Throughout the 1980s, this 3 piece Australian hard rock outfit played gigs around Australia and released several albums worldwide through the US label Refuge Records. Thousands of adolescents responded positively to the straight-ahead approach of the band. Fronted by the red-haired Rosanna Palmer whose powerful vocals and intricate electric guitar work were supported by bass player husband Dave Palmer and hard-hitting drummer Johno Zaffarese, the band was enthusiastically received in concert halls, churches, prisons and schools around the nation.
The following excerpt is taken from the book ‘ROSANNA…Rock’n'roll believer’ written by Vic Campbell and due for publication late in 2011:
Rock’n'roll is universally recognised as the music of rebellion. Since the 1950s, it has been the soundtrack to the lives of countless teenagers and young adults. Parents hated it; their offspring embraced it. The music and its associated fashion gave a voice to its followers. And sometimes that voice created unrest.
Like almost all loud, aggressive rock bands, Rosanna’s Raiders generated controversy and criticism. Some people thought the group was “far too loud”; others considered the music inappropriate for church-related events.
In 1987, bass player Dave Palmer responded to the flak by saying, “We don’t always expect people to understand what God has called us to do. We have to have a forgiving attitude. But we are energetic people called to reach out to the rock generation. We play rock music, but we emphasise a positive message in our lyrics—about life and about God. We want to challenge kids to think about what they believe in and who they are following.”
Drummer Johno put it this way: ”For too long, many people have considered Christians to be wimps. We know that’s not true. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy good music. We play punchy rock’n'roll, but we don’t follow the lifestyle usually associated with rock music. We have chosen to live according to the values taught by Jesus Christ.”
And Rosanna added, “We believe that each person is a very special individual created by God for a purpose. Each person is unique and important. We all have our own set of special gifts. Through our songs, we want to encourage people and to challenge them. We want to tell people that they are special and that God cares about each person individually.”