Monthly newsletter 2024


Newsletter nr 6

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Welcome to The Story of Rock and Roll 2024.  This newsletter covers episodes S7E18 to S7E22.  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 share the newsletter with anyone who may be interested. 

A quick note on the podcast sites where you can find TSORR.  Google Podcast are shutting down and initially they were forcing podcasters to move there feeds to YouTube Music.  They seem to be allowing you to migrate all your saved podcast sites from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music.  You should have no problem if you used Google Podcast site for TSORR as long as you migrate your saved podcast sites when they ask you to.    

If you run into problems and can’t find us on Google please don’t give up, just Google the ‘story of rock and roll radio show’ and you find loads of other podcast options.  You will always find us on


The biggest highlight is just how well this newsletter is doing.  Thank you all for your support, if you have any suggestions feel free to contact me on

It was a good month for new releases.  We had albums from Accept, Sebatian Bach and Kerry King.  You can read more about these two in the new release section but to warm things up check this out. 


Every week in The Diabolical Challenge I pick 4 albums that you would find filed under a letter of the alphabet if you were shopping in a record shop.  This was a 5-week month, and we covered the letters R through V.  Here are the bands we looked at in each show and the albums chosen are in the pictures below. 

S7E18 = R – Rammstein, Rodriguez, The Rolling Stones, and Rush

S7E19 = S – Skid Row, Scorpions, Saxon, and Seether

S7E20 = T – Tesla, Thin Lizzy, Testament, and Texas Hippie Coalition

S7E21 = U – U2, Ugly kid Joe, Uriah Heep, and UFO

S7E22 = V – Van Halen, Volbeat, Van Morrison, and Venom



The tracks played were:

Rich Folks Hoax’ (Rodriguez), ‘Red Barchetta’ (Rush), ‘You Got Me Rockin’ (The Rolling Stones), and ‘Sonne’ (Rammstein).  There was no stopping Rodriguez here.  I get it, it’s an iconic album and from a South African perspective it was a huge part of life in high schools, universities, and army camps through the ‘70s and early ‘80s.  It was one of those albums that could keep you sane in tough times.  It was the soundtrack to a hell of a lot of braais and good times.  It was easy to play on acoustic guitar around the fire and it really would be the sentimental choice for most.  That said The Rolling Stones put out Voodoo Lounge and toured it in 1995 at Ellis Park. 

Seeing them live is one of my most cherished rock and roll memories.  So, I went with the Stones and the rest of SA went with Rodriguez.    



The tracks played were:

Rock You like a Hurricane’ (Scorpions), ‘747 (Strangers in the Night)’ (Saxon), ‘Youth Gone Wild’ (Skid Row), and ‘Gasoline’, (Seether).  This is the closest challenge we have had since we started.  There were votes for all of them.  Personally, I found it impossible, in a ‘gun to my head’ scenario it would be Skid RowSeether definitely got the credit and respect they deserve for Disclaimer, an album which put them firmly on the international stage.  South Africa lost Saren Gas and the world gained Seether.  These four albums came from four different countries (UK, Germany, USA and SA) which was also unusual.  Each of these album stands on its own as ‘must have’ albums.  The best thing to do is just choose one and know that tomorrow you will choose a different one.



The tracks played were:

Don’t De-Rock me’ (Tesla), ‘Cold Sweat’ (Thin Lizzy), ‘Drug Dealer’ (Texas Hippie Coalition), and ‘Rise -Up’ (Testament).  Thin Lizzy was easily the most popular here.  It wasn’t even close.  Thunder & Lightning was Thin Lizzy going out at the top of their game.  Three years after this release band leader Phil Lynott would be dead.  In terms of guitarists, Scott Gorham was the only constant in Thin Lizzy.  Once he joined in place of Eric Bell in 1974 it was Scott and a new guitarist every two or so albums.  Gary Moore gave way to Brian Robertson who gave way back to Gary Moore who gave way to Snowy White, who gave way to John Sykes.  I always saw Snowy White the same way as I saw Mick Taylor in the Stones They were both exceptionally able guitarist who just didn’t fit the band in all the other ways that make or break a line-up.  When John Sykes replaced Snowy White for their final album, he bought an energy that makes it one of their finest releases.  I was not at all surprised that Thunder & Lightning was the popular choice. 



