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Welcome to the fourth edition of The Story of Rock and Roll Newsletter. 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. www.rrr.cat
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 https://www.buzzsprout.com/273305.
TSORR PLAYLIST: For Spotify junkies you can get TSORR Best of the Month playlists at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6dfJz2DNDh6z5UswxTpmSZ
To listen to the shows that are discussed below check the March podcasts S6E9 to S6E13
March was a busy month, there was plenty to talk about, here are the highlights from the 5 episodes making up the month.
THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE
This feature continues to grow, it is becoming very popular. Each week we look at four albums from a particular year. This month we looked at 1979, 2005, 1987, 1975, and 2000.
The challenge is to just choose one. It is devilishly difficult, and we seldom get any consensus. Most participants change their mind while the four songs are being played.
Another feature that has proved very popular is what is referred to as The Immortals. These are tracks over 7 min long, and thus seldom receiving airplay, that are particularly representative of what a band is all about. As the name says there are tracks that will live forever. One of The Immortals this month was U2’s ‘Moment of Surrender’. If you have not read Bono’s autobiography Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story then I highly recommend it. It is phenomenal on Audible because of the production. Bono reads it himself and does some extremely good impressions of the voices of various characters (Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and Jeffrey Epstein (kidding)). This coupled with the music and effects make this the best Audible book I have listened to so far.
Note, you don’t have to be a fan, you just have to love music and the human spirit, and you will get it. We also listened to ‘Always the Way’ by James Reyne from his eponymous debut album. Jef Scott’s solo is hauntingly excellent and should cause some piloerection. It was dedicated to my good friend Fanie Marais who would have been 70 the week I played it. Fanie produced and recorded all albums by The Uninvited. In the game of ‘If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have one album which would it be’ Fanie chose James Reyne. RIP my friend
On S6E11 we listened to Iron Maiden’s [13:39] magnum opus ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ which set the record for longest track played on TSORR. It is a stunning track and I urge you to listen to it again, the only time I ever heard it on the radio was when Phil Wright played it on Five FM when it was released in 1984.
On S6E12 we checked out ‘Machine Gun’ by Jimi Hendrix. Asked by Classic Rock (Dec 2022, Issue 308) for his favourite Hendrix moment, guitar mastergod Joe Satriani said “For sheer ground-breaking electric guitar brilliance it has to be Machine Gun from the Band of Gypsys Live at the Fillmore East”. I am not sure which version Joe was talking about, but we listened to the 31 Dec 1969 recording at the Fillmore East NY first set. Jimi started the 2nd Set at midnight with Auld Lang Syne, what a way to kick off 1970. Sad to think that nine months later he was gone.
The last episode of March featured Judas Priest with ‘Victim of Changes’. Immortals – all of them.
There were some excellent new releases in March. In Flames finally dropped Foregone which is a tour de force and a total return to form. With the addition of Ex Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick, Anders Fridén and Björn Gelotte have done an amazing job and in my view Foregone is a return to former glory. Speaking of In Flames I did a Rock Review (a one hour special exclusive to Rebel Rock Radio) on them recently. If you missed it, you can catch it on the TSORR podcast site right here https://www.buzzsprout.com/273305/episodes/12608834
The Rolling Stones released yet ANOTHER live album, this one is titled Grrr. This is Live album no 13 and it is a great mix of their music spanning 50 years.
A major highlight this month was playing the new Extreme single, the title track of the soon to be released album Rise.
Nuno’s solo is so cool that when I played in on S6E12, I played it twice. The moment the song finished I took it straight back to the solo again so that we could all do a Zuma and “Listen properly” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw4KcbJvIeU
Metallica released the title track of 72 Seasons, all eight glorious minutes of it. My comment on Episode 13 was that if you don’t love this then you probably never really got Metallica and you should just admit that the band is not for you. We will talk about 72 Seasons next month after the whole album drops on 14 April.
