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 David Marks Background and a 3rd Ear Music Summary
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David Marks Background and a 3rd Ear Music Summary - 1960's to date

David Marks in the 3rd Ear Music Archives 2003 Underground at 19, Grootvlei Gold Mines, Springs 1963
David Marks in the 3rd Ear Music Archives 2003 Underground at 19, Grootvlei Gold Mines, Springs 1963
Music Director, Producer & Archivist of 3rd Ear Music since1970.
David Marks started his music career underground - literally speaking - writing & recording songs in the Gold Mines. He spent nearly 5 years in Welkom, Grootvlei, & Springs. Played bass for various Rock'n Roll bands - from Witbank Technical College in 1961 Link > Boys Band Photo) to the Free State Gold Mines until 1967. While working underground he wrote a number of songs that became international hits - most notably MASTER JACK, MR. NICO & HEY MISTER. His many bands included gigs with HARRY POULOS & DAVEY JAMES in Durban in 1967 & as a solo folk singer on the 3 month cycle (Cock-Tale Lounge & Bar Room Balladeer circuit) 1967 to 1969 - 4 Seasons, Totum & The Astra in Durban; Nite Beat & the Troubadour Jo'burg.

3rd Ear Music Founders - Audrey Smith (Lamarque) with her little boy, Big Terry - 2002 Ben Segal, Cheyenne Donnelly and David in Ben's famous leisure and sound lounge - Photo by Fanny 2002
3rd Ear Music Founders - Audrey Smith (Lamarque) with her little boy, Big Terry - 2002 Ben Segal, Cheyenne Donnelly and David in Ben's famous leisure and sound lounge - Photo by Fanny 2002
3rd Ear Music mentor & close friend BEN SEGAL & publisher AUDREY FRIEND-SMITH officially established 3rd Ear Music as a Music Company in 1969 - although 3rd Ear was formed in around 1967. David was in the USA at the time and 3eM became the first alternative independent Recording and Music Publishing company in SAfrica. 3rd Ear has an archive with over 30 years of studio & live-recorded music.

1969 was a particularly good year for contemporary music & David was fortunate enough to have spent the best part of '69 touring the USA with HANLEY SOUND of BOSTON. He worked with some of the worlds great names in Folk, Rock and Jazz: The Rolling Stones, Joan Baez, Donovan, Hoyt Axton, the Turtles,3 Dog Night, Jimi Hendrix, The Newport Folk Festival and at the legendary Woodstock festival were the highlights of that 1969 USA tour as was David's first live mixing gig - LIVE PEACE IN TORONTO for John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band and many others: Bo Diddley, Tony Joe White, Little Richard, JERRY LEE LEWIS, etc.

Bill Hanley sets up the Mix for David Marks - Live Peace in Toronto September 1969 - Photo by David Marks John Lennon adjusts his Mic - Toronto 1969 - Photo by David Marks Keith Richards and Bill Wyman out of the Shadows - Detroit 1969- Photo by David Marks
Bill Hanley sets up the Mix for David Marks - Live Peace in Toronto September 1969 - Photo by David Marks John Lennon adjusts his Mic - Toronto 1969 - Photo by David Marks Keith Richards and Bill Wyman out of the Shadows - Detroit 1969- Photo by David Marks
Mac & David Troubadour 1966 The Boys Band - in a Moth Hall Session Witbank 1961 (l-r) Johnny Kombouros, Jannie Hank B Maree, Peter Farnham and David Marks - Photo by Mervyn Van Rooyen
Mac & David Troubadour 1966 - Photo by The Boys Band - in a Moth Hall Session Witbank 1961 (l-r) Johnny Kombouros, Jannie Hank B Maree, Peter Farnham and David Marks - Photo by Mervyn Van Rooyen
Returning to South Africa in 1970 - Africa's first professional SOUND ENGINEER set off, with his new found sound partners TOMA SIMONS & (the late) DON WILLIAMSON, to establish 3rd Ear Sound - a one-stop live recording & sound company. The famed Woodstock Bins were first heard at the Eyethu Cinema, Soweto 1971 becoming regular features in townships & on campuses all over Southern Africa, in a variety of innovative Jazz, Soul & Jive festivals - Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho and Botswana etc. He worked for Ian Bernhardt, Connie Mabasu and promoter Eugene Madonsela with Phoenix Players and Union Artists at DORKEY HOUSE on many township music projects - PHIRI, The 5 Roses and Pina Cula Festivals etc.
Phiri - Barney Simon, MacKay Davashe & Cyril Magubane's 1970 Musical Country Joe MacDonald at Woodstock Richie Havens Band & 3rd Ear Staff Durban 1998
Phiri - Barney Simon, MacKay Davashe & Cyril Magubane's 1970 Musical Country Joe MacDonald at Woodstock 69 by David Marks in Memory of John Brody (RIP) Richie Havens Band & 3rd Ear Staff Durban 1998 (l-r) Rich Linnell (USA Promoter), Richie, Cheryl (David's PA), Dino Paul Williams (Guitar), Emile Latimer (Percussion) and David

