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Benjy says...

Quite a reaction to my little Rock Star Supernova blog last week most notably from rocker and fellow Jack Daniels aficiando Marq Vas. Marq, who knows rock music like the back of his hand (although he may suggest another body part) informed me that the multi-coloured haired and multi-pierced female singer who blew me away (and just about everyone else) with her voice is none other than .... Dilana van Vuuren, a Sef Efrikan nogal!! She is now resident in the States and has a new album coming out in the US summer and if her rock chops are anything to go by then it's seems a cert to be played on Rock of Ages.

I hope that you enjoyed the Ozzy Osbourne Special on Thursday, his new album "Black Rain" is a bone crunching record and well worth getting if you are a hard rock and metal fan.

This week's special is a band that many of you may never have heard of, since they didn't really stick around for too long. However it is said by many early 70's classic rock fans that the moniker 'hard rock' was invented for Cactus. I'll be playing tracks from the band's four classic albums plus a couple of tunes from their comeback album "Cactus IV".


Cactus is an American rock band that was initially conceived in late 1969 as a supergroup comprising of the Vanilla Fudge rhythm section of bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice with guitarist Jeff Beck and singer Rod Stewart. However Beck ,who was very keen to play with Bogert and Appice, had an automobile accident and Stewart joined Ron Wood in the the Faces.So Appice and Bogert brought in blues guitarist Jim McCarty (guitarist) from Mitch Ryder's Detroit Wheels and The Buddy Miles Express, and singer Rusty Day (born Russell Edward Davidson) from the Amboy Dukes to round off the first, and most definative version of the band.They quickly recorded and released their self titled debut album Cactus which included a blistering red hot version of the Mose Allison classic blues tune "Parchment Farm" as well as their take on Wilie Dixon's "You cant judge a book" - in Rock of Ages opinion McCarty's solo on this track is up there with the best!


Cactus hit the road in support of the album and soon it became apparent that here was a live band to reckon with; the telepathic rhythm section of Appice and Bogert proved to be the perfect springboard for the searing hard blues rock guitar of McCarty and the wailing vocals of Rusty Day.After their first tour the word out among the ranks of the rock elite was 'don't follow this band on stage' - even the mighty Led Zeppelin were very cautious about playing on the same bill as Cactus. The second album One Way... Or Another capitalised on the success of the the debut album and relentless touring but there was already trouble in the Cactus camp mainly due to out-of-control egos and Day's excessive drug use (even by early 70's rock band standards) .Despite this and a lack of chart success the album produced several notable rockers including the strorming title track.It's interesting to note that the recording engineer on this album as well as the followup was none other ex South African Eddie Kramer (who engineered and co-produced among others Hendrix and Led Zeppelin).The band's third album Restrictions,released a mere eight months after One Way... Or Another ,was the final nail in the original lineup's coffin with virtuoso guitarist Jim McCarty exiting the band shortly thereafter. Shortly afterwards Rusty Day was fired from the group. The fourth and last Cactus album Ot 'N' Sweaty featured original rhythm section Bogert and Appice joined by Werner Fritzschings on guitar, Duane Hitchings on keyboards and Peter French (ex-Leaf Hound) on vocals.However it appeared that the magichad gone and the band disintegrated.


After Cactus' dissolution in 1972, Bogert and Appice joined with Beck to form Beck, Bogert & Appice. After one studio album (the self titled Beck, Bogert & Appice) and one live album (Live In Japan, released only in Japan) the band dissolved. Their second album remains unreleased to this day, along with recordings of the band's last concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London on January 26, 1974.The New Cactus Band, led by Duane Hitchings, released one album ,Son of Cactus and featured no original Cactus members. Mike Pinera, formerly of Blues Image and Iron Butterfly, came in on guitar, along with Roland Robinson on bass and Jerry Norris on drums. The New Cactus Band soon disbanded.In the late '70s Rusty Day formed another version of Cactus in Orlando, where he had relocated. This version of Cactus featured Steve Dansby on guitar, Dan Keylon and later John Sauter on bass, Frankie Robbins and later Gary Moffatt on drums. Frankie Robbins' brother Dennis along with Dan Keylon also played with the Rockets and Jim McCarty. There are no known studio recordings from this era, though live recordings do circulate. On March 6, 1982, Rusty Day died from gunshots as a victim of a drug deal gone bad.


