Australian rock ‘n’ roll outlaws Rose Tattoo are back on the road from March through to April. Bringing their brand of heavy blues-driven rock to the Aussie punters, with Australian punk rock band Hard-Ons for their ‘Still Never Too Loud’ 2019 tour. Rose Tattoo, or as frontman Angry Anderson calls them “the Tatts,” are part of a family of classic Australian rock bands from Albert Productions that started it all. From the Easybeats to The Angels, Choirboys, and the ever popular AC/DC, Alberts saw the potential in heavy rock ‘n’ roll and gave it a chance. 40 years later, we catch up with Mr. Anderson to talk about the upcoming tour with Hard-Ons, and a little bit about rock ‘n’ roll history.
TEO: Are you looking forward to the show?
Angry: At my age, I look forward to every show! But seriously, Adelaide produced the Twilights and one of Bon’s early bands (Fraternity)—Adelaide is a city that ‘gets it’ with rock ‘n’ roll. In early days, Adelaide was one of the first cities to give the Tatts high places in the charts. There were a lot of radio stations that wouldn’t even play our stuff—I call it the ‘Derryn Hinch Wowzer Syndrome.’ You know, like ‘oh, we’re not encouraging that kind of behaviour’ and ‘these guys are thugs, blah blah blah.’ But Adelaide always embraced the Tatts. They sort of adopted us.
It’ll be an interesting blend of the rock/metal vibe of the Tatts and the punk energy of the Hard-Ons accompanying you. How did this matchup come about?
Scotty Crawford, our manager (who resurrected the Tatts), has a company managing some of the better rock acts from past days because he believes so much in that era. He and I were talking about magical matchings and I said, ‘I get marketing-wise why you partner us with other rock acts, but what I’d like to do with the Tatts—because it’s probably the last few years we’ll be playing—are some things that we’ve not done before, and I’d like to go out with some acts where it’s a great pairing but people don’t actually see it.’ What you’re getting with the Hard-Ons and the Tatts are two powerhouse bands that have mainly established themselves outside of the country because of how hardcore they are. Both bands have a huge international following. I’ve said this for years—some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll talent in the world is homegrown. I remember someone asking me years ago to go see the Hard-Ons. I said, ‘who wouldn’t want to go see a band that’s called the Hard-Ons? This is cool! I hope they live up to the name.’ They did!
Have you got anything special planned for your eagerly awaiting Adelaide fans?
Apart from the special occasion—you probably won’t see this again unless there’s public demand to do another run with the Hard-Ons, which of course we’d be happy to do—we’ve just rerecorded the original first Rose Tattoo album with this lineup and it’s come up gangbusters! They’re the same songs but it’s a different sounding album, and it’s got three bonus tracks that were demoed for the original album but never made the cut—they’ve come up a treat. So, we’re going to be playing the original album in its entirety plus the three bonus tracks which are ‘Snow Queen,’ ‘Sweet Love,’ a beautiful love song called ‘Rosetta,’ and of course the single, rerecorded some years later, called ‘Never Too Loud,’ which turned into a crowd favourite.
A common denominator for a lot of the great successful and influential Aussie rock bands of the ’70s and ’80s was the label, Albert Productions. What was it like working with Alberts?
I went in the other day, rerecording the first album at Harry Vander’s studio, and I ran into Harry’s wife that morning and she said he’s good, because you know, he’s sort of battling. Anyway, I’d just finished a vocal pass in the studio and came out and there’s Harry sitting on the couch. Tears sprung to my eyes. He knew that we were rerecording the album that put us on the map. Being part of the Alberts family, as it was known then and today—it’s family. When you were part of Alberts you were part of Alberts, so it meant the world to see Harry the other day. I felt the loss of brothers George and Malcolm [Young] as keenly, as they were distant members of my own family. If it hadn’t been for Alberts, you wouldn’t have the Tatts and we wouldn’t be having this conversation, because no other record company wanted to touch us with a pole. It was only at the insistence of Malcolm and Bon [Scott] and Phil [Rudd]—because Phil used to play with Geordie [Leach] and myself in Buster Brown, and he was playing drums in AC/DC by then—that they came along to see us play. The rest, as they say, is history!
If the fans are going to pay that much money to see a night of rock ‘n’ roll, then this is value for money! The only way you’re going to see proof is if you’re there—all I can say is don’t miss the experience!
Friday, 5 April 2019 – MELBOURNE, Doncaster Shoppingtown Hotel
Saturday, 6 April 2019 – MELBOURNE, Chelsea Heights Hotel
Friday, 12 April 2019 – ADELAIDE, The Gov Hindmarsh
Saturday, 13 April 2019 – PERTH, Rock Rover
Friday, 26 April 2019 – BRISBANE, The Triffid
Saturday, 27 April 2019 – GOLD COAST, Coolangatta Hotel
Friday, 3 May 2019 – CENTRAL COAST NSW, Ettalong Diggers
Saturday, 4 May 2019 – NEWCASTLE, Cambridge Hotel
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Photo: Kim Carns