Old rockers never die, they just cut their hair and nobody recognises them any more.
That joke may be applicable in other towns with other musicians, but there was no mistaking Mark Tinson and his birthday guests at a harbourside Newcastle restaurant this week.
Tinson turned the big 5-0 and former bandmates came from near and far to help him celebrate at Scratchleys on the wharf.
"Tinno", a songwriting guitarist turned producer and TAFE teacher, has played and worked with more acts than even his fans can remember over the past three decades.
But greying hair and balding ghosts of concerts past gathered to haunt him on Monday.
Among them were all the originals from his most (in)famous outfit, 'The Heroes', whose national hits 'Baby Had a Taste' and 'Star and the Slaughter' secured them TV appearances on Countdown and places in Newcastle pub, rock and mullet folklore.
Just in case you enjoyed yourself too much to remember those Heroes of yesteryear, an After Dark operative managed to secure this party shot of Mark Tinson, Peter De Jong, Jim Porteus and Phil Screen.
Also in attendance at the birthday bash were members of their 1970's glam rock predecessors 'Rabbit', (see Rabbit page for photo's), including Pam and Les Gully, and David Hinds.
Other notables on the guest list included 'Ted Mulry Gang' veterans Les Hall and Herm Kovacs, award winning country / jazz vocalist Julie Wilson, cowboy singer Steve Gibson, former 'Angels' guitarist Bob Spencer, ex 'Screaming Jets' drummer Craig Rosevear and Hunter stalwart Tony Heads.
Highlights of the night included a video clip package compiled by Trevor Dare and a motley choir of other mates delivering a raucous verse or three of 'The Vioent Femmes' Blister in the Sun.
Tinno loves to hate that song and those cover bands around the city who continue popping it.
Newcastle Herald "TE" 'After Dark' 12-2-04
Author: Chad Watson
Article Post 'TE' 2-2-05
Mark Tinson gets straight to the point when asked why legendary Newcastle band Heroes have reformed. "It's a great opportunity to get back together and it pays good money," he said.
But there was a great cause involved too.
The Heroes made a special appearance at the 'Newcastle's Home-Grown Aid for Asia' concert staged at Newcastle Panthers last month.
The show was a warm up for the bands gig at the Mayfield Hotel on Feb 19.
Tinson said now the Heroes members had grown up they could appreciate how good they had been in there hayday.
"We spent five or six years together and we were a very good business. We made money and worked hard," he said.
"You realise after you haven't done it for a while you had a business generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a year."
Tinson said the grand plan behind getting back together was to have a good time, play well and earn some money.
"Perhaps we'll make it more of an ongoing thing," he said.
"Hopefully we can do some more gigs, maybe another album. We still have some material we didn't record. We were a band and we will be again."