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The BedRock Diary 1999

Legacy Diaries
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

09 December 1999

Hey, what a trip this was to beautiful, beautiful, good ole Luderitz. We hit the road at ten on Thursday morning, the gigmobile - fully laden - out front with Pete, Bren and Dan crammed into the little remaining space that there was. They were followed by Eddie in the doublecab, together with Jen, Kenny, Solange and Stewart, our sound and lighting man - as well as rhodie - for this trip. The gigmobile nearly rattled herself to a standstill on the 260 kilometres of rough gravel road she was called upon to negotiate but, apart from the radio popping out the dashboard, and large parts of rusted bodywork falling at the wayside, she did not miss a beat mechanically. We reached Luderitz early afternoon, set-up and sound-checked and then took to the cool waters of the hotel's swimming pool on what was a very warm day. Night time came and we mounted the stage at about nine after all the formalities. The German Club has a very nice stage and the hall has sprung wooden floors. There were about 109 attendees and we did our usual thing, rocking on until about two in the morning. The gig never really ever reached any great heights as I don't think too many people that were there were into rock - but they had been warned!! The unquestionable highlight of the evening was some outstandingly innovative dance routines from a couple who truly resembled 'Torville and Dean'. Anything I've seen 'T & D' do, these guys could emulate - without blades or skates, mind you!! Man, were we mesmerised up on the stage, such was the energy and dramatisation of their dancing. I'm telling you two, you should seriously look at doing your own show - it was highly entertaining. Oh ja, and by the way, do you need to drink or smoke anything to cotton onto those fancy dance moves? Nevertheless, we played pretty well, enjoyed the outstanding food - and, of course, the cold beers and pumpelmussen! Packing up and getting back to the hotel at about three in the morning, we quaffed a couple of "night caps", headed for bed and rose to a hearty breakfast five hours later. Well replenished we returned to the road and headed off back to Oranjemund, stopping along the way for some photies in the sand dunes. Back home there was one consolation - with a gig tomorrow we didn't have to unpack the gigmobile!

 

11 December 1999

Well, well, well...they say that one good gig always follows one not-so-good one and that's exactly how this panned out. Mind you, with the greatest party combination in town in tandem - Bedrock & Fanie - what could you expect? This was one of those occasions where everything just clicked into place. The weather was stunning - breathless, not a cloud in sight and temperatures well into the low 30's. From the time we started to rock 'n roll at one in the afternoon the pace never slackened. The occasion was even more special by the fact that our long lost rhythm guitarist, Ken Malherbe, made a welcome one-off return for his absolutely last, farewell gig, together with wife, Jenny, who was also performing with the band for the last time. Our new material (Song 2 - Blur; Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chillie Peppers; Long December - Counting Crows and Lucky Man - The Verve) went down extremely well and the "showboating" reached a climax with a Jimi Hendrix imitation of 'All Along The Watchtower' with "Jimi" Ramage mounting the PA stack prior to playing over his back and with his teeth. Bassman Pete decided to join the excitement atop the other PA stack but nearly came to a messy end when, in dismounting, he nearly decapitated himself when he slammed his head into a low hanging concrete beam. No matter, slightly dazed and confused he kept the beat going and, after a couple of medicinal pumpelmussens, was back up to speed. They say time flies when you're having fun and how true this often proves to be. Our original plans to stop playing at five in the evening disintegrated as the hundred or so folk kept calling for more. The party raged on well after sunset until half eight that evening when, after seven hours of gigging, even the band's batteries started to run low. And so it was we managed to pack the gigmobile with the last strains of energy any of us had left before we adjourned to the clubhouse to continue to party. What time did it all end - who knows...who cares? What a day...and night! I mean, even the Bedrock 'T' shirt sales rocketed. A totally fitting gig to bid farewell to the Malherbe duo - good luck guys and, please, stay in touch with your music activities in Pretoria. We look forward to having you "guest" with us any time you choose in the future.

 

04 December 1999

Well, I've got to say one thing about this lunchtime gig at the local World AIDs Day event...with only a dozen songs to perform it was the shortest, and easiest, gig we've ever had to do. Apart from practice, naturally. We played outdoors...well, maybe outside marquee...taking advantage of the beautifully sunny and warm day. Our drummer Eddie, being the resourceful type of guy that he is, made sure that he and his kit were in the shade and that the rest of us were blasted to smithereens by the notorious West Coast UV factor. Nice one, Eddie. Thanks. Actually, I wouldn't have minded you being in the shade if it helped you play better but it didn't!! Just you wait - the rest of us will get our revenge soon enough! As Murphy's Law would have it, soon after we started playing our set the bleedin' wind came up and pretty soon the four of us out front were bobbing our heads up and down like owls, trying desperately to read upside-down words and chords. Skinny Space did an excellent job of darting out front to turn back, or hold down, renegade pages although it was a bit difficult singing into the back of the microphone! Eventually our bassman discovered that a cellphone was very useful for pinning down the top left hand corners of pages - although it was a bit difficult playing, having a cellphone conversation and doing backing vocals all at the same time. Ah, what price experience? And versatility? The other observation I should make about this gig, I suppose, is that the crowds didn't exactly flock to our feet. There again, when did they ever? We usually flock to theirs! Just hang on now - we do have one or two groupies. Pity they weren't there. I guess, really, that you could describe this set as luncheon background music. It was pretty relaxed and informal as people strolled by, moving from one refreshment stall to the next or just mulling over the issues of the day. Before we knew it, it was over and we'd done our bit for the local AIDS programme which, this year, focuses on children, in particular. The gigmobile was quickly loaded and sped on to complete planning for this week's "Big Two" - Luderitz German Club on the night of Thursday 09 December, followed by the "Op My Stoep" thrash at the local Riding Club at lunchtime on Saturday 11 December. Be there if you dare! 'Til next time - stay cool and keep rockin'.

