interview



Steven Danno-Lorkin was kind enough to allow a reprint of this interview he conducted with Peter Wells back in 1996. It is reprinted from the Rose Tattoo Fanzine - "Scarred For Life", which is published in the U.K. Enjoy!


The idea for this interview goes back over 12 months ago. "SCARRED FOR LIFE" publisher John Shearer asked me to interview one of the ex-tatts members, so I thought hey sure.

The only member I figured I would be able to track down would be front thing Angry Anderson as my accountant for several years is now looking after Angry's affairs. Angry and his management (R.P.M.) are familiar with SCARRED FOR LIFE and are thrilled that somebody is running an unofficial magazine on the group. However, dozens of phone calls down the track an interview with Angry could not be locked in being that Angry is quite a busy little pixie doing his trice yearly challenge t.v. shows. Even a 30 minute phone interview could not be arranged.

I mentioned this to the boss of one of Australia's coolest rockin' labels, DOGMEAT, who have just released a brand new cd by Peter Wells latest project BLUES HANGOVER, so Dave of DOGMEAT says you can interview the ex-Tatts slide dog this weekend.

The interview took place 17th July 1996 at the Brittania hotel in Sydney just before the Peter Wells Band were due to perform. Before the interview I got Peter to sign a few records for me, one being all time fave albums the 1972 release by BUFFALO called ONLY WANT YOU FOR YOUR BODY. Peter played bass in BUFFALO from 1971 to 1976, and if any readers happen to see any of their original albums, grab them as they are huge collectors items selling for up to $250 each. Alternately, you could pick up one of the counterfeit cd's currently on the market.

Highly recommended are the albums VOLCANIC ROCK and ONLY WANT YOU FOR YOUR BODY, which are often compared to classic era BLACK SABBATH, except that BUFFALO rocked a lot harder and had stronger riffs. Also worth getting is the 4th BUFFALO album MOTHER CHOICE which is less heavy metal but just as rockin' and at times very similar to the sound ROSE TATTOO would later develop.

SO...back to the present, I am sitting at a table clutching a small tape recorder about to interview someone whose music I've enjoyed for over 20 years so I am a bit scared shitless but its nothing a couple of beers won't fix so read on............oh yeah before I forget thanks to DAVE LAING at DOGMEAT records for lining this interview up and if anyone wishes to track down copies of the BLUES HANGOVER cd's write to AU GO GO c/o GPO Box 542 Melbourne Victoria Australia and tell them SCARRED FOR LIFE sent you. They will send you their mail order list.


I remember there was talk a few years ago that you and Angry were doing a record together.
We did a bunch of tracks in 1993 or 1994.

It was supposed to be FACES type stuff?
AHHHH??? sort of...yeah, it didn't happen because he was looking for a record deal and there was all this stuff with his lawyer and Polygram and all sorts of shit that went on and on and on, it just went into the too hard basket.

Were they songs you and he wrote?
NO...me and Lucy wrote them all.

A bit too lazy to write a few words was he??
He's out saving the world you know.

What was the reason behind you leaving ROSE TATTOO in the first place after the SCARRED FOR LIFE album came out?
We just ran our course...I mean drugs and different things came into it. We had done 6 or 7 years on the road and the band was over, it was bloody obvious ya know...I left and I think Geordie was the last one to stick around to the end and then Digger passed away a year or so later.

The last album you did with them was pretty much their biggest seller wasn't it??
UH yeah...it was the biggest seller in Australia, but we always sold better in retrospect. The re-issues always sold better than the fucking originals. We sold more records in the 80's than we did in the 70's, and in the early 90's we sold more records again... more than we sold before.

Did GUNS AND ROSES covering NICE BOYS help sell ROSE TATTOO records?
Oh fuck yeah!! That really helped in Europe and America. The record we had NICE BOYS on (G'N'R Lies) sold like 6 million units...it was fuckin bullshit. We did a show in Melbourne and Duff came up and said "did you get the cheq yet" and I said "yeah fuckin oath...I love ya I love ya". They were cool, it was a good tour (Rose Tattoo reformed especially to support Guns and Roses on their 1993 tour...Ed)

It was weird seeing you guys in a venue like a big football field, its not a Tattoo type venue but the kids seemed to like you.
Someone might have thought we were a new band or something(laughs)

What happened to the album Rose Tattoo recorded in America in 1979 and what songs were on it?
That was me, Angry, Lobby Loyde (ex early 70's Australian groups Coloured Balls and the Aztecs...both huge influences on the Tatts sound) and Digger, Billy Thorpe produced it (also ex Aztecs) we just left ALBERTS records, we were going through all this feuding and they actually bought the rights to the album and buried it, I don't know what happened there.