3rd Ear Music became known as the HOUSE THAT MASTER JACK BUILT.
BEN, AUDREY & DAVID'S aim in the 60's was to promote, produce, protect & publish South African words & Music that the established Record Industry deemed non-commercial or too political. BEN personally financed many events & recordings. Royalties from David's hit songs (MASTER JACK, MOUNTAINS of MEN, FAIRYGOLD & MR. NICO etc) were used to fund festivals, clubs, and concerts & launched many singer songwriting careers. To overcome the then government's draconian no mixing of cultures apartheid laws, David & photographer friend TONY CAMPBELL devised the Free Peoples Concerts first on a deserted Durban Beach in 1970 & later at Wits University in March of 1971. Under the auspices of the then South African FOLK MUSIC ASSOCIATION (SAFMA) & various student organizations (NUSAS, AQUARIUS, SAVS) the now legendary FREE PEOPLES CONCERTS were staged until the late 80's. These series of annual events were, for almost 12 years, the only outlets for new SA music & songwriters at the time; they become regular festivals on campuses all over the country. 3rd Ear Music & friends established, initiated & managed a variety of mixed-alternative music clubs for musicians who were being ignored or avoided by the SA record industry & State-run-radio, the SABC. Almost all of these events were recorded & now form part of the comprehensive & historical 3rd Ear Music Hidden Years Music Archive Project.

David Marks gets Gold from Gerald McGrath of Teal Records 1968 David & Don Williamson (RIP) Sound Concentration Toma Simons - Lighting and Stage 3rd Ear Sound 1972
David Marks gets Gold from Gerald McGrath of Teal Records 1968 David & Don Williamson (RIP) Sound Concentration - Mixing off the new Altec 1210 for a Clive Calder and Ralph Simon Rock Festival, Johannesburg, Ellis Park 1972 - Photo by Don Searle Toma Simons - Lighting and Stage 3rd Ear Sound 1972
 Astra Hotel (The Chatter Box) in Durban
Astra Hotel (The Chatter Box) in Durban
David started off his own club career (while working underground on the East Rand and Free State Gold Mines) at the TROUBADOUR in Noord Street in 1966 -- managed at the time by Des Lindberg & IAN LAWRENCE -- & at BIG ABE'S NITE BEAT in Hillbrow.

In 1968 David founded the NATAL FOLK MUSIC ASSOCIATION (NAFMA) in Durban with BOB WILSON & GINGER SEIPP; He was voted as Chairman of the South African Folk Music Association (SAFMA) for 3 years - 1971 to 1973; In 1987 formed the MUSICIAN'S ASSOCIATION OF NATAL (MANA); 1989 co-founder of the NATAL CULTURAL COUNCIL (NCC) and served on the transition board of the Playhouse / NAPAC. In 1968, while performing at the Astra Hotel (The Chatter Box) in Durban, David got involved with Father Neil McGovern's anti-removal (land-grab) at Limehill against the Nationalist Regime by donating all the royalties from his song Hey Mister. A move that angered TEAL Records and most probably led to his music being restricted and avoided on the SABC. (With the exception of Master Jack - those restrictions still seem to be in place.)