 

27 November 1999

Jeez, just when I didn't think anyone ACTUALLY read this page I get a pointed early morning telephone call today on, this, a public holiday and a day of well deserved rest, rebuking me for "being slack". You see, I've let two days pass by since our last gig without putting mouse to pad. Anyway, getting disturbed was worth it - at least there's one person out there who so bored they've got the time to read this drivel! And at least this time I didn't take one for spelling mistakes. Better be careful what I write today. Nah, only kidding. These finely crafted pages are prescribed reading for anybody who wants to "broaden their perceptual horizons". What? Yeah, right. Mmmmmmmmm...anyway, to avoid any more such reprimands here comes the latest report back... Well, there we were, performing our latest gig in, basically, a building under construction. Actually it reminded me of Robbie Robertson's story about how The Band played one of their earliest gigs in a place called the 'Skyline Lounge', so called because it, too, was an incomplete structure and didn't have a roof! Magic when the skies are clear and the stars are the canopy above - not quite so enjoyable when it's bucketing it down with rain, though! Okay, we were slightly better in that we did have a roof. That was about the only difference. Nevertheless, we haven't let lack of power or anything else stand in our way before and we sure as hell weren't going to let minor issues like builder's rumble or wet cement do so on this occasion. Seriously, though, the building's being renovated and is boasting a bit of a rough "finish" but Sandy, his committee and their helpers had done a great job in making the venue (the local Bowling Club) presentable for the occasion. Besides, it was hardly their fault that the builders couldn't stick to their proposed timetable. Anyhow, the evening got off with the completion of the formalities - the prize-giving and a splendid cold buffet which reminded me of those sumptuous spreads one used to be able to enjoy "way back when" in the 'Blue Room' atop - what was then - the Southern Sun Hotel in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. With loads of "happiness and warmth" in their tummies the attendees were a little bit slow in getting to their feet. This phase, however, didn't last long and, by the second set, the party was in swing. Despite the poor acoustics we managed to conquer the feedback bugs and achieved an acceptable sound. Things were fairly rocking along until mid-way through "Back On The Chain Gang" when Skinny Spice was overcome by a bout of hysterical laughter. Unable to get a word out sideways and with the tears lashing down her cheeks we musos just kept bashing along - I tell you, it's the first time "Chain Gang" has ever sounded like a piece of free jazz!! Oh ja, the cause of Skinny Spice's seizure - the sight of old Brian Reid and Sean Long rolling across the dance floor like two synchronised vienna sausages. (Sorry viennas - that was probably a bit below the skin.) Back and forth they went, deciding that rolling is easier, and preferable, to staying on one's feet to dance. Eventually Skinny Spice sort of regained her composure and "Chain Gang" came to a merciless end. Things went okay then for a song or two until we reached "Wet Dream". Here again the lads decided to introduce a bit of dance innovation - and so it was that 'The Page' dance routine took a hold of the audience. The anonymous creator of this cunning "step" decided that press-ups were the appropriate "step" for this saucy little number...bet you can get the drift if you're not being blonde about it. Boy, did Skinny Spice nearly dissolve again or what! Anyway, well done to all your dance innovators - new standards have been set in Oranjemund and the gauntlet has been thrown down. If any of you out there reckon you can do better than the 'Rolling Reid' or 'The Page' please come along and do your stuff at our next gig. Rumour has it that Reid and Page are actually thinking of combining their talents to start a dance school at the local Shellhole. Still trying to confirm that myself. As I say, if anybody does any better that the 'RR' or 'TP' they stand to win themselves the ultimate prize in rock memorabilia - a Bedrock 'T' shitt! Drat - that's the phonetic spelling - been in Africa too long. That, er, should read shirt. Anyway, all you good people out there - enough nonsense from me for now. We've got an outdoor gig this Saturday lunchtime at the Oranjemund Rugby Club's field to mark the country's national AIDS awareness day. We're only playing for an hour as a "curtainraiser" to Ras Sheehama, Namibia's national king of reggae. So, if you want to take advantage of some great, summery weather, join the crowd at the Rugby Club. If you miss this gig, catch some of us socialising at the Oranjemund Bowling Club's 'International Cabaret Evening' that night. Yours truly will be doing the compere bit so get a ticket - if there're any left - for what promises to be a tremendous party. Once we get over the 4th we're up to Luderitz for the night of Thursday, 9 December. We'll be "doing" a Christmas function at the German Club. So, if you're a Buchter and you've had the good fortune to be invited to this occasion, we look forward to seeing you there. If you can't get further than Oranjemund then stick around - we'll be back here at the Riding Club at lunchtime on Saturday, 11 December. This will be in conjunction with Oranjemund's 'Party Champion', Fanie's, latest "Op My Stoep" party so get down to the Riding Club and join us all for what promises to be a roof-raising afternoon. 'Til then...see ya.

