The Flames by Alec Byrne for Rolling Stone (1970)
And here’s Keith Richards in Life on the South African soul group’s arrival in the US and his friendship with guitarist Blondie Chaplin:
Rob Fraboni had introduced me to Blondie, real name Terence Chaplin, when we were mixing Wingless Angels in Connecticut, and Blondie came along to do some extra work in the studio. He’s from Durban. His father is Harry Chaplin, who was a top banjo player in South Africa and used to work the Blue Train from Jo’burg to Cape Town. Together with Ricky Fataar, the drummer who works a lot with Bonnie Raitt, and Ricky’s brother, Blondie had a band called the Flames. They were the biggest band in South Africa, in spite of the fact that Blondie was classified as “colored” with the rest of his band, though he passed as white in other respects. Such was apartheid. When they came to the US, they were taken up by the Beach Boys and moved to LA. Blondie became Brian Wilson’s stand-in and sang vocal on the Beach Boys hit “Sail On, Sailor,” and Ricky became the drummer. Fraboni produced the album Holland for the Beach Boys and so another musical family tree spread some branches. Blondie began to hang, at my request, around the Bridges to Babylon rehearsal period, and we’ve been close ever since.