Archive for the ‘Uriah Heep’ Category

Uriah Heep Carlisle Sands Centre 30th October 2004

Uriah Heep Carlisle Sands Centre 30th October 2004
heeptix2004Support from Doogie White’s White Noise
Thanks for sticking with my during my week of ramblings on Uriah Heep. This will be my last post on that mighty, great band (at least until I see them again).
It was 2004 and I was suffering Heep withdrawal. I had foolishly lost touch with the band and it had been 19 years since I last saw them perform at a gig at Newcastle Mayfair. I read that they were touring the UK, and saw the nearest concert to me was at Carlisle Sands Centre, so I decided to go along. Carlisle is a 60 or so mile drive, and the Sands Centre is a leisure centre cum concert venue just outside the city centre. I arrived in time to catch support act Doogie White and White Noise. The ticket lists Manfred Mann’s Eartband as support, but this wasn’t the case. Doogie White was the singer in a later line-up of Blackmore’s Rainbow, and his set contained quite a few Rainbow favourites.
The 2004 line-up of Uriah Heep was Mick Box (guitar), Lee Kerslake (drums), Trevor Bolder (bass), Phil Lanzon (keyboards) and Bernie Shaw (vocals). Shaw and Lanzon both joined the band in 1986, and Shaw is now their longest serving vocalist. It was really great to see Uriah Heep again. I wasn’t sure how many old songs they would play, and whether I would know many, but I need not have worried. They started with Easy Livin’, and also played Stealin’, Gypsy, The Wizard and July Morning. The encores were Bird of Prey and Lady in Black. Shaw is an excellent front man with a great voice, and does justice to those classic Heep songs. It all came back to me, and I was once again a big fan. I’ve seen Uriah Heep on four further occasions since then, in Stockton, Workington, Newcastle and Holmfirth, and have already blogged about those shows. During that period Trevor Bolder has sadly passed away, and Lee Kerslake has retired from the band. Mick Box continues to lead the band. Long may they continue to rock.
Setlist: Easy Livin’; Shadows of Grief; Pilgrim; The Other Side of Midnight; Stealin’; Wise Man; The Wizard; Devil’s Daughter; Sunrise; Gypsy; July Morning; Look at Yourself
Encore: Bird of Prey; Lady in Black

Ken Hensley Sunderland Mayfair 1981

Ken Hensley Sunderland Mayfair 1981
imageIn 1980 Ken Hensley left Uriah Heep, unhappy with the direction the band was moving, and recorded a solo album “Free Spirit”. This was actually his third solo effort, as he had released two previous lps “Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf” (1973) and “Eager To Please” (1975) while with Uriah Heep. He also formed a band Shotgun which featured Pete Thompson on drums (ex-Silverhead), Ian Gibbons on keyboards (ex-Kinks), Derek Marshall on guitar and Denny Ball on bass. The band played a series of UK gigs, including one at Sunderland Mayfair, which I attended. Ken and his band played songs from “Free Spirit” and the Uriah Heep classics “Gypsy”, “Easy Livin'” and “July Morning”, the latter song, as I recall, featured a long keyboard solo from the main man. It was great to see Hensley in concert in a small venue, and hear him play those Uriah Heep songs. Sounds reviewed a Hensley and Shotgun gig at the Marquee London, and declared “ex Heep man plays blinder shocker”. Shortly after the tour, Hensley relocated to the USA and joined southern rockers Blackfoot, which seemed to me to be an unlikely pairing at the time. I saw Blackfoot at Newcastle Mayfair in 1982; I think Hensley may have been in the band at the time, but can’t be certain. I’ve never seen Ken Hensley live since those days, and would love to do so. He continues to tour with his own band, but very rarely plays in the UK.
“Ken Hensley wrote the rule book for heavy metal keyboards as far as I’m concerned” (W.A.S.P. frontman Blackie Lawless)

