Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Next Generation

Thought I'd start out this new chapter with a personal account of how we got to this point. Just for newbies you dig? Ha ha.

I remember that the Mercury Lounge bar still ran along the side wall back when I asked Matthew and Frank to form a three piece to host CountryBilly BBQ Breakout.

That show was a concept that Donna Stephen and I, and Sean Wienand and us had sort of seeded and watered for a while. What we felt was needed was a "host" act, one that would centralise the theme of the show whenever it happened. And that was how the leftover members of Chicken from Crazy Cats came into the picture - it was a de facto band at that stage anyway, having just played an impromptu set for some other show that needed a support act. And it was Frank who delivered the name "Three Bored White Guys".

A few months later I asked Greg and Waldo to come into shows as guests (both debuted at sound-checks, I think), and there it was.

For three years or so Three Bored White Guys brought something wild to the Cape Town live scene. We were probably the first "countrybilly" band to gather any sort of momentum in the rock underground here. Some might describe what we had as notoriety. And then, seemingly at the point of real take-off... things kinda ground to a halt. I don't think there was one particular reason it happened, but while it was happening it felt a mysterious - like someone had started spiking the drinks.

Whatever the case, it's strange to think now that bookers suddenly stopped calling us directly to ask if we were available anymore. Although nothing official was said, I started hearing from strangers that we had broken up. This is a ridiculous phenomenon in Cape Town - a town so small, that bookers tell you what's happening in your own band.

As it happens, after the events of August through December 2007 I myself was too exhausted to carry on through the mud and hail, to be honest. By then things had gotten so hectic I think we were all relieved just to be able to sit back a bit and catch up with our individual selves.

Greg had pretty much decided he'd had enough of regular shows. Matthew had started up The Tornados again and they seemed to pick up where they left off, which is to say in the middle of a hugely popular drive. Frank too had said he'd prefer to take the time to concentrate on his career for at least a while, which at that time was starting to take off rather well. And Waldo had returned from Canada to an empty band room, and later announced an intention to move back to Johannesburg.

For my part, I had come off two back to back BMW Pavilion shows - a five month run. I was tired. I was restless and I was unmotivated. The last White Guys show happened December 21, 2007 - A Kinda White Christmas. It was a relatively poorly attended show, and though the Whites played reasonably well, I remember thinking to myself "Well, that's it. Done."

I left that day realising that for the first time in several years I didn't have another gig to look ahead to. There was nothing on the horizon. This, for me - for us - was unusual in the time we had been playing. Ever since year one we'd had at least the BBQ breakouts to look ahead to. And I haven't even thought about getting back up since then.

Until today: July 8, 2008.

First off, came the desire to redeem several lots of work I have done over the years, solo and with Carolyn Beyer - in the form of a CD-R of old recorded material. This is work that has been sitting on discs and drives with me for a long time. And it's just a way of moving on. It has to come out into the light. This will be available likely mid-August, so more on that later. There is also talk of a live show to accompany, but it's very early days and very ambitious yet, so well, we'll see what happens on that.

Second, I spoke to Steve 'Sunday Family' Smith. Steve played the last two White Guys shows with us. He's truly enthused about playing in a band like this, and there like the proverbial bear. I always knew Frank would be keen again - he'd been organising the odd get-together with guitars for the last month or two. And then I placed a call to an old friend who's one of the best drummers I know. If terms are agreed we're looking forward to a classic new generation lineup of THREE MORE WHITE GUYS.

So this is it. I guess someone pressed the reset button. And it's time to start it up again. Good luck to everyone involved.

PS: I've discovered that the Subterania online shop still has three copies of this disc. And there's a good chance that this will soon be a rare and priceless collectible. If you get my drift. :)
Try here:

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