 

01 November 1999

Wow! What a weekend! Mind you, it didn't start too well when the gig we had booked for Saturday - our 50th performance since forming back in 1994 - was postponed at extremely short notice. Man, was that inconvenient. It's the first time that's happened to us, certainly at such short notice. The commemorative 'T' shirts had been printed already with the date, venue and "I WAS THERE" emblazoned across the back. Still, in typical Bedrock fashion - we're resourceful if nothing else - we quickly had the shirts modified to read "I WAS NOT THERE", and, thanks to Neil and Steve, we organised an alternative gig at our local haunt, La Cantina, and moved forward. Boy, did people see the humour in that (the 'T' shirt slogan), once the background was explained to them. Needless to say, the shirts went like hotcakes and we could have sold four times as many as we did. We'll have to order some more. All you good supporters - past and present - waiting with bated breaths for 'T' shirts,and hang in there. We'll look after you - I promise! Anyway, back to the plot...the weekend's events started on Friday evening when we scuttled along to the marquee at the hockey club to set-up for the evening's entertainment. Once that was achieved it was full steam ahead. The speech (yep, only one) was brief and to the point and, with the formalities over, the party vibe descended. Once again we had our favourite DJ - Warren - backing us up and it produced his usual high standard of great dance numbers. After he'd softened them all up a bit, the gal and guys from Beddies took the platform and ripped forth. (We had Dan Shout back for the weekend too, so his golden saxophone certainly added to our sound, as it always does). Oh, by the way, this was a free gig as the event is an annual one which raises money for children who need assistance within the community. A very worthy cause, I'm sure you'll all agree. For us as the band, it's an opportunity to repay some of the terrific support we've enjoyed over the past five years. Besides, there may be a musician or two in the making amongst those unfortunate kids. Let's hope so. Anyway, all 300 tickets to the event were sold and a few extra late arrivals were squeezed into the "big top". With a wet 'T' shirt competition (with a difference) and some amazing prizes going to the raffle winners, the evening fairly rocked along on its own momentum. There were a couple of members of the fairer sex celebrating their birthdays - congrats to Steph for hers before midnight and Rozanne for hers after midnight. Talk about both sides of the coin, in this case the midnight hour. Anyway, typically of Oranjemund, the folk stayed on their feet and bopped away the night. The band chucked it in just after one in the morning but Warren pressed on until four. Good on yer Warren, the stamina of youth comes into play!! Come Saturday we set up at our old haunt, La Cantina, to beat out a few sets ahead of the televised Australia versus South Africa rugby World Cup semi final game. At the outset it looked like we'd have to call "Rent-A-Crowd" but things picked up. Methinks that the folk were probably suffering after Friday night's excesses. Thankfully we don't drink (much) so we can take the pace, even at our advanced years. Anyway, the rugby duly came and what a nailbiter it proved to be with the Aussies scoring a narrow victory over the Bokke. They were, probably, the better team on the day. One would have thought that an air of despondency would have settled over our little town but, no chance, not when Bedrock's around. A few more people pitched up after the rugby and a good spirit prevailed. Actually, we (the band), thought we might get an early night out of this one but no chance - the folk were in for a party and, hey, what else could we do? Up they came for the audience participation spots and we messed around with some totally unrehearsed stuff...you know, things like "House Of The Rising Sun". It didn't sound too good but it was great fun! There were the odd moments of anxiety, as there always are at Bedrock gigs. Some guy had arrived carting a wooden rocking horse around - this thing was bedecked with all the paraphenalia one would expect of a South African rugby supporting rocking horse. Anyway, its "owner" deposited it alongside the band which was quite a distraction as it's much better looking than any of the band members. Correction - except for Skinny Spice. Anyway, our intrepid bass player decided to go for a ride midways through a song and was going quite well until the horse's head decided to depart the body. With a merciless thud the dismembered head landed with a crunch on our bass player's sandalled big toe. Did he perform. Mind you, it's the first time he's ever managed to sound like Bon Jovi, too. Anyway, a couple of tots of pumpelmussen stilled the pain and he hobbled through the next set without total collapse. Eventually, at 9.00 pm, the Bedrock mob had done their bit and packed up after another very hectic couple of days. And so, it's on and into the future. 50 gigs behind us and many more up ahead. With a bit of a break before our next gig it's back into recording mode as we press on with our Christmas release. 'Til we chat again - look after yourselves, stay out of trouble and keep the spirit of the Master Rockers alive!

 

