Circa: 1966 - 1968
Home town: Salisbury
A VACANT LOT
1967 Rock Band Competition
L - R: Stuart Palmer
(drums)/Taffy Whelan (Rhythm) & Keith Rivers
The band played mainly covers of what was then known as
"Underground" music - Cream, Hendrix et al. On one
Easter occasion, they travelled to Beira where they incurred the wrath of
the RLI who wanted to assault them because of their long hair!
Clearly, due to the length of their hair they were seen as draft
dodgers, as was often the case in those days! The
band broke up when Frank left to join THE EXECUTIVES in South Africa,
followed by Stuart Palmer who also moved to South Africa where he joined
ORANGE TANGERINE. In due course, Frank returned
to Rhodesia and did a few gigs with Keith and Taffy (Taffy switching
from guitar to drums!) before the band finally folded.
The last gig this band played as the
VACANT LOT was at The Disco with the PEANUT BUTTER CONSPIRACY.
The evening was reportedly a rave second-to-none with Taffy
boasting a Second World War German tin helmet (which apparently
belonged to Keith Rivers' Dad!) on his head as they worked their
popular rock covers such as "Third Stone From The Sun",
"Tales Of Brave Ulysses" and a 25 minute version of
"Gloria"! Sometime later Stuart returned to the
country and teamed up with Frank and Keith to form the CHROME
PLATED MEGAPHONE OF DESTINY. In 1968, Frank and
moved to London where they played in a band for a time before
going their separate ways. Taffy was conscripted to the army, later
forming the CLAXTON MOOD. Keith continued to
play in Rhodesia before moving to South Africa via England! Frank has since
returned to Zimbabwe where he runs the Kadoma Theatre and tunes
pianos whilst Taffy is a member of a top-flight blues-rock band in
Germany called COLD SHOT.
A VACANT LOT - EASTER BEIRA TOUR
Bottom to Top: Stuart/Keith/Taffy
Coca Cola Powered Combi - Frontier
L-R: Stuart/Keith/Taffy &
Newsome (joining in) & Keith
(See also CLAXTON MOODCHROME PLATED MEGAPHONE OF DESTINY - In the BANDS section - & COLD SHOT - In
the IN THE TRADITION pages).
Participated in the Texan Rock Band Competition at
Trade Fair Rhodesia in 1977.
Home town: Salisbury
- Guy Halls -
Lead guitar & vocals
- Gary Clark
- Guitar & vocals
- Martin Keane
- Chris Beversluis
- Drums & vocals
AMBAR (Added 10/12/12)
Home town: Bulawayo
- Hugo Rijpstra - Lead guitar, blues harp & vocals
Ken Harvey - Rhythm guitar, piano & vocals
- Ian Blyth - Bass guitar & vocals
- Kelvin Killoran - Drums & vocals (deceased)
The band's name was an amalgamation of the companies for whom the
band's members worked - Ames (Ian and Kelvin) and Barclays Bank
(Hugo and Ken).
Back Standing L-R: Ken Harvey & Kelvin
Front Seated L - R: Ian Blyth & Hugo
TUNE FELLOWS UNITED!
L - R: Ian Blyth, Hugo Rijpstra, Kelvin Killoran & Ken
TAKIN' IT EASY
Circa: 1974 - 1976
Home town: Salisbury
- Nigel Dams -Vocals,
guitar & keyboards
Ryan Van Coller
- Vocals, guitar
- Bass & vocals
- Drums & vocals
The band played classic and
progressive rock covers, as well as a number of originals.
They gigged at local school halls in the main, however, they also
made one appearance on Rhodesia Television. Some cynics
suggested that this was because Harvey's father was a senior member
of RTV!! One of their fondest memories is the night an amp
blew up on the stage of the Borrowdale Methodist Church hall.
Witnesses to this historic event claim that the explosion was of
such might that the stage also nearly disintengrated! Nigel Dams
recalls that the drums were so loud and the (one) amp so weak
(supporting two guitars, bass and vocals), that they had to put
the drummer in an adjoining room and shut the door. From
there he had to listen to the rest of the band's "strangled cat
impressions" through headphones!
