Monthly newsletter 2024


Newsletter 2024 #2

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Welcome to The Story of Rock and Roll 2024.  This newsletter covers the first 4 episodes of the year; S7E1 to S7E4.  These shows are available on podcasts from this website and all major podcast sites.  Quick links to all things TSORR are at the end of the newsletter.  Please do share the newsletter with anyone who may be interested. 

Good news for the new year is that The Story of Rock and Roll Radio Show – Turbo version which has aired on Bulldogs Radio every Friday between 18h00 and 19h00 for the last three years is now also Live on Rebel Rock Radio.  Together with The Rock Doctor’s Rock Power Play also going out live on Fridays from 19h00 – 22h00 we have an additional four hours of the best rock and metal every Friday evening on Rebel Rock Radio


The new year signaled the change From TSORR Season 6 to Season 7.  We have a new look for the show ads and moved to black and white portrait-style pictures of the people that make the shows.  Here is an example from the first four shows, David Bowie, Michael Monroe, Brody Dalle, and Mick Jagger

David Bowie
Brody Dalle

There were new releases from Saxon, Green Day, Massive Wagons, and SA Blues Rocker Kenny Hughes.  Ryan Adams went large and released FOUR new full-length albums and a Live album on 1 Jan.  We discuss this in the New Releases section. 

This month we have a guest contribution that relates to live music and safety at festivals.  BodyArtForms is sister-run, small Texas company that sells body jewelry and all types of piercings.  Items are handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces.  Everything is done in-house so if you are interested in finding out more you can contact them at .


The Diabolical Challenge has undergone a change.  We spent Season 6 picking a year and then selecting 4 of the best albums from that year.  The challenge was to choose the album you would take if you could only pick one.  In effect, it is the album that you best felt you couldn’t live without.  It was a lot of fun and obviously people have emotional favourites due to memories surrounding the year and album chosen.  It is an extremely popular part of the show, but we ran out of time.  Literally.  After 52 weeks of Diabolical Challenge, we had pretty much covered 52 of the 55 weeks from 1968 through to 2023, so where to from there?    

The new challenge runs alphabetically.  It mirrors the challenge you would have if you were back in Hillbrow Records, Look and Listen, CD Warehouse or in later years Musica, and you were going through the racks with enough money for one album.  We’ll cover ‘A’ through ‘Z’ twice in the year.  I may have to lump QXYZ together or something.  We’ll see when we get there. 

This Newsletter covers the first 4 challenges i.e. bands filed under A, B, C & D.  Here are the bands we looked at:      

S7E1 = A – ACDC, Audioslave, Accept, and Avenged Sevenfold.

S7E2 = B – Boston, Badlands, Bruce Springsteen, and Black Sabbath.

S7E3 = C – Chickenfoot, The Clash, The Cult, and Clutch

S7E4 = D – David Bowie, Dio, Def Leppard,

The tracks played were:

Seize the Day’ (Avenged Sevenfold), ‘This House Is on Fire’ (ACDC), ‘Balls to the Wall’ (Accept)), and ‘Show Me How to Live’ (Audioslave).  This was a landslide for Audioslave although Flick of the Switch also got a chunk of love.          




The tracks played were:

Dreams in the Dark’ (Badlands), ‘Mob Rules’ (Black Sabbath), ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Band (Boston), and ‘Reason to Believe’ (Bruce Springsteen).  I was amazed that Nebraska got as many votes as it did because it is such an unusual album.  I reckon the fact that it did so well shows just how sophisticated TSORR listeners can be. 

 If you are a fan of Nebraska, you must check out Warren Zanes’ book Deliver Me From Nowhere:  The Making of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska.  The book is so good and there is so much detail about everything from the album artwork, recording methods, instruments used, the actual room where it was made, and background to the songs and lyrics.  He also describes where Bruce’s head was at and how without Nebraska Born in the USA would never have happened.  I guarantee you will be stuck on the album for as long as it takes you to read it.   


The tracks that were scheduled to be played were:

The tracks played were:

London Calling’ (The Clash), ‘Love Removal Machine’ (The Cult), ‘Alright, Alright’ (Chickenfoot), and ‘The Mob Goes Wild’ (Clutch).  The Facebook vote was unanimous for The Cult, but the TSORR Central Chat Group was divided between Clutch and The Clash.  A final vote for London Calling sealed it for The Clash.  If you imagine that the album you choose is going to be the only one you listen to for eternity you need to make sure it is an album that is not only deeply meaningful to you, but also one you never tire of hearing.  I have been listening to London Calling regularly since 1979 so I am happy with that choice. 



The tracks played were:

We Rock’ (Dio), ‘It Don’t Matter’ (Def Leppard), ‘Love is Only a Feeling ( The Darkness)’, and ‘Scream Like a Baby’ (David Bowie).  There was a lot of love for Dio but in the end, I managed to convince enough people that the album to take here would be Bowie’s Scary Monster & Super Creeps.  There is so much depth to the album, the production by Bowie and Tony Visconti is amazing.  Bowie demonstrates this amazing ability to build tension into the tracks as shown on ‘Scream Like a Baby’ and builds up a sonic picture of a totalitarian nightmare by being on the edge of in tune and in time.  The whole track sits on the knife edge of order and chaos.  It is an album I will never tire of listening to and enough people agreed.   



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.  The year kicked off with a track by Grand Funk Railroad called ‘Inside Looking Out’.  This came to my attention through a comment made by a listener, and it was a perfect candidate for The Immortals.

