From 1971 to 1973, Anderson led rock group Peace Power and Purity and came to wider public notice as the lead vocalist with Buster Brown. He fronted the hard rock and blues rock band from its foundation in 1973, the original line-up included Phil Rudd on drums, who left in 1974 to join AC/DC.
In 1976 in Sydney, Rose Tattoo was formed by Peter Wells of the heavy metal band Buffalo. Their most popular single on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart was “Bad Boy for Love”. Rose Tattoo’s 1981 tour of Europe included an appearance at the Reading Festival, where Anderson repeatedly head butted the amp stacks until his scalp started bleeding.
Anderson’s debut as an actor was a minor role in Bullamakanka (1984). In 1985 he appeared as the character Ironbar Bassey in the film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Later that year Anderson joined The Incredible Penguins as a guest vocalist, for a cover of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”, a charity project for research on little penguins.
Anderson led Rose Tattoo through six studio albums until disbanding the group in 1987, by which time he was the only member remaining from the early line-up. During 1986, as Rose Tattoo was winding down following the recording of Beats from a Single Drum, Anderson joined The Party Boys for an Australian tour, but never recorded with them. By this time Anderson had established himself as an advocate on social issues and made regular appearances on the Channel Nine programs The Midday Show with Ray Martin and then A Current Affair as a human interest reporter.
In 1987, Anderson had his biggest hit, when the uncharacteristic ballad “Suddenly” from the album, Beats from a Single Drum, was used in an iconic Neighbours episode.
With the dissolution of Rose Tattoo, Anderson pressed on with his solo career, releasing the album Blood from Stone in 1990. On Australia Day (26 January) 1993, Anderson was made a Member of the Order of Australia with the citation, “In recognition of service to the community, particularly as a youth advocate. Also that year, Rose Tattoo reunited to support Guns N’ Roses on the Australian leg of their Use Your Illusion Tour.
Angry Anderson continues his work in the community and charity, while also appearing on television and in several movies.