The year was 1987 and Piet Botha had just brought out his first album. Little did he know that his path would one day cross with a wild-haired musician who, at this time, was still in his diapers. Jake Gunn was 18 when he heard Piet’s music for the first time. The album ‘Die Hits‘ had converted the young Gunn to a life-long Piet Botha disciple and played an instrumental role in Gunn’s musical development. After years of following his idol’s tours in the Western Cape, becoming his self-appointed road manager and his driver, Piet eventually appointed Jacques Groenewald as an official Jack Hammer member. Jake will be joining Johnathan Martin, Tertius du Plessis and Paul van de Waal on stage at A Piet Botha Tribute on Friday 20 August to pay tribute to The Hammer.
The engine room of music is the rhythm section and these two are the soul of the Jack Hammer band: Paul ‘The Duke’ Van de Waal & Tertius ‘Bean’ du Plessis.
Tertius first saw Jack Hammer at Cherry Too? in the late 80’s “het geskeem dis heavy cool…” A few years later he met Piet Botha when he was working at Mainline Music (Wildebeest Records) and his band opened for Jack Hammer and the rest is history…
“Volgende bel Piet my, Ons het ‘n nuwe bass player nodig, wil jy jol?”Ek sal kom vir ‘n audition, sê ek toe.”Wil jy jol of nie? Ek het jou mos klaar hoor speel…” tune Hammer toe.”Tertius du Plessis
So daar klap Bean nou al 20 odd jaar diksnaar saam met Jack Hammer.
Paul van de Waal had just moved into a new house and was painting the inside of the lounge on a Saturday afternoon, sometime in 1995. He met Andy, who was playing for Jack Hammer a few weeks earlier and they had exchanged numbers.
“He gave me a call on that Saturday because he was double booked and was supposed to play for Jack Hammer and a blues band in JHB that evening. Andy asked if I would do one of the gigs for him and because I had played for the blues band before, he asked me if I wanted to take that gig. When I heard that the other band was Jack Hammer I decided to take that one instead, even though I had never even been to a Jack Hammer gig before.”Paul van der Waal
The gig was at Crossroads blues bar in the Tramshed Centre in Pretoria where Paul had played for a few years with the blues band Jo Blu & Risky Business. He met Piet, Lanie and the Deacon (Lowell Jeffery) for the first time on stage while they were setting up for the gig.
“The gig went unbelievably well and it felt like we had been playing together for years.”Paul van der Waal
They played to a packed crowd into the early hours of the morning. Piet asked him to join the band that night and the 20 year journey began.
“Looking back, I could never have predicted how things have turned out and I’m grateful that Piet asked me to join the band and to be part of the musical family of the Jack Hammer band.”Paul van der Waal
Limited ticket left online at Quicket – https://qkt.io/RS1OWH
This was when I first met Piet Botha and Johnathan Martin (that is the correct spelling for Johnathan, I found out years later!). Piet often used to say that I put them on the internet before they even knew what the internet was!
— Brian Currin, 10th July 2020
from SA Rock Digest, Issue #39, 21st November 1999
Piet Botha’s famed blues-rock band is releasing a retrospective of their 4 albums on a new compilation CD early in December. Titled simply “Anthology” this CD will include 4 or 5 new songs plus a new re-recording of the classic ‘Fort Lauderdale’ alongside tracks from all 4 previous albums.
Those of you who were lucky enough to see Piet Botha on his recent “Skopgraaf” tour would have heard a couple of the new tracks, including ‘April’.
Piet Botha, Jonathan Martin and Tertius du Plessis wowed the enthusiastic audience at the Whammy Bar in Cape Town recently. Their set included Piet Botha solo songs, Jack Hammer tracks and some covers including a stunning version of Zeppelin’s ‘Tangerine’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’.
Please see the Original post
Please also see: South African Rock Legends: Piet Botha and Jack Hammer
Moonshine productions in association with STRAB presents:
Otterlake Easter Festival 2015
Gauteng’s premier music festival The Otterlake Easter festival is back and bigger than ever this coming Easter!
