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A previous posting I made regarding the food on the border has prompted me to relate some of the more off-the-wall military experiences I have had. The first is about the Acid Rock Spiritual Band.

At Rundu base, the Sector 20 HQ, there was hall called "Die Jakkalsgat". This venue was used for movies, boxing tournaments and whichever little music group came to the border to perform. As mentioned previously the quality of the music was not good. Often it would be some koekies from Universiteit Pretoria who formed a group in haste as to get a free vacation on military expense. No doubt they appreciated the attention of the sex starved officers and the possibility of meeting a future husband beyond their normal social scale at Tukkies.

The base also had the Kapelaan or Chaplain. On an aside the Chaplain would usually have an Angel called "Engel" (his orderly) that was invariably gay. The was a safe place for the Army to place an obvious homosexual who was obligated to national service. Anyway the Angel was also the troepies' herald. He was the source of all intelligence from the colonel's office. No doubt from his other closeted officer friends.

The Chaplain would have assistant chaplains who would be national servicemen with Dominee qualifications. Anyway these were always very keen to test drive their newly acquired rank in society, even on a remote military base. As it was one of these assistant chaplains put posters up all over the base advertising a Christian music group that was due to perform in the Jakkalsgat.

So there I went the evening in question. The hall had a scattering of attendees. The chaplain got up and introduced the band. This is where my interest started piquing. They were from Rhodes University. (Already a good sign) One chic was good looking and I remember there was an indian guy with a beard. The chaplain finished his introductions and went to sit in the front row between his collection of honored local guests and citizenry. I recall him leaning back in his seat, relishing his achievement and the social pundits he is receiving.

Then all hell broke loose.

The lead guitarist opened with a riff straight from Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin. Load, very loud and in your face. A falsetto primal scream followed "Jesus saves" and this was only the start. The sound carried through the base and within seconds the bar across the way emptied. Soldiers running to hear good rock. Soon the hall was filled with dancing, cheering and drinking South African Army national servicemen.

The poor chaplain did not know where to put his head. He sat and because he sat the rest of his honored front row sat. He could see his ecclesiastic reputation dying a death. I cannot remember how long they stayed nor when he got up and turned around to see a throng of cheering soldiers. I think the worst insult to him was everybody thanking for organising such a great band, the best music in Rundu ever.

The Acid Rock Spiritual Band.

Andre Brink Facebook