Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Headboys

headboysEdinburgh Scotland's the Headboys released an album of pop rock in 1979 on Robert Stigwood's RSO label. The first single, "The Shape of Things to Come" was a minor hit and the band planned a U.S. tour to support the album and join the New Wave craze that they reluctantly became a part of. But they soon decided that they were not ready for touring and retreated to the Scottish countryside to record another album. The album was not released and the band split up.

Headboy keyboardist Calum Malcolm has owned Castle Sound Studios in Scotland where the Headboys lp was recorded for over 20 years and has produced records for The Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout and others.

The Headboys were:
Lou Lewis - guitar and vocals
George Boyter - bass and vocals
Calum Malcolm - keyboards and vocals
Davy Cross - drums and vocals

Go to the download page to get The Headboys - "The Shape of Things To Come"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great song I havent heard that in about 25 years , at first I didnt even recognize the bands name but as soon as it started up ,brought me right back, so many great tune at that time period it boggles the mind....seriously

8:25 PM  
Blogger rick mcginnis said...

Thankyouthankyouthankyou for this completely unexpected blast from the past. I probably haven't heard this in about 25 years, either. Our very anglophile new wave FM radio station played this to death, and I think the video actually got a bit of play on our fledgling music video show. Another reason to exist in a permanent state of musical nostalgia these days.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes!! This video appeared on Video Concert Hall. I remember this video; loved the song and found this album shortly thereafter (1982 or 1983). I should hook up my record player and give it a listen.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please link this song for download again, I can't find it anywhere! YOU ROCK!

1:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

É róque.
Róque loco.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Spgonahan said...

Is the link to the song gone? Am I missing something? I can't seem to find it. If it has been yanked, I am sure there is a story behind it ... Great blog, btw.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes please, please put it back up for download. My Mum used to play this to death and her 7" was totally trashed, I can't find it anywhere! Really interesting, I didn't know they were from Edinburgh (as am I)

6:45 PM  
Blogger George said...

As the bassist and co-songwriter in The Headboys I have an entire album's worth of unreleased material and if there are people who would like to hear it I'll see what I can do.
Let me know your thoughts.
George Boyter

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would love to hear your stuff George! Loved your band!

9:00 AM  
Blogger wildy said...


I would really like to hear the headboys stuff you've got.

Would mean a lot, 'The shape of things to come' is just awesome.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame the download has gone, I bought the single and went to see them at the marquee ( the original one in wardour street) and live they were pretty good too.


10:25 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Color Fury did a cover version of The Shape of Things to Come, it was a really good version and worth checking out , George , would be great to here the material that was never re leased


10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the album on vinyl. I got rid of them all when I switched to CD's in the 80's. I really regret not having a copy. I used to really like the track 'kicking the cans'.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still have the album on vinyl.
No one these days ever heard of the Headboys until you mention 'The Shape Of Things To Come' or 'Schoolgirls'.
Everyone thinks these songs are from another group.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Bicer said...


Shape has been my favorite song for almost 30 years now. i constantly search the web for insights into your group and was bitter that you didn't have greater success. I know Davy Ross has been ill and have purchased some of Calum's discs he's produced. you should seriously get a myspace page dedicated to the group. And why the hell hasn't the album made it to disc? I burned my album copy (own 3 actually) on an mp3 turntable.

thanks for your posting and you guys did have an impact.

Naperville, IL

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A whole load of us bought the album when we were at school. Fantastic. Almost a fan club. I still have the album and still play it. Some amazing tracks on it... not just 'shape...'. Kicking the Kans, Stepping stone. Wanna hear 'shape of...' go to
Regards to all.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome tune, awesome album, awesome memories.

Thanks Dude.

Toronto, Canada

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the album, but don't know how to record it to a cd. Does anyone remember 'Kickin the Cans'? I liked that song even better. Although I loved this one as well.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man what a blast...
I just went to 'myspace' and listened to Steppin stones, Changing with the times and The Shape.. I have been looking for you guys for so long..
I was 16 when you released this and I am 45 next week. What a birthday present to find these songs again. I have the LP, I think I'm going to invest in a usb record player and copy them to mp3 for my mp3 player as 'Myspace' was not downloadable. If there was a CD I'd gladly buy it. Let me know if there is. Dave from New Zealand

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bought 'The Shape of Things To Come' back on 22nd Nov. do I know this?...was having a New Year 'vinyl records' party with friends last night and out came this 45, complete with the date and my name on it. Great song, great memories. Long live nostalgia.

3:33 PM  
Blogger jelltex said...

What a stunning song; I have the seven inch and the lp. Issue it on CD along with the other stuff George; please!

