Our man on the Sydney scene, Steven Danno-Lorkin, has done it again! You may have read his Peter Wells interview from 1996. This time he treats us to a Q&A with Tatts frontman and Rock 'n' Roll legend Angry Anderson...enjoy!

Angry Anderson interview with Steve Danno-Lorkin 9-98 Recorded at R.P.M offices Surry Hills.

How do you feel having just spent 6 weeks with a pretty scary bunch of people The Angels and Rose Tattoo.
(laughs) I wouldn't call the Angels a very scary bunch.

Well Rose Tattoo are.
Yeah but for different reasons…it's a sense of relief.

Some of the crowds you were getting on this tour were huge, like 4-5000 people at Darwin.
I don't really care, you see I will go and perform in front 20 people as opposed to 200 as opposed to 20,000 and I will do the same things.

Its amazing that bands like Rose Tattoo and The Angels who haven't got chart records, who your average kid who listens to Triple J (an Australian alternative radio station) wouldn't know of, but still all these people are going to the shows.
We sort of fit into a very very strange area, I think that's really good cause that really does say more for the bands and their music than a lot of things you could say in words. People are judged by their actions not so much by there words, same thing with bands, the fact that the bands don't have records, we are not on the radio, we're not supposed to be what's happening today, probably makes both the bands hipper if you like the true sense of the word then bands that have those other things going for them. To quote Al Bundy, "if you got it, you got it, if you don't got it, you don't got it" .

I read that Lobby Loydes Coloured Balls (early 70`s Skinhead /heavy rock band) have reformed for a few shows, was it was the original group or just Lobby and some ring ins?
Well apparently it was as close to the original as you could get. You see the annoying thing about Lobby was when he played with Rose Tattoo we got him in as a guitar player, but we were fragmented at the time so we needed a bass player as well as a guitar player, Lobby Loyde is one the great rock guitar players of all time and very unappreciated and under valued in this country as far as our music goes, but having said that, he came into the band. What he suggested was he play bass for a while and we work instead of sitting around looking for another bass player. His secret ambition unbeknownst to us was to become a bass player, he had no intention of playing guitar, then when we found a bass player he refused to give up bass and said his full intention was to play bass and maybe we should get another guitar player and we begged him to play guitar cause he's such a fabulous player, but he wouldn't do it. And to this day he's playing in a band with Harvey James (Sherbet) in Melbourne and he's playing bass.

I heard he was playing bass cause he couldn't hear all that well, his hearing was shot from playing through huge stacks all his life.
No…that's just one of those stories, his ears would be definitely damaged as mine are, as anyone who plays in a loud rock band for more than a few months. I had my hearing tested from time to time and I have got good hearing in relation to what I did for so many years.

Have you heard the new Jimi Hendrix Experience BBC sessions album?
Yep…99% of what I've heard Hendrix play is great…we did a BBC session too.

A few tracks came out on the Never Too Loud 2 CD set.
Yeah well unfortunately we wanted to release it on its own merit cause they were such stand up quality and the record company didn't see the wisdom of it. Hopefully we might be able to release it later in conjunction with the Tatts Live At Reading.

Didn't Alberts Records can that idea?
They've done nothing with it which is really really sad. I got the tape out the other day and played it for the sake of refreshing my memory and it stands up, it's a damn good tape.

Do they own the tape, Alberts?
They license the Publishing (songwriting). While we were over there we actually heard our live stuff for weeks! The same DJ, he did everyone from the Beatles to Zeppelin to Pink Floyd he played Tattoo for weeks after that session. All Alberts have to do is say yes to who ever did it overseas, it's pretty much as simple as that.

That track All Hells Broke Loose that just came out with the tour edition of the Nice Boys Don't Play Rock And Roll cd…I gotta tell ya its great, just that song when I hear it, I just wanna hear more unreleased tracks…is their any chance of more unreleased recordings coming out??
We were of the opinion that there were about at least 15 to 20 tracks and they (Alberts Records) say there was only 2, I think that years ago they decided to clear some tapes and lots of stuff they didn't think was really important got thrown in the bin, but there's another song which we did a demo for and it was being considered to be a single, it was almost a finished song, I remember putting the vocals down it was during the sessions of Assault And Battery. We produced about 5 or 6 songs that were not like the other songs, which were on that album that were a bit broader.

There's some B-Sides like Fighting Sons.
A bit like Fighting Sons even through that was sort of an attempt at a country song, they were as confused about how they saw us in those days, as we were as they saw us. We saw ourselves much broader; they wanted to narrow us down, they kept talking about having a very narrow focus, in other words they didn't want to put out songs on our albums that as they put it "confused the punter" where as our opinion was as long as it was a good song, its not confusing.

