The Headstones (Australian band)
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|Origin||Brisbane, Queensland, Australia|
|Genres||Rock, pop, alternative rock, [garage rock]], [garage rock revival]|
|Years active||1980– 1990|
|Associated acts||The Dubrovniks, The Mungabeans|
1980–1985: Formative years
The original line up of the band was formed in 1980 whilst the members were at high school. That line-up consisted of Paul Sheridan (singer), Chris Flynn (guitar/singer), Anthony Schonweld (guitar), Neil McCarthy (drums) who went to school together at Marist Brothers College Rosalie, a Catholic Boys high school in the then working class suburb of Paddington, in Brisbane’s inner west, and Brendan Flynn (bass), who was Chris Flynn’s cousin, and attended Padua College, Brisbane a Catholic Boys College in Kedron.
Chris Flynn who had also been moonlighting in "The Mungabeans" took over lead vocal duties when the members finished high school in 1982. Brendan Kibble (formerly of "The Vampire Lovers" and later of "The Bam Balams" and "The Navahodads") became friends with Chris Flynn and briefly played guitar with The Headstones in 1983.
The Headstones sound was guitar rock with an emphasis on 60s garage, especially in the Detroit R&B style, as was popular with other bands in Australia at the time like The Screaming Tribesmen (Brisbane), The Hoodoo Gurus (Perth / Sydney), and The Stems (Perth). Their sets were a mixture of originals and covers in this style. Covers included tracks such as "Bo Diddley" (Bo Diddley), "Just Another Name For Rock and Roll" (Roy Orbison) and "Thank The Lord for the Night Time" (Neil Diamond) as well as numbers by Elvis Presley, The Monkees, The Rolling Stones and others.
1986–1990: Independent Success
Extensive gigging, energetic live shows and catchy original songs brought them underground popularity in Brisbane pubs and clubs to the point where their concerts were capacity, even though they hadn’t released a record. The band released a live tape and with their live show popularity they left Brisbane for Sydney (1985). In a relatively short space of time they were signed to pre-eminent Sydney underground rock label Waterfront which had a roster of garage and guitar rock bands. The band exposure increased as they secured supports for American and British acts on tour such as “The Flamin Groovies” (1986) and “The Cult” (1987).
Two singles and a mini album were released which all sold well on the “independent” charts but failed to cross the band into the mainstream.
Though popular on the independent circuit many bands like The Headstones had to rely on word of mouth and touring for popularity with little chance for mainstream success. This was in the days before the underground was channelled into the mainstream through national radio stations like Triple J.
In 1987 Schoenwald left the band and was replaced by another Brisbane-ite, Brian Mann (ex "Wildcats")
Despite being touted as the next big thing, and without relinquishing their underground popularity the band broke up in the early 1990s.
Chris Flynn subsequently joined the already established “The Dubrovniks” as singer and guitarist and recorded the album "Audio Sonic Love Affair" (1989, Mushroom) with them. In 1993 he sang on the "Jarrah Dog EP" recordings for Australian independent power pop rock band "Kcrunch" which contained Brian Mann (“Wildcats”, “The Girlies”, “The Screaming Tribesmen”, ”Ed Kuepper”, “Lime Spiders”, “Figtree Renaissance”), Richard Lawson (“Grooveyard”, “Adolphus”, “Lime Spiders”, “Figtree Renaissance”, “Blue Valentine”, “FTR”), Shane Cooke (“The Vampire Lovers” “The Girlies”, “The Hitmen”, “Deniz Tek”, “Throbbes”) and Mark Wilkinson (“Strange Glory”, “The Girlies” “Lime Spiders”, “Brother Brick”, “Tom Kazas”, “Figtree Renaissance”, “New Christs”). Later in 1994, Kibble teamed up with Chris Flynn again and they formed “Motorhank”. This band took country songs (mainly Hank Williams tunes) and played them in a hard rock style.
Subsequently he was seen playing with Blackie from “The Hard Ons” and in “Black Dirt” again with Boris Sujdovic (of “The Dubrovniks”) and who have recorded the album “Sonic Redemption” (2005). More recently he has played solo shows around Australia and in Greece (2016).
Brendan Flynn subsequently played bass in Brisbane rockers “Lovecraft”.
- Chris Flynn (guitar/singer)(1980-1990)
- Anthony Schonweld (guitar)(1980-1987)
- Neil McCarthy (drums)(1980-1990)
- Brendan Flynn (bass)(1980-1990)
- Paul Sheridan (singer)(1980-1982)
- Brendan Kibble (guitar)(1983)
- Brian Mann (guitar)(1987-1990)
- When You're Down / All the Things You Do - Single (Waterfront, 1986)
- Above Ground - Tape (Macondo, 1987)
- You Got Love /Gimme Love - Single (Waterfront, 1987)
- The Lovers Web - Mini Album (Waterfront, 1988)
- On The Waterfront Vol. III (Waterfront ) 1986
- "Do The Pop! The Australian Garage-Rock Sound 1976-87" 2CD (Shock) 2002
- Spencer, Chris, Nowarra, Zbig & McHenry, Paul: "The Who's Who of Australian Rock", The Five Mile Press, 5th Ed, 2002.