Master Jack Composer to Aid Limehill - Various News reports 1967/1968
Master Jack Composer to Aid Limehill - Various News reports 1967/1968
David began many club and events projects with the proceeds from his hit songs. With songwriter COLIN SHAMLEY he negotiated using MANGLES (for Yugoslav BOB) as a regular music, poetry and song writers outlet; It's where the first known Pirate cable Radio broadcast was undertaken with DJ Big Mac - RADIO FRESH AIR; at STAN DOMP'S The VILLAGE, David and the late BARNEY SIMON started the Village Theatre; with Brian Finch the OXFORD HOTEL in Johannesburg (The New Troubadour) & with BOB WILSON'S in Durban, David, RICHIE MORRIS & BRIAN FINCH ran the TOTUM as a singer songwriter outlet- moving between the TOTUM & the MAYFAIR in Durban to the Jo'burg clubs. Taking over the Blue Fox from Peter Prowse, the Oxford Hotel became the first home for Mannie Manim & Barney Simon's Market Theatre Company. In the early 70's David and Fran joined their friends Des and Dawn Lindberg's controversial and groundbreaking theatre project, Godspell in Maseru Lesotho and worked on the show for 6 months - David mixed the sound and Fran was Stage Manager.

David toured as Sound Engineer, recording live gigs for many international and local artists in the mid seventies - striking up friendships that have endured for many years - MUNGO JERRY (RAY DORSET), ROD McKUEN & URI GELLER; ISAAC HAYES, JIMMY SMITH, STANLEY TURENTINE, SPIKE MILLIGAN, MARGARET SINGANA, RICHARD JON SMITH, JOHNNY CLEGG & SIPHO MCHUNU, LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO and PERCY SLEDGE among many. He mixed and designed sound for many of Africa's renowned festivals in Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi and Angola. Documenting and recording for what was to become the Hidden Years Story and the 3rd Ear Music Archives.

Woodstock Bins Mix - Jabulani Amphitheatre, Soweto - Photo by David Marks Ronnie Madonsela (RIP) on the Brook Benton (RIP) Cocky Ros and Bruce in Godspell - Desk shot by David Marks 1973
Woodstock Bins Mix - Jabulani Amphitheatre, Soweto - Photo by David Marks Ronnie Madonsela (RIP) on the Brook Benton (RIP) Tour with the Drive - Guitarist Lucky Sithole (RIP) Band Leader Chris Schilder and Stan & Henry Sithole (RIP) at the Jabulani Amphitheatre, Soweto 1971 - Photo by David Marks Cocky Ros and Bruce in Godspell - Desk shot by David Marks 1973

1980 David, TONY CAMPBELL & DAVE BERMAN created LE CHIAM & at the same time David started the CHELSEA UNDERGROUND with RODNEY BARNET - assisted by a young STAN JAMES, Roger Lucey & Dr. Randy Speer. (Herbert was Hotel Manger at the Chelsea & when the venue finally closed & he moved to continue featuring local alternative Rock, Folk and Jazz musicians, opening JAMESONS & DAWSONS in downtown Johannesburg with Stan James's help). David was the first producer / engineer for DENNIS FELDMAN, TON DEN TEULING & PETER HUBNER's MC Studios in Hillbrow - before handing over the WOODSTOCK BINS to MSC (later to become PROSOUND).

David moved 3rd Ear Music from Johannesburg in the mid 1980's - opening up for Terry Acres & Denis Feldman's Prosound in Durban. 18 months later he was again commuting between Durban and Johannesburg working part-time in various recording studios. Most notably for Peter Hubner and Ton Den Tueling's Emcee in Bree Street and Dave Emery's Corporate Planning in Four Ways - where he gained invaluable experience recording and producing audio visual soundtracks for major corporations who were involved in what John Kane-Berman described in his book as The Silent Revolution; where a number of SAfrican corporates in the mid 1980's were training staff and changing direction in anticipation of a major social upheaval in South Africa.

