Durban - LEGENDARY musician Steve Fataar died hours after what was his final performance at his favourite spot in Durban.
Fataar, 76, died on Saturday morning after performing at Zack’s in Morningside on Friday night.
According to restaurant manager Dumisani Dera, Fataar performed at about 11pm.
“He had a gig and he left after midnight,” Dera said. “He invited me to take a picture with him.”
Musician Madala Kunene only learnt of Fataar’s death when the Daily News called him yesterday.
“I didn’t know. It hurts a lot, especially finding out about it now,” Kunene said.
He said he and Fataar were “like brothers in every sense of the word”.
“We’re like family. Together doing music. He was my brother in every sense of the word.
“I was recently called by Steve Rogers in London, telling me that Steve was sick, and asked if I went to see him. I told him Fataar had been carrying the illness with him because he was still working,” Kunene said.
He reiterated that losing Fataar was painful and South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal had also lost a legend.
The famed guitarist was a member of 1960s group The Flames, alongside his brothers Edries and Ricky.
According to Fataar’s biography on www.allmusic.com, The Flames were discovered by Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys in a London club in 1969.
They recorded their first international album in 1970.
Musicians, family and fans shared their tributes on social media.
Flames band member Blondie Chaplin said on Facebook: “I’ve never had more pleasure in music as I did with him with The Flames.
“In Los Angeles, the struggle continued for freedom and our music.”
Fataar’s daughter, Zanine Sewell, said: “Just broken...” with five heartbreak emojis attached.
Sydenham Community Policing Forum chairperson Satish Dhupelia said the world, South Africa and Durban, in particular, had lost a legend in Fataar but his memory and music would live on for years to come.
“He was a gentle, humble soul who was everyone’s friend and was always smiling and pleasant.
“RIP Uncle Steve,” Dhupelia said.
The Sunday Tribune, the Daily News’ sister paper, reported yesterday that Fataar was in his Sydenham home at the time of his death.
Fataar’s son, Dane, said the family was shocked by the sudden death of his father, and that Fataar had not shown any outward signs of illness in the days leading up to his death.
Moreover, although Fataar had health challenges, he remained strong and his music kept him alive.
For Your Precious Love by The Flames is one of their songs etched in many people’s minds.
Fataar was buried on Saturday night.
He is survived by his wife Marianne and five children.