The tracks played were:

One’ (U2), ‘Goddamn Devil’ (Ugly Kid Joe), ‘Lights Out’ (UFO), and ‘Look at Yourself’ (Uriah Heep).  I always had a very strong affinity for Achtung Baby.  It was released in 1991 along with some of the greatest albums of all time.  Between Jan 1990 and Dec 1991, we had ACDCRazors Edge, Judas PriestPainkiller, Metallica – Metallica, Pearl Jam – Ten, Megadeth – Rust in Peace, Guns ‘n’ RosesUse Your Illusion I & II, NirvanaNevermind, Ozzy OsbourneNo More Tears, Sepultura – Arise, Pantera – Cowboys From Hell, QueensrÿcheEmpire, Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger, and Skid RowSlave to the Grind.   In 1991 I was working while doing a degree at night through UNISA, so I listened to all of these CD’s relentlessly over that period.  They were the soundtrack to twenty hours of studying per week.  These were good days for me, and Achtung Baby was a huge part of that which is why I chose U2.  I had good reason but what I didn’t expect was so many other people to choose it.  I thought people would go with Uriah Heep’s Look at Yourself as the most popular choice, but it was a distant second.  Just shows you no matter what people think about Bono, they put the music first.  When it comes to albums quality counts. 



The tracks played were:

And It Stoned Me’ (Van Morrison), ‘Rip Ride’ (Venom), ‘Hallelujah Goat’ (Volbeat), and ‘Good Enough’ (Van Halen).  This was unanimous, Van Halen all the way.  When Dave Lee Roth left Van Halen on April Fools Day 1985 it was very stressful for those of us who loved the band in a way that is hard to comprehend in today’s world.  No-one knew what would happen, how do you replace a guy like DLR?  At that point in time, Dave was arguably the most recognisable front man in the world.  Towards the end of 1985 we got the answer, everything was going to be OK.  Sammy Hagar was in the Van Halen house.  Of course, the proof of the pudding would be an album.   We got that a couple of months later in March 1986, 5150 was superb.  Sammy settled in and did a great job, which ultimately allowed us to hear Eddie play guitar for another 11 years.  As a bonus we had some good fun when Dave released Eat ‘Em and Smile and introduced the world to the guitar wizardry of Steve Vai.  Good times!


Following on from Newsletter No #3 here’s the next set of black and white portraits.  These are the pictures we used in the weekly show reminders over the last 9 weeks.  See if you can identify all 9 of these inhabitants of The Story of Rock and Roll universe.  Answer can be found below (spoiler alert)

Nine Portrait Puzzle Newsletter 6

Answers to the 9 portraits puzzle:

Left to right from top to bottom:  Billy Idol, James Hetfield, Dave Gilmour, Dave Grohl, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Schenker, Ronnie Wood, Jon Lord, and Tom Petty


Iron Maiden were in The Immortals slot for S7E18.  We featured the title track of 1984’s incredible release Powerslave.  The choice was inspired by an interview I read in Guitar World where Adrian Smith explains how he played his iconic solo.

The following week it was the turn of Gary Moore.  ‘Parisienne Walkways’ was scheduled but got bumped for the far lesser-known ‘Blood of Emeralds’.  The reason for this being that, much like ‘Free Bird’ and ‘Stairway to Heaven’, ‘Parisienne Walkways’ has reached iconic classic rock anthem status.  In The Immortals we focus on tracks that haven’t reached that level of Rock gigantism and as a consequence are often overlooked. 

We also had ‘The End’ by the Doors.  There will be a certain select number of people alive today who got to see The Doors do this track Live.  I am betting they all still remember it clearly.   The track grew slowly over numerous live gigs at the Whisky a Go Go.  Originally a track about a breakup with a girlfriend, it morphed into something different with the inclusion of the Oedipal spoken section which according to Ray Manzarek had come about as a result of lectures they were attending at Florida State University.  The full 12-minute studio version that was included on the debut album was apparently recorded in two live studio takes.  ‘The End’ was also used to incredible effect in the movie Apocalypse Now

S7E21 featured ‘Mistreated’ off Deep Purple’s Burn album.  I doubt many will argue about its Immortal status.  Richie Blackmore wrote ‘Mistreated’ just before he left the Deep Purple and took it with him to Rainbow where it was a part of their set for years.

David Coverdale sang it on the Burn album where this version comes from.  Coverdale continued to perform it when he formed Whitesnake.   Glenn Hughes who played bass on Burn and is one of rocks great lead vocalists performed and sang ‘Mistreated’ as part of Black Country Communion’s set with Joe Bonamassa and Jason Bonham.

 I had the pleasure of hearing Glenn Hughes do a solo version of it with Kings of Chaos at Sun City in 2013.  To this day it remains one of my most cherished live concert memories. 