David also continued to string for TV News agencies - mainly with TV news-cameraman Roger Harris and TV Journalist Peter Sharp. He saw a lot of war-torn Southern Africa; the turmoil in the townships, mainly in Soweto, because he knew all the back-routes and roads having spent so many years with musician friends, working on Music events and festivals.

David stringing for Roger Harris of CBS with Jonas Savimbi. Angola Front Line 1984.
David stringing for Roger Harris of CBS with Jonas Savimbi. Angola Front Line 1984.
Early News Clips - Not Quite Woodstock
Early News Clips - Not Quite Woodstock
In KwaZulu-Natal David helped establish the Le PLAZA for Paul Mikula & Ian Lindsay's hotel & later JAM & SONS for HERBERT; Rustlers Valley Music Festival for Frik Grobelaar in the Free State & for 8 years - since its inception in 1990 - was the Music producer of South Africa's most successful & prestigious annual contemporary Music Festival, Splashy Fen.

The TUSK / WEA RECORDS / 3rd EAR MUSIC Mobile Studio collaboration was initiated by David, Derek Hannan and Mike Oldfield in 1989 before the plug was prematurely pulled - for business reasons. With Recording Engineer Phil Audoire and producer Sipho Mchunu, the 3rd Ear Music Studio recorded and produced 75 indigenous albums in 18 months. Payola at Radio and TV, together with a few - as yet unknown - deviate business deals, finally sunk what many now believe was a ground breaking studio innovation in kwaZulu Natal. Many of those studio productions will be re-issued on CD over the next few years.

Terry Rosenberg became seriously involved with 3rd Ear Music's Hidden Years Project in 1994 through business manager Barry Gerson. Together with Auditor Verlen 'Ginger' Seipp, they managed to help revive 3rd Ear and to put David's vast South African concert & festival experience behind promoting many local community projects at a very difficult time in the New South Africa. Part of that early initiative was to look at promoting international concerts tours in order to raise the profile of the Hidden Years Project and to generate income for 3rd Ear Music and casual musicians and create jobs in kwaZulu Natal. The SA Concert tour with Texan Sawn Phillips that David produced together with veteran Folk music promoter Theo Coetzee was the very first 'official' music event to take place in the new South Africa - on the first day of the first democratic elections 27th April 1994 @ Splashy Fen. Two highly successful international concert tours followed with Texan author & troubadour Kinky Friedman in 1995 & the legendary Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1996.

David has also administered and produced a number of prestigious international (mainly European) African Music festivals, productions & exchange programmes managed for 3rd Ear by Peter Rorvik and featuring many hundreds of great unknown kwaZulu musicians. These events included the SA Music Exchange Programme with Sweden, Shuttle 99 for Norway, Roskillda in Denmark, RE.M.Y in the Cameroon and Nantes 2000 in France.

With many years of recording and live show production experience, David has engineered and produced over 100 records - in studios & on location. He occasionally revives the classic & unique Guitars for Africa concerts & has presented 8 GfA productions over the years; the last one at WOMAD '99 for Dan Choirboli.

