Category: News

From The Vaults: Jack Hammer at the Whammy Bar, 11th November 1999

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

Whammy Bar 11 November 1999

Whammy Bar 11 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

Een hele jaar sonder jou | Facebook

Een hele jaar sonder jou. Ons mis jou wysheid, jou kenmerkende giggellag, die reuk van jou pyp, die solos wat net jy kon speel… Jou Fender is nou stil, maar jou musiek word nog kliphard gespeel in die huise van almal wat jou so lief gehad het.
Dankie aan almal vir julle liefde en ondersteuning die afgelope jaar. Die Hammer leef voort in die herinneringe wat julle deel. 🖤
“Kyk nou die langpad
Roep my nou maar weer
Daar is genade en liefde
En nog baie meer
Kyk nog ‘n somer alweer weggegaan
En al wat jy doen, ek sê maar niks
Laat dit met jou goed gaan
Sien jou weer” – Sien jou Weer (JP Botha)

Today marks one whole year without you. We miss your wisdom, the way you laughed, the smell of your pipe, the solos that only you could play… Your Fender is silent now, but your music can still be heard in the houses of all who loved you dearly. Thank you to everyone for your love and support over the past year. The Hammer lives on in the memories you share. 🖤

“Bury me when the stars
Shine bright over Zanzibar
The moon can be the preacher
And the tide can do the rest
You don’t have to be perfect
Just do your best” – Bury Me When (JP Botha)

Piet Botha | Jack Hammer Double LP Now Available

Piet Botha Jack Hammer Double LP

Piet Botha Jack Hammer Double LP

Piet Botha | Jack Hammer

Piet Botha | Jack Hammer Double LP


  1. Donker Maan [4:28]
  2. Richmondstraat [4:24]
  3. Suitcase Vol Winter [4:22]
  4. Vandat Jy Weg Is [3:59]
  5. Blues Vir Louise [4:42]
  6. Stad Sonder Naam [3:58]
  7. Die Mamba [4:56]
  8. Goeienag Generaal [4:09]
  9. Man Met Kitaar [5:15]
  10. Staan Saam Burgers [3:40]
  11. Highway 13 [3:13]
  12. January’s Son [3:48]
  13. The Pilgrim [6:32]
  14. Welcome To Azania [4:27]
  15. Mr Midnight [3:41]
  16. Mozambique [4:12]
  17. Liberty [3:43]
  18. Fort Lauderdale [3:41]
  19. Sarajevo [4:47]
  20. The Fisherman [5:02]

Release Information:

2LP: 2019 Wolmer Records, 199753E
CD: not unreleased on CD

Buy at


See separate album releases


Songs were recorded at various studios across the country between 1985 – 2011

Limited edition, double LP, uniquely numbered, mixed specially for vinyl by Lanie van der Walt / Wolmer Records


Wayne Roux, 2019

Wayne Roux, 2019

It’s taken me a long time to truly assimilate this release. Ironically enough I know all the music on this compilation, but allow me to explain the importance of this particular release. Piet Botha passed away this year but left us with some of the grittiest, down-to-earth, soul searching music. The renegade son of a principled and extremely well-liked politician, Piet was one of the most amazingly talented local musicians ever to grace us with his presence, persona and was liked by all. His blues and pure rock in Jack Hammer was the mainstay and result of a life on the road, touring incessantly but always giving a piece of his heart away to fans, friends, roadies and music junkies and the music sung in English, and would not be out of place anywhere in the world. This is a double album with one record dedicated to material by Jack Hammer, and the other to his solo work. His solo work was generally performed in Afrikaans (his native tongue), but was equally rewarding and he regularly delivered the most incredible albums. He was a rocker, a husband, a father, a maverick, a beautiful soul with a powerful gravel-laden voice, a entertainer and the epitome of what humans can achieve when they channel all their creativity into their music. A belated tribute to our fallen son, not to be forgotten. Wolmer Records, 2019. Limited edition. Sleeves notes judiciously acknowledge all members of both incarnations. Even Billy Bob Thornton.

Wayne Roux, 2019


Borrowed Time – A Tribute To Piet Botha

In light of the recent passing of a great father and teacher Piet Botha, some of his closest comrades got together to not only show their respect and admiration for this legend but also to honour an old friend in the only manner they knew how, by giving him a song.

Composed and arranged by Andre Kriel the track features the Jack Hammer band Johno, Tertius and Paul, together with Andre and Kobus from The Black Cat Bones, Arthur and Rudolph Dennis, Gareth Wilson and finally the Van Der Walt Brothers Lanie, Chris and Heine aka ‘The Wolmers’.

The Gauteng chapter of the collaboration was tracked and engineered in June 2019 by Lanie van der Walt at the famed ‘Wolmer Records’ in Pretoria North where Piet recorded most of his albums in both the Jack Hammer band as well as his solo offerings. Arthur and Rudi Dennis laid down their voices and guitar in Strand, Western Cape at Riku Lätti’s ‘Wasgoedlyn’ studios and the entire process was documented and edited into a live studio music video by the acclaimed Image Engineer’s Fred van Leeuwen.


