Rock aficionados will instantly recognize Trevor Rabin as one of the lead guitarists for British supergroup Yes, as well as a prolific composer of movie soundtracks. The name Duncan Faure will bring the Bay City Rollers to mind: he was their vocalist from 1979-1981. However, relatively few rock fans remember that the two got their big break together, as part of a South African group called Rabbitt during the mid-1970’s. It was the closest thing South Africa ever had to a progressive rock group.
Rabbitt achieved enormous success in the (relatively small) South African music market, but were prevented from doing the same internationally due to the cultural boycott then being waged against that country due to its apartheid policies. Therefore, Rabin and Faure had to emigrate to achieve further success, and without them, Rabbitt foundered. I’ve often wondered what it might have achieved had it been able to tour abroad as a group, and build its reputation in the international market.
I’ve picked four songs by Rabbitt as a memorial to the group. Here, from their first album “Boys Will Be Boys“, is “Hard Ride”. Rabin’s father Godfrey backs up the group with some electrifying violin playing.
From the same album, here’s “Charlie”, a whimsical song that sounds as if it’s about a girlfriend – but it turns out it’s Trevor’s cat!
Their second album, and the last to involve Trevor Rabin before he departed for greener pastures overseas, was 1977’s “A Croak and a Grunt in the Night“. From it, here’s “Hold On To Love”.
From the same album, here’s a more reflective song, “I Sleep Alone”.
The seeds of rock greatness are evident in those selections, and Rabin and Faure would go on to prove that in their subsequent careers.