Being a musician whilst growing up in the Orange Free State was a challenge to say the least. Every Saturday morning I would hop on my “big black kaffir bicycle with baboon tires” and head on down to the O K Bazaars record bar. Occasionally I would come across a gem or two featuring Oscar, Coltrane or some such.
1976, Pretoria, South Africa. Recently married, Deb and I were saving like mad for our impending trip to Denton TX, to inaugurate my studies at UNT.
At the time, I was an unwilling guest of the South African Defense Force and was scraping out a meager salary posing as a gifted trombone player in the South African Army’s newly formed Entertainment Unit. In order to save enough money for our impending trip, I spent many evenings raising extra cash by playing private gigs as well as performing as a pit musician for various Broadway Musicals that were currently being staged in Johannesburg.
Before coming to America I played as many gigs as possible in order to save as much money as I could for my impending trip. For a short period, I played Fri and Sat nights at the Balalaika with Howard Belling and Nippy. We were in the elegant dining room and were the featured entertainment for the “more fortunate than us “ crowd.