For these series I based my information mainly on the thesis of South African born and Durbanite Lindy van der Meulen, in fulfillment of the degree of Master of Music at the University of Natal. Lindy van der Meulen was also the only woman in a Durban rock band (The Remnant) for a four year period (1989-1992). She currently lives in Durban.
I have also used parts of previously published articles. A lot of information came from the liner notes of records and collected magazines and news papers as well. See the sources and notes
All music files come from my own collection of the original released vinyl.
a 24-hour beat festival was held at Milner Park, Johannesburg in October 1970. A local newspaper article reported the following:
There were pop fans with long hair, pop fans with short hair, there were girl pop fans and boy pop fans, and they all make up the kaleidoscope of colour which boarded a luxury bus in Durban last night bound for Johannesburg’s first 24-hour beat festival. The beat cult was strangely subdued when they climbed into the bus but they were obviously saving up their enthusiasm for the thundering music which assaulted their eardrums when they arrived at Milner Park – scene of Johannesburg’s ‘Woodstock’ .
The fad for rock festivals (especially the open-air variety) continued into the mid ‘seventies, and seemed to die with the death of the hippy dream in Durban in about 1974. It should be noted that, due to the entrenchment of apartheid policies, rock bands of different races did not play on the same bills. The separation of population groups under the Group Areas Act resulted in a very segregated residential pattern. Thus, interaction on a cultural basis between population groups was a logistical problem: availability of transport to the city centre at night was difficult unless one owned a private vehicle. Only the whites, who had their own transport, could effectively traverse to areas outside their own communities. Besides this problem were the laws which forbad bands to play to racially mixed audiences, and forbad dancing in a racially mixed group. Such laws were forcibly enforced when necessary, and often this was effected by a large police presence at concerts.
Despite the mentioned in stifling conditions, Steve Fataar of The Flames reports that a vibrant rock scene flourished in the hotels and clubs of the “coloured” and Indian residential areas of Wentworth, Sydenham, Red Hill, Chatsworth and Phoenix. Although these bands rarely mixed with white bands in public, musicians from these race groups certainly gathered to ‘jam’ and exchange ideas.
one of those Durban colored bands was a guitar-based group performing in the style of The Shadows, the English hit makers who hugely successful in South Africa. In part 5 of these series I will focus on more local colored bands from Durban. Check it out!
The Raiders Go Latin -RAJ 100 released in two cover versions with same track-listing. South Africa 1967
The Raiders -Exodus