickname "The Ambassadors of Rock."The band toured extensively behind Love At First Sting and decided to record and release their second live album, World Wide Live. Recorded over a year long period and released at the height of their popularity, the album was another success for the band, peaking at #17 on the charts.

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After their extensive world tours, the band finally returned to the studio to record Savage Amusement. Released in 1988, four years after their previous studio album, Savage Amusement represented a more polished pop sound similar to the style Def Leppard had found success with. The album sold well, but was considered somewhat of a critical disappointment. On the Savage Amusement tour in '88, the Scorpions became the first Western group to play in the former Soviet Union with a performance in Leningrad. The following year the band returned to perform at the Moscow Music Peace Festival. As a result, Scorpions developed a strong Russian fan base and still return regularly to perform throughout the area.Wishing to distance themselves from the Savage Amusement style, the band separated from their long-time producer and "Sixth Scorpion," Dieter Dierks, ultimately replacing him with Keith Olsen when they returned to the studio in 1990. Crazy World was released that same year and displayed a less polished sound. The album was a hit, propelled in large part by the massive success of the ballad "Wind of Change." The song muses on the socio-political changes that were occurring in Eastern Europe and in other parts of the world at the end of the Cold War. On July 21, 1990 they joined many other guests for Roger Waters' massive performance of The Wall in Berlin. Scorpions performed both versions of "In the Flesh" from The Wall.

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Latter days (1991-present)
After the release of Crazy World Francis Buchholz, the band's long-serving bassist, left the group. Replacing him was Ralph Rieckermann who handled bass duties until 2002. There were also rumours that Scorpions were upset by the heavy taxes they paid from royalties of Crazy World. As a result, they fired their manager, feeling that they might have been cheated.In 1993 the Scorpions released Face the Heat. For the recording process, Scorpions brought in producer Bruce Fairbairn. The album's sound was more metallic than melodic and divided the band's fan base somewhat. Many "headbangers" responded positively to the album while many long time fans were put off. Neither the hard-rock single "Alien Nation" nor the ballad "Under The Same Sun" came close to matching the success of "Wind Of Change". In 1995, a new live album, Live Bites, was produced. The disc documented live performances from their Savage Amusement Tour in 1988, all the way through the Face the Heat Tour in 1994. While the album had a much cleaner sound in comparison to their best-selling live album, World Wide Live, it was not as successful.Prior to recording their 13th studio album, 1996's Pure Instinct, drummer Herman Rarebell left the band to set up a recording company. Curt Cress took charge of the drumsticks for the album before James Kottak took over permanently. Many feel Pure Instinct is a response to the complaints levied against Face the Heat. The album had many ballads. Still, the album's singles "Wild Child" and the soothing ballad "You and I" both enjoyed moderate success.1999 saw the release of Eye II Eye and a significant change in the band's style, mixing in elements of pop and techno. While the album was slickly produced, fans were unsure what to make of the band, responding negatively to almost everything from pop-soul backup singers to the electronic drums present on several songs. The video to the album's first European single, "To Be No. 1", featured a Monica Lewinsky lookalike which did little to improve its popularity.The following year, the Scorpions had a fairly successful collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic that resulted in a 10-song album named Moment of Glory. The album went a long way towards rebuilding the band's reputation after the harsh criticism of Eye II Eye. Still, critics accused them of following on the coattails of Metallica's similar collaboration (S&M) with the San Francisco Symphony which had been released the previous year. Scorpions can't be completely accused of being copycats as the orchestra had first approached Scorpions with the idea back in 1995 and bands such as Kiss had been performing similar concerts years before.

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In 2001, Scorpions released Acoustica, a live unplugged album featuring acoustic reworkings of the band's biggest hits, plus new tracks. While appreciated by fans, the lack of a new studio album was frustrating to some, and Acoustica did little to return the band to the spotlight.In 2004, the band released Unbreakable, an album that was hailed by critics as a long awaited return to form. The album was the heaviest the band had released since Face the Heat, and fans responded well to tracks such as "New Generation", "Love 'em or Leave 'em" and "Deep and Dark". Whether a result of poor promotion by the band's label or the long time between studio releases, Unbreakable received little airplay and did not chart. Scorpions toured extensively behind the album, and played as special guests with Judas Priest during the British tour.In early 2006, the Scorpions released the DVD "1 Night in Vienna" that included 14 live tracks and a complete rockumentary. The band is currently in the studio with producers James Michael and Desmond Child working on a new album to be released May of 2007.