After a long hiatus, Cactus re-emerged in June 2006 with two appearances in New York City: a radio appearance on 92.3 Free FM, and their first show since 1972 at B.B. King's Blues Club in Times Square. This show was a warm up for the gig which sparked the reunion, an appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival in Norje, Sweden. The 2006 version of Cactus sees original members Appice, Bogert and McCarty reunited and joined by former Savoy Brown frontman Jimmy Kunes on vocals. Randy Pratt joined the band in NYC and Sweden on harmonica. The group has also released a new album, Cactus V.


  • Cactus (1970) *****
  • One Way... Or Another (1971) ***
  • Restrictions (1971) **
  • 'Ot 'N' Sweaty (1972) **
  • Cactus V (2006) **
* Recommended listening

Rock of Ages presents "Footstomping Music"

For those of you who have bought our first CD compilation, thank you for supporting the show. I have had several calls and emails from disappointed listeners who have tried to get it at various stores around the country. The good news is that Footstomping Music is now available via the Rock of Ages website. Click on for details.

click to buy this CD direct from Rock Of Ages
Rock Of Ages Presents Footstomping Music
  1. Grand Funk Railroad - Footstomping 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

Buy this 'Footstomping Music' CD direct from Rock Of Ages

Rock Of Ages Recommendations

Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

The last few years have seen a new genre of rock emerge, that of what the crits like to call 'Americana' or as others put it, alt-country, cow-punk or gothic country. Artists like Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Ryan Adams and the like pay homage at the altar of country stalwarts like Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison but at the same time embracing elements of straight forward rock and roll. It's become such a prolific genre that once great rock magazines like Uncut seem to feature anyone from America with an acoustic guitar and a handful of hard luck songs - hailing every new kid as the 'new Nick Drake or Bob Dylan'. I must admit that a lot of the artists and albums do nothing for me but every now and then an record comes along that just blows me away. Such is the situation with the new Wilco album that I just can't get out of my CD player and iPod. "Sky Blue Sky" **** is founder Jeff Tweedy's finest moment, a collection of sublimely simple songs coupled with some stellar playing, most notably from guitarist Nels Cline, his emotional solo on "Impossibly Germany" echoes the vibrato work of John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service) and Sam Andrew (Big Brother and the Holding Company) and thoughout the album his work is breathtaking. If you are a fan of Neil Young, Dylan or just great singer-songwiters in general then get this album, you won't be disappointed ...

Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

I briefly mentioned the new Dream Theatre album a couple of weeks ago and have been playing tracks off it on the show to great acclaim from listeners - the great news is that the distributors, David Gresham Records, have brought imports in and they are now available at the right kind of music store .... try the Musica Megastores (especially the Waterfront in Cape Town where ex-ROA co-presenter Richard Filmer runs the rock roost) or branches of Look & Listen and the independent stores around the country. "Systematic Chaos" **** sets the benchmark for all the other prog-metal bands, from the dizzying heights of the opening "In the presence of enemies part 1" to the powerful lighter-waving "Forsaken" (check out Petrucci's solo on this) this album is one of the most intense and demanding records I have heard this year. Far more complex and harder than "Octavarium" it is uncompromising in it's pace, generally forgoing softer songs for a Metallica meets Pink Floyd meets Queensryche edge. The import version is a 2 disc affair with the album and a bonus DVD featuring a making of doccie and special 5.1 surround sound mix .... Get it!

***** Volcanic....not to be missed.
**** Seismic....highly it!
*** Aftershock....solid effort.
** Damp squib really!
* Do I need to explain this?

Rock Of Ages News

Piper At The Gates - Again
The debut album from Pink Floyd, 'Piper At The Gates Of Dawn', is to be re-issued as a three-CD collection on September 3. Discs one and two will feature the stereo and mono versions of the 1967 classic, while the third is to feature bonus tracks.