GUITAR WEEKEND WITH DAN PATLANSKY
TSORR was with Dan Patlansky at his guitar clinic in Clarens between 2nd and 5th March and S6E9 aired from Backpackers in Clarens. It was great to be able to talk guitar for four days and meet some interesting people. For any guitarists out there, if you need a boost or some fresh perspective, I cannot recommend Dan’s guitar clinics highly enough. Not only is he one of the top blues guitarists in the world but he is also a fantastic teacher. Check out his Patreon site if you need some convincing. Pretty much every guitarist I have ever spoken to who has attended the biannual guitar clinic in Clarens considers it life changing. https://www.patreon.com/danpatlansky
IT’S WHAT YOU SAY THAT COUNTS
On TSORR we love the lyrics as much as the music. You could take all your spiritual guidance from rock lyrics if you wanted to. As always it helps to listen to the song for this to sink in. I have included the Podcast and the time stamp for your convenience. You will see it in brackets after the song credits below
THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
The curse it lives on in their eyes
The mariner he wished he’d die
Along with the sea creatures
But they lived on, so did he.
Iron Maiden, 1984 (S6E11; [02:32:28])
The one that really made an impact this month was Arapaho’s ‘Wicked Wonder’. I was hoping to get Gavin Meiring, guitarist and vocalist of Arapaho to do a show on Rebel Rock Radio but it doesn’t look like it will happen now. While these discussions were going on I had a good listen to the album Wicked Wonder again and the lyrics of the title track leapt out. I know people who can relate, this song absolutely nails it. Those who know will know.
A big wind came
And blew down my life
It came from the south
And cuts with the edge of a knife
Snow-white Peruvian, it’s calling my name
A million miles an hour, boys
And I’m playing the game
Desires got me
Twisted bandidos at my door
Wanna do a line
‘Cos I’m playing it back for more
Arapaho, 1995 (S6E12; [01:52:00])
I pulled over
So you can puke in the ditch on the shoulder
You mumbled live and let live
I’d been sober for 15 nights
Man I hated that bar but you needed me to drive
So I listened to all your silly reckless opinions
On acid rain and Jane’s Addiction
Chem trails and baseball
And the daily benefits of chopping up Adderall
Let me get you home I’m weakest on the weekend
My Bambi knees are knocking, my thirst is steady creeping
I can’t turn you down, I can’t be alone
So I’m hearing you out with the hazard lights on
Dave Hause, 2023 (S6E13; [01:45:00])
SOUTH AFRICAN SCENE
In March we got to talk to Chris Kennedy, the drummer for Punkfontein. The band hail from JHB and have been together for about ten years. We took a listen to their latest release a really cool collaboration with Meel Vignetting called ‘The Leviathan’. Check it out here:
Jack Hammer Band have fully released their new album titled Second Chapter. Here is what I said about on TSORR Facebook site:
“This is such a great album. Piet Botha wanted the guys to carry on, he wanted the songs to be played, for his legacy to live through the amazing music he wrote. True to his wish the boys have carried the torch. Second Chapter embodies the spirit of Piet and the band, the love of the Road, of the music and the gigs, the time spent talking kak and just living the rock and roll gypsy life. I feel him in every track, check it out if you know what I am talking about and raise a glass to Johnathan, Jake, Paul and Tertius for a job well done. Cheers gentlemen you can be proud of this, Piet would be very happy I am certain”.
The phenomenally talented Johnathan Martin took the trouble to say thanks, which is typical of him, one of the nicest guys around.
I played a track off the album on nearly every show this month. Please check it out and support this legendary SA band.
Finally, Deadline released another track off their soon to be released album Vitriol Inc. This one is called ‘My Sweet Apocalypse’. It is one of their best releases yet. Clocking in at over 6 minutes it takes you back to the glory days of Metal where bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Metallica ruled the day. Check it out on S6E10.
The April shows discussed in this month’s newsletter can be heard on S6E9 – S6E13. Feel free to drop me a message on The Story of Rock and Roll Facebook page or via email at email@example.com. If you have any suggestions for the Newsletter I am happy to hear them.
Best regards and take care.