That opinion might of come from the Easybeats days, they had a lot success from simple 3-minute Hard rock songs and things started to not work for them when they tried different styles Alberts might of thought stick to your guns like AC/DC always did .
There's a thing that says if your on a good thing stick to it. It's the opinion of other members of the band; myself included that they didn't realize at the beginning the band had so much potential to get into different areas, there was about 6 tracks that were as good as anything on that album, that didn't get on and their lost as well. Their was 2 songs, one got on Assault and Battery Called Chinese Dunkirk which we wanted Hammond Organ on, the guy we got in to play on it was Piggy Morgan (from The Aztecs) and that was when we did the demo for All Hell Broke Loose cause Piggy and John Paul Young wrote it and while we were in putting down piano and Hammond parts for some of our demos, they said how about you trying this song and we demoed it, and the version you hear now is nothing but a demo it was never a serious attempt to record the song, it was to whack it down as an idea to keep for later to work on.

I remember there was a recording of You Really Got Me.
Well that's gone too.

What about the 1979 album you recorded with Lobby and Billy Thorpe producing?
We did 3 tracks in L.A…Its great that you should remember all these things… We did the first song written about a serial killer called Creeper and we did Rozetta (a Faces/Stones inspired track written by Ian Rilens; Ed) there's also a version of Rozetta at Alberts which they now deny they ever had, It doesn't matter but what I'm saying is this is how much material has gone missing. We did Creeper, Bad Boy, Rozetta, and I think 2 other tracks ?

Sweet Love Rock And Roll???
I'm not too sure what we did to tell you the truth, then we came back from L.A and we recorded on the cheap, an album late night down time with Lobby as producer which had the working title of Scarred and its got the original but not the same lyric and not the same song, a song called Scarred for Life, it evolved. But the tape no one seems to have, I'm pretty sure Lobby will have a tape, I don't, but it's a great album, but Alberts, I was told, they thought it was so left of centre that they basically threw the tape away, they bought it so it couldn't be released but then again that was ok because we were still with them and we put it to them that we release it as a sort of a garage album and we were going to put it out in a paper bag and sell it for practically nothing, we thought it was a very quirky, very eccentric idea.

I still think to this day it would of got a lot of attention, there were some songs on it that would have been great playlist material for someone like JJJ and the Z`S (Brisbane radio station) but it certainly wasn't a mainstream album. I wouldn't say gothic, but very was a very dark and broody album. Some of the songs were quite disturbing; the lyrics were about the dark side of people about their nature, there were some fairly tough things lyrically to digest and the intensity of the playing was very very different to the intensity on the first & second albums. I remember listening to the album and thinking to myself no one is really going to understand this album in a commercial sense and that kind of gave me a certain sadistic delight. I didn't think many people would like it once they heard it, but its properly the work that I feel the best about. I love all the other records, I love the fact that they're quite objectionable as well, but the Scarred album that we did with Lobby was very dark.

I remember when I wrote Creeper, that song was about lurking in parks and tracking people down for no other reason then to watch them die. I had just started to read books about mass killers and in those days (the early 80`s) the terminology Serial Killer was only ever read in American publications, it was a syndrome that they were just starting to get onto. I read this article about this new thing called Serial Killers, they use to call them pattern killers, there were a couple of really notorious ones they mentioned in the article from history, obviously Jack the Ripper and other people particulary from Europe where they'd killed hundreds of people, they use to wander around and pass themselves off as gypsies. Serial Killers have always been with us but we just haven't cracked on it as a syndrome and I wrote Creeper about that and they (Alberts producers) asked me to explain what the song was about and I told them it was about Serial Killers, they said you couldn't write songs about that people are just going to repulsed .

It would have been ahead of its time.
Its like Branded, they loved that song, it's that whole tribal, heavy on the percussion, it's a brooding lyric, which is almost melancholy that sort of says something quite sad but at the same time its quite defiant, there's an aggression in the lyric and in the delivery that sort of says this isn't all about being trodden down, beaten and branded. But its not, it's about being beaten physically but not being beaten emotionally and spiritually. I'd become very very militant in those days I was the first white person to actually wear the aboriginal flag(publicly), I wore the shirt in the film clip for I Wish. Hundreds of people either wrote to me or stopped me in the street and said," What is that shirt?". Branded was written about Aboriginals, being branded was how I saw Aboriginals, being branded as certain things which I thought they'd never escape from, in that they were born to be alcoholics, they were born to be kids in trouble with the law blah, blah, blah, all these things. There's a book written by a Kori bloke years ago called Branded and he sent it to me. He'd written it after Scarred, not because of Scarred, and it says what Branded the song says but when I told the producers what Branded was about they said "we don't want you being politically involved".

You shouldn't have told them maybe.
Well yeah…I was naive; they asked me what the song was about to interpret the film clip, so hence we do this amazingly inane film clip for Branded of us staggering around all half pissed on rum in the middle of winter in a car wrecking paddock out at Tempe.

I thought it was a great clip.
Visually it was a terrific looking clip but its got nothing to do with the song I wanted images of young Aboriginal people lying in the gutters pissed drunk and alternatively some of them being body painted, learning the law. We're talking 1982-83 when Scarred was recorded.

Now they'd love that type of film clip.
They would of eaten it up now, that's what I'm saying about Rose Tattoo, we were never ever appreciated by the important people for what the band really was and the potential it had as a social comment band.