The following week we had another listen to Rush.  If you recall from the last Newsletter I featured ‘2112’ for the TSORR 6th birthday celebration show.  This time we went back to 1975 and the Fly by Night album.  This was the first album the band made with drummer extraordinaire Neil PeartNeil also took over the lyric writing and Rush entered the realms of science fiction fantasy that would characterise a lot of their work going forwards.  The track we played ‘By-Tor and The Snow Dog’ is the first of these types of tracks and sets the stage for 2112 in 1976.  The track is broken down into 8 parts and tells the story of By-Tor and Snow Dog.  These two characters were based on Rush’s road manager, Howard Ungerleider’s two dogs who inspired the characters By-Tor and the Snow Dog.    

For S7E3 we checked out a track off Rainbow’s magnificent Rising titled “A Light in the Black’. 

Rising is one of those classic ‘70s albums, it has an Iconic cover, done by Ken Kelly.  You may recognise his handiwork on covers for Kiss’ Destroyer and Love Gun albums as well as most of the Manowar albums .

Rising By Rainbow

Finally, in S7E4 the Immortal track for the week was Deep Purple’s ‘Knocking on Your Backdoor’ off 1984’s Perfect Strangers.  This album marked the reformation of the celebrated Deep Purple Mk II line-up consisting of Blackmore, Gillan, Paice, Lord, and Glover



As mentioned in the Highlights Ryan Adams releases FOUR albums on 1 Jan 2024 Heatwave, 1985, Sword & Stone, and Star Sign.  He also released a Live album Prisoners Live.  That is 77 songs in one go.  Ryan Adams fans, that should keep you busy for a while. 

Ryan Adams Heatwave
Ryan Adams 1985
Ryan Adams Star Sign

We also got a brand-new album from Green Day titled Saviours.  In my view it is fantastic.  I have been a fan since Dookie and after I had sort of forgotten about them, they rekindled the fire in 2005 with the release of American Idiot.  They have done it again now with Saviours.  The album was recorded at RAK Studios in St Johns Wood in London.  Here is a great interview with Billy Joe Armstrong where he gives us all the details about this great album.

We also got a brand-new album from NWOBHM stalwarts Saxon called Hell, Fire & Damnation.  I am happy to report it is what you would expect from Saxon.  They have not decided to alienate their fan base and we can be thankful for that.  Biff Byford continues as he has for the last few albums writing a lot of lyrics based on history and interesting world events.  Here he covers wide-ranging topics such as the guillotine, Roswell, Salem witch hunts, Radio Caroline, Willy the Conk, and Kubla Kahn.  Interestingly the new guitarist on the album is none other than Brian Tatler of Diamond Head fame.  I would assume that the guy responsible for ‘Am I Evil’ one of the greatest metal tracks ever written, was a huge boost to the songwriting.

We also got a remake of Massive Wagons 2016 release Welcome to the World (2023).  According to the band, this album was the one that put them on the map but is out of print on CD.  The band stresses this is not just a remastering, instead they have taken the opportunity to make some improvements and fix a few things that the original budget did not allow for.  It was originally recorded very quickly and contains some of their most popular tracks.  they felt they should do this classic album justice and I have to say it sounds amazing.  Right now, it is my favourite album of the year.  I have had this in heavy rotation since I got it.  Beware ‘Tokyo’ is an earworm, this track gets into your head and does not leave. 


One of the greatest things about growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s was having the lyric sheets printed out on the album’s inner sleeve.  That’s why we know all the words kids!  These were a couple of lyrics that were mentioned during shows. 

Scream Like A Baby

Well, they came down hard on the faggots
And they came down hard on the street
They came down harder on Sam
And they all knew he was beat
He was thrown into the wagon
Blindfolded, chains, and they stomped on us
And took away our clothes and things
And pumped us full of strange drugs

David Bowie – 1980 (S7E4)


South African Blues Rocker Kenny Hughes released his new album Born & RaisedTSORR got the nod to play the first single ‘All Over Me’ on the show 12 hours before the official release on 19 Jan.  The album is awesome, Kenny once again showcasing his songwriting talent. 

Born and Raised, by SA Blues Rocker Kenny Hughes is a wonderful piece of work.  Kenny has been writing and recording and honing his craft over the last 5 years and this album beautifully brings it all together into a comprehensive whole.  The subject matter of the songs and the sources of inspiration get to the heart of the life of someone who has embraced that deeply mysterious vein of music that goes back over a hundred years and forms part of the DNA of rock music.  The Blues. 

The tracks cover life and times ranging from the wonders of the planet, musicians who have inspired him, dreams, virtue, late nights, the life of a musician, the reality of a musician’s life and even an ex-girlfriend.  These songs take you on the journey of a young musician who is learning, growing, and maturing as he navigates the realities of life as a full-time musician.    

FESTIVAL FUN OR PIERCING PROBLEMS: Navigating the Do’s and Don’ts

As mentioned at the start of the newsletter here is a guest contribution from Rhona at BodyArt Piercings.

Piercings and tattoos are a way for many people to express that they are part of any genre

under the rock ‘n roll umbrella. It When you’re getting a piercing there are a few dos and

don’ts you need to consider.

  • Conduct proper research about the piercing you want as well as the aftercare you need to be aware of, for example, if you want to get a septum ring, you need to make sure that you have the right anatomy.
  • Don’t be too hasty and make sure that you want this piercing and are willing to commit to the process of healing.
  • Chat with your piercer about the piercing you want and let them walk you through the process and make sure you are comfortable.
  • Be conscious of your piercing after you are done, if you experience any discomfort alert your piercer to ensure that everything is well with your piercing.

Check out what they do at

CHEERS @#$%’s

The shows discussed in this month’s newsletter can be heard as podcasts S7E1– S7E4.  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




Don’t forget to support TSORR by getting yourself a copy of the book on Kindle or contact me for a paperback copy.  

Take care and keep rocking.