"This is one of the greatest live albums ever made, the greatest of any kind. It arrived in one of the most fertile periods of contemporary music, the early 1970s. A musical and political revolution had taken place, and bands were beginning to push things further than ever before.
“After leaving the Small Faces, who were basically a pop band with a heck of a lot of grunt, Stevie Marriott went more hard-core, alongside the amazingly talented Peter Frampton from The Herd. Marriott was already a well-seasoned frontman who desperately wanted to be a guitar player. When I saw the Small Faces live in Australia, he carried the guitar around for half of the show, but Marriott became an integral part of Humble Pie’s music.
"When he died all those years later in 1991 it was a great loss. In bassist Greg Ridley, who’s also sadly no longer with us, and drummer Jerry Shirley, they also had one of the most formidable rhythm sections around.
“Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore is raw and absolutely breath-taking. I still recall the first time I heard it. Everyone smoked dope in those days, and I pulled the speakers towards me, lay down between them with my head on a pillow and puffed away. Once was not enough, I had to play it again – quite a bit louder. It was like that really exciting moment that you heard Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water for the first time."
“It seemed almost spooky that someone else was thinking exactly the same way as myself. As a little kid I’d been sexually abused and gone through a lot of angst, so I grew into a teenager that considered himself a bit dysfunctional and unique. Hearing this album dispelled those feelings. I felt a huge surge, not of, ‘Oh fuck. They’ve done it first’, but almost of companionship.
“I was heavily into Tamla Motown – and still sing some of those songs in a covers band at home; and to me, you can hear soul influences in Rose Tattoo if you listen for them – so there was an instant connection. It was bluesy, but as commercially viable as anything that Rod Stewart did. Humble Pie had the same roots.
“It’s just some of the best power chord-charged rock you’re likely to hear. It has soul and groove. And Humble Pie used to jam, which was another fabulous thing. Bands still did that in those days. Check out I Walk On Gilded Splinters on …Rockin’ The Fillmore which in the fine tradition of Mountain’s Nantucket Sleighride is almost 25 minutes long and took up an entire side of vinyl.
“I spent many years trying to track down a decent copy of the album, eventually finding it as a double gatefold vinyl in Japan. Actually, I bought it twice. One of my copies is now frazzled, the other pristine. With an album this great, sometimes it pays to be careful."
Angry Anderson was speaking with Dave Ling. The double red vinyl edition of Rose Tattoo's Blood Brothers is out now.