Your doing some work at the moment for a prison release scheme, do you want to talk about that?
No!!…I've always been involved in working with people whether its juvenile justice or making movies about safe needle use and safe sex, about prison behavior, trying to keep focused. Prisons are a physical thing. Prison is not a rehabilitation place no matter what the idiots from civil liberties, or whatever, have got to say, you don't get rehabilitated in jail… you get fucked over more and more and more! Our juvenile justice centres do more to create criminals then they do to rehabilitate.

Further plans for Rose Tattoo, are their any plans for more tours or recording? I know there's been a lot of offers from Europe and the U.K..will that happen?
Yep! (to all those questions) I've got the bug!!

The same line up?? (as the previous tour??)
Well…Whatever!!, Whoever!!, it doesn't matter I don't care.

Do think you'll ever play with the Scarred for Life line up (with Rob Riley and Geordie Leech) again and do those songs?

What was the reason behind those songs not being played on this tour?
I think mainly because Geordie and Rob weren't involved. Artists are very funny people very delicately balanced and Mick prefers as a player and a writer to play the songs he wrote and played on, which I suppose is fair enough. Before when you said the Angels and the Tatts being scary, I think if you looked up dysfunctional or scary in the dictionary you'd see a picture of Rose Tattoo, if you looked up abstract and eccentric you'd see a picture of the Angels and when you think about it it's a very interesting chemical combination.

You were playing pretty much the same songs every night on this tour and on the previous tour with Guns and Roses. Have you ever thought of varying it, there's a lot of great songs on the second album which never got performed such as Let It Go which is a favorite of mine.
Oh really???Ive always liked Let It Go, and this is the artist criticizing the producers. I don't think there was enough time and energy spent on the song. Let It Go on the album is almost the same as on the demo. What I think we needed to do was sit down and rearrange, produce the song for what the song has to offer.

Usually Vanda and Young hit the nail right on the head with a lot of songs.
I think they did, they were very careful, very methodical if not articulate as far as the arrangements and production, getting the most out of a song particularly when it came to key tracks and also more importantly in their view the singles, and I think there were other tracks that didn't get the kind of work that they deserved or needed. But you see artists will always grumble about producers because to have a perfect record the artist should produce the album, BUT...then you run the risk of becoming totally self indulgent.

I want to ask you about some other unreleased songs which folklore has exist, Strange Appreciation .
That's the one (shouting) I was trying to think of. The opening line says "I suffer from a strange appreciation, the thing I like would leave me cold". The chorus is "distance from me never meant separation, outta sight you know your out of your mind".

There a really lengthy interview with Geordie I read, they asked him what his favorite songs were and released was Branded, unreleased Strange Appreciation. He said there was over 60 unreleased tracks that got recorded but never got released.
From day 1,but see what we use to do was just go in there and just jam and there was a dozen or more covers like the session we did You Really Got Me , we did this fuckin' screamer of Street Fighting Man and we did this version of Money, Gloria we even recorded a version of Nutbush City Limits.

That would have been fantastic.
Well every one hated it, we hated it, we only did it cause the manager said we needed to do some more commercial songs, so we had a go but we made it into such a fantastic version, it was as heavy as lead. All that stuff got recorded, but they (the record company) swear it never happened.

No ones got cassettes, none of the band?
Nup,,, one of the producers of the session You Really Got Me which was recorded for a single (the producer) said to me I've still got that recording, the master tape of that session which would have had all those songs on it and when decided to do this reunion I said to Matthew (Angrys manager) contact him and get that version cause it will be a monster!! And he looked for it and couldn't find it.

That's a shame it's all gone.
It's a damn shame because its like 20 or 30 songs, only half were covers, the rest were demos for original songs.

A box set of Tattoo stuff would be great, like the Bonfire (AC/DC).

There's another song, Fourth Form Fantasy.
Where did you hear about that???????????????????

Just folklore over the years.
That's on the album we did with Lobby.

Another one is Suicide.
Which is not Suicide City, I was very concerned in those days, when you associate with the street culture you know what's going on and there was a lot of kids topping themselves in those days.

I was wondering if you play records at home and what your current favorites are?
I've been playing a lot of the original Fleetwood Mac, a lot of the Blues masters. There's about 30 albums called Masterworks, and things like Humble Pie.

Have you got Live At the Fillmore?
Oh yes! It cost me 80 dollars but I got a CD.

80 dollars?? You didn't go to Timewarp Records to get it did you???

Do you like the Small Faces?
Love the Small Faces! One of my favorites bands one of the first bands I ever saw live they played with Free, Manfred Mann and I think Deep Purple at Festival Hall in Melbourne.

Was that in the sharpie days?
It might have been right about the time I think, maybe. I've actually started listening to Soul Asylum, I love that album with Runaway Train on it. I been playing a lot of John Mellencamp, in fact my new solo stuff will be akin to John Mellencamp.

Are you gonna get a band and hit the road with that???
Yeah proberly.

Copyright (c) 1998 by Steven Danno-Lorkin

© 1997-2007 by Peter Gormley

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