A REUNION? We have been researching venues...


Occasionally we hear from old fans, who invariably ask:  Wouldn't a re-union of Mel, Mel & Julian be wonderful?

A REUNION?
The band was planning to re-unite in South Africa in 2018 for a few dates in the Johannesburg area... Due to complications that will not be happening as we had hoped,
although some research is still going on...

 

Mel, Mel & Julian from an interview in a Durban newspaper, drawn by Jock Leyden, who got it right!

 Mel Miller continues his stellar career as Grandfather of South African comedy at shows around South Africa.

   Julian Laxton continues to make his own great music, plus sessions, sound-tracks, commercials around South Africa.  
   Mel Green is a Graphic Designer, Painter, and Illustrator. He still makes music as a songwriter and performs regularly  around Boston, USA...
 
  Watch this space and your local media for news of future shows!
We are pleased to announce our South African Booking Agent:To inquire about future shows, please contact Rael Birns at Rael@raelbirns.co.za  or at 081 452-1100

Once upon a time in the 60s...

How Mel & Mel met: where they performed; when Julian joined the band; who they met along the way; their influences and the key people in their brief, but sweet career ... and what they're up to today. Enjoy!

Links in the M,M&J Chain...

Influences & Earworms...

Two young guys singing in an art school classroom at lunch hour to appreciative listeners, and the realization that they had something special.

Key people and places in their career:

The Troubadour Coffee/Steakhouse in Johannesburg, THE folk club where it was happening!

Gary Bryden, Brit folkie, who got Little Mel up on stage at the Troub in the first place.

Keith Blundell, who auditioned Mel & Mel and who without hesitation offered them a weekly gig at the Johannesburg Troubadour..

Des Lindberg who kept them on at the Troubadour as headliners, when they weren't playing full-time at their long hotel residencies.

Ben Segal, quiet folk fanatic and founder of SAFMA, the South African Folk Music Association, and 3rd Ear Music, who opened his vast collection of music and his hospitality to the guys. 

Johnny Kongos, friend and a hit-making rock & roller, who encouraged them & introduced them to...

John E. Sharpe, a wonderful bluesman, who was managed by...

Billy Forrest, South Africa's greatest C&W singer and mentor to many young musicians, who became their manager, friend and guiding light.

Brenda Newfield, a wonderful folksinger, who gave Mel  & Mel some of their first gigs, and who opened up her home & her record collection to them, thus helping them expand their repertoire. 

David Sapire, a photographer and a fan who also helped with their repertoire, and who most significantly... introduced Mel and Mel  to his brother Julian!

Mike Dorsey, entrepreneur & club owner on the Durban music scene, became a fan, a mentor and helped the band in many ways.

Their influences. They  listened to everything possible, at parties, record shops, friend's living rooms, records and reel-to-reel tapes... absorbing everything that appealed to their evolving musical tastes and their developing musical skills. 

See the BLOG PAGE which has a list of recording artists and songs which first caught their ear(s) and whose styles and genres were adapted to suit their style, carrying on the "the folk-process" down in South Africa.

 

Historic Reference

In 1994 Mel, Mel & Julian were acknowledged and included in the book, "History of Contemporary Music in South Africa"...taking their place as one of few notable folk groups to make an impression on the evolving contemporary music scene.

Get in touch... Sign up for emails here... please

Should Mel, Mel & Julian get  together again?

 At the time of this writing, we three and most of our generation have lived beyond our 60s and become part of that curmudgeonly group of folks in their 70s... and, as many of us would say, (if you'd only ask)... the  seventies are the new fifties or something! Perhaps, but then, some of us have been blessed with good health, all of our faculties (albeit with the addition of newly detected aches and pains, the addition of a few screws and plates, and new knees and hips, while sadly, many of our generation are dropping like flies.) Such is life.

Via popular social media sites as Facebook, old fans of Mel, Mel & Julian, have expressed interest and given us some encouragement regarding how much they'd like us to put on shows in their various new home countries. For that I thank them from the heart of my bottom as Mel Miller used to say... seriously, I am grateful.

I think that would be a wonderful idea.

In fact, I attempted and almost succeeded in putting together a reunion tour of South Africa back in 2006 or thereabouts. This is what happened, just so you get it straight from the horse's mouth...

After some persuasion, I managed to wrangle interest and equipment from various sponsors. And after they'd heard about the possibility of a tour, Des and Dawn had given us their wonderful support by arranging showcase gigs at the Grahamstown Festival, as well as a few Siorree gigs at their home and at other venues around Johannesburg. All told we might have made a good impression, and perhaps sold a bunch of CDs and who knows what else... maybe even broken even financially.

Perhaps other concert appearances in various countries might have resulted, in Europe, the UK, Australia and even in the USA, where I'd made inquiries about South African ex-Pat concentrations, so, who knows what might, or might not have happened. One way or another it would have been a gas to get together, to perform together again and to regard each other as mature adults... back in the day when we were much younger, we  were somewhat naive, and while we did make a splash, we certainly didn't make much of a living... which is probably one reason why we broke up. 

I am an eternal optimist, a good trait to get one through the pitfalls of life, methinks.

Alas, the reunion tour was not to be... at almost the 11th hour, Mel Miller backed out, the influence of his then manager stating that doing so would have effected his comedy career detrementally... and I reluctantly had to agree, and respect his and his management's decision. Julian was quite enthusiastic about a reunion, and I am sorry that he was disappointed and inconvenienced, because he seemed not to be doing much at the time, and this opportunity would have been a boost for him. Although I am still active in music around Boston, (but not ever to the professional degree that I was in South Africa), this reunion would have been a great shot in the arm for me as well, if only because my days with Mel and Julian were amongst my most memorable and enjoyable.

And so, wishful thinking raised it's head, and might do so again, although not as frequently as it had done in the past! 

So, life has gone on: 

In 2011, Mel Miller was awarded the Comics Choice Lifetime Achievement Award, a worthy capstone to his career as a wonderfully funny man. That year he also sold out the smaller theater at the Sydney Opera House, performing ‘Mel Miller’s Big Fat Comedy Show’. He continues to perform to this day, bringing his forthright opinions to any of those who will listen to his opinions of the world at large. 

Julian quietly continues to produce, record and perform, and his name is still revered in South African music circles... I only wish that the greater world could only hear and see how great a musician he was and still is.

So, as I've stated to anyone who might ask... if we did somehow make the huge effort to get together (huge, because it entails getting together in one place for at least a month to review music, material and rehearse)... we would have to expect to incur advance expense to cover the revenue we might otherwise be earning from our individual business endeavours... of course if some wealthy fan were to bankroll us, then that problem would go away. 

As I stated in the first paragraph, we are all now 70-years old and more... Mel's was in October, 2013, Julian's was in mid-2014, and mine was in January, 2014. (Hey, if we did arrange as tour, we could call it "The Old Farts Reunion" which would go down very well with some of our old audience, I am sure!) 

Can you just imagine what our individual contributions and maturity might bring to a future stage show? We are all so much better as musicians and showmen, and apart from the lack of hair, the addition of body weight, we would really show you all what a good time could be had as an audience for a show by Mel, Mel & Julian! Really!