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought this band was amazing and still do! The piano parts show classical influences and I love every song. I wish I could have seen them live. "Kickin the Kans" was a big hit on FM radio in Virginia about 1979/1980.

I converted my vinyl to mp3s and still like the crackle of the vinyl that transferred with the music.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Brett, Australia said...

Awesome album. My old man owned a copy, and it would've been one of the first albums I ever listened to. Love 'Schoolgirls' and my personal favourite 'The Ripper'.

Anything happen with that unreleased material?

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Bradley Hajost said...

Bradley Hajost, Lancaster, OH USA 08/28/2009

George, I am most interested in whatever material you could bring to the light of day! I and my brother both rocketed to the nearest shop to buy your record back when it was released. I will never forget hearing for the first time, "The Shape of Things to Come", on QFM96, here in Columbus, OH. We did not have alternative music stations at that time, so it was amazing to hear such well crafted fresh new music. Your music still sounds very fresh and alive! It's most unfortunate that Americans my age and older had already been stuck in the classic rock time warp. Today, QFM96 mostly plays the same music they were playing back in 1979-80, sans The Head Boys! The alternative stations, like CD101, concentrate mainly on new music. So where does that leave THB? No where. Somehow, someway, a CD must be produced. I'm going to start circulating your music to new and budding professional musicians who will perfect "covers" of your songs so "the masses" will get an appreciation for your musical artistry. Long live The Head Boys music!


7:37 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Kickin the Kans was the best song, superbly produced, I have just played it to my Scottish girlfriend - should have been a top ten hit. Got it on 7" as well as shape of things to come, brilliant. Dave.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Rab Dickson said...

Thisis a wee gem, forgot the bands name a few years ago,never mind got it now and am I glad,watched the Head Boys on Youtube,magic brought back memories,I am 58 now but still think I'm in my early years when I here classics like this.My son's are going to hear it they are in their early thirties to prove there's life after Oasis boys, this wee belter is the original Brit Pop like so many others back then.Pure nostalgia.


Rab Dickson

5:55 AM  
Blogger RogerHill said...

This album has been at, or near, the top of my "must play" list for many years. I recorded it on to CD, and from there to my MP3 player.

I waited desperately for the follow-up album that never came.

I really liked the lyrics, too. At times witty (Can you take the mickey, Minnie Mouse?), at others thoughtful (The times they have to change, we're changing with the times), or melancholy (All the money I'm earnin' can't keep the wheels turnin').

I love the shouted chorus in "We're gonna do it like this", and then the band takes off.

It's the little touches I love, too, like the guitar after "the prophet is screaming" in "The Shape of things to come", and the way the piano punctuates the chorus in the same song.

Is there any way to get the un-released material out? Don't forget "A little blackmail goes a long, long way".

There are some odd things about the album though, like the way Silver Linings, an almost mournful song about a lost love (She took the silver lining, and now the Sun don't shine anymore") is followed by Experiments. Don't get me wrong, they're both good songs in their own way, but it's quite jarring to go from one to the other.

One final thing, I heard that the BBC wouldn't play the quite wonderful "Schoolgirls". Is this true?


12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the original vinyl album, and I bought it because I liked the song "Kickin' the Kans". Those were the days!

3:36 PM  
Blogger Stapes said...

I first saw The Headboys share the bill with Fingerprintz at The Russell Club in Hulme,Manchester.After a few post gig beers with both bands believe it or not The Headboys gave my mate and I a lift home to Wythenshawe on their way to Birmingham.The next day we both bought the album.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the band, the first album is an absolute classic with not a duff track on it. I saw the band live @ the Marquee in 1980. I taped the show and found it recently in amazing condition, put it through wavelab and sent a copy to the band. Wow, what a great live band they were too.
Really hope the LP gets a CD release one day soon.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Headboys , 1979 I was Always listening for that OFF the WALL, I looked for bands that HAD , Talent Probably too much for the time. They were De Railed by the Mainstream Mega . and it went so for many of bands. Experiments, Kick N the Cans n All the Tracks were Well Written n Arranged. Other bands included , Magogany Rush,Steve Hillage , GONG,Hawkwind,Nazareth,Headboys,Alomic rooster, Verve. Etc

3:41 PM  
Blogger George said...

pHi All You Wonderful People
I am humbled by your enthusiasm. Thanks.
I'm heartbroken to report that Davy Ross died in November 2010.
As a tribute to Dave we have resolved to issue the 'lost' second album, (it really was lost) hopefully this year, through Pop Detective records. If this is successful we may secure release of the original album. The problem on that front has been confused ownership rights with Universal who bought up RSO.
There is an extremely rare recording of us live at The Marquee - so rare I didn't know it existed until last week- bootlegged by Lou himself!
Action stations - Vintage Headboys is on its way.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

