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

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Benjy says...

Hi Rock of Ages listeners,

It's been a a bit of a drag with this Cricket World Cup, not so? The good news is that it will soon be over and we can all get back to our regular weekly dose of rock - I hope you enjoyed Thursday's show ... pretty varied with new tracks from Porcupine Tree, The Stooges, Billy Talent and the great new Wickhead single plus several healthy slices of classic tracks from the likes of Sabs, Zeppelin, Purple, Budgie, Neil Young and everything in between ... 46 songs in total to be exact - now where else on radio would you find such a lineup ... only on Radio 2000! At the last minute I decided to move the 80's special to next month as I have had so many suggestions and requests from you for the tracklisting and it will take a while to find everything - keep the suggestions coming 'tho!

There is a huge debate going on the www blogs about the state of rock music and how we shouldn't let it die, how pop music has taken over the world and buried rock - what a load of bollocks! Rock music is so alive and kicking that it's scary, I mean look at all the great new music that is available to us, the discerning rock fan ... not too mention that many of the classic rock bands continue to release new albums (granted not always their best but they are still rocking). Who cares if mainstream radio and TV ignore real rock in favour of pasty rock lite - what's new? They always did but the music flourished and spread through word of mouth, live concerts and the passion of fans. One recent blog bemoaned the state of rock on the Grammy's - again I say who cares! Do you for one minute think that great artists like Zeppelin, Hendrix, The Doors, Audience, Jeff Beck, etc gave a toss about whether they won awards or topped the 'charts'? Of course not ..... Rock lives ... it always has ... always will ... It's the music you see, it's real.

Rock of Ages's News

Keef snorts Dad ...... Way back in 1973, the baddest of the Rolling Stones' bad boys, Keith Richards was already notorious for his drug and alcohol abuse. So, when he told a reporter that he had secretly traveled to Switzerland and had all of his blood replaced with a clean batch, the story was printed without being questioned, and got widespread distribution. After cooler heads pointed out that there was no such procedure available in Switzerland or anywhere else, our boy Keef owned up to having made up the story because he was tired of answering questions about a medical procedure that he had undergone. So why in the world would anybody take it seriously when the man is quoted as saying to a reporter this week that he had once mixed some of his cremated father's ashes with some cocaine and snorted them? Please. Fool me once, shame on you ... ah, you know the rest. So now our favorite rehabilitated former bad boy has once again come forth with a retraction. Much more astounding than Richards' denial is the reaction the story generated in the first place. Are people really that gullible? Or is it just that it takes a tumble from a coconut tree or a sensational headline to keep an aging rock star in the public eye? ..... Well, I have to be going now. I have an appointment to have my brain replaced with an eggplant.

Starship Battle ..... Trouble is brewing in the Starship camp. Paul Kantner is being sued by former Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship bandmate Grace Slick and his one-time manager Bill Thompson over his continued use of the name 'Starship' for touring purposes. Under the terms of an agreement reached between the three, Kantner could tour using that name, as long as the words 'Jefferson', 'Airplane'or 'Jefferson Starship' weren't in evidence. What has now complicated matters is that Kantner recently did a sponsorship deal with Microsoft. Slick and Thompson say they were prepared to tolerate Kantner's use of the 'Starship' name for small scale touring, but not in association with major brand sponsorship.

Metallica Name Battle ..... Swedish couple Michael and Karolina Tomaro are fighting a court battle with the country's tax authorities, and all because they want to call their new born daughter Metallica. Under Swedish law, every name has to meet official approval. And the tax office has objected, on the grounds that it's inappropriate.

Weiland In Hotel Fracas.....Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland and his wife Mary are alleged to have trashed their room at a hotel in Burbank, California. As a result, they may face charges, brought by the hotel in question.

Mest Singer Escapes Murder Charge ...... Tony Lovato, former frontman with Mest, was arrested and charged with murder. This follows the death of 25-year-old Wayne Hughes, during an altercation in an underground parking lot in Los Angeles. Lovato is said to have stabbed Hughes, who was dating the singer's ex-girlfriend. However, he's now been released with the police satisfied that he acted in self-defence.

Short Cuts...... We hear that Boulevard Blues Band guitarist Richard Pryor indulged in a bit of 'stage diving' off the back of the Klein Libertas Theatre stage, nearly impaling himself on a hi-hat cymbal stand. It was a stark reminder that lead guitarists are also mortal human beings. When asked why he fell off the back of the stage and not the front he said "Hi Hat no intention of doing such a thing" ... Poison are to release a covers album called 'Poison'd' in June. It will include songs by the Rolling Stones, The Sweet, David Bowie, The Cars and Marshall Tucker Band. It was produced by Don Was ... Acclaimed young British rockers Roadstar release their second album on April 16, through Magic Hat. It's called 'Glass Mountain' ... Gary Moore releases his new album on May 28 through Eagle. It's titled 'Close As You Get', featuring 11 tracks .... Legendary blues-rockers Foghat are to release 'Live II' at the end of May on the Metro City label ... The classic '1987' album from Whitesnake is to be re-issued by EMI on June 4. It comes with extra tracks and a bonus DVD. Plus extensive sleevenotes from Geoff Barton of 'Classic Rock' magazine ... Patti Smith releases a covers album called 'Twelve' on April 16. It includes songs by Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Stevie Wonder and Nirvana. Both Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Rich Robinson (Black Crowes) guest on the record.