Old Friend
Seems it’s time for us to part
But it’s not the end
Although it truly breaks my heart

Now the memories left behind
Are all that remains
So long for now
Till I see you again

Old Friend
Seems the world is moving on
But our time is spent
I can tell it won’t be long

And the road we travelled on
I now walk alone
But I’ll keep going till
It leads me home

We can’t live forever
No one ever will
But don’t you ever say never
Just keep pushing up that hill

Old Friend
I look back on all those years
And I try to pretend
I try to hold back all my tears

You have showed me many ways
Now you’re gone and I’m turning grey
You know it’s hard for me to say
I miss you today

We can’t live forever
No one ever will
But don’t you ever say never
Just keep pushing up that hill

You know we’re only passing by
We come and we go
Are we living on borrowed time?
Nobody really knows
Old Friend


Local rocker Piet Botha, 63, dies

Piet Botha. (Photo: Gallo Images)
Piet Botha. (Photo: Gallo Images)

Cape Town – Condolences are streaming in for South African musician Piet Botha after the news of his death was shared online, Netwerk24 reported.

Piet, 63, was a rocker and the son of former South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Pik Botha. He was also the frontman for the local band Jack Hammer.

According to a biography written by Brian Currin in October 2012 on Piet’s Facebook page, the singer was born in 1955 and shares his birth date of 18 July with Nelson Mandela. He began writing songs and forming bands while still at school and his first professional gig was as an acoustic duo in 1974 at a local drinking hole in Pretoria.

Piet was diagnosed with pancreas cancer about three months ago and recently cancelled a performance at the Strab Festival, reports Maroela Media.

In an interview with Rapport’s Hanlie Retief earlier this year, Piet spoke about his diagnosis saying that “he knew there was trouble” but thought it would be “okay”. Piet was later diagnosed with a very serious type of pancreas cancer named Adenocarcinoma which had spread throughout his body. “I knew death would catch up with me one day,” he said, adding: “But I never thought this soon”.

Piet is known for songs like Suitcase Vol Winter and Goeienag Generaal – to name but a few.

“Koebaai julle konings, koebaai… (Goodbye you kings, goodbye…),” wrote local singer Johrné van Huyssteen on Twitter alongside a photo of himself and Piet.

Channel24 has reached out to Piet’s family for comment but didn’t receive any feedback by the time of publishing this article. Should the family release a statement this article will be updated with the relevant information.

A documentary about the life of Piet Botha is currently in production.

Piet, whose father Pik died on 12 October 2018, leaves behind three daughters, Robynne, Jessica, and Piya, as well as his brother Roelof, and sisters Anna Hertzog, and Lien Botha.

Jack Hammer: Handful Of Rain | Press Release

Jack Hammer - Handful Of Rain

Jack Hammer – Handful Of Rain

The Jack Hammer line-up featuring on Handful Of Rain has endured over the years, with Piet Botha (guitars, keys, harmonica, vocals), Johnathan Martin (guitars, vocals), Tertius du Plessis (bass) and Paul van de Waal (drums). The album also features guest artists Arthur Dennis (guitars, vocals) and Rudolph Dennis (drums, guest vocals) from Akkedis/Lyzyrd Kyngs. Piet Botha’s harmonica is present throughout the album, and the style is familiar, lingering long after, like a renegade’s signature tune in an old western.

The timbre in Piet Botha’s singing is full of longing and resistance. In the title track, he sings “Here I go again on a lonesome highway / A handful of rain and empty heart”, with Johnathan Martin, ‘The Kid’, by his side, harmonising, singing the same words. Cut from the same cloth. “That’s How We Roll” echoes Neil Young, “me, I got nothing / just this old guitar”; a song about this brotherhood of musicians defying the Man, choosing the road over the rat race with its fitting rock ‘n roll chorus.The haunting cover of Four Jacks and Jill’s “Master Jack”, a song about choosing solitude over society, flows into the album’s theme: “no hard feelings if I never come back.” Delving into the songwriting is a melancholy joy, and each listen reveals new meanings and interpretations. Is a song like “When the Moon Was Young” a love song first, a protest song second? Piet Botha gently contends,“They think they can own her / but even a fool knows / the moon belongs to lovers…” 

The hair-raising harmonies of “Emily” and “Where Is the Clown” remind us why Jack Hammer are at their best when Piet Botha and Johnathan Martin come together. Not only do they whistle the same tune when it comes to existing and creating outside of the mainstream, but their musical accord completes Jack Hammer. Handful of Rain can best be summed up in “Sweet Soul Music”, Piet Botha’s collaboration with the Soweto String Quartet: violins, harmonica and electric guitars join on a song about rivers turning into seas, about songs turning our solitude into a universe of connected souls: “Keep the music in your heart / You will never walk alone.”

Released January 2016

Track Listing:

  1. Where Is The Clown
  2. Handful Of Rain
  3. That’s How We Roll
  4. Emily
  5. When The Moon Was Young
  6. Deep Blue Sea
  7. Master Jack
  8. Sweet Soul Music
  9. When The Morning Comes

Otterlake Easter Festival 2015 3-5 April

Moonshine productions in association with STRAB presents:


Otterlake Easter Festival 2015

35 April


Gauteng’s premier music festival The Otterlake Easter festival is back and bigger than ever this coming Easter!

Otterlake Easter Festival


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.

Weekend Tickets are only R370 on-line (includes camping), limited weekend tickets will be available at the gate at R400. Day passes available at R150.

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