Johannesburg - Garth McLeod described himself on his Facebook profile as: “Born and raised in the greater JHB. Always loved music and motors. Current bands I play drums for are Wonderboom, Sugardrive and Martin Rocka and the Sick Shop. Love to travel and stay at home equally as much.
“Have the best wife in the world Anne-Marie. Ride my Triumph Street Triple (motorcycle) every day. Live in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Born on September 21, 1968.”
The 44-year-old died at the scene after being thrown off his bike when it veered out of control near Woodmead around 9am on Friday.
Wonderboom spokeswoman Collet Dawson said: “Garth McLeod was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident on his way to work at Marshall Music. Details as to the cause of the accident are still sketchy, but it appears that while riding around a bend on the N1 (north) at the Woodmead interchange in Gauteng, on the off-ramp, he lost control of his motorbike and he impacted with a street sign. No other motor vehicle was involved.”
Members of Wonderboom went to the scene of the accident where McLeod’s body was identified.
“They have taken it with shock, total devastation; especially the guys from Wonderboom, they had just had a meeting last night,” Dawson said.
McLeod leaves behind his wife Anne-Marie.
Dawson said McLeod would be remembered for his passion for music and constant drive to perform.
“He was such a positive force, and a voice of reason. RIP Garth McLeod – a king among men and pioneer of the South African drumming community – you will be sadly missed.”
Dawson added that as messages of condolence poured in from friends and colleagues in South Africa and around the world, “it is evident what a tragic loss has been encountered today (on Friday)”.
Former Van Coke Kartel drummer Justin Kruger wrote on Facebook: “I am absolutely devastated by the news of the very tragic passing of the most incredible friend and person known to man, Garth McLeod!!!! You are the last person that (sic) deserves to be taken away from us! Rest in Peace Boytjie!”
“A truly sad loss for SA music. RIP Garth McLeod – legend human and incredible drummer for Sugardrive, Wonderboom. Condolences to all,” JustJinjer tweeted.
In the early 1990s, local musicians and audiences alike were in search of an identity to call their own. Sugardrive answered that call in 1994 and embarked on a journey that would span more than a decade.
Five Sama nominations and three awards were testament to the importance of Sugardrive’s impact on the local music industry. After a brief break, Sugardrive returned to the stage last year performing a number of gigs and planning more this year.
Garth was also the drummer for three-piece “psychobillly” band Martin Rocka and the Sick Shop, formed in 2000.
Wonderboom is the longest running rock band in South Africa, having recently celebrated their 17th anniversary earlier this year.
McLeod was a recent member, having replaced their original drummer in 2009 and brought a resurgence to the band, their sound and their energy.
“He gave so much of himself to many different music projects – in fact, his main passion was just being able to be on stage, jamming. He is sorely missed by all who performed with him, and all who knew him,” Dawson said.