The band chose the name
Antioch more for its mystical sound and feel rather than its
historic links to the Old City.
In subsequent years, after the
band had broken up, Nigel Dams moved on to join GUTTER, and later went on to enjoy a successful career
in Salisbury/Harare as a solo artist. Harvey Ward went into
Gospel recordings and did some wonderful solo work in Canada.
Nick Matzukis relocated to
South Africa where he was later to enjoy a very high profile in a
couple of South Africa's leading groups of the day.
NICK MATZUKIS' outstanding career in music under the
IN THE TRADITION pages).
Home town: Fort Victoria
- Kevin "Dutch" Van der Westhuizen - Bass
- Jim Dawson - Guitar & vocals
- Graham Mondo - Drums
ANVIL played mainly covers by bands such as Black Sabbath, Ten Years
After and Steppenwolf. As was the case with some many bands of the
era, their routine was interrupted
when Jim Dawson was called up for military service. During his
absence the band was "mothballed". When he returned to
the band a new drummer in Ian Pace was recruited to replace Graham Mondo
who had now been called up! The band gigged on the circuit for
about a year before Jim Dawson decided to leave and head for London,
England, to follow his musical aspirations. This is where he
remains to this day.
(See also the In The
Tradition page where you can follow Jim's subsequent
"career" with Naked Angel).
Home town: Bulawayo
ART OF LIVING (Added 09/05/06)
Participated in the Texan Rock Band Competition at Trade
Fair Rhodesia in 1977.
Home town: Gatooma
- John Allen - Bass guitar
- Sonny Boy Bezuidenhout - Lead guitar
- Charlie Armstrong - Lead vocals & rhythm guitar
- Mike Wildman - Drums
Astronauts played, mainly, in their home town of Gatooma although forays
further afield to Umtali, Salisbury and Que Que were not uncommon.
The Umsweswe Hotel, well known to many party-goers of the era, was one
of the Astronauts' favourites haunts and gigs there always gandered lots
of support from their Que Que followers. Amongst this group of
fans was a fellow who, apparently, used to remove his glass eye after a
few drinks and chase the girls with it!
John Allen played in other bands, too, including THE NIGHTHAWKS
with Bob, Earl and Joy Mundell and the Schofields (Ken and
Marie). Amongst John's recollections is of an evening when he was
playing as a member of a dance band at the local school charity dance
when some dunce - we know the type! - tripped over the backstage wiring
disconnecting the guitars. This was particularly obvious to the
audience as they were halfway through a Shadows number! Frenetic
action by John, however, saved the night in getting the band
"re-connected". Could this has been the first time the
Shadows had ever been covered unplugged?
Another memory of school dances is the occasion where the band were
paid in "kind", rather than in cash. On this occasion
the "kind" comprised of a carton of cigarettes and an ashtray
each. It is with no so small amount of pride that John is able to
state that, whilst the cigarettes may be gone, the ashtray has survived
and is lovingly cared for!
John Allen and his wife and family live in Port Elizabeth. Mike
Wildman passed away some years ago and the present whereabouts of Sonny
Boy and Charlie are unknown.
Home town: Gwelo
- Aubrey Bedingfield - Saxophone
- Roy Jenkins - Saxophone
- Kathleen Bedingfield - Piano
- Brian Steane - Drums (on an occasional basis)
Aubrey and his band were very active on the Gwelo scene during
the 1960's. Generally speaking, they were a dance band
featuring two saxophonists, double bass, piano and drums.
Aubrey's son, DAVID BEDINGFIELD, was also a pianist and performed
regularly. He was often a member of a trio which included a
double bass and Brian Steane on drums forming a popular residency at
the Midlands Hotel's Grill Room. Sadly, David's death at the
very young age of 21 was to deprive the Rhodesian music scene of one
of its most promising talents.