Uriah Heep

ARTICLE ABOUT Trevor Bolder (Spiders From Mars) FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, February 28, 1976

This update on my blog took longer than expected because of commitments at work, but finally; here is a new post for you all to enjoy. This time with one very important bass player. This article should be of equal interest for Bowie-fans as for fans of Uriah Heep and Mick Ronson.
Trevor Bolder sadly died in May 2013 at the age of 62 from cancer.

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“We`ve still got the Bowie costumes. We can wear those.”

…says down-home, duffle-coated, non-decadent Spider From Mars Trevor Bolder to debonair, trench-coated, cosmopolitan Lizard from Poland Chris Salewicz (late of the uncredited Gong feature on last week`s page 12). Thrill to it!

Hull. H.U.L.L.
Ah, the romance contained in those four letters: Images of a nation torn apart by the hardship inflicted on the Men Of Hull by the heinous Icelanders; a spiritual kinship with the Brest of Jean Genet; the scent of rotting fish drifting down the Beverley Road. Perhaps one day Sailor will write a romantic concept album about Hull.
Unless the Spiders From Mars beat `em to it.
It is in Hull (where else?) that the Spiders From Mars are currently tucked away rehearsing for a British tour. “A long way from David Bowie,” you might think. “How unchic,” you may well grunt. And you`d probably be right.
After all, these lads could well be accused of being a little naughty going around calling themselves by that name. Wherefore art thou, Ronno? Also half-whither pianist Mike Garson direct from working with Lulu and David Essex – who`s about to split the land back to his native USA to renew his British visa. He will not be joining the Spiders From Mars. He has, however, played on their album. He may join them for the tour, when it materialises. If they haven`t managed to find another keyboard player, that is.
And “they”? “They” are bassist Trevor Bolder and drummer Woody Woodmansey. Half the original Bowie-backing Spiders. To be precise, the rhythm section.

“All depends on how much importance you put on a name and how much you put on the music and the band,” comments Trevor Bolder stunningly. We are seated on some peculiarly spine-twisting Habitat chairs (the Campus range, actually) in an office overlooking the Edgware Road at the headquarters of Pye. Not Hull in the strictest geographical sense, perhaps, but close to it spiritually.
With Trevor is Pete McDonald, the Spiders` vocalist. Pete speaks infrequently and yawns frequently. This is because he couldn`t go to sleep last night because he was driving down from his home in Newcastle to London. Via Hull, of course, to pick up Trevor from his home.
Now, Trevor. I do feel it unlikely that you would have been booked to play the few billtopping college dates you have played if you`d been masquerading as the 50% unknown band that you actually are under another name.
“I dunno. I never booked them.” More Trevor Bolder stun-speech. And then: “It`s a leverage. It`s a place for us to go from. Why the hell should I try and start rock-bottom again if I`ve got something I can use? But it`s as hard for us to use the name again as it is not to use it, if you know what I mean. Because people say `Oh, the bloody Spiders again. What they doin`?`. And then they just brush it aside.
“But we like the name and we never did get to do an album on our own as a backup band. Which was planned to be done. It fell through when we just disbanded, you know, when Ronson went and did his own album. And so we decided to do one. And we like the name. We think it`s a good name. It`s unusual. People always go `Oooo. What?`.”

And yet, Trevor, you must admit to only being half of the original Spiders.
“I think if we`re going to do anything anyway it`s going to be on what music the band gives off.” Trevor disposes with further finicky obsessions about detail with true Northern bluntness.
With the exception of Woody Woodmansey – who is at this moment ” `ammerin` out” a new drum-kit down in East Grinstead (ho-hum) and who was replaced by Aynsley Dunbar – all the Bowie Spiders recorded “Pinups”. “Pinups” was, in fact, the last time that these musicians were to record with the Beckenham Boy although no-one knew that at the time. Shortly afterwards they entered the studio with Mick Ronson in charge to lay down the tracks for “Slaughter On 10th Avenue”.
“I thought `e should have played more rock`n`roll meself to be honest,” laughs Trevor, “I really thought he shouldn`t have gone out and tried to be a singer. He should have concentrated on being a rock guitar player.”
Question voiced: So whose idea was it that he should lay down his guitar and start airing the tonsils? (Question implied: So tell me all about Tony De Fries` manipulation of Poor Innocent Ronno?).
“Is. It was `is career. `E did what `e wanted. `E `ad a free `and in everything `e wanted to do. `E wasn`t told by De Fries. I think `e just `ad a lack of experience at that point in what direction to go in and `e just got together wheatever `e could and just did an album. And `e just went in the direction it went in.”
The Pye press officer sticks his head around the door and mumbles something unintelligible to my ears.

