Goeie Nag Generaal

jackhammer

Piet Botha and Jackhammer

Another SA legend, Piet Botha had been around in SA music for a long time, I remember being with Metalmorphosis at an album launch party at Gates when Jackhammer played in about 1995 but they had already been going since 1984.  They were great at Gates but to be honest at the time with my head in some pretty brutal metal like Pantera, Carcass, Metallica, Slayer etc. his brand of US blues rock didn’t really stand out.  It was only about 5 years later after hearing him and talking to him in the Whammy Bar that I really got into what he was all about.    Piet is the real deal, a man who has a passion for the music he loves and chose the difficult path of a professional musician singing original music in South Africa.  To me he is our own version of Lemmy, a rock ‘n’ roll lifer who is respected by everyone and who tells it like it is.  Respect \m/

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Piet’s solo album’s marked a slight change of direction from what he was doing with Jack Hammer.  These albums were all in Afrikaans and they show cased his incredible ability to write lyrics that were deeply relevant to the country.  His stories of faded washouts who inhabit small town bars and who lost limbs in places like Ondangwa and still get nervous when crackers go off, or the English Lieutenant who had it all and then hung himself in a tree, touch the dark SA psyche in a very deep way.  These albums are among the best I have ever heard and they really should be considered National Treasures. 

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James Daubeney
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