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Shiloh on the Noone

He worked with the late Johannes Kerkorrel and Leslie Ray Dowling and was harassed by the police for so-called communist poetry.

Shiloh Noone, owner of Matshana Lodge and Squirrels Leap in Onrus, says he did not only rub shoulders with pioneers in the Afrikaans rock music industry like Koos Kombuis and members of the Voëlvry Movement, but he also presented a sixties rock radio show on Cape Talk 567 every Saturday at 21:00.

“I grew up in the Strand in the sixties and seventies, was expelled from Hottentots Holland School and barely made matric. The one year military call-up that was made two years screwed me up badly, so I spent a year in the Hare Krishna Ashram in Cato Ridge, Natal after which I spent another year in an Ashram in Benaris, India.”

When he returned to South Africa he was a rookie Indian sitar player and worked at Sigma Records in Stellenbosch for Peter de Wet, drank coffee with Koos Kombuis and made friends with actor Richard E. Grant who was reportedly dating the receptionist at the record shop. “A few years later thanks to George Harrison of the Beatles who sponsored the movie Withnail and I Richard made it big.”

Shiloh’s musical history was honed while in Rhodesia in the sixties as a young geek watching the Top of the Pops. “We went there every year for holidays. My dad gave me a PYE valve radio which could pick up all the world stations. I heard the Jimi Hendrix BBC catastrophe in 1967. Like many of the Beatles, George Harrison had a major influence on me. In the seventies I was a Genesis/Van der Graaf Generator fanatic, largely known at school as a weirdo,” he said.

Shiloh says he mentored and supplied music to Jan Rabie who we all know as Johannes Kerkorrel who later commit­ted suicide. “I arranged Leslie Ray Dowling’s first big concert at the Port Gordon Hotel where she met her husband, surfer Henry. During this time I was harassed by the police for so-called communist poetry and my parents were rebuffed, so I eventually escaped on horseback through Matatiel into Lesotho with the help of a Mr Lake who owned trading stores.”

He says he spent many years in Israel presenting radio shows on Radio Hershalom (Voice of peace) and was involved with the Mordechai Outcry in Israel for two years, then returned a reborn Christian and help set up Radio Matie with Tessa van Staden, now CEO of Prime Media.

“After a Sabbatical of 20 years with Fine Music Radio, by day security consultant for Israel’s Pima Sec and many others, I wrote a rock history book Seekers Guide to the Rhythm of Yesteryear which took ten years and got a four star Rolling Stone review. The latter sold about 28 000 through Creda publishing and resulted in me befriending many famous rocks stars, some of who have visited me here in Hermanus.”

On his 60th birthday party last year well wishes from David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton brought tears to his eyes. “Its been a long and tiresome trip. My second book, a paperback called Witches of Sark fell asunder, while my poetry book 42 For The Chosenfew with foreword by Brad Pitt sold in small but consistent demand. He used my rock history book during his BBC narrative on the Life of Nick Drake.”

Today Shiloh teaches chess at Waldorf and Hermanus Primary for a US based project called Chess for Change. He believes that Hermanus plays an important role in tourism.

“Hermanus is a global town due to our whale watching, shark diving and amazing wine farms. It has a pivotal role in tourism, but I feel very strongly there needs to be changes within our municip­ality, we need to speed up services for the informal sector and create sustainable living conditions for the impoverished. We can live in harmony with all, we just need to reach out and feel what others are feeling, that old Hippy song comes to mind, ‘What’s so Funny about Peace, Love and Under­stand­ing’.”

One of the funniest moments, he recalls, is when Dennis Wilson of the Beach­boys stayed at his lodge and threw a cigarette stompie into the garden. “I had him on his knees looking for it. He came out of those bushes with insects in his hair and twigs in his ears and hair and said: ‘I can’t believe I am doing this, I’m a freaking Beachboy’.”

Shiloh is in the process of writing a book called A Bicycle, a Chess Set, an African River about a retired expat on the border of Mozambique who cycles and wades across a crocodile infested river to teach chess. Marida Flack, the owner of the house where the film, Johnny is nie dood nie, was filmed, referred him to the film director Herman Binge. “Herman showed interest and mentored me on the film script. He was of invaluable help but we didn’t see eye to eye.

“A family member of Anant Singh contacted me referred by Rashied Lombaard, an old comrade of mine, so all on track and the music score will be done by the South African band called Hawk. In Septem­ber I will fly to the UK to meet book agents who have already set up appointments with me.”

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