George, the idea of a new Headboys album is truly amazing. The first album is still among my favourite of all time, great riffs, melodies and lashings of hooks. Classic music from a classic band.
Did you ever hear the recording of the Marquee show I bootlegged and sent to Brian Lewis in Dundee ? It was from 13-2-1980 and the priorty that night was not to overrun the curfew, don't think you made it that night because we simple could not get enough. I did get a reply from Lou about 2 months later thanking me for the CD of the show. Said he was surprised at how much he had forgotten the set. If not please contact me through myspace to Siam.
I was very saddened to hear about Davie, great drummer may he R.I.P

Looking forward to any new Headboys, thank you very much.

Take care

4:27 PM  
Anonymous michael said...

Just looked out the album as I got a USB turnrable as a present. Bought the album from a record store in Princes St Edinburgh in 79 I think. The band were in the store promoting the release of the album so I got a fully signed copy stating "I was the first in Edinburgh" Brill single and now I'm about to play the rest of it for the first time in 20 odd years!

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just to put the record straight. I recorded the Marquee show you have heard not Lou. I sent a copy to Lou after finding the taped I did of that show in 1980. I put it through wavelab and then onto to disc and sent it to an address in Dundee. Glad you liked it.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, could you put that Headboys song back up on the downloads page? How about that whole album? "School Girls" was a fun song and "Silver Lining" had a great piano melody! Where can I buy the album? Thanks!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Porrohman said...

I was going to e-mail Cherry Red Records to suggets that they licence the original album for release, with the single b-sides, 'The Mood I'm In', Double Vision, and Before Tonight as bonus tracks.

I own the album and all the singles and made my own cd a couple of years back.

If you are fans of other 70's Scottish bands, then you may see (finally) a release on CD of the Zones album 'Under Influence' with bonus tracks, in the not to distant future......

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We rocked to Headboys in the early 80's. Fabulous stuff. Wonderful harmonies, lyrics and keyboards.
Innovative and fun.
I still have the album and still play it through the dual, quad amp and altec lansings.....................LOUD!!

1:42 AM  
Blogger George said...

Well thanks for your extraordinary patience everyone.
Last week, September 26th to be precise, I met with Mark Hershberger aka The Pop Detective with the eponymous label and we've agreed to release 'Vintage Headboys' next spring.
Now investigating re-master of the unreleased songs and digging through boxes of memorabilia. Check out Pop Detective on Facebook for spontaneous news. Posted an old pic this evening.
Album will be a tribute to the lovely Dave who sadly died last year.
George (da bass)

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been a long journey, and many fans have been emailing, messaging, and calling about when this will be released..... is here! Official release date is December 1 2013
The Headboys "The Lost Album" can officially be ordered at

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This albums is one of the best of the New Wave 80's. I listen to it all the time. It is timeless.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been searching for this song for decades! I loved it when I first heard it on the radio back in the early 80's in NZ. Fantastic to hear it again :-)

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Patron Zero said...

What an amazing song and such a gateway song as to the new face of music that arrived in the 1980s.

Never heard this tune during my college days back in the early 1980s, very surprised it never got airplay on any of the college-based or college-marketed stations in that time.

Very happy I discovered this wonderful song in October of 2015 !

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Ian said...


Any chance of obtaining a copy of that near-mythical Headboys Marquee gig?

Many years ago I just missed recording a BBC 'in concert' radio set with the Headboys. Unfamiliar with their songs other than 'Shape...' at the time, I tuned in to hear the middle section of this lush classical piano piece and thought I had the completely wrong channel - it was 'Silver Lining' of course (doh!!!).

My email is



3:42 PM  
Anonymous James Tuddenham said...

Have always loved The Headboys since I first heard them back in 79, just a shame they never did more material, I do believe they were ahead of their time as their music and lyrics were just mind blowing. I am really glad I purchased The Lost Album, takes me right back..............thankyou The Headboys for your certainly were The Shape Of Things To Come............!!!!!!!

8:07 PM  
Blogger Lis said...

Hi George,

If you're still checking in at this blog post I would love to find out whether you will be re-releasing the original Headboys album. The whole thing was awesome! One of my favourite songs on the album was "Gonna Do It Like This", but they were all wonderful, and I have tried (in vain so far) to find a copy of the record in any format.

Thanks in advance and belatedly for your time and responses here, and it's great to at least know that there are others who are fans of the fabulous music you made!

Lis / Toronto

1:04 AM  

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