Uriah Heep Newcastle Mayfair 1982 & 1985

Uriah Heep Newcastle Mayfair 1982 & 1985
heeptix82So….the mighty Uriah Heep were reduced to one member, guitar wizard extraordinaire Mick Box, who “locked myself in my flat for two days and drank myself senseless in complete self-pity.” Like any true wizard Box was not to be defeated and he soon began to forge a mystic plan for the future of Heep. He contacted his old mate and former Heepster drummer Lee Kerslake who was now with Ozzy Osbourne in Blizzard of Oz. Kerslake rejoined Uriah Heep,bringing bass player Bob Daisley with him. They were joined by ex Heavy Metal Kids keyboard player John Sinclair and vocalist Peter Goalby from Trapeze. The new Heep line-up shared the song writing duties and produced the 1982 album “Abominog” which was well received by fans and critics. Uriah Heep were well and truly back and went out on tour. Their success was, in part, helped by a resurgence in interest in heavy rock, as result of the emergence of the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal). Their sound was moving more in a hard rock / heavy metal direction and away from the swirling operatic progisms of “Demons and Wizards”. I first saw the new line-up at Newcastle Mayfair in June 1982. Note how the ticket declares the concert as bing by “Uriah Heep with Mick Box”, so that punters knew what to expect. Support came from NWOBHM band Rage. I went along not sure what to expect from Uriah Heep, and half prepared to be disappointed, but I was seriously impressed by the new line-up. All credit to Mick Box, who could have given up at that point, but rebuilt the band which he continues to lead to this day.
heeptix85I saw Uriah Heep again a couple of months later in August 1982 when they appeared low down the bill at Donington Monsters of Rock festival. The line-up was, in order of appearance, Anvil, Uriah Heep, Hawkind, Saxon, Gillan and Status Quo.
My next Heep experience was when they returned to the Mayfair in 1985. By this point Bob Daisley had left and Trevor Bolder had returned to the fold. Note how the ticket cleverly uses the font from “Uriah Heep Live”. Sadly that concert came just over a week after the passing of the great David Byron.
1985 Set List: Sell Your Soul; Stealin’; The Other Side Of Midnight; Too Scared To Run; Rockarama; Angel; The Wizard (dedicated to David Byron); July Morning; Bad Blood; Party Time; Gypsy; Easy Livin; That’s The Way That It Is; Look At Yourself

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 6th Feb 1980

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 6th Feb 1980
Support from Girlshool
heeptix80It must have been pretty confusing being a member of Uriah Heep in the late 70s and early 80s. There were so many comings and goings. Let me recap on the Heep saga that I have been telling for the past few days. John Lawton was now an ex-Heepster having been ousted by Heep main man Ken Hensley. Enter a new young guy John Sloman fresh to Heeping, and last seen (by me anyway) singing about the “Bells of Berlin” in the excellent rock band Lone Star. A month or so later long-time drummer Lee Kerslake jumped off the Heep ship. Enter Chris Slade from Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. The new line-up recorded the “Conquest” lp, which was released in February 1980 and went out on their 10th Anniversary Tour, with NWOBHM rockers Girlschool as support. I saw the band at their concert at Newcastle City Hall, and was pretty impressed by the new Heep, who excelled themselves as usual, playing a set of crowd-pleasing Heep classics. Sloman has a pretty impressive vocal range and a great rock voice.
However, Ken Hensley was less than happy with this new Heep line-up, and felt that they were moving too far along a straightforward rock track: “The band had chosen John and I had opposed that decision. He was a good musician and he looked great but I thought he had little going for him vocally. The way that he interpreted songs was totally different to the way I had written them….we weren’t re-establishing our musical direction..” (from bio on official Uriah Heep site)
heepprog80Ken Hensley decided to leave the band on June 8th, 1980 after the previous night’s gig in Cascais, Portugal (which marked the end of a huge chapter in the band’s history).T his was probably as big a blow to the future of Uriah Heep as the departure of David Byron had been 4 years or so earlier. Hensley was the main songwriter in the band, and along with Mick Box, one of only two remaining original members. Nonetheless, this was Heep, and change was always happening, so onward they went. Gregg Dechert, a Canadian who had worked with John Sloman, was brought in on keyboards and they immediately went on a UK tour. The tour called at Sunderland Mayfair on 12 Nov 1980, where they were supported by NWOBHM bands Spider and Samson. To be honest I have scant memories of that gig, but think I was present. After finishing the tour John Sloman decided that he had enough of being a Heepster and left the band. At this point Mick Box asked David Byron to rejoin, but David turned the offer down. Trevor Bolder then also decided to leave and joined Wishbone Ash (are you following this ? 🙂 ). The band essentially disintegrated and Uriah Heep were down to one member, Mick Box.
More of the Heep saga tomorrow!
Typical Heep set list for 1980: Stealin’; Look at Yourself; Free ‘n’ Easy; No Return; The Wizard; July Morning; Free Me; It Ain’t Easy; Lady In Black; Won’t Have To Wait Too Long; Carry On; Feelings; Sweet Lorraine; Easy Livin’; Do You Feel Alright; Gypsy; Suicidal Man

