Headpins

Headpins. Vancouver rock band. The Headpins began in 1980 as a part-time project of the multi-instrumentalist (guitar, keyboards, drums) and songwriter Brian 'Too Loud' MacLeod and the bassist Ab Bryant from Chilliwack, with the vocalist Denice McCann and the drummer Matt Frenette.

Headpins

Headpins. Vancouver rock band. The Headpins began in 1980 as a part-time project of the multi-instrumentalist (guitar, keyboards, drums) and songwriter Brian 'Too Loud' MacLeod and the bassist Ab Bryant from Chilliwack, with the vocalist Denice McCann and the drummer Matt Frenette. McCann and Frenette were replaced, respectively, by Darby Mills and Bernie Aubin, who appeared on the Headpins' first LP, Turn It Loud (Solid Gold SGR-1010). Issued in 1982, it eventually sold some 200,000 copies and included the hit 'Don't It Make Ya Feel?'

Mills and Aubin toured with other musicians until MacLeod and Bryant left Chilliwack in April 1983 to become fulltime Headpins. The LPs Line of Fire (Solid Gold SGR-1017) and Head Over Heels (MCA 6530) followed, the former selling more than 100,000 copies. The songs 'Celebration' and 'Just One More Time' were also popular and were included on a 'greatest-hits' CD (CBS VCK-80130) in 1988.

The Headpins toured widely in Canada and appeared in the USA and, in 1984, Europe. Their concerts were dominated by the onstage abandon and screaming vocals of the inexhaustible Mills. After a Massey Hall concert, the critic Greg Quill described the Headpins' music as 'simple, concise power pop fairly dripping with sexual tension' (Toronto Star, 9 Dec 1982).

Although the band went through some later personnel changes, Mills, MacLeod and Bryant were constant until its demise in 1986 and participated in a revival, and cross-Canada nightclub tour, in 1989. MacLeod (b Halifax 25 Jun 1952, d Vancouver 25 Apr 1992) was also active as a record producer (Chicago, Chilliwack, Paul Dean, D.O.A., Doug & the Slugs, Good Brothers, Billy Newton-Davis, etc). Mills returned to notice in 1991 with a new band, the Unsung Heroes; her album Never Look Back (WEA 74423, CD and cass) included the hit 'Cry to Me'.


Further Reading

  • Hansen, Kim. 'Headpins - invasion from the west,' MSc, 329, Jan-Feb 1983

    Hughes, Melinda. 'Headpins,' CanMus, vol 5, Jul-Aug 1983

    Martin, Peter. 'The Headpins - a part-time project gains star status,' RPM, 24 Sep 1983

    Harrison, Tom. 'Headpins: surviving the hiatus,' CanMus, vol 7, Oct 1985

    O'Day, Ellie. 'Headpins: the year of living patiently,' MSc, 347, Jan-Feb 1986