“We`re `oping,” Trevor translates, “to be doing the big dates with Dave in London as a support band. It`s just an idea that we`ve been talking on the phone about” (the much more financially reasonable localised Hull telephone service, I expect). “Might not come off. All depends what `e feels like. But `e keeps changing `is mind. You can never tell with `im. `E`s that sort of a person,” he adds, looking knowingly at me.
You had that problem with him when you were working together?
“Oooooh. All the time.”
Because I`ve always had the impression that David Bowie is enormously together and seems to know exactly what he wants.
“Oh, `e does but I mean like. `E knows what `e`s after. `E knows what direction `e`s going in but `e changes `is mind about things. For the right time. One day `e`ll say one thing and then `e`ll realise it`s the wrong thing and `e`ll change it again. That`s the way `e works.”
As a young lady enters the room to search unsuccessfully for “Jim`s diary” – Trevor talks about DB and Money: “We was just on wages. Always was. Well,” he pauses a moment or two, “We thought it might have been different but it never was. I mean, we got good wages. The money went up as the band progressed. As it got bigger and bigger we earned more. We didn`t earn a fortune like people thought we did. De Fries and Dave earned the money. We just earned a good living.”

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So what happened after “Pinups”? Why`dja pack it in?
“With Bowie??? I didn`t really pack it in. You mean playing? I don`t know.” He says it as if the question has never occurred to him. “We never saw each other after that. I mean, I didn`t see David for about four or five months, you know, and I went off and played on Mick`s album. And whether `e thought `Eh eh? `E`s gone off with Mick and I`ll get somebody else in` I don`t know.
“But I just accepted it. I was too busy working wi` Mick.”
“On to play on `Don`t Worry`, the second Mick Ronson solo album,” I prompt?
He nods: “That was a funny album. It took months. We went to France to record it first and we used this studio that wasn`t very good and we spent two weeks there and `e only kept about two tracks, I think. Two backing tracks. And `e came back and recorded it all again at Trident. A very expensive job.
“It was just after that he joined up with Mott. I don`t know why.”
Trevor Bolder then made lengthy and abortive searches to find musicians to form a band of his own. None were suitable. One day he walked into Cube Records and met up with Barry Bethel, a MainMan organizations expatriate. Bethel recommended first a vocalist, Pete McDonald, from a Cube signed Geordie band, Bullfrog. Bolder got off on his Paul Rodgers-esque vocals. “And I decided to get together with Woody (Woodmansey) as well. And Woody thought it was a good idea `cause `e wasn`t doing anything at the time. So there was three of us and we needed a guitar player.”
Pete McDonald recommended yet another Cube artist, Dave Black, guitarist with a band called Kestrel. “Sort of McLaughlin, Yes type of thing. Different style totally from what I`ve been used to. A very fast guitar player. And we got `im down, got off on `is playing and we went from there. This is February of last year.”

Was there any period after you left Bowie where you wondered what the hell you were going to do next?
“Well, I automatically thought `What the `ell am I going to do`, you know. But I decided that there was only one thing to do and that was to form another band, you know. Get playing again. Because I `adn`t stopped playing just `cause I`d finished with David. That was all in the past.
“Even when I look back on it now it`s very hard to bring to mind all the times when I was onstage. It`s like I`ve been to the pictures and watched it at the pictures and you get like glimpses. I`d sort of forgotten what it was like playing with him, you know. It`s all sort of gone and I`m just like looking for summ`at new now.
“But I mean like you play with Dave and you play bass and you contribute to the albums with a few ideas but that`s about as far as it goes. You don`t get to write any songs.
“Whereas this way we`ve got more freedom. You can do what you want and enjoy it. Everybody gets to write and to put in their ideas and it feels more like a stable band whereas before it was a band and one man and you didn`t know what was going to happen next. And in the end, of course, we just bust up.”
Pete McDonald breaks his silence: “The writing potential`s great `cos we wrote that whole album in five days. It just seemed to click.”
And you expect the album to chart?
“Ye-ahhh,” says Trevor, just a little hesitantly,” If we get the right promotion and get the band onto a tour and let people see the band. It`s a very visual band. Very rock. We don`t just stand there.
“We`ve still got the Bowie costumes. We`ve still got the clothes. We can always wear those. But as compared to the Bowie thing it`s much more raw. Much more rock. There`s not as much theatre.”
Pete for the third time: “It`s a lot of fun as well. It`s all amusement. The serious bits don`t come into it too much. If somebody makes the wrong move they just get filled in by the others. No stars.”
“I think people take the business too seriously,” nods Trevor Bolder. “I mean, I did when I was with Dave. I used to think everything had to be so right. But you`ve got to go out there and have fun and that`s what we`re trying to do. To enjoy it for ourselves as much as the audience.”