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 4th March 1979

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 4th March 1979
heeptix79Support from Bram Tchaikovsky
I saw the John Lawton era Uriah Heep once more, at a concert in 1979 at Newcastle City Hall. At the end of 1978 Heep released Fallen Angel, their third studio album with this lineup lineup. The album was well received although it did not chart and Mick Box said that he thought it was “Too poppy.” Uriah Heep continued to tour and were as always, great in concert, but behind the scenes there was unrest. Ken Hensley was writing most of the material and as a result he was earning much more than his colleagues. Box is quoted as saying: “Everything he wrote, he had to use… And if you insist in using everything you end up with substandard albums.” But the relationship between Hensley and new singer John Lawton was the worst problem within the band. There was apparently “constant friction between the two, resulting in the nearest thing to violence the group had seen” and Lawton was eventually sacked in August 1979 after a festival in Belgium. Long time drummer Lee Kerslake also left the band shortly afterwards, after a row with the management, over the constant apparent insistence on the use of Ken Hensley’s songs.
heepprog79The replacements were ex Lone Star front man John Sloman on vocals, a young rock singer, and drummer Chris Slade from Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. However, Ken Hensley was soon unhappy with the new singer…but more of that tomorrow. It must have been fun to be a member of Uriah Heep at the time 🙂
Support for the 1979 tour, including the City Hall show, was guitarist/singer Bram Tchaikovsky who was at the time fronting his new power pop band, having recently left the successful punk/pub rock band, The Motors (Airport!)
Typical Uriah Heep setlist from 1979: Look at Yourself; Easy Livin’; Stealin’; Falling In Love; Woman Of The Night; Lady In Black; The Wizard; July Morning; Free Me; One More Night; I’m Alive; Who Needs Me; Sweet Lorraine; Free ‘N’ Easy; Gypsy

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 30th Nov 1977

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 30th Nov 1977
heelptixnov77Support from Fury.
Uriah Heep were on a roll, and released their next “Innocent Victim” shortly after “Firefly”. 1977 was a very successful year for the band. The single “Free Me” was a big international hit (making it to No. 1 in New Zealand), and in Germany “Innocent Victim” sold over a million copies and became Uriah Heep’s most successful, and the rereleased single “Lady in Black” was a big hit. Although “Lady in Black” originates from the early days of the band, having originally been released in 1971, it didn’t feature regularly in their live set until 1977. Written by Ken Hensley, and featuring him on vocals and acoustic guitar, it’s a classic Heep song, with its tale of the mysterious lady and of battles of old. heepprognov77
I saw Uriah Heep for the third time in November 1977 at Newcastle City Hall. Support came from rock band Fury. It was another great gig. Uriah Heep remained an excellent live act throughout this period, and would play many of their classic tracks.
A typical Uriah Heep concert in late 1977 would probably contain the following songs: Do You Know; Stealin’; Look At Yourself; Lady In Black; The Wizard; July Morning; Sympathy; Who Needs Me; Easy Livin’; Gypsy; Sweet Lorraine)
“She came to me one morning, one lonely Sunday morning,
Her long hair flowing in the mid-winter wind.
I know not how she found me, for in darkness I was walking,
And destruction lay around me from a fight I could not win.”
(Lady in Black, Ken Hensley, 1971)

