Thursday, May 2, 2013

Eric Clapton - Swaziland 1989

A collegue was telling me at lunch time he is going to see Eric Clapton next week at the O2 in Dublin - I thought about seeing him, but honestly there are just too many concerts to see these days, but I was telling him about when I saw Eric Clapton in 1989 in Swaziland.

My BFF had gone to a Rock Concert with her brother the previous year in Zimbabwe to see, Bruce Springsteen, I was very jealous that I was not going with, she also came home with some amazing stories, that I will tell you about some day.  So when another friend of mine invited me to go with them to see Eric Clapton and a host of other bands in Swaziland, I jumped at the opportunity.

My friend and I were going with a mutual ex-boyfriends brother and his friend.  Well the friend that came with was a BIG marujana smoker and smoked in the car all the way up.  We left at about 10 a.m. on the Friday morning 21st of July 1989, the concert was on Saturday evening in Mbabane at the Somhole Stadium, it was the Kings Trust concert, basically a concert to celebrate King Mswatti II 21st birthday - he aparently had a private concert at the palace.

So we drove to Oshoek border and got through relatively easy, aparently that night and the next day there were 5 hour waits.  We had no accommodation, but a tent in the car and a couple of tins of tinned food, my friend had organized with some mates of hers that worked there that we could camp on their property or stay in the house, and this back in 1989 when there were no cell phones or email everything was done on trust and hope.

We eventually found the guys place, well the house that they stayed in was so filthy that we even decided it was not worth using the toilet as we did not know what we would catch, so we really roughed if for the week-end. 

I don't remember too much detail but remember it was an awesome week-end, I am going to go and dig up my old photos and scan them in.  While searching the internet for any information about the concert I came across this newspaper article which describes everything to a T.

Travelling back on Sunday, we decided to go through Piggs Peak as again there was a 5-8 hour wait at Oshoek border post, which was probably a wise move.  We got back and I had to have 3 baths to get rids of the dirt, and my husband wants to know why I don't like camping!

 If you can't read the article I have posted here, here is the link which should be a lot clearer:


Anonymous said...

I will show your post to my Dad. He was the concert director/stage management? and I know he misses the good old days. I remember all the excitement about the lighting equipment and speakers. I remember my Dad thought very highly of Eric Clapton (because some stars are not easy to work with and are rather demanding lol). I was still at school at the time so I missed out on most of the fun but did get to help with some concerts in SA, wiring plugs until 2am! The reward was getting to go backstage with the VIP badges (as a youngster this was of course the best thing ever!) :-)


Rozi from Jozi said...

Thanks Emma Louise, it's amazing what a small world it is. My best friends brother is in the music business too, so we used to get VIP tickets to a lot of the concerts, but not the Eric Clapton one! Let me know what your dad says! :)

Chris Kirchner said...

I was on the concert with my ex girlfriend and a french guy coming from joburg.The Day of the concert we went in the morning into the nature Reserve next to Mbabame and had to Put our names down in a book and the Name before ours was Eric we didn't looked for any animals just for Eric...but we missed him
The concert was amazing

Rozi from Jozi said...

Thanks for your memories Chris, i have some photos that I should post from the concert, need to dig them out. :)

Peter Finch said...

Just read your post,I was Eric's bodyguard along with Alfie O' Leary at that concert,also on the bill was Joan Armortrading,Labil Siffre, and a host of African Bands,if I remember Brenda Fassey did not attend for some reason,we also went to the palace with Joan for a private little gig with the King and his family,I used to take Princess Lindewa gambling in the casino,and went to the Kings summer retreat to see all the parade of his dancers and bands,really good day out, We really enjoyed Swaziland and the 3 weeks we were there was quite an experience, I have some good memories of that concert it was held in the football stadium. Awesome countryside and lovely people,