Jack Hammer: The Judas Chapter

Jack Hammer: The Judas Chapter | Vox Vinyls


  1. Bourbon Street [4.15]
  2. The Master’s Call [4.40]
  3. Jack of Hearts [3.00]
  4. Good Friend of Mine [4.19]
  5. Must Have Been Dreaming [4.12]
  6. Mr Riley [9.45]
  7. Fort Lauderdale (Ballad of André Stander) [3.30]
  8. Kingston Bay [2.39]
  9. Orion [3.12]

All songs written by Piet Botha except 6, 8 & 9 by Piet Botha and Doc Barendse.

Jack Hammer: The Judas Chapter
Jack Hammer: The Judas Chapter


  • Piet Botha: Vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards
  • Doc Barendse: Bass, guitars, keyboards, drum programmes, producer, engineer
  • Leon van Zweel: Saxophone
  • Paul Barnard: Bass
  • Eric Birkenstock: Bass

The players on the road in different towns:

  • Drums: Neil Burrows, Craig Nash, Findlay Malherbe & Danny Gallagher
  • Bass: Eric Birkenstock, Paul Barnard, Tonie Erasmus, Craig Nash & Marcel Liebenberg
  • Guitars: Boet Farber, Paul Vantoon & Marc Farham
  • Keyboards: Rupert Mellor & Russel Taylor
  • Sax: Leon van Zweel

Release information:

LP: Late 1990, GMP (Gallo), BL714
Cassette: Late 1990, GMP (Gallo), MCBL 714


Thanks to Vox Vinyls


The album is dedicated to Derek Riley 26.1.52 – 22.1.88.

Derek was the drummer for Raven and on ‘Jack Of All Trades

André Stander was an ’80s cult-figure, bank robber and ex-police captain. Stander was the leader of the notorious Stander Gang who in the early eighties robbed more than 40 banks in a spate of robberies in and around Johannesburg netting as much as R150 000 in one day. The gang’s life of money, women, fast cars and an attempt to escape with a yacht from Cape Town harbour grabbed the attention of South Africans, many openly defending the gang’s criminal antics. Stander was killed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

‘Fort Lauderdale’ was re-recorded in 1999 and released on the Anthology CD.

Jack Hammer – Fort Lauderdale (1999 recording)

Interview with Peter Pearlson:
I met Piet at Houtstok in 1990 and Piet came round to the studios late September. He had recorded an album called Judas Chapter and he asked me if I could master it and what had happened on that album is the drums had been programmed and the left and the right channels were out of phase so if you had to listen to the album in mono all the drums would disappear, so I told him it would have to be remixed. So he goes away and Anton (Goosen) phones me and asks if I could remix the album and as we had a 16 track machine I said it was fine. He said Piet only had enough money for one day so I said fine, we will do it in one day. We mixed that album on October the 10th 1990 and we remixed the entire Judas chapter in one day.

Jive Talking and Eyeballing interview
Ernesto Garcia Marques, 02/07/2020


Jack Hammer’s ‘The Judas Chapter’ opens with ‘Bourbon Street’ featuring a bagpipe sounding instrumentation playing a tune which is as close to ‘Scotland the Brave’ as Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby’ was to Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’. But don’t panic, you haven’t inadvertently put on the Greatest hits of the Military Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Band and the guitar and gruff vocals that follow confirm that you’re in rock music territory.

The gruff voice is reminiscent of Leonard Cohen and some of the songs have a similar feel – laid back & sombre, yet insightful and carefully crafted. The guitar and saxophone work on the album are particularly prominent and notable. ‘Must Have Been Dreaming’ is a good example of this, a melancholic bluesy number.

The album is dedicated to the memory of Derek Riley, a friend of the band, and the epic ‘Mr Riley’ (clocking in at over nine minutes) would feel quite at home on any of the Roger Waters-era Pink Floyd albums. It has that haunting vast sound that typified Pink Floyd’s albums. Building from a quiet start to the emotional, guitar charged chorus, this song threatens to boil over into barrage of self indulgent grungy guitar noise, but balances delicately on the cusp keeping the listener in suspense and never being tempted into the easy way out. This classic rock tune is the centrepiece of the album and is a worthy tribute to any friend.

The overall impression of the album is one of blues tinged rock played by highly accomplished musicians and sung by a guy with a cheese grater stuck in his throat, all combining to create a high quality album that can proudly wear the Rock Music stamp of approval.
— John Samson, January 2001