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|The Hidden Dry Wine Story
... see Paul Erasmus - Foot Soldier for Apartheid >>
We were advised that possession of The Road Is Much Longer could result in a 5 year prison term or a R10 000 fine or both. Without being punny - is this some kind of a record? We should check it out.
Point is, by the time Half A Live had hit the only record shop shelf in the country that would dare stock Roger's recorded music - after The Road removal by the Security Branch - was Lenny Beroldt's Hillbrow Records (CD Wherehouse today) Paul Erasmus and his SB were waiting - & as with The Road Album, Half A Live was whipped off the shelves. No more than a dozen copies were sold - although Paul tells us that there must be quite a number of retired ex-John Vorster Square cops with copies. And contrary to certain urban legends claiming 3rd Ear Music to be bad royalty payers Dry Wine was one of many tunes that not only never sold a copy, but was never played on air anywhere. What Royalties?
Dry Wine was the first production of a David Kramer song & the only song recorded by Roger (in 5 albums over 20 years), that he didn't compose himself. Roger had just moved up to Johannesburg from Durban in 1977, & was staying with Fran & myself in Hillbrow; he agreed, Dry Wine was a great song. However, he was reluctant to perform it at first; he only performed his own 'documentary' songs - with one exception - my tune, Clear, Cool, Calm & Still. (I got the feeling that he did that in lieu of rent. Just to make me feel happy!!?? It worked.) Seriously though, Dry Wine became a Roger Lucey classic in concert & he agreed to include a live desk mix of the song from a 1979 Market Theatre performance, on Half A Live. Unfortunately Dry Wine does not appear on 21 Years Down The Road (3rd Ear Music / Hidden Years Archive 3eM 0034)
I mean we had our own protest singer songwriter hassle to handle....what with Roger pestering us 'n all. Rog used to come back stage & politely whisper that a lot of our songs in the show were kak compared to his. And he meant it. And he was most probably right!
Roger- who was sometimes helping me run the music in the Market Cafe - was intensifying his pressure to record his 'documentary' songs - after all, he moaned, it was me who got him into this music mess in the first place. And besides, he added, I am your wife's cousin, brother! No musician could make a living out of music in South Africa if they didnt do covers & hits; and 3rd Ear did not book any musician who did.
And incidentally that 1976 David Kramer cassette demo had nothing satirical on it; it was some years before the Bakgat and the Blik days. The cassette was filled with many good songs; full of angst & protest stuff; wonderful folk songs. When Bakgat finally did come out in 1980 - released by Paddy Lee Thorp's Mountain Recordswww.mountain-africa.com& unfortunately distributed by EMI Brigadiers - it was nothing like the David Kramer we had heard & expected. But it was a pleasant surprise. I thought Bakgat was a great set of songs. And although 3rd Ear Music had nothing to do with David K & this album, given our relationship with Paddy & his partner Paul Zamek, we did assist with its launch by presenting David in his first Johannesburg appearance at 3rd Ear Music's Chelsea Theatre Underground in April of 1980. Andy Darlington from Capital Radio 604, was the EMI promoter.
But what is also interesting, is that in the Hidden Years Music Archive we recently discovered a few of those verbose & belligerent 3rd Ear Music letters that I am credited with having written to the SABC, protesting the 'apparent' ban of the Bakgat album in 1981. The SABC, and EMI Brigadeers, claimed that the banning never happened. However, in 2001 we were handed copies of the official archived SABC 'restriction order' placed on Bakgat signed, 19th Jan 1981 - by Tinus Esterhuizen.
Words & Music by David Kramer 1978 (p)© 3rd Ear Music
I'm half asleep
But nothing disturbs
From the distance of headlines
A lady with red fingernails
And her husband asks the waiter
And knowing it all
An old lady in a Sea Point flat
Perhaps I'm like a deaf man
(p)© 3rd Ear Music 1979
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