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!
 

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 hired the band and 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.

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With this intro, a line by the great bard, a statement and explanation is required...
A month has just zipped by since the day we returned from a truly lovely long vacation in South Africa, the land of our birth, and many fond memories.

Soon after I announced that we would be coming in mid-March, an acquaintance of Mel Miller and Julian spoke to them and suggested a re-union of the old band when I would be in Johannesburg in April. They were all for it, and so was I when I heard that they were... and to boot, I had not initiated the idea, which was pleasing to me.

In no time at all a venue was approached and a single date for a full-length show was organized in mid-April... and to make the effort even more worthwhile, three more shows were soon added at other venues around Johannesburg. 

A sponsor was soon encouraged to promote the shows, "LM Oldies" as it is now known... they woud provide "gratis" promotion on-air, our old recordings would be played as the dates drew near, and all seemed to be smooth as could be... until said station decided to do a survey.... the subject being "Do you remember Mel, Mel & Julian"?

It seems that no one does... (either they've left the country, live in old-age homes or are dead.) And so, not to lose money, the venues backed out, except for the original one, who still wanted to put on the show as originally agreed. 

Miller and Laxton did not want to do that show only because it would have involved too much work for little return... Green was willing but then he was on holiday essentially. 

So, it is a shame that yet another time, a reunion was not to be.