Rose Tattoo - Biography




It was the year of 1976, as Peter Wells, former bass player of the Sydney band, Infamous Buffalo, went on the search for partners to start an aggressive new Street Rock´n' Roll band. The only condition: All members had to have tattoos, short hair and the same clothing style. At the same time in Melbourne there was a singer by the name of Angry Anderson, who's voice reminded you of a young Rod Stewart. Anderson met with Wells and the chemistry between them hit off straight away.

With a blues-rock type sound, which reminded of the Stones and Faces, Rose Tattoo performed their first gig on the evening of New Years Day in 1976 and shortly thereafter signed their first deal with Albert Productions, the firm known as the Australian Hard Rock label where bands such as AC/DC and the Angels had also found their home. The in-house producers of the firm were the legendary Harry Vanda and George Young who had made their name with the Easybeats. The first Tattoo single 'Bad Boy For Love', hit the radio like a rocket. In 1978 followed the self titled debut album, that in the meantime has been re-named Rock'n'Roll Outlaws.

In the early years of their career, the band spent all of their time on the road until 1981 where they released their second album Assault and Battery. Rose Tattoo had meanwhile developed into a form of Rock'n'Roll-Samurai: Angry regularly lost consciousness on stage or just stood whilst covered in blood and emotionally overwhelmed in front of the crowd. Fitting to this the band released their third album Scarred for Life (1982), where the title spoke more than a thousand words. After tours with Aerosmith and ZZ Top, in 1983 everything came to a halt. It was only ten years later that they got back together when their faithful fans Guns N'Roses, who had in the meantime covered 'Nice Boys', asked them to re-form and open their 1993 Australian tour.

On the evening before their performance at Calder Park in Melbourne Slash and Duff got together on stage with Anderson & Co. In 1999 Rose Tattoo finally presented themselves in Europe, playing several spectacular concerts under the motto ´Songs like a Hurricane 3' (feat. Böhse Onkelz, Saxon & Danzig). Something similar happened just a year later when the band made an appearance at the Wacken Open Air festival in 2000 showing the many young metalheads how real Rock´n´Roll is forged.

The musicians used the excellent atmosphere with over 25,000 Wacken fans to record songs for their live album 25 To Life. „We were a little nervous, but at the same time totally motivated to give our best", Anderson remembered. „We went out on the stage and said: No matter what happens, today we are going to give everything. The atmosphere was really overwhelming." Anderson & Co. had already hit German stages in the previous summer with great club shows.

Finally they returned to Australia to compose the material for the highly praised album Pain which was then released in 2002. Due to the heavy illness of Peter Wells, further plans fort he band were put on ice, Wells passed away in March 2006, in October 2006, the former Bass player of the band Ian Rilen also lost his life.