The Grape Organisation

Headband

​Headband was formed in February 1971, and became one of Australia’s most unique progressive blues-rock bands. The four-piece group was born out of Adelaide and comprised of bass guitarist Chris Bailey (ex-Red Angel Panic), drummer Joff Bateman (Resurrection, W.G. Berg, War Machine), singer-songwriter and keyboardist Peter Head (Johnny Mac and the Macmen, Peter Beagley Trio, Boz) and lead vocalist, harmonicist and guitarist Mauri Berg (Silhouettes, Ides of March, Resurrection, W.G. Berg, War Machine). Headband played progressive blues-rock with symphonic, country and pop influences.We had to do all sorts of gigs to survive. Hamish Henry managed Headband, although he also managed rivals Fraternity, with Bon Scott.– Peter HeadHeadband had a strong work ethic, rehearsing and performing constantly, including three shows a week in high schools across Adelaide.We did modern jazz at nightclubs, rock ‘n’ roll for discos, J.S. Bach for pleasure, barbershop quartet stuff for laughs, electronic music at jam sessions, blues when feelin’ low, and country and folk for interest. A combination of these influences comes out in our original material.– Peter Head​We have to work overseas, and mainly do concerts.– Peter HeadThe band practised “group indoctrination” in all types of music, even attending chamber music concerts together. The four-piece group have supported musical legends such as Elton John in 1971 at his Adelaide show at the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre, and The Rolling Stones in 1973 at their Sydney performances. They also finished third in the July 1972 Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds – a national performance competition between the best groups representing each state, having been a finalist the year prior.I think if we can get to play our own stuff properly, in concert, with orchestras and the full treatment, that will be the ultimate.– Mauri Berg​Mauri was responsible for most of the band’s compositions, with Peter, Chris, and Joff helping out on arrangements. Headband produced a song each week in their most prolific period. Their dedication to musicianship and creative work won the admiration of many fellow musicians. They released four singles and toured with the Rolling Stones and Mainline, but regard the album A Song for Tooley as their real beginning.Their debut single, Scratch My Back was released locally by RCA and did not reach the charts. It was straightforward pop and was followed by their second single, Land of Supercars, which was issued nationally in 1972. Country Lady was also released that year.Headband issued A Song for Tooley as their next single. Their debut album of the same name was released in September 1973 on Polydor. It featured hand-drawn album artwork by internationally renowned Adelaide artist Vytas Šerelis, who created promotional posters and photos for Headband, Fraternity, The Mount Lofty Rangers and Chequers. The album also featured a foldout poster with photos and biographical details of the band members. It featured Sydney Symphony players and a 110-piece children’s choir. The album spent five weeks in the charts, making the top 50.

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The Grape Organisation
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