No bed of roses for Richie
Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora checked into a treatment clinic a few days ago. No further information has been disclosed. But the man has been going through a tough time recently, with his father dying, finalising the divorce from Heather Locklear and splitting with girfriend Denise Richards.

Make some noise
In an historic effort to mobilize activism around the human rights atrocities occurring in Darfur, Sudan, more than 50 international recording artists and over 30 record labels have united behind Make Some Noise: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. The collection features iconic songs by legendary musician and peace activist John Lennon recorded by an array of best-selling artists and will be available for purchase both on CD and as digital downloads via online retailers. The two-CD set of Make Some Noise, which will be released by Warner Music Gallo Africa on June 25, boasts a stellar line-up of 23 world-class artists from a variety of genres putting their own unique spin on classic songs from Lennon's solo songbook. The artists - who come from the worlds of rock, pop, hip-hop and country - include longtime activists U2 ("Make Some Noise"), Green Day ("Working Class Hero"), R.E.M., ("#9 Dream") and Jackson Browne ("Oh, My Love"); female pop powerhouses Christina Aguilera ("Mother"), Avril Lavigne ("Imagine"), and Corinne Bailey Rae ("I'm Losing You"); country stars Big & Rich ("Nobody Told Me"); alternative favorites Snow Patrol ("Isolation"), The Flaming Lips ("(Just Like) Starting Over"), Postal Service ("Grow Old With Me") and Regina Spektor ("Real Love"); best-selling rockers Aerosmith ("Give Peace a Chance"), Lenny Kravitz ("Cold Turkey") and Los Lonely Boys ("Whatever Gets You Thru The Night"); and pensive singer-songwriters Jakob Dylan with Dhani Harrison ("Gimme Some Truth") and Ben Harper ("Beautiful Boy").

Velvets Break Smoking Ban
Velvet Revolver pair Slash and Scott Weiland could be fined the princely sum of €50, for allegedly violating the anti-smoking laws when the band played in Cardiff a few days ago. Both were said to have been smoking continuously onstage ... Rock of Ages thinks that the Welsh got off lightly!

Hammer Of The Gods
The list of Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards winners are: Best UK Band: Bullet For My Valentine, Best Live Band: Lamb Of God, Best International Band: Killswitch Engage, Best Underground Band: Job For A Cowboy, Best Newcomer: Deathstars, Best Video: 'Seize The Day' (Avenged Sevenfold), Riff Lord: Slash (Guns n' Roses/Velvet Revolver), Shredder: Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds (Mastodon), Best Metal Label: Roadrunner, Album Of The Year: 'The Blackening' (Machine Head), Spirit of Hammer: Napalm Death, Golden God: Robb Flynn (Machine Head), Icon Award: Slayer, Best Viral Campaign: Buckcherry, Best Comeback: Heaven And Hell.

AC/DC talk
A number of AC/DC fan sites are reporting that the band will be releasing a double DVD in September, one disc from the Bon Scott era and the other disc featuring Brian Johnson. Claims are also being made that a new studio album has been completed and is due for release in January 2008 - we with bated breath and hope that this isn't another Chinese Democracy type thing!

Stoned Metal
I kid you not ..... For reasons best known to himself, former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman has launched his own range of metal detectors. More information at

Kroeger madness
Nickelback frontman, Chad Kroeger is in trouble again. Just months after an altercation with police in a stripclub put him in the headlines he's back in the spotlight again, allegedly punching a heckler in the face outside a Vancouver night club. This latest shenanigan is on top of his pending trial on a drunk driving charge.

Short Cuts ... Kiss's Gene Simmons is to have a book called 'The Art Of War' published in the Autumn. It's the man's guide to survival in the 21st Century ... Steve Harris of Iron Maiden has responded to an online petition to include him in the next government list of honours: "I'm sure it will never happen and if it did I wouldnt want it. It's not what 'im about". U2's Bono and The Edge are writing the music for a Broadway musical based on Spiderman ... have they no shame!!!! ..... New albums soon ..... Status Quo have a new album scheduled for September, hilariously titled "In search of the fourth chord" ... Prog metallers Symphony X release Paradise Lost at the end of June...

More rock (and reggae)
on your radio...

