Satanic Verses

Johannes Kerkorrel and the Gereformeerde Blues Band produced one album called Eet Kreef, which was released in 1989.

Music critics heaped praise on the album and declared that it was one of the most important Afrikaans popular music albums ever made.

In a bizarre twist however, a NGK Minister, Dominee Jannie Malan, declared that if the Voelvry album was played backwards, messages from the devil, that had been inserted by the musicians could be heard!

Dominee Malan insisted that so-called “back masking” on records could occur without the musicians being aware that it was happening and that this was due to the influence of dark, satanic forces. He maintained that the songs on the album by Johannes Kerkorrel and his band attacked and attempted to break down Christian values.

In response to these allegations, Johannes Kerkorrel dryly observed that he had never felt the need to play a record backwards.

Kerkorrel added that these allegations “[were like going] Back to the Middle Ages. I don’t need to hide secret messages in my music. Everything I say is open. This is the biggest load of shit I’ve ever come across”.

Shifty Records sued Malan for defamation and the matter was settled out of court.

Gary Herselman (bassist for the Gereformeerde Blues Band) also fell foul of Dominee Malan’s crusade against rock music. Malan alleged that a song that Herselman had written for die Kerels called “Slang” had been inspired by Satan. Herselman denied this.

Herselman explained that the song was actually about how the Nationalist government often forced South African editors to censor large amounts of text in newspaper articles. The resulting black strike-throughs resembled snake-like lines that ran across the newspaper pages.

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