“Here’s one called Heartbreaker! Oh! Yeah!”
Welcome to Rolling Stones Week. I’m starting with this as a sort of confessional. My Dad was big into The Stones. They were always on in our house. Also it’s important to note, Heartbreaker is on my favourite Stones record Goats Head Soup. It wasn’t my Dad’s favourite though. He rarely went beyond Exile On Main Street unless it was on the radio. So I wasn’t entirely familiar with Heartbreaker when I discovered my own bands and started to get into rock and roll my own way.
The QuireBoys were a terrific option for a night out in the late eighties and very early nineties. They were the musical equivalent of Jack Black’s character in School Of Rock. They wanted to highlight to all the kids in the clubs who had been drawn to rock and roll by Guns N’ Roses and Bon Jovi that this music had roots. They wanted us to know that The Faces were just as an important part of the plot as the influences du jour.
Along with The Dogs D’Amour and The Almighty they formed a part of a cartoon style underbelly of the Hair Metal Scene. They loved 70’s rock excess and bangles and bandanas. They had honkey tonk piano led singles about getting drunk and played hollow bodied guitars in skinny jeans and cowboy boots. And yet they did it all in the drizzling London rain and drank pints of best bitter from mugs in sleazy Soho boozers.
The QuireBoys looked like rock stars. But you could go for a pint with them. So we did. My buddies and I loved the UK rock scene bands who teased their hair out like they were destined for Sunset Strip or the Hyatt but got the night bus home with their fans. We dressed like them, we turned up when they played and when they filmed videos and when they got support slots with bands like Aerosmith, Kiss and Alice Cooper on their visits to the UK. And most essentially we picked up on those recommendations.
If Thunder told us to listen to Spencer Davis Group we went looking for the original version of Gimmie Some Lovin’. If The Almighty talked about Stiff Little Fingers AND Bachman Turner Overdrive as bands worth listening to, then we went looking for both.
When The QuireBoys put out their Live Around The World record to fill the big gap between debut record A Little Of What You Fancy and their contractual hell that delayed Bittersweet and Twisted it featured this version of Heartbreaker (Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo)
It was a rush release for Christmas time. We bought it. We took it home. We marvelled at this great ‘new’ song. Then as the holidays wore on I went to Dad’s record rack, I dug out that yellow album sleeve with the veils over Mick and Keith’s faces. I discovered one of THE greatest albums ever put to tape. Just sitting there waiting for me to get to it.
So When I hear Heartbreaker now, even though I’ve listened to Goats Head Soup a thousand times there’s a big part of it belongs to The “London” QuireBoys.