Interview with French journalist

Remarks by Geordie Leach (bass)
Interview by mail  / Date: 18/02/2017  / Chronicler: Pierre
After the release of the debut album of originals by Geordie Leach (ex-Rose Tattoo ) with his own group, The Geordie Leach Band , we asked a lot of questions to this colourful guy who always rowed his boat in the World of rock as he always had. Here is a small piece of history that will interest fans of Rose Tattoo , we chat about the hilarious Angry Anderson , the AC / DC brothers Young , Mark Evans , Phil Rudd and many others …

How did you start the bass?
My mother was a pianist. Young, I sat next to her and she taught me to play. Later, I went to the guitar then to the college, a group had just been created and needed a bassist. So I put myself on the bass. I was about 14 years old …

You have a large collection of basses in you. Which ones do you use most often?
When I play alone, I use an acoustic bass. For trio sets, I use a double bass, then for concerts with the band, I always play on a Gibson Thunderbird.

As far as I am concerned, I find that Dallas “Digger” Royal and you have set up the best rhythm section in the world of rock n ‘roll of the time of Rose Tattoo . How did you do ?
It was something quite natural. We both started playing in swing bands when we were young, so we quickly felt the feeling between us for the rhythm section.

It’s hard to find information about Dallas “Digger” Royal. Can you tell us more about him and your meeting with this great man?
Dallas “Digger” Royal was born in Australia in July 1949. He has played in many bands since his youth, because he was introduced to music by his father who was a guitarist. Thus, he became a professional musician at the age of 21 as soon as he completed his military engagements in the Air Force. Dallas has always played with a lot of people over the years. He showed up, made concerts and had a good time … I had seen him play once before he entered Buster Brown and then I made a few jam with him. When he entered Buster Brown ( following the departure of Phil Rudd for AC / DC – ed.) , I had just left … Later, we found ourselves playing together in Rose Tattoo . He was there already and I arrived when I replaced the bassist and founder of the band, Ian Rilen . We had a great time together on tour, he was very funny and we were all the time laughing! He sadly died in 1991 and I always stayed in touch with him until the end, a little week before his death …

Dallas and you also played with the Tatts , Mick Cocks and Pete Well s in Illustrated Men. How was the formation of this “dissident” group of Rose Tattoo ?
The original line up of Rose Tattoo broke up in 1983 but Angry Anderson and I have met new musicians to record “Southern Stars”, our last album under the leadership of Albert Productions in 1984. Later Angry has Focused on cinema (including “Mad Max 3” – ed . ) . In fact, the band did not turn much … So I called Pete Wells to ask him if he wanted to set up a gig with the original line up of Rose Tattoo and Ian Rilen singing. That’s how we did a lot of gigs in 1985 with Illustrated Men taking over the songs of Rose Tattoo sung by Rilen .

In her early years, Rose Tattoo was considered the most “violent” group in Australia. It is said that tattoos were mandatory to be part of it …
It is true, at the very beginning we had to have several tattoos. But this is not the case now …

Do you think Rose Tattoo could have had a bigger global impact if the group had not dragged such an aggressive personality back then? I mean that AC / DC was considered a “nice” group compared to
you and that the band to the Young brothers quickly crossed the borders of Australia by turning in Europe or the USA …
Basically, we did not think of spinning outside of Australia at all, so our aggressive side did not really serve us well within our borders. Once we were offered to make our arms in the foreign market and the promoters saw us for the first time, they were a little scared and did not know what to do with us …

When Mark Evans left AC / DC in early 1977, were you approached by the Young brothers to replace him?
In fact, Malcolm Young had asked me if I was interested in playing bass in AC / DC in 1975 before calling on Mark Evans . I made a few rehearsals with the group and everything went very well. Phil Rudd , who was in high school with me and with whom I played in Buster Brown , kept tanning me for me to join the band. I got along very well with him and with Bon Scott and it was really great to play with the Young brothers , but I must confess that I did not feel in my place … Later, Phil Rudd ‘ Phoned to tell me that if I did not accept the job in AC / DC , it would be Mark Evans who would be taken in my place. And that’s what happened …

After all these years, what do you think about your musical career?
I had a good time, I had the chance to play with 4 of the best drummers in Australia (and the world) and I managed to row my boat as I wanted …

You have influenced a ton of musicians through your music. Is that something you’re proud of? How do you see the rest of your career now?
Yes, I’m proud of it, it’s a little lesson of humility to know that other musicians may have been influenced by my music … At the moment I talk to you, the second album of Geordie Leach Band is in production phase. I hope to be able to release it at the beginning of next year …

Are you still in touch with the remaining members of Rose Tattoo ?
Yes, we meet each other from time to time, but we are in very different universes from each other, now …
Phil Rudd definitely seems out of AC / DC , now.

You think a jam would be possible with former members of Buster Brown or you collaborate in a project with Phil Rudd, Mark Evans and Angry Anderson …?
don’t think that’s going to happen. I had launched this idea a few years ago but nobody seemed really interested ..
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