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Gene Simmons Taught Vinnie Vincent Stage Presence On Creatures Tour Recalls X-Headpins Darby Mills

Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice spoke to former 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

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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."

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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