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Those were the days – when Boots sold records! 

 
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may  not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Emmylou Harris, The Sexual language of rock (not a band!), Dave Burland, Johnny Clarke, Steve Harley, Kokomo, 10 cc, Lee Brilleaux.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Uriah Heep FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, December 20, 1975

You don`t have to be a genius to figure out that this journalist is not a big fan of Uriah Heep. Kudos to him for admitting that it is so and trying his best to write a “balanced” review of their album. Well, at least as far as he is able to in the circumstances. His use of the English language suggests that Mr. Erskine was a well-read and intelligent music journalist. Unfortunately, Mr. Erskine died an early death, but lives on through his writing.
Personally, I still believe that Heep should be in the Rock`n`Roll Hall of Fame. Their long career and “Easy Livin`” alone should send them there.

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Five years of unbroken popularity and delusions of grandeur

URIAH HEEP: The Best Of Uriah Heep (Bronze)

By Pete Erskine

One of the first records I ever had given to me to review was Uriah Heep`s “Demons And Wizards”.
I was Disc`s cub reporter then, trying hard to make a name for myself as some kind of verbal marksman – sniggering at the cut of the lead singer`s trousers as I took aim.
The outcome of the resultant review was a couple of acidic paras, in which I confessed to tossing the album over an adjacent hedge.
Roger Dean`s sleeve remained pinned to the kitchen wall – I only liked looking at the pictures, you see.
The extremities of people`s reactions to their music has always worked for rather than against the Heep.
I hated that album, but at least it was substantial enough to inspire an emotion as intense as hatred. Using the Zappa definition (he having developed the same ethos with regard to his signing of the latterday repulso-rock figure A. Cooper) this alone was conclusive evidence that Heep were destined for a major career.
Subsequently, I discovered that I wasn`t prejudiced against Heavy Metal at all.

Sabbath are great because they have no real pretensions musically. Even in the lyrical sense they are unpretentious, despite token concessions to passing “controversial” themes like ecology and neuroses. Which, you`ll have noticed, are never allowed to take precedence over the Sabbs` definitive H. Metal equation.
Heep, however, remind me of a poor man`s Deep Purple – unwilling to come clean and own up to the fact that they`re really no more erudite or imaginative than the Sabbs.
Instead, like Purple, they have aspirations to respectability and “progressiveness” by structuring their material along the delicate neo-classical lines of Jon Lord`s flirtation with the L.P.O.
Heep`s keyboardman, the gentlemanly Ken Hensley, must in part be responsible for the growth of this neo-classical tangent judging by the calmer, more pensive nature of his solo projects.
As yet, former Family/King Crimson bassman John Wetton appears to have had little effect in changing the group`s direction on record, while guitarist Mick Box and vocalist David Byron are Hensley`s polar opposites, still adhering conservatively to the traditional formalised precepts of volume and garishness.
The result – through five years of unchanging popularity, four drummers and three bassplayers – has been somewhat schizophrenic.

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Artistically, the band has never qualified as “progressive”, while at the same time it cannot ever have been said to represent true Heavy Metal.
To me they typify that peculiarly English principle of Saving Face represented by the compulsive national need to dress mutton as lamb.
In this respect groups like Uriah Heep are direct descendants of the ghastly late `60s-movement in pop which required that musicians “prove their intelligence”, over mainstream pop by being as musically inscrutable and elitist as possible.
Which was only really another “anti-hero” guise, equally phoney because it was only a Pavlovian reaction to the other extreme.
The whole thing was so patently wooden and literal; half a decade later we still have musicians in this country who believe the hang-over maxim that the overdub is some kind of panacea and ju ju.
This, despite the almost universal acknowledgement of bands like The Wailers and Little Feat – both of whom continually realise the impact of the maxim of “If in doubt, leave it out”, which is one of the founding principles of black music.
Some people are even beginning to acknowledge the greatness of pop bands like the Small Faces and the Spencer Davis Group.

The Heep are the nearest parallel we have to the late Vanilla Fudge in terms of the scale of their misinterpretation of their raw materials.
They`re much too inhibited to strip down and make real unashamed quality Heavy Metal like Iggy`s “Fun House” or “Raw Power”.
Heep are too genteel by half – instead of wasting their time on quasi-magical lyrics and virtuoso organ runs they should dig out even a fraction of Iggy, and the Feelgoods` energy and some kind of working vocabulary of stirring (but simple) guitar riffs.
As it is, it`s a wonder they haven`t all got piles from sitting on the fence so long.

