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 Farewell concert for Dave Plod Tarr

From: "Ian Bentley"
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 3:37 PM
Subject: News Forum - Medical attention for Stella Tarr - updated

Great to see Plod at last getting the recognition he so justly deserves. I went to school with Dave and we remained friends although our paths never really crossed as often as I would have liked. I have incredible memories of Dave playing with one of his earliest bands, Newton Fig, when he was still in high school - playing an absolutely mind blowing version of "All along the Watchtower" (Jethro Buthow played one of 3 Lead Guitars for the band). You mention Plod only ever singing "Georgia" but I can remember that amazing voice of his doing full justice to "Streets of London" and those two traditional sea shanties, "Greenland Whale Fisheries" and "Shoals of Herring" Soon after Dave died I emailed Richard Haslop and asked him to try and give Dave a bit of airtime.
Ian Bentley

David Replies - Thanks for the visit & the comment. We would like to post that piece in the new update if that's OK? Edition 12 should be up next week with some photos of Plod, Stella & the girls.
I knew - mixed, recorded, produced & booked - Dave in various bands for over 32 years...and I only ever heard him sing in concert 20 years after we met. It's true, if I think back hard, that he did some vocals while messing about when the clubs had closed or at a rehearsal. I never heard him do a vocal in concert until Syd Kitchen & Steve Newman (who were rehearsing with him at the time) said, hey you must get Dave to sing Georgia. He proceeded to blow us away at a 3rd Ear Music Le Plaza gig in Durban (I think it was my 50th birthday gig in 1994.)
I hope we can find some of those other vocal recordings sometime. I'll chase Richard H up on that idea. We digitally recorded his very last gig - 4 weeks before he passed on - with Ken E Henson & Richard Ellis at the Blue Bottles.
David Marks

Sent: 07 July 2002 09:25
Subject: Stella Tarr

Dave's wife, Stella, passed away on Wednesday, 3rd July after a long and brave battle with cancer, just over 6 months after Dave. She was on morphine for the last 2 weeks so at least she wasn't in pain at the end. Her children were staying with friends and will go back to their granny, Olive Meyer, who will bring them up. Stella's brother, Colin, of whom Dave was very fond, will be there to help her. He is married and has one daughter.
We are hoping that later on when they are a bit older and more settled they will be able to come to visit us. They are very, very precious to us. Stella was a devoted mother and has given them a solid grounding of loving discipline and tender caring. I am sure that Olive will continue this. She is a fine woman and full of optimism and common sense.
I will attach a few photos for you.
love to all,
Nan (Stewart) Dave Tarr's sister

click images to enlarge
Dave, Genevieve and Dominique
Dave, Genevieve and Dominique
Genevieve and Dominique
Genevieve and Dominique
Stella Tarr
Stella Tarr

Farewell concert for Dave Plod Tarr & a fundraiser for Stella & the children

Mr Plod by Micheal BrownThanks to Ken E & Marlene & all our music friends - the evening turned into an amazing success for Dave - multi instrumentalist & Violinist supreme. Musicians came out of the woodwork - literally speaking - to pay homage & tribute. The concert was initially going to be held at The Durban Music (Folk) Club's Tusk Inn - but as contemporary tradition would have it somebody else decided that what's there is theirs - so they raided the place & helped themselves. Last minute arrangements were made & somehow, Ken E managed to get this top-secret & obscure venue in Springfield Park.

The DuMarc Theatre is quite a revelation - very few people knew it existed. An exceptionally well equipped theatre with all the mod cons for both punters & players - great lighting, formal & informal seating with a gallery of soft chairs & couches and two bars. Only one black mark - no Draught! DuMarc is stuck away at the back of Springfield Park's Industrial area - on the East side of the Umgeni River. The Theatre is built into the DuMarc Clothing factory & is apparently used (secretly?) for fashion & promotion events. Dave would have thrived...and who's to say he didn't? The evening ended in the early hours with all sorts of jamming & collaborations. It was good to see Kevin Tarr, Dave's brother there - and as he said: it was an emotional revelation to hear & meet with Dave's friends. As was Plod's silent way, Kevin had no idea that his brother was so well loved & known. It was an emotional evening for him...but that energy was soon channeled into some memorable & happy performances...too numerous & complicated to mention, other than to list those who contributed. We should mention though, that Len Downing arrived unannounced before his regular Saturday gig & did an impromptu jam with Will's Blues band - playing & singing a stunning version of the only song that Dave ever sung in public - Georgia. In order of appearance.