The final Immortal song for the month was courtesy of Great White and a [7:23] track off their 1992 release Psycho City.  The track in question is ‘Old Rose Motel’ and it features plenty of stellar guitar work from Mark Kendall.  Although lumped in with the ‘Hair Metal’ monicker Great White were a gritty, bluesy, working man’s band and nothing like some of the posers that epitomised the worst of 80s metalAlan Niven, their manager who also managed Guns ‘n’ Roses (but was fired by Axl during the completion of Use Your illusion I & II) has a co-write and also produced the album.  In fact, Niven had a cowrite on every track on the album, it would be interesting to know exactly what his role was in the writing process.         



There were new releases from Accept, Sebastian Bach and Kerry King.  Humanoid, the latest from Accept is excellent. 

The band have settled into the Wolf Hoffman and Marc Tornillo partnership perfectly.  This is now Tornillo’s 6th album, and he has been with Accept for fourteen years.  Udo Dirkschneider, the much beloved original vocalist, made nine albums and was with them for eleven years.  Officially he left in 1987 but then was involved on and off with the band through until 1996.  On Humanoid the full line-up is the same as the previous album Too Mean to Die with Uwe Lulis and Martin Motnik on Rhythm guitar and bass respectively. 

Child within the man-sebastiaan-bach

Sebastian Bach, ex lead vocalist of late ‘80s rockers Skid Row, has released his third solo album and it’s awesome.  It’s called the Child Within the Man and follows on from Angel Down (2007), Kickin’ and Screamin’ (2011), and Give ‘Em Hell (2014).  This one is full throttle all the way and I would say probably his best yet.  As well as a fantastic band he has some great guest guitarists such as Steve Stevens, John 5 and Orianthi.  Sebastian says that once he decided to make a heavy metal / hard rock album and have fun he needed a little help from his friends.  He says that the people he chose co-wrote their tracks and helped out by putting him in a great frame of mind for recording.  Another one of these friends was Myles Kennedy who co-wrote ‘What Do I Got to Lose’ (see Highlights).  John 5 played on ‘Freedom’, Orianthi on ‘Future of Youth’ and Steve Stevens on ‘FU’.  Sebs’ band on the album comprises Devon Bronson on guitar, Todd Kerns on Bass and Jeremy Coleson on drums.  We also get to see ex Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso walking down the road on the start of the ‘What Do I got To Lose’.  Oh, and in case you were wondering about the car wash lady, that’s Sebastian’s wife Suzanne. 

Speaking of Skid Row, it is worth watching this video of Lzzy Hale fronting the band because as I mentioned on S7E21, Sebastian constantly goes on about getting back into Skid Row and clearly Dave, Rachel and Scotti just won’t do it for any amount of money.  This clip is from a cell phone but it’s good quality and shows just how powerful Lzzy is, few can pull off the vocals Seb did on ‘I Remember You’ and she nails it.  And as for Scotti’s iconic solo, goosebumps all the way.

From Hell I Rise-Kerry-King

The final big release this month comes from Kerry King founder member of thrash metal titans Slayer.  Their Rick Rubin produced Reign in Blood is widely considered the greatest Metal album of all time.  Kerry King never wanted Slayer to end and to his credit he is moving on and doing what he loves.  His debut album is called From Hell I Rise and has Phil Demmel ex of Machine Head on guitar with Kerry and Paul Bostaph on drums.  Bostaph drummed on many Slayer albums and has worked with major thrash bands including Exodus and Testament.  The new vocalist is Marc Osegueda and he sounds awesome.  I think From Hell I Rise is excellent; the fans and critics appear to agree.  It sounds like Slayer, but it has a youthfulness about it and a ton of energy.  Check it out if you are a Slayer fan.  My overriding emotion on this album is gratitude.  Thanks for carrying on, Kerry, it was way too early for the end of Slayer, good to have you out there.   


I got the brand-new Diverted Disorder track, big thanks to Hardman for that.  It’s called ‘Serpent Queen’, you can hear it on S7E20.  It is stunning, the atmospheric use of instruments is really interesting, you can feel that ‘Serpent Queen’ moving.  Diverted Disorder continue to grow and push the creative envelope.  It is one of the most exciting bands around and totally impossible to pin down in terms of style.  I highly recommend you see them live if you can. 

I was also fortunate to get a pre-release preview of The Fismits new track ‘Halen’.  You can hear it on S7E19Mark Biagio who fronts The Fismits did everything on this track, guitars, bass vocals, and drum programs.  Mark is a founder remember of Rebel Rock Radio and I plan to catch up with him for a short interview about ‘Halen’ next month.  There is a good story behind the recording of ‘Halen’ originally written by Marc ‘Presley’ Feltham of the band Live Jimmy Presley.      

CHEERS @#$%’s

The shows discussed in this month’s newsletter can be heard as podcasts S7E18S7E22.  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 send you an invite link. 

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Take care and keep rocking.