24 October 1999

So what do you do when you're having to host two visiting sports teams and you're a little short on entertainment? Why, you call your local music "Ghostbusters" in the shape of Bedrock, of course. Once the call had been forthcoming - and answered - the "games" began. And the venue? The local hockey club, of course. Ever ready the three guys and the gal from Bedrock loaded up and took control of the club premises. The visiting teams, from the Wanderers Club in Windhoek by the way, were joyously celebrating their winning the Namibian league by virtue of their results against the Oranjemund sides. Naturally this called for unbridled celebration and there was no shortage of enthusiasm in this regard! Well, the first laugh of the evening came just before we were planning to strike our opening chords at about 9.00 pm. This delectable young lady (a Windhoek visitor) sidled up to our very puzzled looking drummer, opened her closed hand and asked him to replace her contact lenses. I tell you, if you've ever seen a "flattered" drummer it was our Eddie last night. Anyway, being a modest, decent sort of fellow who would never think of tinkling with another's eyes, he spurned the young lady's approach and sent her off in another direction for assistance. Actually, we figured that her sight must have been impaired because there's no ways any chick would ever solicit Eddie! The point was proven later when, after she had had her sight "corrected", she avoided him like the plague. Maybe they're right - love's is blind! Back to the point...as our opener we laid "Gimme Hope Joanna" on them, just to set the mood. It had the desired effect. (Funny how some things just never seem to fail, isn't it?) From then onwards it was hot, lively and frenetic. It seemed that everyone there wanted the harder classic rock numbers so we gave them the full burst with a major dose of volume - "La Grange", "Born To Be Wild", "Locomotive Breath" - and they devoured it all. Skinny Spice was turning it on and decided to improvise by introducing some unrehearsed dance steps into her routine. This nearly ended in disaster as, at one point, she tripped over her own ankles and went flying head first into her microphone. With a "klonk" on her old forehead she reeled backwards, regaining equilibrium in a precarious sort of way. Still, I don't think too many people noticed as most members of the audience were "unsteady" by then anyway. There again, maybe we need to check what personal insurance policies our band members carry. As per usual members of the crowd were only to willing to come up and do their bit. We had a horrendous version of "Hey Jude" by a pair of the visiting (male) players - stick to hockey chaps. The gals also piled in and we had about twenty of them singing "Mustang Sally". It's the happiest I've ever seen Eddie (especially after the earlier shove-off) as he sat behind twenty pairs of swinging "buns". (Next time we do this routine the chicks can face Eddie so the guitarists can do a bit of perving!) Well, having delivered our share of the arrangement we "chilled strings" at about 1:00 a.m., loaded the "gigmobile" and headed off into the night, leaving yet another good party in our wake. What it is to be a sucess story (Yeah, yeah, yeah). Okay then, until this coming weekend's double-header we'll leave you in peace. If you passing through the Namib Desert next weekend pop in and join the "jol". It should be really good!

 

15 October 1999

Hey, what a pleasure - Bedrock lives! You know what it's like when you've lost a key member of the band and you've got to step forward and perform again...lots of concerns and trepidation and anxiety. Anyway, move forward is precisely what we did and what an occasion it turned out to be. Mind you, we were amongst friends - I mean the Hockey Club crowd just don't come any more friendly - I don't think, anyway. We'd revamped our material and Pete and Kenny handled the male vocals with "Skinny Spice" up front in her usual charming role. Flamingo's isn't the greatest venue around but, after the hassles we had last time with the soundcheck, we were much wiser on this occasion. We got our sound sorted out and, when the time came to party, party we did! Warren was the night's DJ and played some "killer" stuff during our band breaks and the vibe - which was good from the outset - just got better and better. The speeches were short and to the point and the chow was excellent. Put those two factors together and, hey, a perfect evening was in store! Oh yes, and we had two birthday celebrations - one for Friday and one for Saturday (duly "called' at midnight. Denice - the way you downed that tequila could have only meant it was your birthday!!) We had the birthday folk up for a sing-song and everyone entered the spirit of the occasion. Even Brain Cleak proved that he had a voice. Well, sort of... This was, of course, Kenny Malherbe's last gig with the band so he was out for as full go - and, I can tell you, he didn't let us down. Old "Reverend Sambucca" (Ken Malherbe to his acquaintances) didn't stop smiling from sundown to sunup. Well...nearly sunup. The band played on and on until, at about two o'clock on Saturday morning, the bar closed and it was time to slow the party down. Anyway, once Flamingo's closed it was on to Brown's house for a few more "night caps" with most of us being able to escape to our beds before the early morning birds started chirping! Now it's two weeks to our next double gig - Friday and Saturday nogal. Meanwhile, we have had a few applicants to join the band so we'll be "auditoning" those good folk shortly - who will step into Charlie and Ken and Jen's shoes? Your guess is as good as ours - watch this space!! Oh yes, and the recording sessions are also going well. One last thing - like the band, the "Gigmobile" also lives!! What canny riddle is this? WATCH THIS SPACE!

 

11 October 1999

Hey, hey, hey, isn't it just amazing how time flies when you're having fun? Just in case you thought we'd all left the planet we're giving you a brief update to assure you that we haven't. I mean, how could you even contemplate polluting space with the likes of us! Well, they always say that trouble comes in threes and, with Charlie having recently departed our ranks, we have now learnt that Skinny Space and hubby, Ken, are also on their way to pastures greener. Okay, okay...so maybe Johannesburg couldn't quite be referred - in the metaphorical sense as "pastures greener" - but you know what I mean. So, that's our lot of bad news for the year - 3 band members gone in three months. Talk about a high attrition rate. Mind you, we've always believed that good fortune favours those that have a close affinity to pumpelmussen so I guess there's a message in there somewhere. Anyway, inbetween all these folk coming and going, Bedrock continues to thrive. Recent advertisements for replacement members have drawn all of two responses so we'll be doing some auditions shortly. Meanwhile, Eddie, Kenny and Pete have been working on new material as a three piece. So quite good stuff, too. Lots of old classic rock numbers...sort of "get down and get with it" stuff. Lots of lead breaks and heavy riffs. Great stuff. Oh what it is to be young again. Okay, okay, maybe not so young and, yeah, there's the odd bald pate and pot bellied but, hey, who ever said rock musos would ever nmake Chippendales? Our next gig is this Friday, followed by a host of them over the next month or two. We won't bore you with all that right now - you can read about them as they happen. For the meantime, stay cool, be good and, hey, keep rockin'.