I remember Lobby said in an interview that it was almost like an early version of speed metal
It was pretty up there. (some of the songs were) Sweet love rock and roll, Rozetta, and Street Fighting Man (Rolling Stones song).

You have just released a 2nd BLUES HANGOVER cd. It sounds a lot more raw and powerful than the first one.
The 2nd one was recorded at a place called Birdland, the studio we used for the 1st cd had all old gear, pre 1960's gear, and it was a lot of fun but the new one is a bit more present.

The 2nd one seems to be a lot more chunkier, the guitar on the opening track just screams!!!
Yeah, its pretty up in your face.

That band began to do a track on a Pretty Things tribute album, didn't it?
Yeah...well we were asked to do a track for that (Not So Pretty...on corduroy records) and then Dave Laing from Dogmeat records liked it and wanted us to do an album so we did it in a couple of days, did it all live and we just kept on from there. We just did a whole bunch of gigs in Melbourne.

Any chance of BLUES HANGOVER coming to Sydney?
I don't know...its a matter of economics really, 6 people to travel unless we can tie it in with a bike show or something so you can pay the fares.

You're also playing with some of the Powder Monkeys (as your Melbourne backing band). How's that going as those guys are almost like a Motorhead/Stooges type band.
They're pretty full on!!!

Tim's a great bass player.
He's a cool guy, we've had a couple of rehearsals and we start playing on the 21st of June at the tote.

What do you think of POWDER MONKEYS?
We actually played a gig with them in BLUES HANGOVER for the POWDER MONKEYS album launch for TIME WOUNDS ALL HEELS. It was pretty funny like us playing blues or rocking blues and then them doing heavy metal....so I don't know what that means but we've done a lot of gigs with bands like that and somehow it works.

I remember one gig when Tim (Powder Monkeys) was playing with BORED and they were supporting you and PSYCHOTIC TURNBUCKLES and BORED did a Tattoo song.
Remedy

Yeah and Tim was flat on his back after the gig and you hadn't met at that stage and you just looked down on him and said "you're a cunt mate".
Thats something I can't remember. Yeah, they were cool. I played on and produced a BORED album.

Including Degenerate Boy which was originally a ROSE TATTOO song but never recorded.
We did it...Ian Rilen (original Tatts bass player and writer of Bad Boy For Love and Astra Wally among others) wrote it, it was more of an X song (Rilen's band he formed after Tattoo). I think we played it a couple of times, I think X recorded (on AT HOME WITH YOU).

Bored supported ROSE TATTOO at the Palais in Melbourne, the night GUNS AND ROSES jammed with youse.
That was a good night, it was a pretty magic one.

And you've got a new solo cd out
NO...its out in Europe and Germany only, its called ROMEO DOG and that's coming out in Australia supposedly. It was supposed to be out now but they're still rootin around with contracts and faxing each other backwards and forwards and bullshit and bullshit and bullshit. So maybe by August but also Festival records wants to release a live album which has already been recorded which is coming out in Germany in august through a mob called Blue Rose, so I record for 2 labels in Germany and 2 labels in Australia so it gets real confusing.

From what I've heard Romeo Dog is a bit heavier than your other solo albums.
Yeah...its more rock and roll. We did it in Germany at a place outside of Castle. Its Andy Cicone, Mick O'Shea, Lucy DeSoto, and an American guy called Andy Anderson who used to be in a band called TWO BIT THIEF and a punk band called ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT.

Your 1st solo album still gets a lot of airplay on straight/top 40 radio.
They're still playing it, it still kicks on you know. It sold well in Japan, BMG in Japan picked it up through ZOO records and it sold about 6000 in Japan and you see it in Europe and you see a lot of Tatts stuff...a lot of Tatts bootlegs too. There's a store in Frankfurt where you go down and sign records and they had about 30 albums 20 of which I'd never seen in my life. They went back to stuff from the early 70's, like BUFFALO (Wells band during the early 70's) that had been re-released on cd... its all bootleg stuff.

Their were 2 albums you did in the mid 80's with Lucy DeSoto and Geordie Leach that were released independently on Chase records, how did they come about????
I just met Lucy and we were just screwing around and just did a couple of cheap albums. One still gets played in France.

OK, here's a question from John Shearer...what's your favorite Tatts song???
Nice Boys...cause of um...

Cause money talks ehhh???
Yeah...money talks...stuff off the 1st album I like and a couple of the 3rd.



Copyright (c) 1996 by Steven Danno-Lorkin




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