Starting his career as a hard rock singer, Australian legend Gary "Angry" Anderson successfully added actor, media star, and tireless charity worker to a lengthy resume.
First earning the nickname of "Angry Ant" due to his aggressive character, Anderson channeled his energy into the band Peace Power and Purity during 1971 and 1972. In 1973, he formed the boogie band Buster Brown and in 1976 joined Rose Tattoo. The anthemic hits "Bad Boy for Love" and "We Can't Be Beaten" became symbols for alienated youth and Rose Tattoo earned an international reputation as one of Australia's premier hard rock outfits.
Anderson began his acting career with a small role in Bullamakanka in 1985, followed by a more substantial role in Mad Max III: Beyond Thunderdome. Rose Tattoo's final album, Beats From a Single Drum originally began life as Angry Anderson's debut solo album until the introduction of American producer Kevin Beamish. The album was released in 1986 and produced the ballad "Suddenly" which peaked at number one on the Australian national charts in August 1987. Blood From a Stone was then re-released as a solo Angry Anderson album in 1988.
A break from recording saw Anderson appear as Vladimir Lenin in the stage production of Rasputin and join TV's The Midday Show. Anderson then released his debut proper, Blood From Stone, in 1990. Produced by Beau Hill (ZZ Top), it yielded the singles "Heaven" and "Bound for Glory," the latter performed at the opening ceremony to the 1990 Australian Rules Football (AFL) Grand Final. The Angry Anderson Band, consisting of Robin Riley on lead guitar, Bobby Barth on guitar, Jim Hilbun on bass, and Tim Powles on drums, then supported Aerosmith on their October 1990 Australian tour.
In 1992, Anderson appeared as King Herrod in the Australian version of Andrew Loyd Webber and Tim Rice's stage musical Jesus Christ Superstar along with a slew of Australian music stars. He appeared on the Australian number one soundtrack Jesus Christ Superstar: The Album in July 1992. Anderson worked tirelessly with charities such as the National Association for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect of Kids (NAPCAN) and the Prince of Wales Hospital. A stint with the Party Boys in 1987 and the Wild Colonial Boys punctuated tours with his solo bands Angry and Double Trouble. A tour with the reformed Rose Tattoo followed in 1993 as did a lineup change to the Angry Anderson Band, which now consisted of John Brewster on lead guitar, Steve Crofts on guitar, Alan Lancaster on bass, and Peter Heckenberg on drums. Since then, Anderson's energies have largely been directed towards his media, rather than musical, career. ~ Brendan Swift