 

05 September 1999

Hi folks! Just a quick update as to what's happening this end. Charlie, Kim and family have well and truly departed our shores and, we understand, are getting quickly established in Germany. Skinny Spice is on holiday in the United Kingdom giving that silky voice of hers a good rest. (Or could she be moonlighting over there in search of that elusive "big break" in her career? Forget it Jen - you'd never be the same without an array of Bedrockians behind you!!). And, well, the rest of us are actually doing some work...someone's gotta resist the urge to globetrot! Ja, well, no, fine. Kenny, Eddie, Pete, Ken and Dan (our part-time member when he's on 'varsity vacations) are all busy in "the studio" preparing recordings for a cassette release later in the year. The project is really to mark the end of an era with Charles' departure. It'll feature seven tracks with Charles doing the vocals. Skinny Spice will fill the gaps when she eventually returns. Then it's into a load of original material for the project which is planned to follow the present one. Meanwhile bookings for 'live' gigs are coming in steadily, our first one set for the 15 October. That's going to call for quite a bit of new material to compensate for the loss of the our lead male vocalist. Oh well, how time flies when one is having fun! 'Til we chat again - Cheers!

 

01 August 1999

Hey man, there we were a few hours later setting up again at the "Place Of Happiness", the secluded venue out in the desert where we have spent the last five years practicing, planning and conceiving ideas. We had asked Charlie if he'd like a "private" farewell gig, by invitation, to all those folks who are friends of the band. Naturally he had jumped at it and, when we asked him what venue he would choose, he looked no further than our haven at the "POH". And so it was that the great day was organised. With Kage (thanks KJ!) turning out some natty invitations (all of about 80 of them!) the invitees were lured to the event. And what an occason it turned out to be. Again, Kenny Malherbe was absent due to the previous day's flying commitments but, what we lacked in numbers, we made up for in enthusiasm. The weather, again, was a disaster with a mighty strong northly blowing sandstorm forcing us inside the rather modest building. Still, it was great for the atmosphere and very cosy. All our loyalest supporters were there, old and new. Man, did the "POH" rock that day! And the band played on..and on...and on. Finally, at 6.00 pm, having played for about 11 hours out of the past 22 it was time to "cool strings". Even Eddie's migraine had been blown apart by the Bedrock sound! And even though they still cried for "More", the party was well and truly over. Cheers Charlie, Kim and kids - thanks for the great contribution you've made to the band over the past five years and we hope everything'll be great for you in Germany. Keep in touch. Finally, to the Security guys at the "POH" - dankie manne vir al jou harde werk. Especially the guys behind the pub - Bertie, Karel and Bumper. Mooi man. And now it's time for Bedrock to rejuvenate themselves. Next mission - to record some original material. We're working on it already. Don't go away - JUST WATCH THIS SPACE!!

 

31 July 1999

Well the day - or should I rather say, the night - finally came for Charlie's last formal gig with the band before he and his family leave for greener climes in Germany. The gig was held at the local Bowling Club, one of our favourite venues, and tickets had been in great demand - over subscribed, in fact. Once again we were depleted by one member, this time Kenny Malherbe's aviational duties taking precedence over Bedrock's calling. This absence was aggravated by the fact that Skinny Spice, despite our wise counsel, had landed herself a role in the local theatre production 'Oliver' which was also on the same night. So, Skinny Spice couldn't make it until about 10.00 pm. I tell you, aren't we rock bands just so flexible? Had it not been Charlie's farewell we probably would have cancelled the event but time wasn't on our side on this occasion. Anyway, despite the weather, which was far from perfect, the vibe was right and all the attendees were in "party mode". We got quickly into the groove and by the time Skinny Spice swept in, the scene had been set for a thumping party. Across the way at the local recreation club hall an imported "langarm" band was going through its paces so the good folk of Oranjemund were really bopping the night away. More and more people piled into the clubhouse to join the gyrating throng on the floor (swelling the numbers to 103) and the atmosphere started to get to the musos. Pete Pampelmussen did well to stay on top of his speaker when it started to "rock 'n roll" and the lighting effect unit was blown over by the decibels, crashing unceremoniously to the floor. Boy, did things heat up! Then it was time to call it a day - 01.00 am. Did we get away with it? Not on your Nelly, "More, more" called the crowd and they got "more". Then it was just after 2.00 am and the weary band packed their gear and headed on for the next gig...9 hours later that morning! (Thanks to Tillie Matthee and the great committee and club crowd at the Bowling Club for the excellent organisation, advertising and administration behind this hugely successful event).

 

03 July 1999

Man, did Bedrock rock this night or what! Let me just tell you that the Oranjemund Recreation Club is no band's best friend. It's big, cold, atmosphere-less, impersonal and the acoustics are appalling. Apart from that, there is the added complication that we've never had a good gig there. People don't like the place so they don't pitch. In our case, maybe they don't the band either. Nah, perish the thought. Who wouldn't give an wing or a leg (chicken, naturally) to attend a Bedrock gig? Well , we kicked off with a new intro, a build up to Grand Funk Railroad's "Some Kind Of Wonderful". Did it go down a treat! The people were on their feet within minutes and it just carried on from there. With Dan Shout home on 'varsity vacations we were able to introduce some variety with his golden saxophone playing and "Summertime" (as usual) got an encore. It was one of those occasions when the band just clicked and did everything (well...nearly everything) right. At half past the witching hour we stopped playing (Ken Sambucca had to go fly in the morning so you know what these "Blue Jobs" are like...must get their rest in) and DJ "Storm" took over. What a gas. The party went on 'til six in the morning. Anyway, Charlie's one gig away from leaving us so that will be the second of the original four Bedrock members on his way. But, where there's life there's hope and one thing's for sure...we'll keep on rockin!!

