Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Headband - Happen Out (1971)

(New Zealand 1970 - 1973, 1975)
In the early sixties, singer Tommy Adderley enjoyed a  couple of minor hits and became a popular television performer. He then spent two years in Australia, returning home a seasoned cabaret performer. With a genuine love of the blues, he had always dreamed of forming a group similar to John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.

In 1970, Adderley, inspired by the then current line-up of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, formed a group to try an emulate their sound. His own Bluesbreakers was an unusual line-up, including an electric violin, but no drums. This was the sound Adderley had in mind. It didn't take too many rehearsals, however, before Tommy realised that this drumless unit wasn't working out, so Jimmy Hill was brought in on drums. At this point, the group was renamed Headband.

L to R: Kristian, Craig, Hopp, Hill and Adderley (1971)
Headband debuted at Molly Hatchetts nightclub in February 1971. This club closed shortly after, so Adderley purchased the old Bo-Peep club in Durham Lane in Auckland. He refurbished it and re-opened it as Grannys in June 1971. This gave Headband a permanent venue at which to play. It also became the venue at which great bands like Dragon and Ragnarok made their debuts.

In late 1971 Jack Stradwick (formerly with Action) left and he was replaced by Billy Kristian, who along with Jimmy Hill had previously played in Ray Columbus's Invaders. With this line-up, an album called "Happen Out" was recorded for HMV coming out in 1972, and featured a large proportion of original material. A single was taken from it, "Ballad of Jacques Le Mere"/"The Error Of My Ways". It reached number 14 on the national charts. Two further singles came from the album, "Good Morning Mr Rock'n'Roll"/"Dip Tank" and "Love Is Bigger Than The Whole Wide World"/"The Loving Tree", with the latter reaching number 12 in September 1972. the Adderley-written ‘Good Morning Mr Rock ‘n’ Roll‘, became the Headband’s most widely known song, getting to No.1 on the Radio Hauraki Hit List. Another single "Time"/"Paranoia" failed to sell.

L to R: Hill, Stradwick, Hopp, Craig and Quinnell - Adderley is seated (1970)
The debut album also featured the longest track recorded in New Zealand to date, the 15 minute ‘The Laws Must Change’, about the marijuana prohibition. “Tight and gutsy,” the Auckland Star was quoted as saying.

Headband at Ali Babas
Headband did a Universities tour during 1972, but apart from that they seldom performed outside Auckland. The group finally disbanded in 1973, with Adderley concentrating on his nightclub. But after numerous run-ins with the law, he was forced to close the venue in 1976.

Tommy resurrected Headband for a national tour, single and album in 1975. He had a new line-up featuring himself, Hopp and Hill, plus bassist Neil Edwards and keyboards player Len Whittle. The album was called "Rock Garden" with a single "I Get High (On Music)"/"Hey Little Schoolgirl" coming from it. Nothing more came from the group after this.

In 2000, a new CD was released called "The Headband Collection", which was simply a compilation of both albums, with no new material surfacing.
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my prized vinyl, which I picked up at the market only just recently.  And what a find, the vinyl is in pretty good condition and the cover is not bad for its age. I've seen this album for sale on eBay for $250+  and my copy cost me a buck!
Gotta say I was a pretty happy camper that day.  I really like this album, and every track is stand out material, but the best track would have to be "The Laws Must Change".  The use of violin on top of some great guitar and vocals makes this Kiwi Blues and Psychedelic release an absolute must for the record collector.
Track Listing

01 - Mood One-Time To Kill
02 - Lisa, Listen To Me
03 - Dip Tank
04 - The Ballad Of Jacques La Mere
05 - Headband Grooving
06 - Good Morning Mr. Rock And Roll
07 - Love Is Bigger Than The Whole Wide World
08 - Mood Two-The Laws Must Change
Tommy Adderley (Harmonica / Vocals)
Alan Quinnell (Guitar)
Ronnie Craig (Guitar)
Jack Stradwick, Billy Kristian (Bass)
Dick Hopp (Electric Violin / Flute)
Jimmy Hill (Drums)
Headband FLAC Link (333Mb)
Headband MP3 Link (117Mb)


  1. Is this the same Headband that included Chris Bailey, who was the bassist for The Angels and Gang Gajang?