Track listings are as follows:
Side One: “Gypsy” (recorded 1970 with Paul Newton, bass; Alex Napier, drums. From “Very `Eavy, Very `Umble”. “Bird Of Prey” (rec. Nov. `70, same line up, “Salisbury” album). “July Morning” (July 1971. Ian Clarke, drums, Manfred Mann, moog. From “Look At Yourself.”) “Look At Yourself” (Same date. With Osibisa`s rhythm section).
Side Two: “Easy Livin`” (`72. Gary Thain, bass. Lee Kerslake, drums. From “Demons & Wizards”). “The Wizard” (`72. Same album). “Sweet Lorraine” (October `72. “Magician`s Birthday”). “Stealin`” (June `73. “Sweet Freedom”). “Suicidal Man (ditto. `74. “Wonderworld”). “Return To Fantasy” (`75. John Wetton, bass).

It might be worth remembering that to date Heep have sold in excess of 10 million albums.

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YES! It is that easy to write a worldwide No. 1 Hit! Incredible!

 

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With a great, big thank you to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Bob Harris, Steeleye Span, Roogalator, Santana, Stephen Stills, 10 cc, Jean-Luc Ponty, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, Status Quo.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Uriah Heep from New Musical Express, September 13, 1975

In a year where Deep Purple deservedly gets inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, it is time to remind everyone about another band from England that deserves to be there. If someone forgot how big they were in the 70s you only need to read this article to understand that they were (and still are) an international band of some repute.

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See the Lead Guitarist.
His legs are peculiar but he plays good.
Watch him “get it on” with the crowd.
Sometimes he “sends” them into raptures…
…And every now and then he doesn`t.

By Tony Stewart

You sense you`re in converted territory, and that Uriah Heep are Important Visitors, as soon as your rump touches the plush, airconditioned interior of one of the four large, black limos waiting for the band at Chicago airport.
“Hi! My name`s Richard. I`m your chauffeur. Anything you want just flick your fingers.”
Heading the motorcade Richard delivers us at the H`yatt House Hotel, where a specially appointed security team sentry the entrances as the band file through.
On previous tours band members have received four murder threats. On one occasion a bullet was fired through the window of Lee Kerslake`s room and at a concert in Louisville one guy leapt over the barrier and attacked David Byron with a knife.
Funny what Heep`s music can do.
The closest any of the physicals have been, though, was actually in Chicago when Byron clambered onto the shoulders of a guard during a set. Just as he did a kid pounced, swung a punch and loosened the guard`s dentures. He was not amused.

But the only imminent danger in the Hyatt bar seems to be from a City cop who`d been used as security on their last tour, though now his services are no longer required. Somehow he`s attached himself to the group and his party trick is continually having a large drink flowing down his throat as he displays his police issue revolver.
In short he`s a pissed maniac.
No sweat, however, with four thick-set martial-arts experts watching over The Party with as much concern as hens over chicks – even to the point of riding shotgun in the Limos when Heep make a personal appearance in a suburban shopping precinct.
The appearance is to some extent an important chore, but on this occasion it`s even more essential as this tour is regarded as particularly crucial, and every little bit of promotion helps their cause.
The departure of bassist Gary Thain and the subsequent upheaval within the band and then the harnessing of John Wetton into the outfit – meant Heep have been unable to tour America for almost a year. Which is sufficient time for their drawing power to wane. To such an extent that perhaps it would require more than an extensive 43 date-swoop, playing to an estimated half million folk in all, to regain lost ground.

Even though the US trek`s something of a challenge the various groups members nevertheless approach PAs with some trepidation and reluctance. And on this occasion their worst fears are justified as we emerge into the precinct from an underground carpark and the organiser, a straight Jewish looking card called Lewis, suddenly dons white topper and tails, springs onto a specially erected stage surrounded by young teenies, and in the showman tradition introduces his prize exhibits – Uriah Heep!
Four of the band participate in the farce and shuffle embarrassed onto the platform with arms outstretched to acknowledge the applause.
Wetton, however, declines, and instead chats to an American kid about a variety of subjects – from King Crimson to the make of his own home stereo. John, despite the initial impression his attitude portrays, is not in fact playing out the Subdued Musician number. “I don`t feel too well actually,” he explains rubbing his delicate stomach delicately. “And I`d rather puke in front of two people than 30.
“I`m not particularly into this sort of thing anyway, but I do feel genuinely sick.”
And he`s so convincing I step back a pace for safety`s sake.

