Monthly newsletter 2023


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Welcome to The Story of Rock and Roll 2023 newsletter No 12.  This one covers shows from S6E44 through to S6E48.  The shows were live on Rebel Rock Radio and are now available on podcast on most of the podcast platforms.  Quick links to all things TSORR are at the end of the newsletter.  We are getting close to the end of the year so it is time to start wrapping 2023.  


One of the main themes running through these shows was the lead-up to the final KISS concert ever.  The final concert was set for 2 December 2023 and took place at Madison Square Gardens.  The Empire State Building was all lit up the preceding week in their honour.  KISS was the band that changed everything for me.  They were larger than life and when I first heard them in around 1978 my world changed.  It was fitting that the episode just before their last ever show started and ended with KISS.  Thanks, KISS, for everything.


Each week we look at four albums selected from a specific year and try to figure out which of these four you would take if you could only take one and it was all you were going to hear for a very long time.  It isn’t about the ‘best’ album, it is about the album that means the most to you personally for whatever reason.  For many of us, these albums formed a soundtrack to our lives a certain stages like high school, early relationships, good times, bad times, and all that.  Here are the years we looked at:      

S6E44 = 1996

S6E45 = 1968

S6E46 = 2008

S6E47 = 2017

S6E48 = 1998


The tracks played were:

Moonshield’ (In Flames), ‘Tourniquet’ (Marilyn Manson), ‘Pretty Noose’ (Soundgarden) and ‘What You’re Look’n For’ (Zakk Wylde).  This one was pretty unanimous, the album most people would take was by Zakk Wylde.  It surprised me because Book of Shadows is a special album for me but I didn’t expect it to carry the day.  In Flames came in as the second choice which I also didn’t expect.  I thought Soundgarden would take this.        



Shapes of Things’ (Jeff Beck), ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ (Jimi Hendrix), ‘Street Fighting Man’ (The Rolling Stones), and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ (The Beatles).  This was very much the Jimi Hendrix show, other than The Beatles picking up some votes after we listened to ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ in all its beauty.  It was nowhere near enough to displace Electric Ladyland as being the most popular choice.



Street of Dreams’ (Guns ‘n’ Roses), ‘The Day That Never Comes’ (Metallica), ‘Here’s Looking At You Kid’ (The Gaslight Anthem), and ‘Still Counting’ (Volbeat).  This was a one-horse race, Volbeat all the way.  Speaking of Guns ‘n’ Roses Chinese Democracy era here is a classic piece of footage where master guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal who was in G ‘n’ R in the Chinese Democracy days made a terrible mistake borrowing a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet from a fan in the crowd.  Here is what happened. 

The full story can be found in the article below.



The tracks played were:

Run’ (Foo Fighters), ‘The Rise of Chaos’ (Accept), ‘World War Now’ (Kreator), and ‘The World is Yours (Arch Enemy).  This was an interesting challenge because it didn’t get a lot of love.  It was sort of a sad revelation for me to realise that many of the older rock and roll types that listen to the music featured on TSORR stopped listening sometime after say 2005.  There is no doubt that what used to be considered Metal (think Priest, ACDC, Saxon, Def Leppard) is now Rock and that things have moved on.  I didn’t expect so many people to just not have listened to these albums at all.  Plenty of people got into Rock and Metal as teenagers in the ‘70s and ‘80s when things were different.  Danny de Wet sums up the zeitgeist well in his amazing autobiography Sex, Drums and Rock ‘n’ Roll….In Africa

“I was in high school during the first half of the seventies and the music you were into defined who you were much more than today. Gaming and the internet, social media, and all the other wonderful entertainment distractions available to the current generation did not exist.” – Danny De Wet (Sex, Drums, and Rock ‘n’ Roll… Africa)

Danny nails it here but it goes deeper in the book making the point in those days the music defined you in a way that isn’t the case today.  It seems that music does not have the same pull as it did in the back half of the 20th century.  Many of those who were drawn to it back in the ‘60s – ‘80s are today treading water in an incredible ocean of new Rock and Metal.  There is an incredible amount of awesome Rock and Metal released in the last 10 years as is demonstrated by these releases from 2017.  Arch Enemy’s Will To Power, the first to feature new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz proves the point.  In the end The Rise of Chaos by ‘80s metal stalwarts Accept got the most interest.


The tracks played were:

The Dope Show’ (Marilyn Manson), ‘Sugar’ (System of a Down), ‘Wishlist’ (Pearl Jam), and ‘Devil Without a Cause’ (Kid Rock).  It was a tie between Pearl Jam and Marilyn Manson.  Personally, Devil Without a Cause was a very special album, it marked the start of a very cool life phase where a couple of us really embraced the Nu-Metal of the ‘00s and have good memories of those days.  This is in essence what the Diabolical Challenge is all about.  Albums that were big in your life at points in time. 



The Immortals, tracks over 7 min long, that demonstrate what a band is capable of when not worrying about airplay on daytime radio continues to be very well supported on the show.  We are looking at doing a special at the end of the year where we select the most popular Immortals track played in 2023.  It will require a bit of listenership participation to make it work but let’s see how it goes. 

We kicked off the month with Queen.  Embedded on Side 2 of A Night At The Opera was a track overshadowed by ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ called ‘The Prophet Song’.  It was time for this masterpiece to get a little recognition.   

For S6E45 we listened to one of the late great Athol Curtis’s favourite tracks, Stiff Little Finger’s cover of Bob Marley’s ‘Johnny Was’.  Taken from the Inflammable Material album, the song clocks in at over 8 minutes.  It is a timeless tale of the tragedy of domestic strife and criminality where innocents get caught in the crossfire between rival groups.  It was particularly relevant to SLF who experienced ‘The Troubles’ firsthand and built a career highlighting these issues through the power and energy of Punk.  ‘Johnny Was’ also applies to everyday life in places like the Cape Flats and many, many others around the world, the tragedy of innocents caught in the crossfire between rival gangs.  ‘Johnny Was’ has power and is without doubt worthy of the Immortal tag.

