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Bands - V


Circa:  1963 - 1964
Home town:  Bulawayo

  • Paul Bennett - Vocals & rhythm guitar

A high school four-piece band which played school and local town hall gigs.


Bands - V


Circa:  1963 - 1964
Home town:  Bulawayo

  • Paul Bennett - Vocals & rhythm guitar

A high school four-piece band which played school and local town hall gigs.


VAMPIRES (Added 10/11/2011)

Circa:  1962
Home town: 

  • Tommy Coulter - Vocals

  • Les Ujfalusi - Lead guitar.  Replaced by Alan Clemo

  • Doug Gregan - Rhythm guitar

  • Peter Guntrip - Bass

  • Brian Clemo - Drums

Les and Peter were classmates from Cranborne Boys High and got the band going whilst still at school in 1962.  Alan Clemo, although only 14 years old at the time, was said to be a real talent on guitar and what ahead of his peers.  His father was a professional musician in Salisbury.  The band were very active, playing at high school parties, the Forces' Club, a variety of hotels (of which Sinoia was their favourite) and played on RTV's "Teentime" (the back drop was a young lady stretched out across a huge spiderweb!  How groovy was that?).

One of the band's members recalls that, for the 1962 Texan Rock Band Competition, every band had to play the Texan cigarettes jingle...

"Is it true what they say about Texan?  Has it really that true American taste?"

That was the official line which everyone had much fun corrupting to...

"Smoke Texan and cough like a cowboy

Smoke Texan and spit on the prairie

Smoke Texan and die with your boots on!"

On this occasion the band shared equipment with the STEREOS from Bulawayo, Hymie Pogar winning the prize for best bass player.

The VERTIGOS were to emerge from what was left of the VAMPIRES at their demise.

For Tommy Coulter see also CHEQUERS.

VERTIGOS (Updated 10/11/2011)

Circa:  1964
Home town:  Gwelo
  • Harry "Sonny Boy" Bezuidenhout - Vocals & lead guitar

  • Peter Guntrip - Rhythm guitar

  • Mike Clarke - Bass

  • Rodney Hooper - Drums (Replaced by Dick Cory)


  • David Bowman - Vocals

It was on a night at RRAF Thornhill in 1964 that Peter Guntrip joined a band who was practicing for a jam.  This led to his being approached by Harry Bezuidenhout who was looking to start a band and, from there, things moved along!  Peter, latching on to the trend at that time of band's having plural names (Diamonds, Cyclones, Stereos) suggested the Vertigos.  This sublime suggestion was rooted in his having recently finished reading a book titled Vertigo.  The name was adopted, if not quite in full as Peter had wanted an exclamation mark after the name.  On their first gig poster, however, the name appeared without the exclamation mark and the idea was abandoned.  In due course, Peter Guntrip was to leave the band although it continued with changes in line-up.

The VERTIGOS line-up was a little unsettled for a time until Harry Bezuidenhout approached Dick Cory and asked him to joined the band on drums, replacing Rodney Hooper who had taken his leave.  Cory made his joining conditional on one point and that was that his close friend and musician, David Bowman, be included in the deal.  This was accepted and the duo joined up.  Until that time David Bowman had considered himself a bass player, however, as Mike Clarke had won the Best Bass Player accolade at a recent Rock Band Competition, Bowman had little chance of unseating him!  As a result David Bowman moved into the lead vocal slot and after one, quick, rehearsal, the band launched themselves on the public.  They were well received and quickly raked in any number of bookings, travelling the length and breadth of the area during 1965.  These venues included the Hellenic Hall, The Youth Hall, Gwelo Sports Club, Whitewaters Dam, the Air Force messes and the Bata Club.  Further afield they entertained audiences at Shabani, Gatooma, Fort Victoria and Redcliff.  It is rumoured that women found Mike Clarke particularly attractive and on many occasion he had to be rescued from the agitated male partners of over-exuberant female admirers!  (To be continued...)







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