Rough Diamond (David Byron) Sunderland Polytechnic Wearmouth Hall 1977

Rough Diamond Sunderland Polytechnic Wearmouth Hall 1977image
I’m going to take a side-step out of my Uriah Heep bloggings to say a little more about their great first vocalist David Byron.
In 1977, after leaving Uriah Heep, Byron formed a new band Rough Diamond along with former Humble Pie guitarist Clem Clempson and ex-Wings drummer Geoff Britton. The remaining members were Willie Bath (bass) and Damon Butcher (keyboards). Rough Diamond were hailed as a new “supergroup” by the Melody Maker, who featured them on their front cover. They recorded one album and toured the USA, opening for Peter Frampton. The album was not a big success, peaking at No. 103 in the US charts. Rough Diamond also played a small number of UK dates, one of which was at Sunderland Polytechnic’s Wearmouth Hall.
I was quite excited at the prospect of seeing David Byron again, and had also seen Clempson with Humble Pie and knew that he was an excellent guitarist. I figured Wearmouth Hall would be packed with Heep fans, particularly as the concert was one of a handful of gigs, and if I remember correctly, the only one in the north of England. So I persuaded Marie that we had to go along early, to make sure that we got in. How wrong I was. When we arrived the place was empty, and by the time Rough Diamond took to the stage, it still wasn’t very full; there were probably 100 or so people there. It’s always seems a bit strange seeing “name” acts in smaller halls. They tend to bring massive set-ups, and fill the hall with equipment and sound. Seeing Rough Diamond was a bit like that. The stage was set with a massive back line of brand new looking amps; it seemed that someone was investing heavily in the new “supergroup”. They were also incredibly loud, ear-splittingly so (which was just great 🙂 one more band to include in my lawsuit for rock fan deafness ). The concert was interesting, in that all the individual elements were in place, but yet they was something missing. David Byron was in excellent voice, and delivered a great performance for the small crowd, and Clem Clempson, as expected, played some excellent rock/blues. The rest of the band were fine. The set consisted of songs from their new album. I don’t recall if any Heep songs were played, although something in the back of mind tells me that they may have played “Sweet Lorraine” and a cover of Free’s “The Hunter”. I remember one slower rock ballad “Sea Songs” as being a highlight. The songs were ok, and it was a good gig, but not exceptional. Often such “supergroups” don’t live up to their promise, the result does not match the sum of the parts. Makes me think of when I saw Paul Rodgers and Jimmy Page in The Firm; they both performed great, but overall I left a little underwhelmed. Still it was a great opportunity to see David Byron again, and in such a small venue.
Rough Diamond split shortly afterwards. They were together for less than one year. David Byron went on to form his own band. Reports suggest that Mick Box and Trevor Bolder invited Byron to re-join Uriah Heep in 1981, after Ken Hensley left (it was Hensley who insisted on Byron’s dismissal), but Byron refused.
David Byron passed away on Thursday, 28 February 1985 as a result of alcohol problems  and liver disease. He was 38 years old. Subsequently in concert, Uriah Heep would often dedicate “The Wizard” to him.
I like to remember David Byron when he was at his best, fronting Uriah Heep, standing magnificent and proud, stage centre, surrounded by dry ice, singing “July Morning”, his voice clear, powerful, and sweet. We will never experience his like again.

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 9th March 1977

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 9th March 1977
heeptixmarc77Support Woody Woodmansey’s U Boat
1977 saw a new revitalised Uriah Heep and the release of their 10th album “Firefly”. David Byron had been sacked from the band, and John Wetton also left, their replacements being John Lawton and Trevor Bolder (ex David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars) respectively. My mates and I couldn’t wait to see how the new line-up shaped up, so we went along to see them at the first opportunity we got, which was at Newcastle City Hall in March 1977. The tour programme has a pretty honest account of how Ken Hensley (who seemed to take the role of leader at the time) recognised the need for change in the band, and without explicitly naming names, how he instigated the necessary changes. Major changes like this in the line-up are interesting, and risky times for a band. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Sometimes it gives a band such a boost, such a refresh, and a need to come back fighting, that it transforms them. I saw that happen with Purple when they exploded back with Coverdale, and Genesis when they came back strong post-Gabriel. And it isn’t just about how well the new guy can sing. It’s about the whole package, the image, the look, the performance, and how well the new guy gets on with the rest of the band, and whether they “fit”. Well something (almost) like that happened with Uriah Heep.heepprogmar77 They knew that the fans and critics were watching them and that the new tour could make or break the band, and they pulled out all the stops. In some John Lawton didn’t look quite right. He looked like a cross between a club singer and a straight rocker, with his open neck shirt and leather trousers. Mick Box: “Image-wise he wasn’t quite what we were looking for, but his pipes were perfect and so we went for the music end of it.” Ken Hensley: “He had a voice that I thought would give a new dimension.” Lawton had a great voice, which suited Heep. And Trevor Bolder was already known and also seemed to fit the band live. All seemed good. “Firefly” isn’t their greatest album, but it is ok, and their live set contained all the classics, including Lady in Black and the Wizard, both of which weren’t often played in the early 70s. Great stuff. Heep were back.
Support came from Trevor Bolder’s fellow ex-Spider, and Bowie sideman, Woody Woodmansey and his new band U Boat.
SetList (something like): Do You Know; Stealin’; Look At Yourself; Lady In Black; The Wizard; July Morning; Firefly; Sympathy; Who Needs Me; Easy Livin’; Gypsy; Sweet Lorraine
The next time I saw Uriah Heep was at the Reading Festival in August 1977, when they played third on the Friday night bill before Eddie and the Hot Rods and Golden Earring. They were then back at the City Hall again in November 1977, so I got hree helpings of Heep in one year; happy days.

