Headband was a progressive, blues rock band that formed in Adelaide in February 1971. The group supported the likes of Elton John in 1971 and The Rolling Stones in 1973 at their Sydney performances. The band finished third in the 1972 Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds – a national performance competition between the best groups representing each state. Headband released one album and four singles before disbanding in 1974.
Headband formed in February 1971 in Adelaide with Chris Bailey (ex-Red Angel Panic) on bass guitar, Joff Bateman (Resurrection, W.G. Berg, War Machine) on drums, Peter Head (Johnny Mac and the Macmen, Peter Beagley Trio, Boz) on keyboards and Mauri Berg (Silhouettes, Ides of March, Resurrection, W.G. Berg, War Machine) on guitar, harmonica and lead vocals. They were managed by Hamish Henry who also managed rivals, Fraternity, with Bon Scott.
Headband played progressive blues rock with symphonic, country and pop influences. They had a strong work ethic, rehearsing and performing constantly, including three shows a week in high schools across Adelaide. "We did modern jazz at nightclubs, rock'n'roll for discos, J.S. Bach for pleasure, barbershop quartet stuff for laughs, electronic music at jam sessions, blues when feelin' low, and country and folk for interest. A combination of these influences comes out in our original material." explains Peter Head. The band practised "group indoctrination" in all types of music, even attending chamber music concerts together.
On 22 October 1971, they supported Elton John's Adelaide show at the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre. Their debut single, "Scratch My Back" was released locally by RCA and did not reach the charts. It was straight forward pop and was followed by their second single, "Land of Supercars", which was issued nationally in 1972. "Country Lady" was also released that year. In July, the band finished third in the 1972 Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds – a national performance competition between the best groups representing each state – having been a finalist in the previous year.
Headband supported The Rolling Stones on their Sydney performances in February 1973 and issued "A Song for Tooley" as their next single. Their debut album, A Song for Tooley, was released in September on Polydor. Its "sound was more adventurous ... [but it] was erratic, with the material ranging from Uriah Heep-styled heavy rock to psychedelic pop and progressive jazz". It featured Sydney Symphony players and an 110-piece children's choir. The album spent five weeks in the charts, making the Top 50. The album featured stunning hand drawn cover art by internationally renowned Adelaide artist Vytas Šerelis, and a fold-out poster with photos and biographical details of band members. Šerelis created promotional posters and photos for Headband, Fraternity, Mount Lofty Rangers and Chequers.
Headband relocated to Sydney in 1973, they played the pub circuit with residencies including at Whisky a Go Go. They had toured Australia supporting international acts The Rolling Stones, Elton John and John Mayall. In 1974 they returned to Adelaide and disbanded.
Bailey later joined The Angels and then GANGgajang, Berg joined Fraternity (with Jimmy Barnes on vocals) and Head formed Mount Lofty Rangers (which included future AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott) and later went solo.
- Mauri Berg - vocals, guitar
- Peter Head - vocals, keyboards
- Chris Bailey - bass
- Joff Bateman - drums
- A Song for Tooley - (Polydor, 1973)