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Carmine Appice Offered Me Blue Murder Singer Gig but Vetoed By John Sykes- EX-Headpins Darby Mills


Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice spoke to former (Original) singer of the Headpins Darby Mills. In the chat she spoke about the her time in the Headpins; being excluded from performing today and recalled tour stories of opening for bands suck as Kiss, Whitesnake and ZZ Top.


Darby Mills Project Facebook


Photo credit Pete Dove


Watch Full Chat Here

Excerpt from the interview

Tell me about the Headpins opening for Kiss on their Creature of the night tour "I think it was six shows in total (with Kiss) and it was incredible. I was seeing Gene and Paul without their makeup on. When I was in high school the guys that I hung with that were in bands were Kiss fanatics. I never quite understood the Kiss thing until I found out I was going to go on tour with them and there I was sitting having dinner every night across the table from Gene Simmons without his makeup on. It was quite an experience and I left enough of an impression on Gene. A year or two later Kiss was on tour in Europe with Helix and Gene went up to Brian Vollmer and said hey you know that chick from the Headpins? Do you know her? What's she all about? So I tell that story with great passion because you know to leave an impression on somebody like Gene that's an accomplishment, uh that's a feather in my cap."

Did you interact Eric Carr or with Vinnie Vincent the guitarist for Kiss at the time?

"They were not overly social. For Vinnie that was his first tour and he was having a bit of a time. I think we were in either Montreal or Quebec City and we got there for our sound check which would have been directly after Kiss. Gene was on stage with Vinnie and (Gene) he's like you walk up on stage (To Vinnie) and you stand there (growl) yeah give them a growl walk up there and then turn around and walk back and I'm like wow okay stage presence 101. So that night people who were there might remember it was the tour where they had the big tank, with the risers on the side that looked like the tracks of a tank and then the drum Riser rotated with the big barrel out front. Well he (Vinnie) jumped off one of the tracks and of course he's wearing platforms and of course he Twitches (falls) and boom into the barrel. And I'm like, oh my God because I'd never seen a pro have an accident like that. I was like that poor guy especially after getting stage presence 101 that afternoon from Gene right but it was like okay you know I guess you can go up and make mistakes we all do it."

You opened for Whitesnake in Europe? "Yeah we did in Europe, we went over and toured with Whitesnake. We did a month and a half I think with Whitesnake and played the Hammersmith Odeon. Meeting the Whitesnake guys was the thrill of a lifetime even bigger than a Kiss, Cozy Powell, David Coverdale, John Lord, John Sykes and Neil Murray. The shows were sold out every night we were playing the big stadiums."


Tell me about how you almost become the singer of the band Blue Murder with Carmine Appice and John Sykes

" Blue Murder was recording at Little Mountain (Vancouver) and Carmine (Appice) was the drummer and he would come out and see my side projects. I was already out of the Headpins by that time. We would play Club Soda in downtown Vancouver and he (Carmine) came in on more than one occasion. He called me up and said you need to come down and you need to sing the Blue Murder stuff. Then the next time I saw him he's like yeah John Sykes said no way he doesn't want a woman in the band because they'll get all the credit and I'm like oh come on, like seriously? Had it been up to Carmine I'd have had the job according to what he was saying but John was saying I was not going to have a female in the band. They had a male singer in there tracking with them they weren't sure if they were going to hire him and then they ended up with John doing all the vocals for that album."


Darby is the only voice on all 6 recordings of the Headpins.

*Turn it Loud

*Line of Fire

*Head over Heals

*Anthology

*Headpins Greatest Hit

*Headpin Complete Greatest Hits

The record shows a singer before Darby who was part of the band while they played the clubs waiting for Chilliwack to return to the studio. Her time ended the first year. Darby's time was from 1980 t0 1986 then 1988 to 1989 then joined a reconfigured Pins in 1992 till 2016.


Headpins are a Canadian rock group, founded as a side project in the late 1970s. The Headpins began gigging around the Vancouver area throughout 1981.


Headpins released their debut album Turn It Loud in 1982, which quickly went platinum and topped the charts for six weeks, with the hit single "Don't It Make Ya Feel". Their second release, Line of Fire, was another multi-platinum success, and included the hits "Just One More Time" and "Feel It (Feel My Body)", resulting in the band touring Europe with Whitesnake at the beginning of 1984. The group's sole entry on the US charts, "Just One More Time", spent nine weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 70 in February 1984.


Headpins continue to perform live. It was announced in the second half of 2016 that long time lead singer Darby Mills had moved on to pursue solo endeavors and that their new lead vocalist is Katrina (Kat) Lawrence. Rosa Laricchiuta took over lead vocals in April 2022. Darby Mills' last performance with The Headpins was in August 2016



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