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 25th Nov 1975

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 25th Nov 1975
heep75tixSupport from Tim Rose?
By 1975 Uriah Heep were massively successful. John Wetton had replaced Gary Thain on bass, and the band recorded their 8th studio album “Return to Fantasy” which was seen by critics and fans alike as a return to form after the “Wonderwall” lp. They also released a “Best of Uriah Heep” compilation album which sold well. Heep embarked on a major world tour to promote “Return to Fantasy” and “Best of”. Mick Box: “we played to over one million people and travelled over 300,000 air miles; this was, once again, a very exciting time.” I saw the band at the City Hall in November 1975. This was another great gig, classic Uriah Heep, but it would be the last time that I saw the band with the great David Byron. According to the Uriah Heep website the support act for the tour was Tim Rose, who had recorded “Come Away Melinda” as covered by Heep on their first album, and was also responsible for the great song “Morning Dew”. As is often the case, I have no recollection of seeing him, perhaps I was in the City Hall bar? I suspect I would have watched Tim Rose’s set as both of the songs I mention are big favourites of mine. David Byron had by now gained a reputation for hard drinking, and this was starting to effect his performance in the band. It eventually led to him being sacked from Uriah Heep at the end of a Spanish tour in July 1976. Ken Hensley said: “David was one of those classic people who couldn’t face up to the fact that things were wrong and he looked for solace in a bottle”. Heep’s manager Gerry Bron said Byron’s dismissal was in “the best interest of the group”.
heepprog75I saw David Byron once more a couple of years later, when he was a member of Rough Diamond, a band he formed with Colosseum / Humble Pie guitarist Clem Clempson and former Wings drummer Geoff Britton. I’ll write about that gig in a day or so, as part of my coverage of Heepsters.
It was also a couple of years later, in 1977, before I saw Uriah Heep again, and by then John Lawton was the vocalist. Uriah Heep did, I think, play Newcastle in 1976 but for some reason I must have missed that gig (missed opportunities like that annoy me now….too many regrets of missed his 🙂 )
For me, Uriah Heep were truly at their peak as a live act during 1973 and 1974. The best way to remind myself of those glorious live gigs is to play my scratched vinyl copy of their double lp “Uriah Heep Live”, hold that gatefold sleeve in my hands and look through the lavish photo booklet that forms the centre of the album. It never fails to take me back. I am immediately transported to the crush in the front stalls of the City Hall. My ears are ringing, Mick Box is smiling, Ken Hensley is rocking back and forth at his Hammond, and Dave Byron is singing “Julie Morning” or “Gypsy”….or “Sunrise”. Magic. Now a CD can’t do that; sorry. Happy happy days.
Setlist something like: Devil’s Daughter; Stealin’; Suicidal Man; Shady Lady; Prima Donna; Rainbow Demon; July Morning; Return To Fantasy; Easy Livin’; Sweet Lorraine; Gypsy; Bird Of Prey; Love Machine; Look At Yourself

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 21st Nov 1973 & 17th Oct 1974

Uriah Heep Newcastle City Hall 21st Nov 1973 & 17th Oct 1974heeppleccy
The strange little black blob pictured here is a prized plectrum that I was lucky enough to catch at a Uriah Heep gig in the early ’70s. It was thrown to me by Mick Box, and I was so excited when I caught it. It is a small black plastic Hofner pleccie and was well worn when I got it, so it had obviously been used quite a bit by Mick. I have used it myself a few times and found it quite hard and chunky; great for riffs. I would try and play “Gyspy” in the hope that it would somehow transform my playing into that of Mick Box, but sadly it didn’t quite work out. I couldn’t get the same tone or power. Still it’s nice to have it, and frightening to think that 40 or so years have passed since Mick threw it from the stage of the City Hall.
We would always try and get down to the front at Heep gigs. When Uriah Heep came on stage there was always a rush for the front. They would usually start with a favourite, perhaps “Easy Livin'” or “Stealin'” and it would be loud and rocking. There would be a massive crush at the front of the stage and Dave Byron and Mick Box would both play to the crowd. Mick would have a massive grin on his face. He would do a series of strange hand gestures, lifting one arm above his head and wiggling his fingers as a magician would do, pointing towards the strings of his guitar, as if he was magically controlling it and playing it from a distance, just like one of the wizards that they would sing about. Mick in an interview: “The hand movements came about when I play a left hand trill in the old days and we were only playing clubs, and everybody could see it to be clever. When we first went to the USA and supported Three Dog Night playing 10.000-20.000 seaters I waved my arm in the air so that all and sundry could see.” Sometimes Mick would lift his guitar above his head, or hold it out in front of himself, and let those down front strum the strings. Pure magic. I remember reading somewhere that David Byron was the ultimate rock front man, and that ain’t far wrong. Ken Hensley: “David was the communication point, the focal point of the whole group’s stage presentation. He had so much charisma, so much ability.” His vocals were amazing and his stage presence, charisma, ego and attitude were all so much larger than life. Dave Byron knew that he was a star. How could he be anything else? I can picture him now, wearing satin flares, one foot on the monitor, leaning over towards us all, hands outstretched. He was singing directly to us. Byron: “I see myself as more than just a vocalist. I have a definite job in tying the band together visually. It stands to reason that the spotlights will be on me most of the time because I’m the front man, so by moving around I can involve everyone. I take singing very much to heart, and I try to use my voice as an instrument.”
heepnov73tixAll around us down at the front of the stage were fans going absolutely crazy. I would usually stand and watch but many of the people beside me were totally manic. It was called “idiot dancing” at the time. A definition of “idiot dancing”: “a style of frenzied, abandoned dancing on the spot (invariably consisting of writhing hand and arm movements and shaking of the head) to rock music, particularly the ‘psychedelic’ style (a precursor of heavy metal) of the late 1960s. By the mid-1970s it had mutated into the less picturesque headbanging.” I notice from my tickets for Heep gigs in late 1973 and 1974 that my seat was halfway back in the stalls, or in the balcony. But by the end of the show I swear I was in the crush near to the stage.
Support for the 1974 tour was the mighty Heavy Metal Kids. Imagine it: Gary Holton and Dave Byron on the same stage in one night. Mayhem! The setlist was probably something like this: Easy Livin’; Sweet Lorraine; Stealin’; July Morning; Dreamer; If I Had The Time; Gypsy; Seven Stars; Sweet Freedom; Look At Yourself; Love Machine; Rock ‘n’ Roll Medley
heep74tixAccording to the Uriah Heep website the support act for the 1974 tour was Peter Frampton. Now I have no recollection of seeing Frampton with Uriah Heep, but hey who knows, the City Hall bar (or the City Vaults) may well have been calling me. If it was Frampton, this was at the time of his third solo album “Somethin’s Happening” and he will have played songs like “Its a Plain Shame”, “Lines on my Face” and “Doobie Wah”. A typical setlist for Uriah Heep in 1974 was: Stealin’; Suicidal Man; Something Or Nothing; Wonderworld; Sweet Freedom; I Won’t Mind; July Morning; Easy Livin’; Sweet Lorraine; Little Piece Of Leather; Look At Yourself; Gypsy; Love Machine; Rock ‘n’ Roll Medley
Bass player Gary Thain suffered an electric shock at a concert in Dallas, Texas on 15 September 1974, and was seriously injured. He was also suffering from a drug habit which was affecting his performance, and he was fired by the band in early 1975. He was replaced by former King Crimson bassist John Wetton. Thain passed away as a result of a heroin overdose, on 8 December 1975 at his London flat. He was just aged 27.
Gary Thain had a unique, and very intense bass style. He would play without a plectrum, preferring to use his fingers, and would put his entire body into the performance. I first saw him play in the Keef Hartley band, and remember being impressed by him then. He was undoubtedly a very important part of the classic Uriah Heep line-up. In just three years Gary Thain participated in over 400 live performances all over the world with Uriah Heep.
This was the end of the classic line-up, but there were still many more great concerts to come.
More Heeping tomorrow.