Assorted scribblings of a dog-eared music journalist

Melody Maker | Info Freako | 14 August 1993 | Photo: Mark Baker

HEAD
FISHY TALES
infofreakohead

 
What happened to Head, whose last album came out on Virgin in 1989? Assuming they have split up, what are the various members doing now?
Tim Wain, Ilford
 
During the late 1980s, Bristol rockers Head delighted in a lack of respect for everything and everybody. Including themselves. Check out "Crackers (Fer Yer Knackers)", a real gripping song, and the irreverent version of Billy Paul's "Me And Mrs Jones" on their "A Snog On The Rocks" debut album (Demon Records). Or the ribald "Get Fishy" on the follow-up, "Tales Of Ordinary Madness" (Virgin).

 
Having spent the first three months of 1989 in America recording their third album, "Intoxicator", with Aztec Camera producer Michael Johnson, Head were none too impressed with what they saw as Virgin's half-hearted promotion of the record. Angry and frustrated, they decided to not only leave the label, but go their separate ways.
 
"There were other factors involved too," explains guitarist Gareth Sager, who came to Head via The Pop Group, Float Up CP and Rip, Rig & Panic, the last two acts also featuring Neneh Cherry. "Head were a hard-living band and if we hadn't split up, there would probably have been some funerals. Towards the end of the group, one or two of us were very, er, ill."
 
Sager is now in an outfit called Juicy Rivers, who have a publishing contract with Warners, while Head frontman Richard Beale is currently in the bluesy Apache Dropout. The latter are looking for a record deal as you read. The other leading member of Head, second guitarist Nick Sheppard, who joined the band from the "Cut The Crap" line-up of The Clash, is now with IRS signings Shot. Sheppard also hosts The Poontang Club at The Swan in London's Fulham Broadway.
 
Head's original bassist, Mark Taylor, left to become a DJ in Bristol and his replacement, Mr Jackson, was recently spotted with the James Taylor Quartet. The group's first drummer, the oddly-named Plastic Bag, now works at a record label and Sager says their second, Will Ng, who was apparently only invited to join Head because he looked like a Ninja warrior, has "gone into the haberdashery business". Gareth Sager has clearly watched "Spinal Tap" once too often.  

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