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DEATH OF MIKE SMITH (article first published : 2001-11-5)

Mike Smith was a well-known and popular figure in Durban’s contemporary folk, rock and reggae music circles. He died last week of respiratory failure after a short illness.

Born in Swaziland, he eventually became interested in music while he was at school in Cape Town. He bought himself a guitar and taught himself how to play by watching other musicians. He had a band called The Puppets in the 70’s and performed with musicians such as Steve Fataar and Tokoloshe and was a regular at Splashy Fen music festivals.

“Mike was unique in that I never met anyone who didn't like his music,” says friend and colleague Colin Hull. “The party could be dead, Mike would get on stage and the party was a hit. He would be welcome in anyone’s home, any campfire at a festival, any stage, any club. Young or old, Mike was your friend.

“He was at ease playing to thousands of people or to one. I had often heard Mike make up a song about someone and sing it to them on the spur of a moment. A lot of people are going to feel the void he has left behind.”

A concert in Mike Smith’s honour will take place at the Tusk Inn in Rossburgh on Saturday (November 10), starting around 15h00.




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