Headstone – Bad Habits (1974)

FrontCover1Mark Ashton or Mark Ashton Vey (born Mark McVey; 23 June 1949) is a British painter, musician, compositer, ex-drummer of an English progressive rock band Rare Bird.

Mark Ashton was born 23 June 1949, in Bridge, Kent, England. Soon he moved to Scotland and grew up in the Scottish countryside of Stirlingshire, near Glasgow. At a very young age, he shows a talent for drawing and music, and the passion for music soon predominated.
Music career

When he came back to England (Herne Bay, Kent) he joined his first band The Vikings as a drummer at 11 years old. The 2nd band Corvettes was voted the best band in Kent, U.K and played in a band which opened for acts such as The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and The Yardbirds, at this time he began writing music. Formed his first band in 1965 Turnstile at 16 years old, began composing and released their first single Riding A Wave (Side B “Trot”) on Pye Records. devoted to the original songs, as early as the single “Riding Wave” will be released by pie record.


In 1968 Mark Ashton moved to London. he joined a band called Rare Bird and their first single “Sympathy” became an international hit record, sold more than 2 million albums, and over 350 cover versions.

After “Rare Bird”, he quit the drums and concentrate to writing music. In 1974 Mark formed “HEADSTONE” and made two albums with Trident Production – EMI Records, 1st album Bad Habit (1974), the 2nd album Headstone (1975). Producer John Anthony has already produced the 1st Album of Yes (1968) and Queen(1973).

In 1976 he recorded his first solo album Mark Ashton L.A. in Los Angeles and the producer was Chris Bond (produced of Hall & Oats).

Then the second solo album Solo Mark Ashton was recorded in England, the producer Alain Callan is the personal manager of Led Zeppelin.


In 1980 he moved to New York or Los Angeles and pursued a solo career. Impressed by the scenery of the U.S.A., so different from his native Scotland, Mark Vey rediscovered gradually his love of painting, parallel to his musical activities. In 1988, released the album Modern Pilgrims by R.C.A. Records.

1991 Recorded and produced his “New Volum of Music” L.A. 1993-1996: Sign with Sony Music Publishing Paris as comositeur. 1996-2002: Director of exclusive A/F APG Music (an independent record label) in New York. 1996 Begin as a painter and exhibits in New York, London, Barcelona, St. Tropez, Aix-en-Provence, Hambourg.

After 3 years painting in Spain, Mark Ashton moved to Nice, French Riviera. His love for this famous Mediterranean light has inspired his creations. And in parallel to his painting career he formed in 2012 his new “Mark Ashton project” with French musicians. Mark Ashton Vey exhibited in New York, London, Nice, Berlin etc. His paintings are on permanent display in various galleries around the world. Since 2015, he changed the style of his music more acoustic using Hurdy Gurdy. (by wikipedia)

US front + backcover:

And here´s is the fisrt album of te short lived Headsone: Ex Rare Bird and Atomic Rooster alumni, Mark Ashton and Steve Bolton with Phil Chen and Chili Charles in release from 1974. USA cover differs considerably from UK issue.

This is an incredible album, every track a standout, i have touted this lp with enthusiasm since its 1974 release. Those of us that own this “hidden gem” would agree it is truly a piece of ”off the scale” listening pleasure! My youth comes roaring back at every spin, and is as powerful if you chose to go with headphones as your listening pleasure. Perfect mesh of guitars,percussion,brass,strings and a slight touch of ”Moog”. In my humble opinion i usually recommend a room filling volume level to bring the experience of this work to its fore. (An amazon customer)


Mark Ashton (vocals, guitar)
Steve Bolton (guitar)
Chili Charles (drums)
Phil Chen (bass)
Daryl (percussion on 07.) (tracks: B2)
Dave Kaffinetti (piano on 09.)
Joe O’Donnell (violin on 02.)
Tony Lukyn (synthesizer on 02.)
background vocals on 01. + 10.)
Carl Douglas – Juanita – Sparky – Steve Gould


01. Don’t Turn Your Back 4.19
02. Take Me Down 4.11
03. High On You 3.05
04. Love You Too 2.17
05. 3 O B 4.04
06. Open Your Eyes 0.31
07. Live For Each Other 3.45
08. You’ve Heard It All Before 3.33
09. Bad Habits 3.51
10. Take A Plane 4.34
11. D M T 4.28

All songs written ny Mark Ashton.
except 05. which was written by Steve Bolton



Some of Mark Ashton´s paintings: