|David Marks Background and a 3rd Ear Music Summary|
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David Marks Background and a 3rd Ear Music Summary - 1960's to date
David Marks started his music career underground - literally speaking - writing & recording songs in the Gold Mines. He spent nearly 5 years in Welkom, Grootvlei, & Springs. Played bass for various Rock'n Roll bands - from Witbank Technical College in 1961 Link > Boys Band Photo) to the Free State Gold Mines until 1967. While working underground he wrote a number of songs that became international hits - most notably MASTER JACK, MR. NICO & HEY MISTER. His many bands included gigs with HARRY POULOS & DAVEY JAMES in Durban in 1967 & as a solo folk singer on the 3 month cycle (Cock-Tale Lounge & Bar Room Balladeer circuit) 1967 to 1969 - 4 Seasons, Totum & The Astra in Durban; Nite Beat & the Troubadour Jo'burg.
1969 was a particularly good year for contemporary music & David was fortunate enough to have spent the best part of '69 touring the USA with HANLEY SOUND of BOSTON. He worked with some of the worlds great names in Folk, Rock and Jazz: The Rolling Stones, Joan Baez, Donovan, Hoyt Axton, the Turtles,3 Dog Night, Jimi Hendrix, The Newport Folk Festival and at the legendary Woodstock festival were the highlights of that 1969 USA tour as was David's first live mixing gig - LIVE PEACE IN TORONTO for John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band and many others: Bo Diddley, Tony Joe White, Little Richard, JERRY LEE LEWIS, etc.
3rd Ear Music became known as the HOUSE THAT MASTER JACK BUILT.
In 1968 David founded the NATAL FOLK MUSIC ASSOCIATION (NAFMA) in Durban with BOB WILSON & GINGER SEIPP; He was voted as Chairman of the South African Folk Music Association (SAFMA) for 3 years - 1971 to 1973; In 1987 formed the MUSICIAN'S ASSOCIATION OF NATAL (MANA); 1989 co-founder of the NATAL CULTURAL COUNCIL (NCC) and served on the transition board of the Playhouse / NAPAC. In 1968, while performing at the Astra Hotel (The Chatter Box) in Durban, David got involved with Father Neil McGovern's anti-removal (land-grab) at Limehill against the Nationalist Regime by donating all the royalties from his song Hey Mister. A move that angered TEAL Records and most probably led to his music being restricted and avoided on the SABC. (With the exception of Master Jack - those restrictions still seem to be in place.)
David toured as Sound Engineer, recording live gigs for many international and local artists in the mid seventies - striking up friendships that have endured for many years - MUNGO JERRY (RAY DORSET), ROD McKUEN & URI GELLER; ISAAC HAYES, JIMMY SMITH, STANLEY TURENTINE, SPIKE MILLIGAN, MARGARET SINGANA, RICHARD JON SMITH, JOHNNY CLEGG & SIPHO MCHUNU, LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO and PERCY SLEDGE among many. He mixed and designed sound for many of Africa's renowned festivals in Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi and Angola. Documenting and recording for what was to become the Hidden Years Story and the 3rd Ear Music Archives.
1980 David, TONY CAMPBELL & DAVE BERMAN created LE CHIAM & at the same time David started the CHELSEA UNDERGROUND with RODNEY BARNET - assisted by a young STAN JAMES, Roger Lucey & Dr. Randy Speer. (Herbert was Hotel Manger at the Chelsea & when the venue finally closed & he moved to continue featuring local alternative Rock, Folk and Jazz musicians, opening JAMESONS & DAWSONS in downtown Johannesburg with Stan James's help). David was the first producer / engineer for DENNIS FELDMAN, TON DEN TEULING & PETER HUBNER's MC Studios in Hillbrow - before handing over the WOODSTOCK BINS to MSC (later to become PROSOUND).
David moved 3rd Ear Music from Johannesburg in the mid 1980's - opening up for Terry Acres & Denis Feldman's Prosound in Durban. 18 months later he was again commuting between Durban and Johannesburg working part-time in various recording studios. Most notably for Peter Hubner and Ton Den Tueling's Emcee in Bree Street and Dave Emery's Corporate Planning in Four Ways - where he gained invaluable experience recording and producing audio visual soundtracks for major corporations who were involved in what John Kane-Berman described in his book as The Silent Revolution; where a number of SAfrican corporates in the mid 1980's were training staff and changing direction in anticipation of a major social upheaval in South Africa.
David also continued to string for TV News agencies - mainly with TV news-cameraman Roger Harris and TV Journalist Peter Sharp. He saw a lot of war-torn Southern Africa; the turmoil in the townships, mainly in Soweto, because he knew all the back-routes and roads having spent so many years with musician friends, working on Music events and festivals.
The TUSK / WEA RECORDS / 3rd EAR MUSIC Mobile Studio collaboration was initiated by David, Derek Hannan and Mike Oldfield in 1989 before the plug was prematurely pulled - for business reasons. With Recording Engineer Phil Audoire and producer Sipho Mchunu, the 3rd Ear Music Studio recorded and produced 75 indigenous albums in 18 months. Payola at Radio and TV, together with a few - as yet unknown - deviate business deals, finally sunk what many now believe was a ground breaking studio innovation in kwaZulu Natal. Many of those studio productions will be re-issued on CD over the next few years.Terry Rosenberg became seriously involved with 3rd Ear Music's Hidden Years Project in 1994 through business manager Barry Gerson. Together with Auditor Verlen 'Ginger' Seipp, they managed to help revive 3rd Ear and to put David's vast South African concert & festival experience behind promoting many local community projects at a very difficult time in the New South Africa. Part of that early initiative was to look at promoting international concerts tours in order to raise the profile of the Hidden Years Project and to generate income for 3rd Ear Music and casual musicians and create jobs in kwaZulu Natal. The SA Concert tour with Texan Sawn Phillips that David produced together with veteran Folk music promoter Theo Coetzee was the very first 'official' music event to take place in the new South Africa - on the first day of the first democratic elections 27th April 1994 @ Splashy Fen. Two highly successful international concert tours followed with Texan author & troubadour Kinky Friedman in 1995 & the legendary Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1996.
David has also administered and produced a number of prestigious international (mainly European) African Music festivals, productions & exchange programmes managed for 3rd Ear by Peter Rorvik and featuring many hundreds of great unknown kwaZulu musicians. These events included the SA Music Exchange Programme with Sweden, Shuttle 99 for Norway, Roskillda in Denmark, RE.M.Y in the Cameroon and Nantes 2000 in France.
With many years of recording and live show production experience, David has engineered and produced over 100 records - in studios & on location. He occasionally revives the classic & unique Guitars for Africa concerts & has presented 8 GfA productions over the years; the last one at WOMAD '99 for Dan Choirboli.
In 1997 - at age 53 - David Marks finally recorded his debut album - a collection of 18 songs composed between 1964 and 1994. Titled the Hidden Years (from which the HYMAProject eventually took it's name) the album featured friend and guitar wizard Alan Judd. The recording project was sanctioned by the Managing Director of SABC Radio (at the time), Govan Reddy and recorded by Evert de Munnik at the SABC's M3 and M5 studios in January, February 1997.
The objective of the recording was to feature a collection of typical hidden history songs - many that were recorded by other artists, but many that were only heard in concert or clubs over 30 years - and it featured 72 musician friends with whom David had worked with since 1964. Among the many featured on the CD were Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jonny Blundell, Loraine Shannon, Robin Walsh, Wendy Oldfield, Anton Goosen, Edi Niederlander, Brian Finch, Aaron Jakes Lerole,, Colin Shamley, Manfred Mann, Roger Lucey etc. It was arranged and co-produced by Alan Judd with executive producer Rael Birns for the SABC's Radio Park Studios. As David points out, the CD has never been heard of since - because it doesn't fit-the-format?
David and Alan appeared at a number of Grahamstown National Arts Festivals for Rael Birns and Des & Dawn Lindberg and in August of 1997 was invited - with a 25 member Hidden Years Band of musicians, by the CF Beyers Naude Foundation - to perform at the Anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, USA; 28 years after David had performed there as a sound roadie. The event was filmed for TV and financed by the CF Beyers Naude Foundation. The Film has never been seen or heard of since.
David now works from KwaZulu-Natal preparing to produce a series of indigenous Hidden Years CD Archive albums for academic use & commercial distribution. He is currently negotiating with various institutions to help store, preserve & transfer the collection from analogue to a digital format. David has already transferred a number of historic events to CD & CDR & is looking for sponsors to help fund this important & unique transformation & development project. The aim is to network with other archive collections to establish a Virtual Music Catalogue on the Internet. There has been a marked increase in interest for period mood music & information in SAfrica's hidden history via the Internet. At the moment a TV documentary & a series of Radio programs are being discussed.
David is currently writing 2 books about his music safari - The Hidden Years Story - the first of which will be issued by Penguin Books later in 2003. David married his best friend, Speech & Drama teacher Fran Downing in 1971. Fran now assists David with the Hidden Years Archives & helps promote 3rd Ear Music. They have 4 children & one grandchild. Cheyenne Donnelly. Lisha Donnelly lives & works in the Film Industry in Capetown. Dylan works as a producer & sound engineer in London. Arlo is a Graphics Designer & Rose-Lee is in her final year at Durban Girls' College, where she has just attained full honours in Music.
Prepared for DAVID MARKS by 3rd Ear Music Company 1996 - updated 1999 / 2002
3rd Ear Music Company est. 1969 (Pty)Ltd.
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