Back at the gig the actual sound quality may be abysmal and a severe testament to almost every criticism levelled at the huge American rock theatres, but Heep`s presence and resounding panache is of such strength that, by the encores, the whole audience is in jubilant uproar.
Also Chicago does indicate the general, but elsewhere more rational, response the band will receive on a further two concerts I`m to see, as well as thrusting you into the ambience of their 1975 American Tour. Plus it introduces you to the peculiarities of the characters and events surrounding an English Name Band.
By the time they hit Chicago they`d flown back to England a roadie with pneumonia, seen another OD, and lost a sound engineer who`s held by the cops on suspicion of murder (but who`s later charged with possession). And another of the staff had to fly home to bury his brother-in-law.
The strain has certainly told, with alarming results.
“All of us are feeling less than ourselves,” remarks Hugh, who works for Heep`s management. “I`ve given up sex for the duration because it exhausts me. Actually,” he confides, “I don`t think I could deliver anything personally.”

Then the band`d been following or preceding the Stones into various towns. At Buffalo, the opening date, the promoter originally pulled the gig because he thought Mick and Co. were too much competition and would adversely effect ticket sales. But, at the management`s insistence, the gig was put back in and 6,000 kids showed for the Heepers.
Yet at another early juncture the whole jaunt was in jeopardy when Guitarist Mick Box took a long walk off a short Louisville stage, breaking his arm in four places which now necessitates a plaster dressing, pain killing injections, and a helping hand to wash his hair.
Although Mick`s unable to use a plectrum he has improvised a four-finger playing style, and he bluntly refuses to quit the tour.
“I just won`t give up,” Box comments. “I`d have to be unconscious before I`d stop playing. If I can possibly play and still give a reasonable show I`ll do it.”
Ah yes. Heep are a regular bunch of troupers, and the show goes on.

Limos run the band and entourage to the airport. We travel first class to Cleveland, where another three Cadillacs are on hand to drive first to the hotel then to the 80,000 seater baseball stadium for an afternoon festival which, following performances by the likes of Blue Oyster Cult and Aerosmith, culminates with sets by Heep and finally The Faces.
Behind the high stage the organisers have laid on a line of small, luxury motor caravans which act as dressing rooms. In Heep`s you can find fruit, bottles of champagne, and assorted spirits and beers. In fact their every whim is catered for in the contract riders, and what with the limos, luxury hotels and bodyguards everything clicks into its lavish place.
Compared to their English and Euro tours their American trips have a totally different, more auspicious, atmosphere. The trappings of success also seem to effect them significantly.
They enter like stars, look like stars in their finery clasping the necks of bottles of Dom Perignon; and therefore they act like Stars.
But do they need to? Does it make any difference to the actual performance? According to the band it does.
“It is expected,” Ken Hensley insists as we all squat in the motorvan`s limited space a half hour before Heep are due on stage to face the 60 odd thousand crowd.

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“You`re expected to put up a kinda front. People treat you like rock and roll stars so what ever you think of it yourself, however you categorise yourself, you`ve still got to give the impression you are.
“I am very anti all that,” Ken adds. “I`m anti having security, karate experts and bodyguards. It`s the show that`s important to me. Nothing else.”
Lee Kerslake`s attitude is slightly different. He digs it all.
“Let`s put it like this,” he explains, “if you build yourself up an ego and you go on stage with that ego you put on a better show.”
“I don`t agree,” interjects Hensley.
“Well, I think it`s true,” Lee continues unabashed. “If I`m built up to feel like I`m something I go on there and really work at it. If someone makes me feel like I`m a crud it disheartens me.”
What he`s basically talking about is confidence. And Byron, elaborating on this point, says that the American promoters will ensure everythings to hand for a band so that when they go onstage there haven`t been any niggling problems which could detrimentally affect their performance.

Continues Hensley, on the same subject, “They don`t give you any room for excuses. They give you everything you ask for. They`ll give you ten limousines if you ask for `em. They`ll give you 50 bottles of champagne if you ask for `em.
“But if you go on stage and cock it up then you know it`s your fault. It`s not because somebody else hasn`t supplied what you asked for.”
Heap, by the way, request a modest six bottles of champagne.
“Just a little bit of stardust to make you feel good,” explains Lee.
The road manager gives the band their final five minute call and they add the final preparations for their performance. Byron and Kerslake use eyedrops to make their eyes shine, even in the sticky afternoon sun. And overall they seem particularly relaxed, but not in the least worried that after them follows Stewart.
After all it is their second gig together, the first being in Norfolk, Virginia where Heep, Byron claims, “killed `em stone dead”.
That, you suppose, is the kind of confidence their life style stimulates.
Compared to Chicago the sound quality at Cleveland is far superior even though it exhibits the normal problems involved with the acoustics of an open-air stadium, such as sound drift, too much treble and an echo delay.

Heep are considerably more sure of themselves than on the previous night. This of course could be something to do with their own celebratory aura (with the result they`re more relaxed) because it`s not only Hensley`s 30th birthday, but the day he chooses to announce his old lady`s pregnancy and that in another three days his divorce from a previous would be absolute.
Strike one, two, and I suppose, three.
Out of the three gigs it`s Milwaukee the next night which is the closer illustration of why Heep are a success in America.
They arrive like Stars in three limos down the drive way to The Arena with a capacity of just over 11,000. The metal doors are automatically raised and we find ourselves parked between the dressing room and the stage where Blue Oyster Cult are playing a rough, heavy and excellent opening set.
So, even though Uriah Heep haven`t been seen on this part of the Lake Michigan shore for several years their reception, before a single note is played, is typical unihibited mania.
Yet it`s surprising how quickly the band are able to find the right frame of mind for a performance after a rather trying day. The plane was delayed in Cleveland because of thunder storms, making the arrival in Milwaukee so late there was barely time for a meal before leaving for the gig. Nerves were frayed. Byron snapped at Chris the road manager and Box rowed with his American PR over an article printed in a US rock magazine.

Apparently the piece inferred Mick had died. The cause of death, it insinuated, was syphilis.
Box`s anger faded as he commented, “apart from anything else it ruins your social life.”
He later talked of suing the ass off the paper. You know, just to prove he`s very much alive.
But for a corpse he`s a pretty nifty onstage mover. Of course though, Heep`s whole charm lies in the histrionics. Byron tripping, running, sprawling on the stage and nuzzling into either Wetton or Hensley. Depending on his fancy.
There`s Hensley lying back over his organ stool or standing up to tip the instrument onto two legs. While Box smashes his plastered arm across his guitar.
At the Milwaukee Arena, however, the musical quality is appreciably high. Wetton`s addition has obviously resulted in certain changes because of his playing technique, and yet the fundamentals of the band are really quite similar to when Thain carried the bass.
Wetton was the guy who wanted me to say Heep were dreadful rather than be non-committal. But I can`t. Musically they could be better and therefore they put the audio qualities on equal footing with the dramatic visuals. As they are, though, they`re an entertaining and exciting rock outfit.

But it isn`t until the next morning as we leave the Milwaukee Hotel that Heep`s esteem on the American frontier becomes crystal clear.
Just as we`re all checking out President Ford is due in. The foyer is sprinkled with a crowd of well-wishers, and the road to the airport is occasionally dotted with more patriotic citizens. Yet it`s not that good a turnout for  Gerry, seemingly slightly half-hearted.
Observing this from the back of a limo, it`s Kerslake who comments.
“Bloody hell, there were about ten and a half thousand more who came out to see us.”
He was right as well.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Procul Harum, Genesis, Andy Pratt, Suzi Quatro, Buddy Holly.

This edition is sold!

ARTICLE ABOUT Uriah Heep from New Musical Express, June 21, 1975

This article might serve as a reminder of how enormously big Uriah Heep were in the 70s. And they are still touring  the world and still making mighty fine music today. Impressive and worthy of inclusion in the rock hall of fame a thousand times more than some others in there. Someone needs to get them inducted soon…
This is my last post of the year 2015 and it is incidentally a day before my 50th birthday. I have no illusions of becoming  a 100 years old, so it is quite strange to reach this grand old age. Realistically I may have some 10 to 20 years left in me, so I need to hurry up now, with everything I want to do. Well, so it is for us all, we`ll just hope for a  sort of rock & roll heaven! Happy New Year!

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Concert Review

Rotterdam

By Tony Stewart

Pass the champagne, please.
We`re on board one of the two private planes flying a bunch of journalists out to Rotterdam for Uriah Heep`s eight European concert on the present tour. Washing down the smoked salmon sandwiches with bubbly, while reading the press kits dutifully placed on each seat.
Anybody want some Tequila? Just to go with the orange juice, you understand.
We`d climbed out of the chauffered XI6L Jaguar at the airfield, hopped in the aircraft and in no time hopped out again in Holland. Slipping into the plush interior of a Mercedes. And with a vroom of the automatic engine we`re taken to the Rotterdam Hilton.
This is called Doing It In Style.
(Would anybody notice the cycle clips in my pockets?)
In the hotel bar we`re offered a Planter`s Punch or a real taste of the genuine Heineken by vocalist David Byron. Who doesn`t even give me time to wait for the waiter to wait before launching into an impassioned eulogy on Uriah Heep.

