|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2010)|
|Origin||Vancouver, B.C., Canada|
|Labels||Solid Gold, MCA|
|Associated acts||Chilliwack, Loverboy, Chrissy Steele, Denise McCann|
|Past members||Brian "Too Loud" MacLeod|
Headpins are a Canadian rock group, founded as a side project in the late 1970s by then Chilliwack members Ab Bryant and Brian MacLeod. Macleod was impressed by the vocal talents of Vancouver rock singer Denise McCann, and asked her to join his new venture. Originally, Matt Frenette played drums for The Headpins while Bernie Aubin played drums for fellow Vancouver band Loverboy but, within months, Aubin and Frenette swapped bands where each continues to play to the present. The Headpins began gigging around the Vancouver area throughout 1980, quickly building a fan base. McCann left at the end of that first year, and MacLeod brought in Darby Mills to provide lead vocals.
They achieved their height of popularity in 1982 and 1983, with songs such as "Don't It Make Ya Feel" (Sample "Don't It..." here) and "Just One More Time". Soon after, Darby Mills was replaced by Chrissy Steele. Later, Steele went on to make her own band with MacLeod and signed with Chrysalis Records, although the outfit was soon dropped by the label. She ended up having two hits, "Love You 'Til It Hurts" and the ballad, "Love Don't Last Forever."
Originally formed by Brian MacLeod and Ab Bryant as a sort of 'side project' from Chilliwack in 1980, the group's earliest beginnings included drummer Matt Frenette, ex of Streetheart and Randy Bachman's wife Denise McCann, who had enjoyed a moderately successful disco career a few years earlier on vocals. The Pins and Loverboy swapped drummers, and Frenette was gone and Bernie Aubin was in, who incidentally co-wrote Loverboy's "The Kid Is Hot Tonite".
Before the end of the year however, it was decided that McCann wasn't right for the job of translating MacLeod's musical vision and was replaced by Darby Mills, already a seasoned session worker and singer of Steelback, a group closer to what MacLeod had in mind than McCann's disco background.
They continued playing the Vancouver area and won a local radio station's 'battle of the bands' competition in 1981. CFOX's album later that year featured two of their tracks, a live version of "Breakin' Down" and "When A Man Loves a Woman", their only recorded cover. Even while still negotiating a record deal their impact was immediate. The band's live magnetism was rivalled by few and they soon became one of the hottest commodities on the West Coast, beginning with their first show in hometown Vancouver backing up Pat Travers and Blackmore's Rainbow.
They inked a deal with independent Solid Gold Records before year's end and went into Vancouver's Little Mountain Studios, coming out with Turn It Loud in the spring of 1982. Co-produced by Bill Henderson, Bryant and Macleod's Chilliwack-mate, the record would turn platinum just a few short months later. The debut would go on to sell over a quarter-million copies in Canada alone and be certified double platinum, making it one of the most successful debut albums by a Canadian group ever. Macleod's and Bryant's prior commitments to Chilliwack allowed them to only tour part of the schedule, while Mills and Aubin carried on with replacements Darcy MacDonald on guitars and bassist Dave Reimer.
After touring the majority of the planet, they returned to Little Mountain Studios and immediately began work on the follow-up Line Of Fire, released in 1983. Backed by the singles, "Feel It (Feel My Body)" and "Don't Stand In The Line Of Fire", it became the band's second straight platinum certified records. An extended tour ensued, seeing the band on every major event in North America and Europe, including dates with the likes of Kiss, Billy Squier, Helix, Black 'N Blue, Streetheart, Quiet Riot and Whitesnake.
Nearly two years would pass before the Headpins would emerge from the studios again. The result was Head Over Heels. Again the band enjoyed sales of nearly 100,000 copies at home alone, making Head Over Heels their third straight album certified gold or better.
The band went into hiatus for the next couple of years, with each member venturing out to do outside projects, including Mills' 1991 solo effort Never Look Back. The rock world was saddened the next year, when Brian "Too Loud" MacLeod lost his bout with cancer. The group reformed later that decade; re-issues of Turn It Loud and Line Of Fire came courtesy of Solid Gold in late 2000 and 2002, respectively. Wounded Bird would re-issue Turn It Loud in the U.S. in 2006.
In 2001 the band announced the addition of Tony Dellacroce as their new guitarist. Originally from Ontario, ON, he had previously toured with Jerry Doucette and Lee Aaron and gained a reputation cross-country as one of Canada's brightest young stars. Soon thereafter, the band added second guitarist Alfie Galpin to the mix.
In 2002, the 14-song The Complete Greatest Hits was released spanning all 3 of the band's records, as well as the videos for "Just One More Time" and "Don't It Make Ya Feel".
|1982||Turn It Loud|
|1983||Line of Fire|
|1985||Head Over Heels|
|1987||Anthology (U.S. release only)|
|2002||The Complete Greatest Hits CD-ROM|
- Darby Mills - lead vocals
- Ab Bryant - bass
- Bernie Aubin - drums
- Tony Dellacroce - guitar
- Alfie Galpin - guitar
- "Don't it make you feel like rockin': Headpins still the one". The Barrie Examiner. July 29, 2011.
- "Nazareth / Streetheart / Headpins – Live In Vancouver: October 14, 2006". Metal-Rules.com. October 25, 2006.