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TRIBUTE TO DANNY MAJOR (article first published : 2006-04-25)

Neil Comfort, well-known contemporary music personality and co-owner of the Rainbow Restaurant in Pinetown, pays tribute to musician Danny Major (includes extract from Neil’s column in The Mercury on April 18, 2006)

“Last Wednesday was an extremely sad day for the Durban music community when Danny Major was laid to rest. Major was bassist for that definitive Durban group Scooters Union and I’ve hauled out their one and only CD, Vivid Memories of Static, to help me write this column.

I must admit to being quite overwhelmed by the number of people in attendance, to realize how many people’s lives Danny Major had touched. It was so sad that Danny obviously did not realise how many people loved and respected him - if only he had turned to one of us in his hour of need. Could we begin to comprehend the grief that wife Callie was experiencing as she and young daughter Sophie said goodbye – for now?

Things did get a little easier when the Funky’s crew gathered for the wake at Johnny Fox’s in Florida Road. Funky’s was the pioneering restaurant and music venue at the BAT Centre that provided a home base for groups such as Scooters and Squeal in the mid-90’s. It was at the venue where Callie was working behind the bar and Scooters were preparing for a gig that the two of them met.

It was in the BAT Hall that Scooters launched Vivid Memories. It was in the BAT Hall that Scooters shared the stage with another late Durban legend, Sipho Gumede, whose birth date was celebrated yesterday on a suitably cold and gray Durban day.

The MC for the Scooters album launch was comedian friend Shaun Griggs and his legacy is also going to be celebrated this week when the Durban Poison Comedy Roadshow – Schedule Four takes place at The Playhouse’s Opera venue.

The track Braveheart has just finished playing and I have to brush away the tears as my thoughts had headed into a pondering of how vivid my memories are of all three of these late Durbanites and the influence they had on my career. This is a small town and the linkages between them are quite freaky, to say the least.

To Griggs, Gumede and Major – thanks for the memories and rest in peace. - Neil Comfort




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