Born in Durban, Ricky Gass grew up in the city’s orphanages. In 1961 he went to Zimbabwe and served in the army and police, returning to his city of birth in 1985. Nicknamed “The Whistling Policeman”, he recorded a single, “Road To Memphis” – a tribute to Elvis written in the wake of his death – which became an instant juke-box hit. He has spent decades performing free of charge at old age homes, orphanages and for the SPCA, Hospice and TAFTA. He has recently completed a novel – “My Name is Pretty Boy”, life in Durban as seen through the eyes of his budgie. At present, Ricky survives by playing his own distinctive brand of piano from a repertoire of over 1000 memorised numbers at a shopping mall.
Ricky Gass Biography notes by Brendon Bussy
All arrangements/remixes based on original creative material (music, poetry) by Roderick Stewart Gass except * brass and string arrangements by Brendon Bussy **
THE RICKY GASS BAND
Brendon "The Berea Fiddler" Bussy: Violinist (4, 10, 12)
Weapon of Choice: Fostex Four Track. Make My Day!
Dean "Banned in Tokyo" Henning: Our Remix Boogaloo (1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13) and resident idiot savant. When the red light starts flashing, his time is up.
Lilo: Solo Rockster (5) Our local hero of hick-hifi.
Hollow Earth Theory: Searing audist (15) sweet damnation.
Felix "PPP" Laband: Our 60's stylist. Percussion performed to perfection.
Etienne "Lips" Moorcroft: Trumpet stylist (9)
Purveyor of sounds to make a geisha shudder.
Masha "Set Me Free" Du Toit: Our Diva (3, 8, 11)
Sweetness with all the right sounds in the right places.
Rolf "Rosin" Deppe: Cellist (6) A romantic to be watched.
Brit "Style Council" Cormack: Tom Tom (10) Set the worls alight.
The Navy Brasso's Messieurs V. Naiker, G. Joseph and E. Moorcroft:
Brass Section (3, 11)
Paul "Chuggalug" Cochrane: Bass (8) Sweet skill makes mingus sweat.
Mick Ironbart: Lapsteel and vocals (8) The crying soul of country.
Craig "Nashville" Nash: Drums (13) I'm innocent.
The boys from 199: Hecklers (13) Will the party ever end: Never! Hallelujah!!!!
The Sisters: Backing Vocal (8) Sweet singing soulfulness.
Produced and published by Corrective. 2000.
c/o 27 Cottingham, 131 bath Rd, Glenwood, 4001, Durban.
Original material recorded by Brendon Bussy.
Sound-fiddling-till-everyone-was-happy by Dean Henning.
design/art direction: Michael Croeser
Copyright: all tracks joint copyright Roderick "Ricky" Stewart Gass and arrangers except where otherwise stated.
Many thanks: NSA GALLERY, the listeners and friend of Rick Gass. Hershel Maasdorp.
THE RICKY GASS PROJECT
This collaborative project was part of an endeavor to raise funds for Durban icon Ricky Gass, and featured many artists from Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
Each cover of the 100, limited edition series is completely different, having been culled from pre-existing record covers. The project includes a photo series insert conceptualised by audio artist, James Beckett.
I acquired this copy from Brendon Bussy about ten years ago. We had both been involved with the FLAT Gallery in Durban in the early nineties.
Thank you to Brendon and Masha for making this album available.