 

27 June 1999

Last night we crossed international frontiers yet again - this time down to Kleinzee, all of 1 1/2 hours from our home base. Don't snigger at my use of the word "international"...we had to cross the river AND go through Customs & Immigration to get there so that makes it an international venture! This was one we had been waiting for, not having been to Kleinzee since 14 February 1998. As usual, their hospitality was outstanding and we were treated like royalty. We got in late afternoon, unpacked, set-up, sound-checked and then repaired to the Squash Club bar to watch the Wales versus South Africa match. Okay folks, the less said about the result the better. Anyway, it played into our hands because, after that result, we could only do one thing - and that was to cheer people up. The hall had been "dolled up" and the event had been billed as a BARN DANCE which un-nerved us a bit. Bedrock at a BARN DANCE? Yeah right, I doubt it. Anyway, we started calling each other BARNEY to get into the mood. The kids were included - teenagers and sub-teenagers alike and there were all sorts of spot prizes for this and that. There were things like "Pass The Broom" (or was it Mother-in-Law"?), fancy dress prizes and so on. Anyway, after scoffing down our prego rolls and pizzas we warmed up as the evening progressed and we were fairly cookin' by 22:00. A bonus was that a number of Oranjemund "groupies" followed us down there including "Stormin' Norman" and his wife "I Hope It's a Draw" (referring to the Wales vs SA game), Mustang "Wombat" Webster and "G". There were some old friends there too, like Andy and Jacqui - how nice to see them all after all this time. Our part-time member, Daniel Shout, provided some nice variety with his smooth saxophone sounds and "Summertime" got an encore. As a whole we were pretty tight on the night (in the musical sense) and the evening wrapped up at just after 01:00. Having packed all our kit in the gig mobile it was time for delicious cold boiled eggs from the breakfast packs (okay, so we got hungry a little bit earlier than planned), washed down with a couple of cold Windhoek Lagers before bed. Next morning it was "rise and shine" and back onto the road to Namibia. I tell you, the life of a rural rock star is just so hectic...

 

06 June 1999

Last night's gig was definitely one to remember. Not only did we play amidst a throng of knights, knaves, maidens, page boys, hunchbacks and kings and queens, but it was the first time in virtually five years that we were without lead vocalist, Charlie. And boy was it daunting. Not that it was without notice, mind you. Charlie discovered that he'd be out of town at short notice five days ago so, having this commitment already, we strung together a couple of practices to ensure that, like all good service providers, we'd deliver as promised. Skinny Spice was given a few new songs at short notice and the three uglies - Ken, Kenny and Pete - were given tacit permission to try to sing. Just to ensure that Skinny Spice wouldn't let us down on the night by getting herself injured, she even wore flat soled shoes. Now there's a thing. Come the night, the occasion of the local hockey club's mediaeval function, we were all set up and rarin' to go. And what a fun night it turned out to be. The hunchback and assorted characters made their way to the stage from time to time and we allocated songs (the ones we can't do!) so that they could properly "murder" them. I can tell you that they didn't let us down in that regard! There was another revelation during the course of the evening in that we finally discovered how to fool a lead guitarist. You see, what you do is this...sabotage his mike when he's not looking and just before he's about to take the lead vocal part. Begin the song with aplomb and then wait for him to step up to the mike. Witness the look of panic on his face as the vocal intro is passed and he enters the world of mime, fingers frantically searching for the mike switch as he tries to fault-find whilst gulping air like a fish out of water. By now the rest of the band should be at the first chorus and the audience are wondering why you've turned a perfectly good song into an instrumental or whether someone's forgotten the words. At this point step forward and offer the ailing vocalist another mike on another stand as far away as his guitar lead will take him. Just watch the relief in the body language when suddenly his voice booms forth mid-way through the second verse of the song. The best bit's still to come. And that's when you reach the lead break and he suddenly realises his effects pedals are metres away and he's got no chance of reaching them! You've never seen unrestrained panic on a scale such as this! Suddenly that van Halen-esque break sounds like the bridge from "Sugar, Sugar". Finally the song closes down and one chastened, exhausted, humiliated, driven-close-to-pumpelmussen, lead guitarist stumbles dejectedly break to the position of the broken mike. Oh, what a treat!

 

22 May 1999

Congrats to Kim & Charles on the arrival of Ewan, the latest addition to their family. The bonnie young lad, weighing in at 3.2 kg's, arrived in the wee hours of this morning. Well done, guys. By the way Hunk, the boys were pretty impressed with the speed at which you sank that "depth charge" at the Hockey Club yesterday afternoon - you looked like you'd be practising for nine months or so!

 

