“It’s nice,” he said to me with a grin whilst rubbing his hands together, “isn’t it nice?” I stared dubiously at the small, colourless, jelly-like blob wobbling in the palm of my hand before shifting my gaze back to Naz. He must have been amuzed by the expression I wore. “Rub it in. It’s nice” he persisted. And so I did. Strangely, it actually was nice. The cool substance penetrated my skin as I rubbed it in – as if washing my hands beneath an invisible tap. A mildly perfumed aroma issued forth, piercing through the filthy atmosphere of cigarette smoke that is typical of any jol spot. Smoke was not out of place at The Black Dahlia in Boksburg, although the hand-cream-gell-stuff probably was. But Naz was right. It was nice after blitzing through forty-odd minutes of hard playing on the guitar. This was the last time I saw or spoke to Nazar Berezovsky, back in 2008. But I won’t forget the simple kindness and good nature he displayed towards his fellow musicians. The Warthane guys also let us use their amps that night. It allowed us to travel more lightly from Cape Town. I did not know Naz well enough to say for sure, but I’m pretty sure this was the little dudes general character.
We can learn a lot from the little things – provided we can get off our own high-horses from time to time. Back in 2008, I learned how to make travelling bands feel at home when they visit from far. A lesson I still apply at M4A events today, and I will not forget the teacher. Let them settle in by taking care of technical requirements in advance. Build their confidence by helping them familiarize with the equipment and being on stand-by for when they need help. Congratulate them for the awesome show you knew that they would deliver, because with everything else taken care of, they could focus entirely on their performance. Reward them with hand-cream or a round of shooters, or whatever trick is your favorite. In some small way, Naz has contributed to this thing which is known as M4A, as have hundreds of other people. Everything that this M4A entity stands for has been built by a huge collection of such contributions – no matter how tiny. As a community-driven entity, we have lost a part of our collective soul. Sadly, as is the nature of things, this was not the first time nor will it be the last.
It’s days like today when we say our final goodbyes that we’re reminded of others who have gone before, and not to mention that we will also be gone in some (hopefully) distant future. With the recent loss of a staggering number of good contributers to our local metal scene, we wish to honour those people, their friends, and their families by remembering them. We may have said our goodbyes, but they will remain in our memories for as long as we shall live. We at M4A headquarters owe our fairly successful existence to such people. Without our brothers and sisters in metal, we would be nothing, and have no reason to exist. This post is long overdue. We hereby dedicate a page on this website to our fallen so that we can honour them and remember them. Some day we all hope to end up in the same place. Some call it Heaven or Hell… or Valhalla – which has a more ‘metal’ ring to it. Some talk about the Great Gig In The Sky! A gig sounds fitting. We will think of it as Rocking In Paradise (R.I.P). Help us to honour the memories of these legends who contributed to our local scene, thus making a community possible. Help us by completing information where it is incomplete. We need this info so that metalheads for years to come will know who came before them and paved the way. Visit the page where some of our favorite public figures, friends, and other contributors now spend their time Rocking In Paradise. Let it be our virtual Heavy Metal Cemetary – a place of memory, love, and honour. We do not wish for this page to be morbid or depressing, but rather to be a celebration of the time that we got to spend with these precious individuals.
Rocking In Paradise so far includes:
Nazar Berezovsky https://www.metal4africa.com/nazar-berezovsky
David Heidmann https://www.metal4africa.com/david-heidmann
We already know of others to whom we owe this honour and will be adding details over the next few days. If you feel that there were people in our metal scene who were contributors and should be remembered, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected]