Again, the event is free and open to the public.
CLICK HERE for Blondie’s official site.
Check out his entire bio (below) but listen to some of his music.
Blondie Chaplin was born in Durban, Natal, South Africa, to a musical family. His father was a banjo player considered the best in South Africa, but when young Blondie received a guitar as a gift from a neighbor his passion was realized. His course was set.
His buddies Clemmy and Rudy taught him a few chords and Blondie was on his way. “After that I played after school and pretty much all the time, and then there was this moment that I realized that I had a voice!”. It was that gift that carried him out of South Africa, or to put it another way: He sang his butt out of apartheid. Ginger Baker, the legendary drummer for Cream and Blind Faith and a current resident of South Africa agrees, “You had to be damn good to get out of South Africa on music when he did”.
Blondies first band was called The Kats, then he moved on to The Kittens, where due to the purity and range of his voice, he caught the attention of Durbans hottest band, The Flames. The Flames were the Fataar Brothers and they all agreed that Blondie was what the band was missing.
Blondie joined The Flames and they recorded two number one hits, but due to apartheid it was almost impossible to play for all audiences. They gigged at the Al Fresco Club in Durban, six nights a week, six sets a night, all the while saving money to leave for England. The group realized that they had to leave their homeland if they were going to continue to progress.
So at age sixteen Blondie and his band mates boarded a ship and sailed for London. “once in England we settled in North Harrow because it was cheap to live there,” Chaplin recalls. “We started doing little gigs. We played clubs like the Bag of Nails, Blazes and the Revolution. We did not make much money we just plodded away.”
They got a break when Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys caught one of their sets in a London club. Wilson was so impressed that he brought the band to Los Angeles to record for the Beach Boys label Brother Records. They changed their name to The Flame and produced their self titled debut (and the first ever quadraphonic) album.
Always a hard working band, The Flame settled in Santa Monica and began doing local gigs at the Whisky A GoGo and the Cuckoos Nest in Orange County. The west coast fell in love with The Flame and the clubs were packed for their shows. Due to external pressures the Flame disbanded. Their return to South Africa was a low point in Blondies musical journey but Carl Wilson saved the day by inviting him to join the Beach Boys and sent him a one way ticket back to LA. He remained with the legendary group for three years, playing on and contributing to the song writing on three albums: “Carl and the Passions So Tough”, “Holland” and “Live in Concert”. Blondie sang lead vocals on “Sail on Sailor”.
Find a rock and roll band that needs a helping hand…
Weary of touring with the Beach Boys, Chaplin Settled into LA and its recording studios. He soon signed with Elektra/Asylum Records and recorded Blondie Chaplin /Rock and Roll. Garth Hudson of The Band helped out and years later Blondie returned the favor joining The Bands Rick Danko, Garth and drummer
Levon Helm in Austrilia filling in after the loss of Richard Manuel. He also recorded with The Band on their album “High on the Hog”.
Once his solo record was finished Blondie put a band together and did a tour promoting the album opening for Peter Frampton. Blondie stayed busy touring with legendary blues man Paul Butterfield and played on “Paul Butterfield Rides Again”. He also went back on the road with The Bands Rick Danko with again special guest Paul Butterfield.
While gigging around LA he played The Cuckoos Nest and was introduced by promoter/friend Jerry Roach to David Johanson of the New York Dolls. Blondie found a kindred spirit in David and the two collaborated on Davids solo album “Here Comes the Night”. They did a rough edged bus tour promoting the release logging some 17,000 miles.
Being friends with David facilitated his move to New York where he teamed up with fellow South African musicians Keith Lentin and CBSs “Late Show with David Letterman” drummer Anton Fig.. The trio became “Skollie”.
In New York Chaplin met Keith Richards and worked on Keiths labor of love “Wingless Angels”. The music brought them together and Keith and Blondie became good friends and Blondie was subsequently asked to work on The Rolling Stones new album “Bridges to Babylon”. For Blondie it was a bridge that stretched all the way back to Durban, South Africa. “It has been a long road”, Chaplin mused. “From meeting Brian Jones while playing at the Revolution in London, to be invited to join the band by Keith in LA. Keith and I talked about that and how he just missed meeting me back in London at the Revolution”.
“Playing with the Rolling Stones has been a extraordinary experience in my musical journey”, said Chaplin. His participation in the group has expanded from Background vocals to include percussion and guitar. The ultimate gig for the ultimate musician. During the “Bridges” tour in Buenos Aires, Ronnie Wood introduced Blondie to Bob Dylan who was opening for the Stones. “This is Blondie Chaplin,” he said. “Hes our secret weapon”.