Headband Profile

Christine Mintrom
8 Feb 2017

Headband was formed in 1971 by Tommy Adderley, who at that stage was a huge fan of British rhythm and blues performer John Mayall. His original idea for Headband was to go without drums (as Mayall had done on 1969’s Turning Point) and to include electric violin. In rehearsals, having no drummer worked but Adderley said it didn’t work live because, “It wasn’t bright enough.”

Birmingham-born Tommy Adderley had lived in New Zealand since 1959. His great passion was jazz but he had worked across genres and in multiple venues prior to the formation of Headband. To get the sound he wanted, he added Jimmy Hill, formerly of Ray Columbus and the Invaders and Max Merritt and the Meteors, to the line-up.

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Headband: Billy Kristian, Dick Hopp, Ronnie Craig, Jimmy Hill and Tommy Adderley, 27 November 1971. Dominion Post collection, Alexander Turnbull Library EP/1971/5931-F
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The left-hand inner gatefold of Headband's Happen Out album (Harvest, 1972). Among the originals by present and future band-members are covers of The Band's 'Time to Kill' and Blood Sweat and Tears' 'Lisa Listen to Me'
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Headband in 1971 - Jimmy Hill, Jack Stradwick, Dick Hopp, Ronnie Craig and Alan Quinnell with Tommy Adderley in front
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Sheet music for Headband's 'Love Is Bigger Than The Whole Wide World', written by Jimmy Hill. It reached No.12 in September 1972, charting for six weeks.
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Headband in concert: Tommy Adderley on harmonica, Dick Hopp on electric violin
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Headband at Ali Baba's, Cuba Street, 1971: Billy Kristian, Jimmy Hill, Dick Hopp, Tommy Adderley and Ron Craig
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The first incarnation of Headband split in mid-1972: this report is from the New Zealand Herald's Sound Scene page
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The Error Of My Ways, written by Headband guitarist Ron Craig, was a 1971 single for the band
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Headband's debut album, Happen Out, released on the Harvest label in 1972, through HMV (NZ) Ltd
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The right-hand inner gatefold of Headband's Happen Out album (Harvest, 1972); of the four tracks, John Mayall's 'The Laws Must Change' is the only non-original
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A preview of Headband's debut album Happen Out by Louise Warren of Wellington Evening Post, 1972
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Headband's February 1972 smash hit The Ballad Of Jacques Le Mere, written by Neil Edwards
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Headband's 1975 album Rock Garden, released on Stebbing's Key label
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Neil McGough, in his tuxedo, sits between Billy Kristian and Tommy Adderley the night Headband met the Auckland Symphonia, April 1972
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Deep Blue Sea - "Tommy Adderley and the Head-Band" cover John Mayall, a single released on MCA through Allied NZ in 1970
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Members:

Tommy Adderley - vocals, harmonica

Dick Hopp - flute, violin

Ron Craig - guitar

Billy Kristian - bass

Jimmy Hill - drums

Alan Quinnell - guitar

Jack Stradwick - bass

Neil Edwards - bass

Len Whittle - keyboards

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Labels:

Key


Harvest


HMV

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Trivia:

‘Good Morning Mr Rock And Roll’ was the first song played by DJ Kevin Black on Solid Gold FM when it went to air, 13 October 1997. In the early days of the station that song and ‘Ballad Of Jacques Le Mere’ were some of the most requested songs.

The Accident Compensation Commission used ‘Good Morning Mr Rock And Roll’ in their television advertising in the mid 1990s. In 1990 Tom Sharplin recorded a version of this song with Tommy Adderley playing harmonica, produced by Billy Kristian.