Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tokoloshe Men

John Kongos, born 1945 in Johannesburg, at Greek parents, is best known for his 1971 hit He’s Gonna Step on You Again. The song was a top 10 hit in UK and is cited in the Guinness book as the first song to ever use a sample (Wikipedia). In another interview (in Greek) Kongos claims that the use of tape loops was something usual at the time.
He’s Gonna Step on You Again was covered by several artists, most successful being the Happy Mondays cover under the title Step On.
The song was co-written by Chris Demetriou, another one with Greek origin (born in Cyprus and moved to South Africa).

He's Gonna Step on You Again (1971) - John Kongos

Tokoloshe Man (1971) - John Kongos

Both of them became known during the 60s, Kongos with his band Johnny Kongos and the G-Men and Demetriou with John E Sharpe & the Squires. The two form Floribunda Rose and in 1967 move to UK. After one year of touring and some singles Floribunda Rose change lineup and name. The new band created by Kongos and Demetriou, Scrugg, was another short lived project. After 3 singles and some heavy touring they split.The psychedelic pop music of Floribunda Rose and Scrugg plus the first solo album by John Kongos, Confusions About a Goldfish, are gathered in the Lavender Popcorn (1966 - 1969) compilation.

One Way Street (1967) - Floribunda Rose

Lavender Popcorn (1968) - Scrugg

Kongos followed a solo career with success in several countries during the 70s. Demetriou changed direction in 1972 and as a producer he produced many albums and singles with Buddha and the Chocolate Box by Cat Stevens (also from Cyprus) being one of them. Demetriou (according to Wikipedia) today is CEO and owner of a media company, a senior pastor (!) and a writer.
Kongos during the late 70s and 80s has written several film and TV scores including The Greek Tycoon, (story by Nico Mastorakis), Blind Date (b-movie by Nico Mastorakis), Cats Eyes etc. Today he lives in Arizona with his family (his children have formed their own band named Kongos).

Just a Dance With Me (1978) - Petula Clark (John Kongos from Greek Tycoon OST)

Cats Eyes theme (1985) - John Kongos (from Cats Eyes TV series)

I Need Your Love (1984) - John Kongos (from Blind Date OST)

Additional information about both Kongos and Demetriou plus interviews you can find in the nice Garagehangover blog (here and here) which I also used as a source of information.


  1. Cant believe someone has a copy of the blind date soundtrack, what are the chances you can upload, the other song by john kongos when im with you, by the way the audio quality is great! Thanks in advance!!!!! Joe.

    1. Thanks Joe. I picked "I need your love" as it is my favourite of the album. I have to locate my vinyl to rip "When I'm with you". Cannot promise to be fast but I'll try. Take care.


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