Almost crying with happiness. Slipping out superlatives to describe their current well-being. Never been better. We feel so bloody well inspired and confident on stage. He says.
Stocky Mick Box is being amiable. With two reporters on each of his thick shoulders he`s probably saying the same as Byron. And in a corner Ken Hensley politely drinks quietly, readily agreeing to be interviewed by the Dutch Press.
This is called: A Show Of Confidence. Indeed, new bass player, John Wetton, has already given the band much to thank him for.
Shucks, he says, before the drive to the Ahoy Halle.
And, of course, I like the music. Adding, to tell you the truth, I had plans of my own to form a little band. But the people weren`t available. So I accepted this challenge, because quite honestly I wished to pursue this particular musical direction. With or without Heep.
There`s no truth whatsoever in the rumour I`m biding my time to secure financial support for my own little project. Because Atlantic Records in America and Island in England both wanted to invest anyway.
Just as Wetton formally accepted his present position, he received a phone call. “We`re available to form that band with you now, John,” said a voice.
When relating the irony Wetton laughs loudly.
This is called: Doing What You`re Doing And Forgetting What Might Have Been.

So, at near 10 o`clock, the revibed, rejuvenated and thoroughly happy Uriah Heep find themselves on stage at the Ahoy cycling arena, facing an enthusiastic 6,000-plus crowd containing, somewhere up in the Gods, a line of supposedly sceptical British journalists.
“Uriah Heep usually get slagged by the press,” said Lilian, wife of manager Gerry Bron, earlier. “Any other kind of comment will be an improvement.”
She also said: We expect the reviews either to say John Wetton has brought a new lease of life to Uriah Heep, or not even Wetton can improve the band.”
As Byron peacocks onto the stage, Box crouches down, phallicly cocking his guitar between his legs and growling at the audience; Hensley sits behind the organ, lolling his mane backwards and forwards, Kerslake squeezes in behind his kit, and Wetton leaps on looking like David Essex. The band probably have two specific purposes in mind.
One, the most important, is to entertain an audience who haven`t seen them during the six-month absence from live work. The second is to convince the journalists that the feelings expressed earlier are accurately true.
This is called: Giving A Good Show.
The following is indeed a report of an excellent show.

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John Wetton has brought a new lease of life to Uriah Heep.
Can`t remember who it was, but one of the entourage had said that to re -inspire Heep didn`t necessarily depend on Wetton, good as he is. Any good player who slots in personality-wise could do the same.
And Gerry Bron admiringly said he believes in certain principals of football management being applied in the rock and roll context. Such as bringing new blood into the team. A point on which to ponder.
Never did ask about Wetton`s transfer fee.
Here he is, though, acting like a Heavy Metal Kid of many years experience, striding the stage and kicking his legs like a Topper. All the while laying bass lines so thick you could run Guinness down them. Occasionally closing in on Byron to nuzzle into his hair.
Box generally stays in his own mental paddock, running round in a circle, then coming forward to the edge of the platform, swinging the axe into his crotch, as though ejaculating power chords into the face of the audience.
Up at the back Kerslake`s slamming his fists, as if pounding dough.

Meanwhile Hensley diligently plays keyboards, as relaxed as if he were fingering a box of cigars, making a choice. Oblivious of the games going on around him. Until on some numbers he balances himself precariously on his ridiculous high boots, hooks on a guitar, and joins in the floor show.
He`s such a well trained midfielder. Holding the defence. Occasionally attacking when it`s safe.
The first half of the set has various musical highlights, such as the excellent vocal delivery of “Stealin`”, but overall the pace is slow, badly measured and erratic. Also, the sound is unfortunately suppressed by the limited P.A. With no top and no bottom, the sound hangs in mid-air.
“The middle axis of the act is `July Morning`. From there it just takes off,” Byron had claimed earlier.
It does.
Although they`ve brought in new numbers from “Return To Fantasy”, like “Prima Donna”, the title track and “Shady Lady”, the main structure of the performance depends on the more familiar material.
The real highlight is “Gypsy”, where the music and stage act is good, with Wetton and Box performing a centre-rostrum bull fight, and Byron menancingly wielding a mike stand for the final kill.
Gone are the elaborate effects, with the result there is more musical concentration counterpointed by exactly the right amount of on-stage dazzle.
Heep don`t barrel-roll through the set either, but once half way through, they measure their pace for the eventual crescendo. Which comes with a confetti explosion and the encores.
As the lights went up and the crowd streamed out I felt very glad to have been there.
This is called: Enough Said.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own  webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Can, Phil Spector, Elton John, Greenslade, Beach Boys, Elvin Jones, Bad Company, Alan Stivell, Jackie Wilson, Fairport Convention.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep) FROM New Musical Express, May 24, 1975

My last article posted here with YES as the subject predictably attracted the YES-fans in droves. I like their eagerness to read these old articles about their heroes. May it long continue! So, this time, will the Uriah Heep-fans be just as eager? We will find out soon!

Ken Hensley celebrated his 70th birthday this year, and I salute him and thank him for his contribution to all the great music that Uriah Heep have made – life just wouldn`t be the same without it!

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Win a Formula Ford 2000!!!