Richard, Smelly and Will
Richard, Smelly and Will
Syd Kitchen sings for Plod
Syd Kitchen sings for Plod
click images to enlarge
Len Downing doing Georgia
Len Downing doing Georgia
Kevin, Tarr, Fran and Alan for Plod
Kevin, Tarr, Fran and Alan for Plod
DAD - David Marks, Alan Judd & Dan Chiorboli
ROLLY (from Butternut)

Looking back in dearness and 'dank' (Joubert Malherbe / Pretoria News)

The other day I was driving to go and relieve my local off-license of a quantity of some liquid matter.
I was approaching a four-way stop at a corner cafe near my house when I spotted a number of young people in high spirits in the road.
All fresh-faced and as sunny as the day was long, they were running across the street badgering drivers while shaking collection tins at them.
They were Tuks students collecting for the rag.
Blimey, I thought. They are keen: I mean, venturing forth into deepest Doringkloof to raise funds for charity.
In my day, the students only really stuck to intersections of major thoroughfares when they were collecting money or selling rag mags. So it was with a happy heart that I took out my wallet and parted with a modest sum.
I told them that I was an ex-Tukkie myself. The one guy seemed to be of a rock 'n roll disposition.
I was just about to tell him my favourite band of the time was Led Zeppelin (still is, actually along with the Beatles and a few others) when he said, apropos my donation, "dankie oom".
I smiled, nodded politely and in time-honoured fashion made my excuses and drove on. I recalled the sage advice of old John Lee Hooker: "Don't look back, look on/into the future, the past is gone/it's gone"
However, I had reason to look back in fondness recently when I heard the news that erstwhile Silver Creek Mountain Band member and fiddle player extraordinaire Dave Tarr had died.
I can recall how excited I was when I heard the original Silver Creek Mountain Band for the first time.
I'm sure some readers will remember their sterling performances, night after night, in what used to be the Keg and Tankard at bottom of the then SAAU building on the corner of Schoeman and Andries streets.
I was already pretty versed in the ways of rock 'n roll, but I had at that point - circa 1977 - never actually seen a South African band that was playing that kind of music.
I always used to think of bluegrass as "railway music".
Anyway, Dave succumbed to cancer late last month.
He was always the "quiet" one, standing stage right, if memory serves - behind Rod Dry and Dennis Schultz et al - playing swirling riffs on the fiddle, which would have made Paganini stand in awe.
Dave played a total of 23 instruments, including the Appalachian dulcimer whose wonderful sound he unleashed on us crazy barn dancers.
Given his extraordinary talent, he later ventured into jazz, rock and
experimental music and he played with such local legends as Tony Cox, Steve Newman, Syd Kitchen and Paul Clingman, to name but a few.
He was also an accomplished yachtsman.
So yeah, you people who can recall those halcyon days - and nights - of beautiful music; spare a thought for Dave, his wife, Stella, and their two daughters.
I don't think we need to mourn: rather, let's praise the light he showed us through his music.
A friend of Dave's, Mel Futter sent me some information about him. I told her I think old Dave and the recently departed George Harrison were probably providing glorious musical accompaniment to the angels and the choir invisible.
As Creed sings on the current album Weathered: "Just give love to all".
Ken E Henson and Rich Ellis

  • Dave Plod Tarr
    Plod finally set sail with his music and fond memories at 7:15am on the 22.02.01. His last words were "I want a cold beer!".
    Dave's many followers and 3rd Ear Music friends extend their condolences to his family - to Stella, Olive & the children - and we will keep the Trust Fund going.
    ... read the letter >>

  • Local Content and Music Development is a farce. It means nothing for music or musicians in this country. Mike Smith, Dave Hewitt, Dave Pollecutt, Alan Pierce and just last week another good 3rd Ear Music friend, Kessie Govender. Who were they? They were local content!
    ...

We have had a wonderful response to our request to assist musician Dave Tarr. Thanks to you all; it's amazing how people's generosity at times like this can heal & spread much needed hope. Week physically, but in great spirits & extremely positive - due largely to the encouragement & support from his many music friends - Dave visited 3rd Ear Music yesterday to collect a Violin from Ken E Henson & Arlene. Arlene had heard that Dave was having problems with his legendary (heavy) 5 String Barcus-Berry, so she & Ken kindly donated their own lighter 4-string Yamaha for his trip.
Dave Tarr and that famous Obie Oberholzer of his Silver Creek Mountain Band from 1971
Dave Tarr & that famous Obie Oberholzer of his Silver Creek Mountain Band from 1971
Dave Tarr - Another generous offer came from long-time friend, yachtsman Wayne Stokes & his fiancée Wendy Daniel. They took a bond out on their home to loan Dave a portion of the fee for his expensive treatment.Herewith the details of the trust account as requested. (For those of you who may have just joined our eMailing list, a copy of the first appeal sent out last month, follows). David's treatment starts on the 10th January 2002, in Johannesburg for 5/6 weeks.

