Headband (band)

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This article is about the Australian rock band Headband. For other uses, see Headband (disambiguation).
Headband
Origin Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Genres progressive rock, psychedelic rock, blues, symphonic, country
Years active 1971–1974
Labels RCA, Polydor
Associated acts Mount Lofty Rangers, Fraternity, The Angels, Mickey Finn

Headband were a progressive, blues rock band formed in Adelaide in February 1971 by bass guitarist Chris Bailey; drummer Joff Bateman; singer-songwriter and keyboardist Peter Beagley (later known as Peter Head); and singer-songwriter and guitarist Mauri Berg. The group supported Elton John (in 1971), The Rolling Stones (in 1973) at their Sydney performances. The band finished third in the 1972 Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds – a national performance competition between the best groups representing each state. Headband released an album, A Song for Tooley (September 1973) and four singles before disbanding in 1974. Bailey later joined The Angels and then GANGgajang, Berg joined Fraternity (with Jimmy Barnes on vocals) and Head formed Mount Lofty Rangers (which included future AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott) and later went solo.

History[edit]

Headband formed in February 1971 in Adelaide with Chris Bailey (ex-Red Angel Panic) on bass guitar, Joff Bateman (Resurrection, W.G. Berg, War Machine) on drums, Peter Head (Johnny Mac and the Macmen, Peter Beagley Trio, Boz) on keyboards and Mauri Berg (Silhouettes, Ides of March, Resurrection, W.G. Berg, War Machine) on guitar, harmonica and lead vocals.[1] They were managed by Hamish Henry who also managed rivals, Fraternity, with Bon Scott.[2]

Headband played progressive blues rock with symphonic, country and pop influences.[1] They had a strong work ethic, rehearsing and performing constantly, including three shows a week in high schools across Adelaide. "We did modern jazz at nightclubs, rock'n'roll for discos, J.S. Bach for pleasure, barbershop quartet stuff for laughs, electronic music at jam sessions, blues when feelin' low, and country and folk for interest. A combination of these influences comes out in our original material." explains Peter Head. The band practised "group indoctrination" in all types of music, even attending chamber music concerts together.[3]

On 22 October 1971, they supported Elton John's Adelaide show at the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre.[4] Their debut single, "Scratch My Back" was released locally by RCA and did not reach the charts.[5] It was straight forward pop and was followed by their second single, "Land of Supercars", which was issued nationally in 1972.[1] "Country Lady" was also released that year. In July, the band finished third in the 1972 Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds – a national performance competition between the best groups representing each state – having been a finalist in the previous year.[6]

Headband supported The Rolling Stones on their Sydney performances in February 1973 and issued "A Song for Tooley" as their next single.[1] Their debut album, A Song for Tooley, was released in September on Polydor. Its "sound was more adventurous ... [but it] was erratic, with the material ranging from Uriah Heep-styled heavy rock to psychedelic pop and progressive jazz".[1] It featured Sydney Symphony players and an 110-piece children's choir. The album spent five weeks in the charts, making the Top 50.[5] The album featured stunning hand drawn cover art by internationally renowned Adelaide artist Vytas Šerelis, and a fold-out poster with photos and biographical details of band members.[5] Šerelis created promotional posters and photos for Headband, Fraternity, The Mount Lofty Rangers and Chequers.[5]

Headband relocated to Sydney in 1973, they played the pub circuit with residencies including at Whisky a Go Go. They had toured Australia supporting international acts The Rolling Stones, Elton John and John Mayall.[7] In 1974 they returned to Adelaide and disbanded.[1]

Afterwards[edit]

After Headband had separated, Bailey joined the Australian rock group The Angels in January 1977, he was later a founding member of GANGgajang.[1] Berg joined a new line-up of Fraternity in late 1974, it included John Swan on drums and vocals, and his brother Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel) on vocals.[8] By 1978, Bateman and Berg were together in Mickey Finn with half the members of Fraternity, who had returned demoralised from a miserable stint in London and had recently broken up.[8] Head formed a loose musical collective, The Mount Lofty Rangers, in 1974, which began with various musicians from Fraternity and Headband. It included Bon Scott, who left to join AC/DC before year's end.[8] The Mount Lofty Ranges spawned the musical Lofty produced by The Circle Theatre Company.[9] By the early 1990s, the original vinyl pressing of A Song for Tooley became a collector's item for psychedelic and progressive rock fans.[1]

Members[edit]

  • Chris Bailey – bass guitar, backing vocals (1971–1974)
  • Joff Bateman – drums, backing vocals (1971–1974)
  • Peter Beagley – keyboards (1971–1974)
  • Mauri Berg – guitar, harmonica, lead vocals (1971–1974)

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • A Song for Tooley (Polydor 2907.008) 1973
A Song for Tooley
Studio album by Headband
Released September 1973
Genre progressive rock, blues
Label Polydor
Producer David Fookes

Track listing

  1. "A Song for Tooley" 5:05
  2. "Land of Supercars" 5:43
  3. "Stay with Me" 3:32
  4. "My Young Friend" 2:53
  5. "Headsong" 1:20
  6. "Country Lady" 2:18
  7. "Children's Dreams" 6:25
  8. "Wait Until Tomorrow" 4:12
  9. "Brand New Morning" 2:27
  10. "Goodbye Mother Nature" 4:33

Art work

  • Cover design – Vytas Šerelis
  • Catalogue number: Polydor 2907.008

Singles[edit]

  • "Scratch My Back" / "Musical Man" (RCA) 1971
  • "Land of Supercars" / "How Much I Miss the Country" (RCA Victor 102146) 1972
  • "Country Lady" / "Stay with Me" (Polydor 2079.017) 1973
  • "Song for Tooley" / "Brand New Morning" (Polydor 2079.031) 1973

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Headband'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-86508-072-7. Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Industry – Hamish Henry". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  3. ^ A Song For Tooley (Media notes). Headband. Polydor. 1973. 
  4. ^ Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Performance - Tours by Overseas Acts – Elton John". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d Joynson, Vernon (15 October 1999). Dreams, fantasies, and nightmares from far away lands: Canadian, Australasian, and Latin American rock and pop, 1963–75. Borderline Productions. ISBN 978-1-899855-10-0. 
  6. ^ Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Performances – Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Spencer, Chris. "Peter Head". The Australian Record Collectors Magazine (25). 
  8. ^ a b c McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Fraternity'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-86508-072-7. Archived from the original on 28 August 2004. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Walker, Clinton (15 April 2001) [1994]. Highway to Hell: The Life and Times of AC/DC Legend Bon Scott (2nd ed.). Verse Chorus Press. ISBN 978-1-891241-13-0.