01 May 1999

Public holiday. Workers' Day. Also Fanie's Day...the last day, that was. What the heck was Fanie's Last Day?, I hear you question. Well, it was Fanie's last day as owner of that popular local gathering point, La Cantina, our monthly venue for the past few months. We had all anticipated this day for weeks and with no small amount of trepidation when the weather closed in two days before, enveloping the town and its desert surrounds in a coat of thick, grey, chilly fog. Still, the band kept faith because the sun always shines on Bedrock gigs and so it proved, yet again, to be the case. As the hours of daylight progressed the fog retreated and, by late afternoon, there were clear blue, warm sunny skies above. The soundcheck went pretty well and, although a lot of people were out of town as it was a long weekend, the folk started to roll up. In dribs and drabs at first but then in a steady stream. We played our first two sets and were delighted with them. They were both almost technically faultless! After that we knew the omens were there for an excellent afternoon's music. After the first two sets we took a break so that everyone could crowd into the bar area to watch the Super 12 rugby game of the weekend, the Stormers of South Africa's Western Cape against New Zealand's Auckland Blues. Man, what a game it turned out to be with the Stormers running out convincing winners at the final whistle. If the people felt like a party beforehand, you should have seen what they were like after that result! From the opening chords of our third set people were on their feet, bopping away frenetically. Special accolades must go in this regard to Maggie B who proved, once and for all, that she is far fitter and more youthful than he ageing hubbie, Norm. She was well supported by one of the most loyal of our supporters, Colleen Parkins, who just never seems to tire, never mind break into a sweat! Norm B, overwhelmed at his wife's dynamism, could do no less than drag his golf-weary feet onto the dance floor where he did a plausible immitation of continuous body movement. Not sure that it was dancing exactly but it was definitely a hybrid between dancing, aerobics and the hiccups...or does his head always loll around like that? Nevertheless, Norm's efforts achieved the point of getting "I do declare" Bob Rock Doctor up and Bob's youthfulness (even at his chronological age) was in sharp contrast to Norm's cumbersome, yet amusing, gyrations. By this stage all the folk present were in joyous moods and we were flooded with calls to play on and the requests came thick and fast. (The one disappointment of the day was that our groupies continue to ignore our requirement that their requests be sent up on the back of ten dollar notes. Oh well, we can only but try.) Being the sensitive, obliging, "get your money's worth" band that we are, we were only too pleased to keep the entertainment going. Fanie gave a short farewell speech which he mistakenly thought was moving us to tears. Our eyes were actually watering because the pumpelmussen wasn't as cold as it should have been. Funny, he never seemed to pick that up. Anyway, Fanie's closing words were that we could all expect something bigger and better in the future so we all look forward to that. We were hoping that he'd produce his guitar and give us some of his infamous songs in Spanish, but he obviously felt keeping the crowd there was more important. Anyway, we eventually wound down (amid howls of protest, I hasten to add!) at about 6.30 pm and declared that this was one of the best gigs we'd ever played, befitting the farewell occasion that it was. Why, Jen even managed to stay on those Spice Girls platforms of hers, Eddie avoided being struck by flying objects, Kenny never ran out of beer, Charlie's voice held up, Ken didn't have to go flying and Pete..well, the Stormers won didn't they? To the new owners of La Cantina, Neil & Steve - "go for it" guys and keep the party going! Oh yes, by way of an afterthought, this was also Bedrock's 40th appearance since inception - funny how time flies when you're having fun, isn't it? Hopefully Peeee had "one" for us. 'Til next time - chow!

25 April 1999

They say that what "comes around, goes around" and nothing could be truer of last night's gig at the town's most recently opened restaurant, Flamingo's. (Yep, the apostrophe's in the right place and no, it isn't in the plural - trust me!). As "loose" as we were last week we were "tight" last night. Why? Who knows. Biorhythms I guess. Anyway, our sound check was pretty long and tedious due to some faulty cables and jacks that were causing feedback. I don't have to tell you guys and gals out there who've been in bands just what grief these simple things can cause. The evening itself got off fairly punctually with the brisk formalities being followed by an extremely good meal. Then, just to add to everyone's indigestion woes we took to the "stage". I must say that the overall vibe was a warm one on what was a fairly chilly evening. We were soon into our stride, light effects spinning wildly and the smoke machine gushing forth periodically. (Ramage thought he was funny shouting "Fire! Fire!" everytime he was enveloped in a cloud of smoke. Our poor Loss Control Manager was a bundle of nerves by the end of the night.) The good thing about these gigs is that you often get exposure to people who wouldn't usually attend a gig. And so it was last night...I think those were the people who left straight after the meal clutching their stomachs. No, seriously, there were some people unacquainted with our sound. In view of the fact that they didn't exactly overwhelm us with free drinks I'm not too sure what their assessment of us was. No matter, we can take the odd knock or two. We took the opportunity to debut our latest original piece of material, a song called "Freedom". It's got a very catchy melody and embues a sort of 70's Lynyrd Skynrd sound. The encouraging fact was that patrons didn't leave the dance floor to arm themselves with projectiles to hurl at the band. To the contrary, they all stayed where they were and even managed to keep dancing. I guess you could say that it was pretty well received. We'll see what our regular crowd of "groupies" think at this weekend's gig. There was a particular highlight of the evening when a certain local drumming fan, and a distinguished local cricketer, decided to position himself, in a crouch, alongside our drummer to admire his skills. (For the sake of anonymity let's protect his surname and refer to him only as Terry). Now,I wouldn't like to suggest that Terry was unsteady on his haunches but, suddenly, our drummer went AWOL. When we collectively glanced around Terry had managed to demolish a trellis which had come tumbling down on them both! As Eddie struggled to free himself from the choas he mistook Terry's bald pate as a cymbal and beat out half the song on his cranium. Talk about having a head for music. Beneath it all peered a very sheepish looking member of the community who'd never had so much concentrated attention from all and sundry ever before. Oh well, we always said Eddie's drumming did strange things to people. Finally, just when we thought we were all safe, our illustrious female vocalist almost came to a sticky end when she missed her footing as she was leaving the premises, resulting in an unplanned trip to the deck. This just goes to show how treacherous those high-heeled Spice Girls shoes can be. It's been suggested that she was distracted by her bruised hand (from banging the tambourine all night) at the time, but far be it for me to speculate on that one. Now it's a beautifully sunny, windless, Namibian autumn morn so it's time I bid you farewell so that I can go outdoors and enjoy the marvels of nature. 'Til next week then, stay cool and KEEP ROCKIN'.

