Rose Tattoo are part of Australian history.
Their rock and blues swagger has delivered hits such as Bad Boy For Love, Rock N Roll Outlaw, We Can’t Be Beaten, Nice Boy’s Don’t PLay Rock N Roll and more, but it is the enduring majesty that is frontman Angry Anderson that has seen the band passed down musically from generation to generation, their tales of Aussie living and respect local folklore.
After a successful recent run of shows as part of Under The Southern Stars, Rose Tattoo return for an all Australian line-up of classic rock dubbed Fistful Of Rock, featuring themselves, The Angels, The Poor and Baby Animals.
It is a line-up sure to make the mouths of rock fans salivate intensely, but also one which once again showcases the strength of Australian music.
With the first show of the brief tour set down for April 29 at Brisbane’s Eatons Hill Hotel – and the second for Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on September 2 – Angry sat down with HEAVY to talk about the shows and more of the life and times of Rose Tattoo.
“There’s only a few shows in the festival around the country, but it’s a terrific idea,” he enthused. “It gives the punters bang for buck. It was always a great idea… I mean, these days, when was the last time you bought a schooner? I couldn’t believe how much it was, and then you think to yourself, why does a schooner cost so much money? Basically it’s because of the money the government makes out of it… but let’s not get into that! It’s giving people value for money is always a good idea, particularly with rock and roll because they’re the people who buy your albums, buy your merch and support you year after year. We’ve got supporters that go right back that drag their kids along to see the Tatts. They’ve been with us for 40 years.”
Rose Tattoo have played with all three of the other bands countless times over the years, but we put Angry on the spot a touch when we ask him to recall the first time he saw each band and what he thought of them.
“I remember the first time (seeing The Angels) – and I think it might have been Adelaide,” he mused. “It might have even been the late years of Buster, or more than likely the early years of the Rosey Tatts. It was so far back that they all had quite a bit of hair (laughs). Doc was playing bass, and they were a four-piece. They had just recently stopped being a Jug band, and they were playing the early version of the style of music that made them famous. Until Doc took over as a singer, I can’t remember exactly because it was so long ago, and the next time I saw them Doc was out front, and I was like wow, this is something that is going to work. He was so… the songs have always been good, and you can have good songs but unless you have someone to sell the song itself, the visual, and it can be a whole band like KISS where everyone participates. With The Angels they had really cool songs, but what made them was Doc. He was electrifying on every level. Baby Animals, first time I saw them I had only heard them a bit on the radio and I thought cool songs. I love successful music – most musos do – but no matter what genre it is, even if it’s not your personal taste. I remember seeing them, and you fall in love with Suzie‘s stage presence, but also with her voice. Her voice is magnificent. I remember the first time I saw The Poor and, again, really cool band. Skenie is just… he’s an old-school frontman. He is a force to be reckoned with. They are a powerful line-up and again, the great thing about it is bang for buck. You’re gonna get four of the best across the genre of rock and roll and heavy rock, you’re getting the best there is.”
In the full interview, Angry runs us through the longevity of the Tatts and why he thinks they resonate after all these years, the early days of Rose Tattoo and where they fit in, refining their rock and blues sound and how it came into being, the moment he realized Rose Tattoo might be onto something as a band, keeping that connection with the fans, when he thinks the curtain could be drawn on the Tatts, his top 3 Commandments of Rock and more.