Enjoy 3 days of live music, performed by South-Africa’s top artists, in the serene bush-veld surroundings of Kameelfontein, north east of Roodeplaat Dam, less than 40kms from Pretoria’s center. Come and swim in our lake or pool, fish, camp, laugh and experience the magic for the long-weekend! The festival is ‘kiddie friendly’- children’s play area with jumping castles etc. and swimming pool. Free entrance for children under 12 (bring ID’s). Not only will you enjoy an experience of a lifetime; you’ll be contributing to a very worthy cause, as proceeds of ticket sales will be donated to Unite Against Poaching and help protect our country’s precious rhinos.
For the thirsty the festival has two main bars and a beer garden, for the hungry there will be a variety of tasty food stalls. Weekend Camping, clean toilets and hot shower facilities available. Other facilities include a mobile ATM, curio stalls and wood for sale.
An extra highlight on Saturday eve will be Otterlake’s Easter Fire Celebration – a 10 meter high bonfire, an old European tradition, which symbolizes the bringing of people in from the darkness and into the light.
Live music starts daily from 12h00 until 24h00 Friday to Sunday.
Gates for the event will open daily from 10h00.
Day visitors also welcome.
This year’s lineup includes:
Piet Botha, Francois van Coke, The Black Cat Bones, Akkedis (CPT), Tidal Waves, Jaco vd Merwe (Bittereinder), Naming James, The Fake Leather Blues Band, Gareth Wilson, Meesh-Mash, Avade (KZN), Feed The Wolf, Bacchus Nel, Crystal Park, Hoot ‘n Anny Band, Pedro Barbosa, Mountain Thief, The Pirates, Hardball, Monkeys in Boots, Yaki Naude, Tuin, Donovan Bourne, Franco Jamneck…more to be announced!
♬ Strictly No Cooler-boxes in music arena area
♬ No glasses or bottles in music arena
♬ No Drugs
♬ No Weapons
♬ No Pets
♬ No Bad Attitudes
♬ Right of Admission Reserved
The Black Sheep Rockonspiracy is the brainchild of East German-born Kilian Nestler, who made South Africa his home in 1994. He was previously involved in the semi-legal blues-rock East German underground as a fan, photographer, manager and creator of illegal anti-establishment merchandising. This lifestyle choice led to a 14 month prison term.
The band known currently as Freygang Band was formed in East Berlin in 1977 under the then oppressive socialist regime, as Freygang. The Blues euphoria in East Germany was reaching its peak at that time and the fans loved Freygang for their courage to freely express themselves. Progressive musicians and their fans had to survive troublesome times, including arrests and performance bans. Freygang have kept their appeal to younger audiences, by becoming harder, even with a touch of punk, through the inclusion of musicians who used to be fans and by always being authentic.
Nestler found out that in apartheid South Africa, under somehow similar, but political opposite circumstances, musicians like Piet Botha, had to endure the same troubles as Freygang. Piet Botha, who celebrated a 30 year recording career in 2009, is regarded by many as a true soldier of the Rock ‘n’ Roll lifestyle and an inspiration to fans and fellow musicians alike. These two forces, against all odds, still live the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, and Nestler had the vision to make them known to each other.
A desire for freedom and a dislike of politics, is the common background from where Freygang and Piet Botha emerged, as Piet Botha once said ”…that’s why we got into rock ‘n’ roll … we wanted to change the system”.
Kilian Nestler met Piet Botha at a few gigs and the idea of the Black Sheep Rockonspiracy was born.
The STRAB Festival, which was started in 2003 and is held every year in previously war-torn Mozambique, became the anchor point for creating a cultural exchange. After STRAB Mozambique 2013, Freygang will tour South Africa, collaborating and performing with a host of progressive South African bands.
This unique exchange will be documented by ARMADA FILM from Germany, and there is also a joint recording session at the HOME GROWN MUSIC STUDIO planned. The final highlight of this collaboration will be at the MERCURY in Cape Town.
Besides playing together, there will be discussions regarding the way artists can contribute to a better understanding of different cultures, how to use art and music as a weapon against ignorance ( i.e. xenophobia, religious intolerance, etc.) and many more important issues of the day.
Piet Botha and Akkedis will travel to Germany in August 2013 to perform at Freygang’s own underground festival and a number of other gigs.
Thanks to the unselfish contribution of many good-meaning people, the project has started to take shape, and who knows what the future holds, but one thing is for sure, the spirit of Rock ‘n Roll is alive and well.