Tracks

  1. Green River – Run To The Jungle
  2. One’s Too Many
  3. Snatch It Back And Hold It
  4. Don’t You Lie To Me
  5. Don’t Worry Baby, It’s Gonna Be Alright
  6. C’mon In
  7. Hoochie Coochie Man
  8. Louise
  9. Stop
  10. Cadillac Walk

Band:

Dave Tice
vocal, harmonica, rhythm guitar
Steve Edmonds
lead guitar
Paul Balbi
drums
John Carlini
bass

Crew:

Mark Gibson
audio
Phillip “Drac” Draculis
audio
Grahame “Yogi” Harrison
recording

LIVE At Yella Rock 1991 was recorded on a private farm in Yellow Rock, a town an hour’s drive from Sydney,

“I’ve heard this Headhunters tape quite a few times, and it surprises me because we are so full of energy,” recalls singer Dave Tice.

“So much so that backstage after performing, I was speaking to a couple of people, and I actually fell asleep standing up!

“I don’t like standing in the audience, I don’t even like crowds. But my approach to a gig is you create a community for a time, and that comprises of the people in the audience and the people on stage. There’s no divide. It’s like when people got around the campfire and danced to the sound of the drums. We’re all part of it.”

The set reflected the blues and R&B that Tice helping to spearhead in Australia from the ‘60s.

The audience was transported from the swamp rock of Creedence’s “Green River/ Run To The Jungle” and Latino blues of Los Lobos’ “Don’t Worry Baby, It’s Gonna Be Alright” to the slow burning “Slow” by Lonnie Mack to sturdy workouts as “One’s Too Many”, Muddy Waters “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Boom Boom, Out Go The Lights” and the encore, a grittier rendition of UK outfit Johnny Kidd & the Pirates.

A highlight was an eight minute frantic rendition of “Baby, Please Don’t Go”, first popularised in the 1930s by Delta bluesman Big Joe Williams.

The tape nails why Dave Tice and The Headhunters became so popular.

When Dave returned in 1984 from the UK where he was frontman for R&B/punk Count Bishops, he formed the band with Rose Tattoo’s Mick Cocks and former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans. They all had other commitments, and The Headhunters operated as a revolving lineup as various members went off to do other stints.

The lineup on LIVE At Yella Rock 1991 had only played two or three times together, which made their tightness even more remarkable.

“Baby, Please Don’t Go” showcased the Headhunter solo skills – guitarist Steve Edmonds displaying why he was being hailed a virtuoso, Paul Balbi kicking off with a steady drum pattern, John Carlini’s solo going higher than what a bass guitar was built for, and Tice driving things along with a harmonica solo.

“It’s not a bad feel is it … I LIKE that feel” he’s heard telling the appreciative audience

Dave Tice met the blues in his early teens. Born on Christmas Day in 1950 in London, he grew up in a farm with no TV or even electricity.

He was visiting a friend whose family had a TV set, and watching a show called Ready Steady Go. On came a fierce looking uninhibited band with long hair and skinny legs. They were The Rolling Stones and they triggered in Dave a long time love for the blues.

At 14, Dave and his family moved to Brisbane. At the migrants’ hostel he hung with black African teenagers equally as passionate over the blues.

But meeting Pete Wells changed his performing career. They played in a number of bands before moving to Sydney where they became Buffalo.

In Buffalo Dave perfected his approach to performing – to be as ‘on edge’ as possible. Booking agents hated they were loud and brutal. But without radio airplay, their albums went gold in Australia and found a following in Europe.

LIVE At Yella Rock 1991 features a cover of Chain’s “Snatch It Back And Hold It”. Tice loved the Melbourne band. When the singer relocated to the UK in 1977 after Buffalo split, Towards The Blues was one of three albums he took.

During this time Dave Tice flexed his muscles as a songwriter, writing with Doctor Feelgood’s Johnny “Guitar” Crippen and Dennis Walker of the Robert Cray Band. LIVE At Yella Rock 1991 features a number of his songs: “Louise” written with Australian guitarist Mal Eastick, the boogie “On The Prowl” and riff-laden “Cadillac Walk”.

The Yella/Yellow Rock show was an emotional reunion for legendary crew figure Grahame “Yogi” Harrison. He’d worked with Dave Tice and Paul Balbi in Buffalo when he was paid $5 a gig. He’d gone on to crew for Rose Tattoo, Air Supply (“I love mixing vocals, they were wonderful musicians), Jon English, The Sunnyboys, The Johnnys and The Saints, with whom he went to the UK.

“I was amazed at how far in front of England we were, in very way… even sound equipment, they were so far behind.”

Grahame once went into the offices of EMI with his cassette bag and played them LRB, Air Supply, Dragon and AC/DC. The execs said they had no potential. Most of these acts went on to sell millions of records.

His memory of the LIVE At Yella Rock 1991 show: “I was looking forward to seeing Dave and Paul again, and I had the joy of seeing that guitar virtuoso Steve.

“The crowd was made up of partying bikies with close friends and associates. There was copious amount of alcohol and chemicals and they were quite happy to share it with everybody including us. It was a wonderful environment!”