All transactions will be strictly confidential & a summary of deposits / donations into the Trust will be posted on the Website in edition 10 (February/ March 2002). NOTE: If you do not request anonymity, we will assume that you have no objection to being mentioned as a donor.

Account Name: Stella Tarr Fund
Bank: First National Bank
Branch: Scottburgh
Branch Code: 220-227
Account Number: 62027389106
Account: Current Cheque Account

The Signatories are:
Jackie Hubert & Lyn Palmer of Park Rynie
South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal
c/o: Stella Starr +27 39 976-0318
International & (039) 976-0318 South Africa or on Stella's Cell (083) 961-4058.

Subject: Dave Tarr - Violinist Supreme

Many of you might recall how Dave Tarr never thinks twice about jumping into a session or a gig with his violin; to enhance a concert, add texture to a recording session or create magic at a festival in countless show bands. Dave has been diagnosed with Melanoma - skin cancer - and he is in need of urgent (expensive) treatment.

Dave has been plying his fiddle / violin trade since 1965 & as a Master Yachtsman / Skipper, from East London, he is known around the world in many Ports as the Fiddle Skipper. Music first - Plays now, pay later. Dave has played on more recordings, festivals, films & sessions than any other SAfrican violinist we know of - often free of charge. So now it's our turn to help him.

In 2000 / 2001 Dave sailed over 26 000 miles delivering yachts around the world - not to play music, but to help pay the rent & to contribute toward the fund sent up by Jackie Hubert & Lyn Palmer & collected by the Community in Park Rynie. Stella has now almost been cured & Dave will be treated by the same physician in Johannesburg. As musicians we are (usually) all in the same financial boat - but collectively we hope to come up with the required amounts

David Marks
3rd Ear Music, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Urgent appeal - medical attention for Stella Tarr

When a great musician is in trouble they can turn to their comrades for help. Stella Tarr - Violinist Dave Tarr's wife - who lives in Park Rynie on the South Coast KwaZulu-Natal - is extremely ill & needs urgent medical attention in Johannesburg. It's going to cost a lot of money. Since the 60's Dave has traveled the world with his Violin - never thinking twice about waving his magic bow & enhancing a stage show or recording session - more often than not free of charge & without credit. Dave has played for many of the legendary Rock & Folk groups in this country for over 30 years - from The Silver Creek Mountain Band & Freedom's Children - to the South Country Band & Wildebeest with Colin Pratley. Now it's our turn to jump in & help. You can contact Stella at (039) 976-0318 or leave a message further down on this page in the comment box.

Dave has threatened to sell his very expensive Barcus-Berry Electric Violin; & we have asked him - pleaded with him - to hold on; to see what money or assistance can be raised. Earning his keep, as a master violinist hasn't always paid the rent - no matter that Dave Tarr is one of the finest Rock, Jazz & Folk Violinists around; between his pub gigs, in various bands & sessions, Dave plies his trade on the high seas as a Master Yachtsman; he delivers Sailboats around the world. He has become known in many foreign harbours & ports as the Fiddle Captain - just making music with the locals. If you can help him - just as he has helped & entertained so many with his Fiddle; we'd appreciate that.

An eMail letter:
Michael Brown who played for THE SOUTH COUNTRY BAND with Dave Tarr in the early 70's:
I was the guitar player for South Country Band in 1971-4. I'm now the Artist Relations Director for Warwick Electric Basses world wide, although I live in Santa Barbara California (I hooked Solly up from Savuka a few years ago). I want to contact my old friend Ramsey McKay...can you give him my email address please, or give me his? Also an email address for Louie Rebiero, our old lead singer if you have one. In all, I spent 3 1/2 years in SA...I was deported in 1974 for being "politically undesirable", something I am very proud of. I hope you can help me.
Michael Brown
Warwick Basses
email:[email protected]

Dave Tarr with Colin Pratley
Dave Tarr with Colin Pratley - Wildebeest 1980

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