Troubadour 1966 - Photo by David Marks (Check The Morris Minor) The Front of the Chelsea Theatre Underground, Hillbrow, Johannesburg 1980 ...see also Sakhile >> - Photo by David Marks
Troubadour 1966 - Photo by David Marks (Check The Morris Minor) The Front of the Chelsea Theatre Underground, Hillbrow, Johannesburg 1980 ...see also Sakhile >> - Photo by David Marks
David produced the highly acclaimed and unique Living Treasurers Festival on the beach at St. Lucia - featuring musicians from 21 African, American and Asian countries - for the Lobombo Spatial Development Initiative in association with Dan Choirboli's Shongweni Living Treasures. With assistant producer Chris Faya and PA Mandy Lohner 3rd Ear Music collectively arranged a series of Rural Satellite Music Festivals for Andrew Zaloumis' LSDI project. For 6 months they trained many rural communities in music festival and related events along the LSDI / Mozambique development route; this included the communities of the Dudukuku forest settlements, Hlahluwe, Matubatubu, Richards Bay, Empangeni and St. Lucia.
In 1997 - at age 53 - David Marks finally recorded his debut album - a collection of 18 songs composed between 1964 and 1994. Titled the Hidden Years (from which the HYMAProject eventually took it's name) the album featured friend and guitar wizard Alan Judd. The recording project was sanctioned by the Managing Director of SABC Radio (at the time), Govan Reddy and recorded by Evert de Munnik at the SABC's M3 and M5 studios in January, February 1997.

The objective of the recording was to feature a collection of typical hidden history songs - many that were recorded by other artists, but many that were only heard in concert or clubs over 30 years - and it featured 72 musician friends with whom David had worked with since 1964. Among the many featured on the CD were Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jonny Blundell, Loraine Shannon, Robin Walsh, Wendy Oldfield, Anton Goosen, Edi Niederlander, Brian Finch, Aaron Jakes Lerole,, Colin Shamley, Manfred Mann, Roger Lucey etc. It was arranged and co-produced by Alan Judd with executive producer Rael Birns for the SABC's Radio Park Studios. As David points out, the CD has never been heard of since - because it doesn't fit-the-format?

David and Alan appeared at a number of Grahamstown National Arts Festivals for Rael Birns and Des & Dawn Lindberg and in August of 1997 was invited - with a 25 member Hidden Years Band of musicians, by the CF Beyers Naude Foundation - to perform at the Anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, USA; 28 years after David had performed there as a sound roadie. The event was filmed for TV and financed by the CF Beyers Naude Foundation. The Film has never been seen or heard of since.

David now works from KwaZulu-Natal preparing to produce a series of indigenous Hidden Years CD Archive albums for academic use & commercial distribution. He is currently negotiating with various institutions to help store, preserve & transfer the collection from analogue to a digital format. David has already transferred a number of historic events to CD & CDR & is looking for sponsors to help fund this important & unique transformation & development project. The aim is to network with other archive collections to establish a Virtual Music Catalogue on the Internet. There has been a marked increase in interest for period mood music & information in SAfrica's hidden history via the Internet. At the moment a TV documentary & a series of Radio programs are being discussed.

Charles Mvune - small HY Archive store - Photo by Fanny Alan Judd & David still spanking the plank part time - Photo by Peter Rorvik David Marks at the Southern Cross Music Festival 2000 - Photo by ERICA.
Charles Mvune - small HY Archive store - Photo by Fanny Alan Judd & David still spanking the plank part time - Photo by Peter Rorvik David Marks at the Southern Cross Music Festival 2000 - Photo by ERICA.

David is currently writing 2 books about his music safari - The Hidden Years Story - the first of which will be issued by Penguin Books later in 2003. David married his best friend, Speech & Drama teacher Fran Downing in 1971. Fran now assists David with the Hidden Years Archives & helps promote 3rd Ear Music. They have 4 children & one grandchild. Cheyenne Donnelly. Lisha Donnelly lives & works in the Film Industry in Capetown. Dylan works as a producer & sound engineer in London. Arlo is a Graphics Designer & Rose-Lee is in her final year at Durban Girls' College, where she has just attained full honours in Music.
...see also 'where are they now - part 3' >>

Fran in The Ben Segal Lounge Archive 2003 Tony Campbell (RIP) 1979 Rodney Barnett (RIP) 1975
Fran in The Ben Segal Lounge Archive 2003 Tony Campbell (RIP) 1979 Rodney Barnett (RIP) 1975

Prepared for DAVID MARKS by 3rd Ear Music Company 1996 - updated 1999 / 2002


3rd Ear Music Company est. 1969 (Pty)Ltd.

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Musgrave 4062
Durban
KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa
email: thirdear@iafrica.com

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