Posted by Iwan Russell Jones on 21 October 2010, 17:34
WEDNESDAY 20 OCTOBER – When I saw those zebra a few days ago it was a sign – no doubt about it! It signified not just my presence in Africa, but another reunion, also connected with London Bible College. In 1975 I was part of a band that was formed to play gospel music around the coffee bars of Holland. We were two black guys and two white guys and we called ourselves Zebra.
Apart from me, there was Ken Gnanakan, the patriarch of the ensemble, who was something of a star before he came to college and belonged to a group that he always said were known as ‘the Beatles of India’. Then there was Joel Edwards, from Jamaica via London, the coolest bass player in the western world; and Steve Goddard, a pianist in the Jerry Lee Lewis mould, and the only person I know who could perform the whole of Arlo Guthrie’s 18 minute epic, ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ from memory.
I was really excited to discover that Ken is here at the conference to lead discussions about the environmental crisis, on which he’s an expert. I haven’t seen him since 1976. Joel is also here. After years as General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance in the UK he’s now heading up Micah Challenge, an international advocacy group on issues of poverty and justice.
The only one who’s missing is Steve. We used to call him ‘the vapour’ because he always seemed to dematerialise when urgently needed. I thought he’d got over that, but he’s done it again. So it will only be a three-legged Zebra, if and when we all manage to get together in the same room here in Cape Town. The full reunion, plus tour bus and groupies, still awaits. We’ll have to do it soon, however, before we get to the zimmer stage.