Recognise the guys in this photo? It was taken early in ’68 (if memory serves me well) in Jay Jay’s Athlone club, the Soul Workshop . Here’s a tip. They commanded a lot of respect those days.
In fact, they were called Respect and they were at the forefront of the music revolution in Cape Town around that time.
The soul sound was the hottest thing going in the mid-Sixties. But, come ’67-’68 artists like Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Jeff Beck, and groups like Blood Sweat and Tears, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Spooky Tooth ruled the roost with the “psychedelic” and “underground” sound which morphed into today’s jazz-fusion.
Respect introduced their music to their legion of fans.
And the musos in that photo? Well, that’s Noel Kistima on drums, with Issy Mohammed on the left, Melly Da Silva peering out behind him, and Issy Ariefdien.
The reason I’m on about Respect in this post is because a week or so ago two of them – Melly and Noel – caught up in Canberra, Australia, for a bit of reminiscing.
Melly was the group’s bassist, Issy Mohammed did vocals and rhythm guitar and of course Issy Ariefdien was on lead guitar. [Later they were to add organist Ivor Wagner, saxopnist Basil Coetzee, and another vocalist, the unforgettable Tyrone Macranus.]
The “remember this” and “remember that” phrases flowed liberally and brought forth endless mirth and great satisfaction. But the one thing that bothered both – and it was a question neither could answer – was, “whatever happened to Issy Mohammed?”.
Once the group went its separate ways in 1970, Issy Mohammed disappeared off the music scene completely. Never seen or heard of again.
Calls were put in to Cape Town to Issy Ariefdien and to the group’s one-time manager, Charles Dette. They too could shed no light on what happened to Issy. They promised to look into it but neither was too optimistic.
And there you have it. The whole purpose of this posting . . . does anyone know what happened to Issy Mohammed.
And no, it’s not a precursor to a reunion thing. Just a couple of old musos wondering out aloud.
Let’s see if anyone out there knows the whereabouts of the much-talked about Issy Mohammed. Look forward to hearing from you.
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