17 April 1999

Well, this was a day with a difference. To begin with, it was the first time we had ever been booked for a gig at the MOTHS Namib Shellhole and, secondly, it's the first time a member of the band has come away with the "first prize". First prize? 'Fraid so, the 4,5 litres of whiskey that a certain band member won in the Shellhole's raffle that afternoon. Seriously, what a bargain - 4.5 litres of unadulterated Bell's finest to share with your male companions! This is what we really enjoy most about trying to entertain people. I mean, here were we expecting to be overwhelmed with adulation once again and they go one better but engineering a bottle of hooch for us. I mean, aren't the MOTHS a great bunch of guys? (Yeah, yeah,yeah).Actually, this is where I have to stop talking about this fantastic win as I don't recall too many of the subsequent events in detail. As far as the gig went, we set up outside the premises in mild, sunny weather with a light breeze every now and then. Pity it didn't last. By the time we'd got going the wind had strengthened and the sunny skies had been replaced by patchy cloud conditions. There was a chill in the wind which made it a little worse. No matter - the rain which threatened from the west held off. We pressed on with our sets and rolled out a couple of our new songs. Some wit inside the premises decided that Mocca Tia would be the ultimate solution and so it was that "shorts" were entered into the fray. The occasion wasn't wildly supported by throngs of people but those that were there seemed to be having a ball. Whether that was as a result of the music or the "wine" is hard to say. Having completed our spell we retired inside the Shellhole where people were getting into party mode. The Main Man thanked us for our participation and we, in turn, thanked him by donating our cheque for the day to their worthy cause. Doesn't it always feel so good when you do something for others, such as on occasions like these? You wouldn't know? Oh okay...perhaps you couldn't hear me over the engine of your Lear jet. Anyway, I think we all fell pretty chuffed about it. I suppose, in retrospect, it probably would have been better to play indoors but that's the wisdom of hindsight, as they say. For now it's the wisdom of the present. Must dash off - got another gig this weekend...will chat to you then.

Wednesday 24 March 1999

Hey, what do you know? Just when you thought this page was "down and out", up we pop again like a bad joke. Yeah, I know we've been kinda quiet for a kinda long time and I suppose we should let you into the reason for that. You're not going to believe this but we've spent all this time looking for Jenny. You remember we reported her missing in our previous entry somewhere between here and Cape Town? Well the mystery has just been resolved. You see, Jenny decided that the combi was on its last legs and would not survive another gig. Ken, naturally, was only too willing to blow a few bucks replacing old faithful (the combi, not Jenny!). Being of cautious disposition, it was only when the cheque was signed and delivered that Jenny stepped forth from her place of hiding in that quaint little haven of Cape culture, Darling. Apart from Jen's obvious delight in having reliable transport again, we (the band) would publicly like to thank Ken for his magnificent gesture in providing us with upgraded "wheels" for our gear. It's going to be such a pleasure reclining - after yet another hectic gig - in those well cushioned leather seats, enjoying all the comforts air conditioning and CD quality sound provide. Anyway, enough of life's joys - let's get back to the business end of the band. We're about to launch our '99 activities with a double gig this weekend on Friday night and Saturday afternoon (and on into the night). We've got some exciting new material and have spent a little bit on electronic accessories. We wouldn't exactly give Kiss a run for their money yet with our pyrotechnics but we're ever mindful of the fact that mighty oaks grow from little acorns. Eddie has been practising big time on keeping a hold of his drumsticks and rumour has it that he didn't drop a stick for two successive songs. We'd like to believe him of course, but, in the absence of video evidence, we can't. Charlie's got his synth guitar back into functional order and Kenny...well, he's still marvelling at the wonders of Viagra and wonders if it'll do for his fingers what it's done for his....yes, well alright. And our intrepid bass player? Well, he continues to extol the virtues of pumpelmussen whilst simultaneously trying the clutches of the Viagra Kid, Kenny R. who is passionate about that yellow liquid. Anyway, that's enuff for now. Will give an update after what promises to be a memorable weekend. Ta, ta.

11th January 1999

Hi there folks and welcome to 1999!
We trust you all had peaceful Christmas seasons and hope that 1999 will
bring you all that you desire. The Bedrock family have been doing different things with some of us travelling around the RSA socialising, and others staying put right here in Oranjemund. A few of us have started to exercise in preparation for the stresses and strains of their year's live performances! Charlie ("Hunk") tried his hand at lawn bowls to ease his way into things whilst Pete, Eddie and Kenny turned their feet to a game of football. Pete lumbered between the uprights of the goal posts whilst Eddie creaked up and down the right flank trying his utmost to avoid the ball! Kenny had the best job as referee although with his eyesight he may have done better staying in the pub. At least there he stood a better chance of reading the labels on the bottles correctly than he had of getting the numbers on the jerseys right! He' s the only referee I've ever seen who dishes out red cards and then, overcome with remorse, calls the offending player back before he's even reached the touchline. Anyway, enough of that at least, like all great axemen, he tries. Kenny Malherbe - well he's a fitness freak anyway and seems to keep running around the squash court or "pushing pedals" on his bicycle. He probably thinks they both reduce the size of his liver! Good news is that we'll shortly be brushing the dust off our gear and will be getting back into practice for the first of our '99 gigs, scheduled to take place in March. In the immortal words of my high school maths teacher who sat gazing at the gap between my ears one day, "Watch this space". And Jenny? Well she's trying to strengthen her arms so she can start swinging the microphone stand around, I believe. It's rumoured that she's achieving this by driving up and down to Cape Town in some rickety old VW Combi. Combi back Jenny - we'll buy you a lighter mike stand!!


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