Tune in to the many other great music shows on RADIO 2000 ..... Wake up every morning with Ray White and Nichole de Silva on the funky, vibey Rise 'n Rock Breakfast Show (6-9am) - news, weather, 2010 updates, comedy, competitions and tons of cool tunes - no 'superstar DJ ego bull...' just fabulously entertaining radio ..... Women on the Move with Celeste and Carol (9-noon) features interesting issues, guest interviews and more of the music that you like to hear ..... From 12 to 3pm it's the Empress of Cool Radio - Michelle Constant and The Lucky Packet - a daily dose of unmissable radio, a virtual melting pot of entertainment, interviews, documentary stuff, news, cultural issues, addictive music and much more ... lots of fun, fun, fun .... Tuesday nights 8 to midnight get ready to crank it up with the mighty Barney Simon on the SA Rock Show - wall to wall music, news, demos, gear reviews and some straight talking from the rock radio legend ... Sundays it's skanking time on Bongolution between 1-3pm with da man Bongani who spins the finest in roots reggae. Later you can chill with host Eric Allan's Jazz Rendezvous between 5 and 8pm where he spins the cream of classic and smooth jazz as well as some interesting fusion music.....

Keep the rock real...


Contact Rock of Ages

Snail mail:
PO Box 53585, Kenilworth, 7745
Studio phones: 021-4342523 / 4342525

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.

Gary Moore - Close As You Can Get
Latest Playlist
All the playlists are available in the
Playlist Archives.
Live Gigs
Boulevard Blues Band
17th Guzzlers, Tableview Cape Town
22nd SilverTree Restaurant, Kirstenbosch, CT
24th Berties Mooring, Gordons Bay
30th Fogey's, Muizenberg
1st July Just Wine, Sanlam Business Park, Montague Gardens CT
10th August Oppikoppi Festival, Gauteng
1st September Cape Farmhouse, Scarborough CT
22nd September Harley Davidson Rally, Colesberg

Flat Stanley
24th Madame Zingara's Theatre of Dreams Cape Town

Farryl Purkiss / Bob Evans Tour
17th Tings 'n Times, Hatfield, Pretoria

Gently Scar'd
23 June - Tanz Cafe Bryanston, Joburg

Piet Botha & Jack Hammer
June 23rd Piet Botha @ Steak and Ale in the "Johnny Cash Tribute Show"

June 29th Jack Hammer @ Cafe' Barcelona, Elarduspark, Pretoria

June 30th Jack Hammer @ The Knight and Dragon, Boksburg

Southern Gypsey Queen
20th - Kuns Cafe, Durbanville

Violent Femmes (UK)
6, 10, 11 August - Venues tba


Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours' Tribute
Every Thursday-Saturday 15th June - 7th July BMW Pavilion, Cape Town Waterfront


Tanz Café, Bryanston
19th June Greenhouse Effect/Atilla and the Hunnies
22nd Ceed
23rd Gently Scar'd
26th Crossing Out Jane/Outside Eden/Angelic Defeat
29th Rory Eliot
30th Josie Field/Laurie Levine

Independent Armchair Theatre, Cape Town
23rd Cassette, Ashtray Electric

You say it's your birthday...

June 14
Rod Argent - Zombies, Argent - 1945
Barry Melton - Country Joe & the Fish, Dinosaurs - 1947
Alan White - Yes - 1949

June 15
Harry Nilsson - 1941
Bernie Shaw - Uriah Heep - 1956
Steve Walsh - Kansas, Streets - 1951

June 16
Garry Roberts - Boomtown Rats - 1954

June 18
Paul McCartney - 1942

June 19
Ann Wilson - Heart - 1950

June 20
Michael Anthony - Van Halen - 1954
Brian Wilson - Beach Boys - 1942

June 21
Ray Davies - Kinks - 1944
Joey Kramer - Aerosmith - 1950
Nils Lofgren - Grin, E Street Band, All Starr Band - 1951
Joey Molland - Badfinger - 1947

Courtesy of
About ClassicRock

Birthday Archives

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Playlist Archives
All the playlists are available in the Playlist Archives.

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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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