Rock of Ages's recommendations

The Trews
The Trews


Instead of one particular album this week I thought I would mention a few recent releases that bear checking out by rock lovers .... although I have only heard a 4 track EP so far, a new Canadian band called The Trews has been rocking my car and iPod these past couple of weeks. Their album "Den of thieves" has just been released and is available at www.thetrewsmusic.com; they sound a little bit like a combination of a soulful Free/Grand Funk fused with the hi-intensity of Aerosmith and The Answer - great stuff! ...

The Stooges
The Stooges


The Stooges are rightfully regarded as the fathers of garage rock and in my opinion "Fun House" is the greatest 3 chord record of all time (ok 4 chords). The original lineup, (sans bassist Dave Alexander who overdosed in the 70's), of Iggy Pop and the Asheton brothers (guitarist Ron and drummer Scott) have reformed after 34 years and just released "The Weirdness". Whilst it cant be compared to the aforementioned "Fun House" or indeed even the 'sound-of-a-band-imploding-in-drugs-'n-sex-orgy' soundtrack of "Raw Power", it still has enough energy to light up a small town - Iggy howls, whoops and pouts his way through 16 songs about sex, sex and mmmm more sex ... It's like glam/glitter/garage rock never went away! ....

Porcupine Tree
Porcupine Tree


I know I mentioned it in my last letter but the new Porcupine Tree album, "Fear of a blank planet" is much more laid back than the last album, "Deadwing". Sounding not unlike a "Animals" period Pink Floyd, Steven Wilson's merry band of progsters have concocted an album that grows more powerful and interesting with repeated listenings. I played the title track last week and have already been asked by listeners where they can obtain the album. I am busy compiling a list of retailers that stock the music we love and will post this on the site shortly but in the meantime contact avid rock fan Richard Filmer (021-7888365) who will be more than happy to assist you with the album.

Ratings:
***** Volcanic....not to be missed.
**** Seismic....highly recommended...buy it!
*** Aftershock....solid effort.
** Damp squib really!
* 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
All the playlists are available in the
Playlist Archives.
Live Gigs
Boulevard Blues Band
11th Bertie's Mooring,Gordon's Bay
15th Guzzlers, Tableview
18th Dorp Street Theatre, Stellenbosch
21st Kuns Kafee, Durbanville
29th Bertie's Mooring, Gordon's Bay
For more info visit www.boulevardblues.co.za

Tanz Café, Bryanston
18th Steve Newman

Josie Field
12th The Bohemian, Richmond Jhb

Running with Scissors
14th Bells Sundowner Ranch, Alberton

You say it's your birthday...
April 8
Steve Howe - Yes - 1947
Julian Lennon - 1963

April 9
Gene Parsons - Byrds/Flying Burrito Brothers -

April 12
John Kay - Steppenwolf - 1944

April 13
Jack Casady - Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Hot Tuna - 1944
Max Weinberg - E Street Band - 1951
Lowell George - Little Feat - 1945

April 14
Ritchie Blackmore - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Blackmore's Night - 1945

April 15
Allan Clarke - Hollies - 1942
Gerry Rafferty - Stealers Wheel - 1947

April 16
"Lonesome" Dave Peverett - Foghat - 1943
Lee Kerslake - Uriah Heep, Blizzard of Ozz - 1947

April 17
Don Kirshner - 1934
Roy Estrada - Captain Beefheart, Mothers of Invention, Little Feat - 1943

April 18
Mike Vickers - Manfred Mann - 1940
Skip Spence - Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape, Jefferson Airplane - 1946

April 19
Mark Volman - Turtles, Flo and Eddie, Mothers of Invention - 1947
Alan Price - Animals - 1942

April 20
Craig Frost - Grand Funk Railroad - 1948

April 21
Iggy Pop - The Stooges - 1947

April 22
Peter Frampton - 1950
Paul Carrack - Squeeze, Roxy Music - 1951

April 24
Gary Cambra - Tubes
Jack Blades - Night Ranger, Damn Yankees - 1954
Doug Clifford - Creedence Clearwater Revival - 1945
Glenn Cornick - Jethro Tull - 1947

April 25
Stu Cook - Creedence Clearwater Revival - 1945

April 26
Gary Wright - Spooky Tooth - 1943

April 27
Casey Kasem - 1932
Pete Ham - Badfinger - 1947
Ace Frehley - KISS - 1951

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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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