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TRIVIA
  • In the teen film Jawbreaker the song "Rock You Like a Hurricane" is played while Marilyn Manson's character has sex with then fiance Rose McGowan's character.
  • On the back cover of the original pressings of Scorpions' first four albums, a telephone number is listed as "Scorpions' telephone." The telephone number was to Rudolph Schenker's home telephone. He answered the phone in English: "Hello, Scorpions."
  • In the film Little Nicky, the song "Rock You Like a Hurricane", was played after Nicky (Adam Sandler) said to his mother "I'm gonna rock that place like a hurricane!"
  • "Rock You Like A Hurricane" is played before the start of Carolina Hurricanes hockey games as the team takes the ice.
  • The band were given several mentions on the BBC Coverage of the 2006 World Cup, a small featurette on the band was shown as a tour of Hannover, their Home City was given by the presenter. The song "Wind of Change" was played to footage of the Berlin wall falling, much as it was at the time.
  • The band are huge Olympiakos fans for the last 20 years and have membership to the club.
  • "Rock You Like A Hurricane" was featured in The Simpsons' Season 7 episode "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming" during the airshow.
  • In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "The Last One" the mooninites gather several villains together to destroy the Aqua Teens. During roll call Ignignot says "Just say 'here' and we'll assume that 'here' is short for 'here I am rock you like a hurricane.'" Err then says "You'll do as the Scorpions have done before you."
Information courtesy of www.scorps.com and www.wikipedia.org

Discography
    ALBUMS

  • Lonesome Crow (1972)
  • Fly to the Rainbow (1974)
  • In Trance (1975)
  • Virgin Killer (1976)
  • Taken by Force (1977)
  • Tokyo Tapes (live recording, 1978)
  • Lovedrive (1979)
  • Animal Magnetism (1980)
  • Blackout (1982)
  • Love at First Sting (1984)
  • World Wide Live (live recording, 1985)
  • Savage Amusement (1988)
  • Crazy World (1990)
  • Face the Heat (1993)
  • Live Bites (live recording, 1995)
  • Pure Instinct (1996)
  • Eye II Eye (1999)
  • Moment of Glory (With the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, 2000)
  • Acoustica (Unplugged, 2001)
  • Unbreakable (2004)


  • DVDs

  • Crazy World Tour Live Release : 1991
  • A Savage Crazy World DVD (1991) Release : 2002
  • Moment of Glory (Live with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) DVD Release :2000
  • Acoustica DVD Release : 2001
  • Unbreakable World Tour 2004: One Night in Vienna DVD Release :2005
* Recommended

Rock of Ages presents "Footstompin' Music"

"Footstompin' Music" will only be released in early 2007, 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

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SonyBMG have a new music dvd range coming out called Classic Artists and one of the first releases is 60's 'supergroup Cream ****. This is a 2 disc limited edition set that charts the meteoric rise and untimely demise of one of the most influential bands in classic rock. Disc 1 includes unreleased archive footage, new interviews with Eric, Jack, Pete Brown, Ahmet Ertegun and other role players plus a hilarious, irreverent and sometimes vitriolic interview with Ginger Baker, shot recently in the Cape ... plus some amazing live performance snippets. Disc 2 is a real bonus for Cream fans - a 5 track audio cd with previously unreleased live songs, recorded in 1967 as part of a Swedish Radio Sessions concert! What makes this different from other Cream dvds that I have seen is the sheer visual and audio quality of the package, the producers have spared no expense in tracking down and restoring the footage.

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


Keep the rock real ...

Benjy


Contact Rock of Ages

Email:
Website: www.rock.co.za/rockofages
Snail mail:
PO Box 53585, Kenilworth, 7745
Studio phones: 021-4342523 / 4342525


Disclaimer:
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
Motorhead FC
Motorhead are getting into football sponsorship. Not quite at Premiership level, but they are now sponsoring an Under-tens team called Greenbank. Now, the Irish youngsters will wear black shirts featuring the Motorhead logo. And 'Ace Of Spades' is their new theme song.

Crazy Diamond
David Gilmour is to make three acoustic live tracks available for download from his website, www.davidgilmour.com. These have been done in tribute to his late Pink Floyd bandmate Syd Barrett, who died earlier this year. The songs in question are a cover of Barrett's 'Dark Globe', plus two versions of the Floyd classics 'Arnold Layne', written by Barrett.

Five Million Queens
What's officially the biggest selling album of all time in the UK? It's Queen's 'Greatest Hits'. So far it's sold just over 5.4 million copies. Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' is the sixth biggest shifter, standing at just under 3.8 million copies.

