Angry Anderson: “I used to cry tears of joy when spending time with my children when they were young. To me that memory is just as important as being Angry Anderson from Rose Tattoo.”
Angry Anderson: “I used to cry tears of joy when spending time with my children when they were young. To me that memory is just as important as being Angry Anderson from Rose Tattoo.”

Bad Boy wears heart of his sleeve

THE bad boy of rock, Rose Tattoo’s Angry Anderson, is re-invigorating his repertoire – with acoustic renditions and anecdotes – in a new show, 35 Years as a Tat.

From his role as Ironbar in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome to his current preoccupation with motivational speaking, there is no shortage of things that the 62-year-old rocker can point to on his CV.

In fact, the only thing leaving Anderson short perhaps is his stature because, as he said, there is no lack of memories and stories surrounding the songs in the new show.

“Finally getting the chance to play the songs acoustically and to be able to tell people what motivated or inspired the lyric and the story brings a freshness or exuberance to the shows,” Anderson told Pulse.

The songs are stripped down to their basic riffs, which conjure up the moments when they were written with guitar on lap, at home or in hotel rooms on tour.

Anderson is joined by guitarists Dai Pritchard (Rose Tattoo), and Randall Waller, who played with Shania Twain for eight years.

“Both share a level of expertise second to none. They come up with little differences in the songs; little nuances that aren’t in the original recording, and might not have been there the night before,” Anderson said.

“Being able to sing the lyrics in such a way allows the audience to hear every syllable, you’re far more articulate. And you’re thinking about the inflections in every word so that it truly is what a song is – a story within the musical framework.”

Anderson is an enigmatic figure. The bad boy persona is but one layer of Rose Tattoo’s lead singer.

He’s sort of a tightrope walker between tough-guy image and humanitarian; rock bad boy to affable family man.

In his unplugged form, he advocates change on issues such as school bullying and domestic violence. Anderson connects with like-minded folks as a motivational speaker. He’s also worked with Melbourne street social worker Les Twentyman.

“I’m inspired by people around the country who work tirelessly for good causes,” Anderson said. “They are working very, very hard and often are not noticed as well as someone like me, who has the fame, or infamy, of a rock star.”

Anderson, with his full-sleeve tattoos, still looks like the tough guy. But that has not stopped fans connecting intimately with the newly styled acoustic side.

“It’s happened one or two times where people have come up and said ‘I’ve been listening to those albums for years, and listening to them tonight in this acoustic form has given me another view of the lyrics’,” Anderson said.

35 Years as a Tat is at the Byron Bay Brewery, Saturday 8pm. Tickets cost $60 (two-course dinner plus show), or $35 (show only). Bookings 6685 5833.



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