Circa: 1977 – 1978
Home town: Salisbury
• Graham Yates – Lead vocals
• Kyle Kee – Lead guitar/Vocals
• Dennis Haunt – Rhythm guitar
• Victor Kee – Bass guitar
• Lana Kopman – Keyboards
• John Vereldzis – Drums
One of the distinctive features of this band was their youth, all the members being 17 or 18 years old at the time of formation. Initially, they started life as FRICTION before deciding that this name “sucked” and clearly wouldn’t assist their quest for stardom! Their new name was generated by their followers, amongst whom were a number of medically minded students who proposed the name, SYNAPSE. If any of you are in doubt what this word means please allow the band to elaborate…a synapse is the junction between two nerve endings. It can also mean a connection. Much better than FRICTION, without a doubt! The problem with a name like SYNAPSE, however, is that it is regularly misspelt – as well as mispronounced – which was a problem the band were forced to live with throughout their tenure. SYNAPSE was the amalgamation of two schoolboy bands, one from St. George’s and, the other, Peterhouse. The band was initially formed to take part in a charity concert organised by Chisipite Girls’ High and the Dominican Convent. When they entered the venue they were met by a hall of screaming tennybopper girls. Their music, a mixture of rock ‘n roll, heavy metal and pop also enjoyed the crowd’s approval and so the die was well and truly cast!
The band, however, quickly set out their store and quickly became a cohesive and proficient unit. One of the first gigs they ever played was at Club Tomorrow, opening for the well known South African band of the time, WIZARD. Even on this auspicious occasion the announcer got their name wrong and they were introduced as Cyclops! Their popularity and reputation grew as they gigged regularly at venues such as the Jameson Park Lane, Club Tomorrow and Spaniards. At the Park Lane they supported AXE, the local equivalent of Kiss and also shared a few gigs with KLUNK, formerly the BENNY MILLER BAND.
The band gradually started to stretch their wings and moved on to perform in rural towns such as Gatooma, Bindura and Mazoe. Many of these gigs were travelled to under Army or Police escort due to the security situation within the country at the time. Guitars, amps and drum kits were a strange mix with rifles and grenades! As the military conflict of the day escalated the band started to lose members to conscription, effectively ending the band’s activities. Of the band’s former members, Dennis Haunt went on to play with the DE SOUZA BROTHERS for a time before moving to South Africa.
Kyle and Victor Kee are resident today in Ontario, Canada. Graham Yates is to be found in Toronto, Canada, John Vareldzis in Oregon, USA. The whereabouts of Lorna Kopman is not known.