Big In Iran Black Sabbath, Guns n' Roses and Queen are in trouble with the Iranian authorities over their lyrics. Books featuring these have been removed from stores, as censorship is tightened up.

Green Oil Action Green Day have teamed up with the Natural Resource Defense Council to encourage people to get active in the battle to look for alternative energy sources to oil. Go to www.greendayNRDC.com for full info.

Rough Cuts ... Although there's nothing confirmed, reports suggest Kiss and Def Leppard may team up for an American tour next year ... The re-formed Blind Melon have posted three new songs at Blind Melon. They are 'Make A Difference', 'Harmful Belly' and 'For My Friends'. These are the first recordings with new singer Travis Warren ... Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson has filed for divorce from his actress wife Kate Hudson. He cites 'irreconcilable differences' ... Ian Gillan has just published a book called 'Smoke This! The Warblings, Rants, Philoso phies And Musings From The Singer Of Deep Purple'. For further info, go to Gillan's Inn ... AFI, Trent Reznor and Rise Against are among the first winners of Libby Awards, promoted by PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals). Would you believe that AFI walked off with the 'Best Vegetarian Band' gong?

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 classicrock.about.com

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 (mike@gkcmarketing.co.za)

Fuzigish
27th Bertie's Mooring

Boulevard Blues Band
25th- Robertson Rocks Festival
29th - Berties Mooring 8pm till 11pm (Acoustic Sessions)
30th - Die Boer Durbanville

December 2006:
2nd - Desperados Extreme Bar (Old Barn Celos) before Melkbos on the west coast road
3rd - Berties Mooring
9th - Flaming Fox
17th- Berties Mooring
23rd- Fogeys Railway House Restaurant, Muizenberg
31st - New Years gig at Berties Mooring Gordons Bay.

4 X 4 TOUR (Dorp/Cassette/Love Jones/Bed on Bricks)
15th December Raffles Nite Club, Umhlanga
16th Burn, Durban
17th Speak Easy, Scottburgh 18th Buccaneers, East London
19th Weldon Kaya, Plettenberg Bay
20th Cotton Club - Bay Hotel, Port Elizabeth
21th Plush, George
22th Mercury Live, Cape Town
23th Embargo - Southernright Hotel, Glencarin

Josie Field/Laurie Levine
28th November Back 2 Basix, Westdene

Cliffies (Pietermaritzburg KZN)
Dec 1 World's AIDS DAY @ The Golden Horse Casino featuring ARNO CARSTENS with support Cubic Inch Thirty Three & White Chapel.

Josie Field/Farrell Adams 8th December Roka, Milpark

Laurie Levine & Calenso
30th November The Bohemian

Nu Folk featuring Jim Neversink, Josie Field & Saucetone
3rd December Tanz Cafe, Bryanston

Stoned Goblin
25th Nov - Desperados, West Coast Rd, Melkbostrand. 9pm, Free Entry.
8th Dec - One Ring, Lower Main Rd, Observatory. 9pm, R20 Entry
23rd Dec - Gandalfs, Lower Main Rd, Observatory. 9pm, R20 Entry


Waka Waka Music Festival, Ladysmith Klein Karoo
1/2nd December - Fokofpolisiekar, Rooibaard, Acid Blues, Brixton Moord en Roof, etc, etc

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

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...
This coming Thursday (30th) we will be celebrating the birthday of the greatest guitarist in rock history and arguably one of the most influential musicians of all time ... James Marshall Hendrix. To honour Jimi's immense contribution I will play one song each from his three seminal albums: "Are you experienced", "Axis Bold as Love" and "Electric Ladyland" .... Join me!

November 24
Pete Best - Beatles- 1941

November 25
Roy Lynes - Status Quo - 1953
Bev Bevan - Electric Light Orchestra - 1946

November 26
John McVie - Fleetwood Mac - 1945
Tina Turner - 1939

November 27
Jimi Hendrix - 1942 - 1970
November 28
Beeb Birtles - Little River Band - 1948

November 29
John Mayall - Bluesbreakers - 1933
Denny Doherty - Mamas and the Papas - 1940
Felix Cavaliere - The Rascals - 1944 Ronnie Montrose - 1947
Barry Goudreau - Boston - 1954

November 30
Dick Clark - 1929
George McArdle - Little River Band - 1954
Leo Lyons - Ten Years After - 1944
Roger Glover - Deep Purple - 1945
Billy Idol - 1955

Courtesy of
About ClassicRock

Birthday archives

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August
September
October
November
December

"Benjy says..." Archive
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Your Host

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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