If you are into Aussie Rock then without a doubt you would have heard of Rose Tattoo before. Of the same genre as The Angels and AC/DC, Rose Tattoo have been part of the rock fraternity for over forty years. With hits like Nice Boys, Rock ‘n’ Roll is King, and Death or Glory. It is easy to see why these stalwarts are still enjoying sell out shows.
Rose Tattoo are bringing their ‘Blood Brothers 2018 Tour’ to the Beach House Hotel this month so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to have a conversation with one of the few remaining original band members from Rose Tattoo, front man Angry Anderson. Angry he was not, charming, funny and enlightening he certainly was. – Kim Parnell, Editor
You have rocked with Rose Tattoo since the band begun way back in 1976, what were the early days like?
We actually started rehearsing in 1975 and would play three nights a week at the former Chequers Nightclub in Sydney, this was the place to be and to be seen during the 60’s and 70’s. Among many other top artists both Dionne Warwick, and Shirley Bassey played there as well. We often say that Rose Tattoo was actually born on the eve of 1975 and 1976 at Chequers Nightclub as we literally did not leave the stage during this period.
One of my favourite all time songs is the 1987 song, ‘Suddenly’ from the Album, Beat like a Drum’. This song also became famous worldwide after appearing in an episode of Neighbours, (the wedding of Scott and Charlene). This song is timeless and is still heard at weddings and funerals. What does it feel like to have a song that resonates with people still today? Is it true that you don’t like performing this song?
Well I can be persuaded by copious amounts of money. I remember that I was contacted once by a wedding planner that asked me if I would sing that song at David Campbell’s wedding. David is a wonderful singer and performer. I was not allowed to tell anyone as it had to remain confidential. Anyhow, the wedding planner was instructed to get me at any cost, so of course I said yes.
I didn’t know until later that an eight year old relative of David’s would sing the lyrics to the show over and over again into the mirror and was a huge fan, that was pretty special.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that my daughter was actually the inspiration for the song. I had made a solemn vow to my daughter that I would be the best dad that I could be. It was about that all consuming love that we have for our children. This song was liberating, and was about what I was in the past and who I was about to become.
For those who have never seen Rose Tattoo what can they expect?
Rose Tattoo was brought about in a romantic sense. It is about rebellion, passion and everyday struggles. Over the years Rose Tattoo has contributed to the sound of Rock n Roll. People well up in the chest and have fire in their eyes. Our music did that, the love for country, and flag, and a way of life. I am so impassioned by what we do, we give it one hundred percent and make a commitment to all of you that you will be entertained.
Do you have a special message for your fans before concert night?
Thanks for keeping the faith, we will never let you down.
Tell me a little about life on the road?
Once upon a time it was all about sex, drugs and rock n roll. Now it is all about diet, exercise and watching what you drink and getting a good nights sleep. We would have endless hours sitting on buses or trucks all for one and a half hours of performing. I turned seventy last year so now it is all about staying in peak condition.
People call you ‘A champion of children’, for your work with disadvantaged and sick children, where did this stem from?
It started with me visiting a guy in jail on behalf of his friends and family. He loved Rose Tattoo, well we were a very male band with songs that appealed to everyone. He told me that when he got out in a few years he wanted to build a halfway house for boys.
I saw how many kids were in need and decided that I wanted to help them any way I could.
I associate with the street kids – This is who I am, there but for the grace of god. I would be in Jail or on the streets if it wasn’t for music.
What advice would you give to somebody Just starting out in the Industry?
Don’t ever give up on the music, but don’t ever expect it to give you a living. Music is food for the soul, this doesn’t mean food on the table. There are no shortcuts, it is all about hard work.
Rose Tattoo – Blood Brothers 2018 Tour
Friday, April 13
8pm – 11pm
Ticket prices: $44.90
The Beach House Hotel
Scarness, Hervey Bay
Written by Kim Parnell