Devil's music, Timberjack

Devil's music, Timberjack

Cover of 'Come to the Sabbat' single by Timberjack

‘Come to the Sabbat’

The 12 finalists in the 1971 Loxene Golden Disc Awards, New Zealand’s premier music awards, largely represented the usual suspects of New Zealand pop/rock music. Suzanne and her cover of ‘Stand by your man’, Chapta’s sickly sweet ‘Say a prayer’ (which won the Group Award), Ray Columbus with ‘People are people’ (including the immortal line ‘People are people whatever they eat for breakfast’) and Craig Scott’s ‘Smiley’ (winner of the Solo Award) were the type of artists that music punters had come to expect from these annual awards.

Timberjack was not. Their cover of the song ‘Come to the Sabbat’ (originally recorded by the English band Black Widow in 1970) opened with a drum beat and chant that recalled North American Indian music. It was quite typical of what was described as prog (progressive) rock, and it incorporated a flute theme that sounded very much like another English act, Jethro Tull. It shocked many with its chorus of ‘Come, come, come to the Sabbat/ Come to the Sabbat – Satan's there!’ The notoriety certainly helped sales.

Timberjack had grown out of the Wellington band Dizzy Limits, which had enjoyed moderate success in late 1969 before heading to Britain in 1970. The band returned with its new name, and its record label, Ode, announced that ‘Black Magic and its music has finally arrived in New Zealand.’ ‘The name sounds heavy and the music is heavy, reflecting the latest trends in progressive music.’ Timberjack was promoted as a group that ‘can surpass overseas artists’.  ‘Come to the Sabbat’ was to be both the beginning and the end for the band. It split up in late 1971.

Help me in my search for knowledge
I must learn the Secret Art.
Who dares to help me raise the one
whose very name soothes my heart?

Discard your clothes and come on foot
through streams and fields and moonlit moors,
your bodies soaked in secret oils
Perfumed herbs won’t heal your sores
Join me in my search for knowledge
Wives and husbands bring your kin.
We'll be as one within the hour.
Let the Sabbat now begin.

Come, come, come to the Sabbat
Come to the Sabbat – Satan's there!

Come, come, come to the Sabbat
Come to the Sabbat – Satan's there!

Come, come, and come to the Sabbat.
Come to the Sabbat – Satan's there ...

words on back of record

The reverse side of the single 'Come to the Sabbat'


Community contributions

2 comments have been posted about Devil's music, Timberjack

What do you know?

Clive Jones

Posted: 30 Jun 2008

Hi im clive jones from the UK band Black Widow i wrote "Come to the sabbat" it was the single from our album "Sacrifice" and our stage show caused quite a sensation in the UK and abroad I remember hearing the Timberjack version when it was played to us by our manager but it was 30 years before i found out it had made the NZ top ten After many years i managed to track down some of the Timberjack members but i still have to find out why they recorded the song and where they found it (im very pleased they did) It seems there is also a video that goes with it that im trying to get Steve to show me Clive Jones Black Widow / Agony Bag

Pasi Koivu

Posted: 30 Jun 2008

Hi! I work a bit for the band Black Widow and Clive Jones who composed "Come To The Sabbat" is my good friend. Take a look at my official site and get in touch! We recently contacted Timberjack's Steve McDonald and he told a promo video for "Come To The Sabbat" was shot! Black Widow itself is back with a live 1970 DVD (55 minutes, including "Come To The Sabbat"!)and new songs are being created! Best wishes, Pasi Koivu (Finland) from BLACK WIDOW news/info