A Conversation With Peter Head and The Rolling Stones

The first rock concert I attended was The Rolling Stones at Randwick Racecourse.

I was very young and one of my school friends had older sisters that got tickets for us. It had a huge impact on me, it was one of the reasons that I wanted to pursue a career in music.

After I established my teaching practice, The Liverpool Academy of Music, which allowed to make a living as a guitar teacher, I then wanted to get involved playing with the best musicians I could get to play with.

I started playing with a drummer Clive Young who was the brother of the bass player John Young.

“My band did the support tour for The Rolling Stones that year”

Peter Head (over Thai dinner)

We started doing gigs and Clive suggested that we approach a friend of his, pianist Peter Head, to play on one of those gigs.

It was at the Empire Hotel Annandale. I didn’t know much about Peter except that he was well respected, a hell of a nice guy and had the residency at the Lord Nelson Hotel at The Rocks playing solo piano several nights a week.

We asked him, he said yes and it was a great gig. After the gig we all went to Newtown for a nice Thai dinner and the conversation was equally enjoyable.

In the course of the conversation The Rolling Stones were mentioned so I said that I’d seen them at Randwick in 74 as a young fellow. Peter corrected me saying it was 73.

I disagreed with him and he disagreed with me right on back!

He was so sure of the date that I had to ask him how come he was so sure and I wasn’t expecting his answer. He said “my band did the support tour for the Rolling Stones that year”.

So he traveled around Australia with the Rolling Stones.

Chris Bailey, “The Head Band” and John & Rick Brewster Interview (The Angels)

His band was called “The Head Band” because it was Peter Heads band. I hadn’t put 2 & 2 together on that but now I was up to speed. I asked him if he got to know The Rolling Stones and he “of course, we got to hang out and party with them”.

Curiously the singer and front man of “The Head Band” was Chris Bailey who later played with The Angels & Gang Gajang. It just goes to show, you don’t know someone till you have a Thai curry with them!

Sometime later in my pursuit to play with good musicians I had the idea for my show “Steve Flack’s Guitar Heroes”.

I started to record some songs for a CD with the idea of inviting great musicians to play with me. I asked Mal Green (who was drummer for Split Enz) to record and produce the CD. I asked him to play drums on a few songs and he said he knew a good bass player that he could get to join us on those songs, so I left that up to Mal.

This guy called Chris turned up with his bass to do the session. As Mal predicted Chris did a great job and was just a pleasure to be around.

When we finished recording I asked him what bands he’d played with and to my surprise he said “The Angels & Gang Gajang”. Mal hadn’t said anything, he just told me that Chris was going to play bass with us and it was Chris Bailey.

He was so interesting to talk with and like Peter Head he had such a rich experience of life. Talking with these people is why I wanted to do interviews and learn from the experiences of these great players.

Later I got to interview John & Rick Brewster the guitar players from The Angels.

It was a great interview, a real revelation.

What I didn’t know about them was that they came from a classical music background. They had family members, including their dad, that were professional classical musicians and Rick told me that he actually started out his musical life studying classical piano, he then became interested in Rock music and went to have lessons with a piano player that was one of the top rock keyboard players in Adelaide called Peter Head!

“What I didn’t know about them was that they came from a classical music background”

Steve Flack (The Brewster Brothers)

Wait a minute, you mean the Peter Head of the “Head Band” that did the support tour for the Rolling Stones in 1973? (I now know the right year).

Yes the very one!

Along with the interview I did with the Brewster brothers I also did a series of lessons on the guitar style of the Angels for Australian Guitar Magazine and I really enjoyed learning those songs and finding out about the band.

Rick took up guitar in his teens and taught himself by applying what he’d learnt at the piano. Coming from a classical background that gave him a great sense of structure in his music making. Everything is melodic and logical.

His solos are well composed and certainly add value to the song.

I’d like to revisit “After The Rain” & “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again”

Take a look at the lesson, download the tab I wrote up for you and play along with the backing tracks that we recorded and have fun, I did