S6E46 featured the title track off Joe Bonamassa’s Time Clocks album.  It is a great track, with great lyrics and Joe’s guitar tone on the intro is like rolling thunder.  I would love to see him do this anthem live. 

In S6E47 we tackled something that definitely needed to be tackled.  I am talking about guitar god Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s masterpiece ‘Icarus’ Dream Suite Opus 4’.  Few guitarists have had the impact on the guitar world that Malmsteen had.  Not so much commercial success, but in terms of sheer recognition of game-changing ability.  It is probably fair to say that only Jimi Hendrix, Edward Van Halen, and Randy Rhoads, have had such an impact on rock and metal guitarists worldwide. 

Finally for this month on S6E48 we took a listen to a track from an album that has been hailed as one of the greatest Prog Rock albums of all time.  The album is Argus by Wishbone Ash and the track we played was ‘The King Will Come’. 



This month we got a new release from Dirty Honey called Can’t Find the Brakes.  It doesn’t quite have the swagger of the debut but there is plenty to like about it.  Dirty Honey along with The L.A. Maybe were the 2020’s rock bands I most wanted new albums from.  So, we are halfway there.   

We also got the full release of History Books the new album from The Gaslight Anthem.  If you listen to TSORR Radio Show you will know how much I love this band.  Unfortunately, I just can’t get into this one at all ☹.  I would love to love this, but something is terribly off, I don’t know what it is, but along with the Avenged Sevenfold disaster piece from earlier in the year, 2023 has not been great for two of my favourite bands. 

We got another track called ‘Trial By Fire’ from Invincible Shield, the new Judas Priest scheduled for release in 2024.  Priest are sounding great and they put Glenn in the video which is nice.   

We lost Shane McGowan on 30 Nov.  Shane was lead singer and songwriter of The Pogues.  We listened to ‘Dirty Old Town’.  It’s a great track to raise a glass of Whisky too.  RIP Shane, you were an institution.



Women hold her head and cry
Because her son had been shot
Down in the street and died
From a stray bullet

Bob Marley – 1976 (S6E45)


All the rats and the cats are dancing on the ballroom floor
And a boy with a mask and a knife stumbles in with a whore
We’ve got seventeen sailors on the wall looking for a fight
The more that you take, the more that you need
The more that gets under your skin like a disease

Sixx A.M. – 2014 (S6E48)


She had a horror of rooms, she was tired, you can’t hide beat
When I looked in her eyes, they were blue, but nobody’s at home
Well, she could’ve been a killer if she didn’t walk the way she do, and she do
She opened strange doors that we’d never close again

David Bowie – 1980 (S6E48)


We had a brand-new track from Vaughn Prangley called ‘Like No Other’.  You may remember I interviewed Vaughn on S6E37 and played his previous track ‘Thick of It’.  To be clear Vaughn is a mellow artist, we are not talking Arch Enemy here, he is more towards the Nick Cave, Bon Iver style of rock.  After chatting to him and listening to his stuff I am a big fan.  He is recording in his own studio in Dubai, and ‘Like No Other’ is a powerful new track.  Here’s what Vaughn had to say about it. 

“This song is my unconventional love song and a unique and personal project I crafted in my own studio. It’s a departure from the usual love song formula, and I can’t wait to see where this song goes. At its core, ‘Like No Other’ is a passionate love song. I wanted the structure, or lack of structure, to mirror the unpredictability and complexity of love itself. Instead of adhering to the typical verse-chorus-bridge format, this song takes a different path. It flows and evolves, just like love does, with no clear-cut boundaries or defined structure”. – Vaughn Prangley 2023

We also got a new track from the amazing Jackson Colt called ‘Fallen Angel’.  Here is what I had to say about it:

“Jackson Colt absolutely embodies the spirit of ’80s metal, we are lucky to have him as part of the SA music scene.  His latest offering ‘Fallen Angel’ features him demonstrating his talents behind the piano to give us the type of soaring power ballad that is part of the DNA of the genre.  ‘Fallen Angel’ also features an idea very close to my heart, two solo’s each designed to capture different emotions; trouble and strife and then freedom and elation.  The whole track comes together beautifully.  Superb work from Jackson Colt”.  – James Daubeney 2023

I have interviewed Jackson a couple of times, and he is one of the most humble and enthusiastic musicians around.  I am always amazed at how guitar heroes like Dan Patlansky and Jackson Colt are as humble as they are.  More power to them!  Here’s to mega-talented, good, decent, passionate, engaged, friendly Rock Stars.

CHEERS @#$%’s

The shows discussed in this month’s newsletter can be heard as podcasts S6E44S6E48.  Feel free to drop me a message on The Story of Rock and Roll Facebook page or via email at  If you want to be added to TSORR Central WhatsApp Group, send me your number on this email address and I will add you. 

For those of you who are new to TSORR here are the quick references to find The Story of Rock and Roll Radio Show:

THURSDAY’s Live on Rebel Rock Radio from 19h00 – 22h00 South African time.

FRIDAY’s on Bulldogs Radio [6:00]-[7:00] PM catch TSORR Turbo, respectively.  

PODCAST: The three-hour show is available as a podcast on most popular podcast sites, including Apple, Overcast, Castbox, and Google, or get it here at the host site

TSORR PLAYLIST:  For Spotify junkies, you can get TSORR Best of the Month playlists at




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Take care and keep rocking.