Wednesday 27 March 2024


For today’s TOTD we go way back in the depths of time to the land of total obscurity, where we hit on The Flames.

The Flames were a 60s / 70s band out of Durban RSA (like yesterday we are back in South Africa!). 

The Flames

Because they were popular at the height of apartheid and would have been classed as “coloured” at home, they spent much of their later career here in the UK working with the likes of the Rolling Stones and the Faces and mixing with Keith Moon (the Who), Keith Richards (Stones) and Carl Wilson (Beach Boys) amongst others.

Considered as one of the most unique bands of 60s SA, they were made up from the Fataar brothers (Steve, Edries and Ricky) along with guitarist / vocalist Blondie Chaplin. They stood out with a blend of soul/rock music tinged with an Indian blend. 

Blondie Chaplin

In 1970, after Carl Wilson and fellow BB Alan Jardine saw them perform live at a club in London’s Kensington, they travelled to Los Angeles to record an album for the Beach Boys’ Brother Record label.

After that album two of the band actually joined the Beach Boys for a couple of years with Ricky on drums (as Dennis Wilson was unable to drum at that time due to a hand injury) and Blondie on vocals / guitar (Brian Wilson was having one of his many “absent periods.” from the band). Blondie is remembered during this period as singing lead vocal on the BB’s big hit “Sail on Sailor” to which he still refers as his signature track! 

Ricky Fataar

“Sail on Sailor" was initially recorded with Dennis on lead vocal, who didn't like the song and refused to finish it. Then they recorded it with Carl Wilson on lead, but he found it too low for his range of voice, so it was offered to Blondie and became the massive hit that it was.

Ricky went on to be featured in the Rutles spoof on the Beatles and has been the drummer in Bonnie Raitt’s band for 35+ years. Blondie still performs, often with Brian Wilson and Alan Jardine, and occasionally with the Rolling Stones. Both are now in their early 70s.

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