Live in Toronto, Ontario
Nobody thought much would come of a bloodthirsty bar band created from the ashes of Chilliwack, least of all the band themselves. “Our main goal was to play obnoxiously loud music and party in the clubs,” claims Darby Mills, the throaty vixen behind the Headpins’ center mic. “Although, you can improve a song more by doing it a hundred times live than by putting it together with a dozen different edits in the studio. That’s what we got out of it, more security in the way we delivered songs.”
Mills with her partners in crime, Brian “Too Loud” Macleod (ex-Chilliwack), Matt Frenette (ex-Loverboy) and Ab Bryant (ex-Chilliwack) were the rowdy bunch that took a wide sweep throughout most of Canada’s major thoroughfares pasting the walls of seedy bars with their infectious rock and groove.
Macleod, having been shackled by a dead-end deal with Mushroom Records, slipped out the back door and revved-up the Headpins. His goal was a hip rock band with a hypnotic, Joplin-like, vocalist to kick some serious ass in the feeble club scene. “He saw me playing one night and asked me to join,” admits Mills. “He hired me, he saved me, he changed my life.”
Within six months after securing the line-up, the “Pins” where in the studio recording their debut album, Turn It Loud (‘82). It busted wide open in Canada, racing up the charts and quickly went double platinum. Relentless touring was their biggest addiction and largest attraction. “We were a bar band that came up with a good first album and we just wanted to play,” says Mills. “That was where we were our best.”
The US saw big numbers in the outfit and signed them to MCA, cut a second record, Line Of Fire (‘84), and slapped them on the road with Quiet Riot, Eddy Money and two months in Europe with Whitesnake. It all screeched to an end when, after being forced to write a quick third album, Head Over Heals (‘85), MCA pulled tour support. The Pins did one month in Canada and finished with two nights in Vancouver opening for ZZ Top (1985). They reunited in 1988, however in ‘92 Macleod tragically died of cancer. Mills still keeps the fire burning in superior fashion.