Official website the ex Nazareth guitarist and Rock Radio host


World Book Day discount

March 1 is World Book Day – and to mark the occasion my book Billy Rankin’s School of Rock will be available at a 25% discount price.

The RRP is £9 but on March 1 only you can get one for £6.75. Shipping is also discounted, so it’s the best offer you’re going to get out of that tightwad Martin Kielty at Noisewave Publishing.

Click here to buy it on March 1 only (the link will only work then) and ruin his day…


Listen to Fred and me at the BBC

If you missed my spot on Fred MacAulay’s Radio Scotland show on Monday, here it is in glorious, em, mono as we talk about how we first met, my book, the rock’n’roll lifestyle and how everything has changed since oor day.

Now, Rock Radio was a family station so the BBC are even more careful, and I couldn’t quite tell my Ozzy story the way I did in Billy Rankin’s School of Rock. So here’s that wee bit from the book, told the way I’d prefer to tell it…

Shit in the dark

Once when Nazareth played in Little Rock, Arkansas, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne were staying at our hotel, and came down to our concert.

Ozzy was meant to be on the wagon at the time, so Sharon wasn’t too happy when she caught him in our dressing room taking a swig of out of a Jack Daniel’s bottle. After a serious rammy, she stormed off back to the hotel.

Ozzy came back with us after the gig then went off to bed. Next morning at breakfast, he came down alone.

‘Where’s Sharon?’ we asked.

‘She’s gone, replied Ozzy. ‘But she was in bed when I got back last night’.

‘So how to you know she’s gone?’ we wanted to know.

‘Bit of a no-brainer really,’ he said. ‘There’s a massive great shit in my suitcase…’

Catch me on Radio Scotland

I’ll be appearing on Fred MacAulay’s BBC Radio Scotland show on Monday, January 9 around 10.30am to talk about Billy Rankin’s School of Rock. Tune in and see if I’ve still got my radio voice…

The book of the radio show

Billy Rankin’s School of Rock is available now – as featured in the national press and radio

Ex Nazareth guitarist Billy Rankin spent the last five years entertaining Rock Radio listeners with his School of Rock feature every weekday morning on the cult station.

Download a FREE excerpt

Buy it now via Noisewave Publications

Over 4000 hours of live broadcasting he shared tales of wine, women and song starring big names like Ozzy Osbourne, Guns n’Roses, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Metallica, Status Quo, Ted Nugent, the Who, REM, the Beatles and many others.

With the end of Rock Radio in October 2010 came the end of Billy’s broadcasting stint. But he decided to leave his listeners with a written memento of his audio lessons, in the shape of his book, Billy Rankin’s School of Rock, stuffed with hundreds of his favourite anecdotes. The foreword is written by award-winning Scottish rock broadcasting legend Tom Russell.

Download a FREE excerpt

Buy it now via Noisewave Publications

Billy Rankin was a member of Nazareth from 1980 to 1983 then again from 1990 to 1994. Before finding fame with the Fife rock heroes he played with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band and went on to a successful solo career. He worked and/or drank with many of the stars of his book and became the host of cult station Rock Radio’s breakfast show from its launch in 2007 until its “rebrand” this week.

Buy Billy’s third album Shake

Check out sample clips and purchase the CD

Buy Shake now

After the heat of my Naz departure had cooled a little, Karin at Polydor was keen on me doing a third solo album.

She had done promo work for Growin’ Up Too Fast with me in 1984. I began writing and demoing the songs required. Despite her positive opinion of them being “some of the best songs you’ve ever written,” market changes in general meant rock was not being heard, played or signed any more.

Eventually I decided to give it one year of concentrated effort, using every contact I could and exploring alternate possibilities: Tony Rocker, gigs with The Spiders From Mars (which led to a single deal for All The Madmen being offered and knocked back) and even an audition for The Wildhearts, which I was particularly crushed to lose out on, being too old. Eventually I took an HGV driving test and got a ‘real’ job.

Shake has been made possible by various advances in technology enabling the artist to record and deliver their product to the public without record company involvement or financial support. Barry and Kenny were my record company for Shake and without them….

Hopefully, future recordings will be made available in this way (past and present recordings too!) In the meantime, it’s great to finally see all the hard work come to such a perfect album – I’m well chuffed!

Shake track listing:

Goodbye Miracles

Nobody Home
Hammer Comes Down
Take My Hand


Nobody Calls Me That
Do It!
Colour My Love
Walk Out
Money & Girls
Don’t Keep Me Waitin’
One In A Million
Get Inside Of You

Bonus track: Dream On (1979 demo)

Buy Shake now