Just collect as many gold top records as lucky winner Ken Hensley

By Tony Stewart

“Racing,” Ken Hensley says as he produces a photograph from his wallet, “is as therapeutic to me as golf is to other people.”
He hands over the snapshot of his pride and joy, a Ford Formula 2000 racing car with modified Pinto engine.
“It`s the alternative to an ulcer,” Ken continues. “If all I had to do and think about was what I do with Uriah Heep and on my own, I`d probably be a drug addict or a looney. Probably both.”
Whizzing round a track at 130 miles per hour keeps you sane? Keeps you off dope? Jackie Stewart must be a well balanced person.
“I`m a great believer in being able to get away from things for a while,” Ken`s saying. “Because when you get back to it, it helps you think clearer. And in the rock and roll business these days with all the temptations laid in front of you, it`s difficult keeping your feet on the ground. `Specially if you`ve made a few bob.
“As soon as you get a few gold records on the wall you tend to move into a different sphere of thinking altogether, which isn`t good for anybody at all.”
It sounds as though he`s referring to other people and not himself, but I can`t help sneaking a glance past his pedigree Persian cat and taking in the sight of three of Hensley`s five cars parked out front. In descending order there`s a Ferrari Dino, a BMW and a Mini. His other BMW is on loan to a friend.

His lounge looks like a musician`s workshop, the walls cluttered with amps and speakers, the floor crammed with a grand piano, synthesisers and guitars. Ken`s buying a bigger house to accommodate his equipment.
And that sentence keeps springing to mind, “As soon as you get gold records on the wall…”
The indulgences of success? You could also say solo albums by people like Hensley fall into the same category. In fact I did, because he`s just released his second, “Eager To Please”.
In discussing this project we`ve stumbled onto his expensive hobby and then onto that tender subject: Ostentatious Rock Stars. It bothers Hensley that one day he may just lose himself and forget who he was originally.
“The only way to assess what success means is how you feel in yourself,” he says. “Do you enjoy having four cars to pay road tax on rather than one, or none, as the case used to be?
“Do you enjoy having the liability of running a racing car?
“Do you enjoy the incredible electricity bills you get from having gadgets all over the house?
“Do you enjoy having to have your grand piano tuned every week?”
Do you want to be a millionaire? God, the pain of it.

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“I mean, people can only see this material thing as a gain, but it has tremendous disadvantages that people don`t see, and the biggest disadvantage is that it takes you right off the ground and you lose complete touch with everything that`s real and everything that`s normal.”
He means it. But he likes to believe that although success may have changed his life he could return to poverty street without too much heartache, if necessary.
That, however, seems unlikely, because Ken is no mug and getting back to the subject in hand, “Eager To Please”, it`s discovered that one reason for recording solo was to provide himself with some security, “in case somebody takes away this golden egg called Uriah Heep.”
“It helps me to be contended in the knowledge I`ll be able to continue doing something on my own, though with a lesser degree of success and therefore a lesser degree of material reward. But it would be a job, I wouldn`t be on the dole sort of thing.”

There are other reasons for recording solo though, and as they`re unfolded Hensley shows he has carefully thought about his present and prospective career. Or else he`s been practising answers for the interview.
“It`s a perfect media for establishing exactly where I`m going as an individual, musically, which is important so that I can contribute to the band properly.”
Another reason is relieve the frustrations of having too much material that Heep can`t take on. Talk on this leads back to his earlier reference to establishing an identity.
Another reason is to relieve the frustrations of a tamer me, I feel that, if anything, I`m probably the least heavy member of Uriah Heep and I have an individual identity which I`m keen to establish.
“Being totally realistic about it, achievement within the context of a band is a different thing from achievement in a solo aspect. When one reaches one`s ambitions regularly and fairly quickly as we`ve done, you find other goals to reach for, and I suppose now one of mine is to have success with a solo record.”

But whether the process of establishing his own identity will cause him to leave the group is doubtful, even if he did have considerable commercial success independent of the others.
“I`m not a great gambler,” he comments, “and if I was going to go off on a solo career I`d need a band, and I don`t know if I`d be able to shoulder the responsibility of leading an operation like that.
“Also against individual identity is the safety-in-numbers factor of group identity. Uriah Heep is actually the first band I`ve ever been in where I could actually operate as a member of the band, rather than being THE person. In the Gods I always felt I was responsible for the band.
“With Heep,” he continues, “I feel I can contribute more from the background because David (Byron) is the front man. That gives me a certain amount of security.
“I feel now I`m part of Uriah Heep until the end, until the death,” he states emphatically. “I couldn`t operate as a solo artist while the group was still in existence unless they sacked me, and I had to go and work solo.
“It`s ironical that it`s something I`m looking for, but something which I have no real solution to. An interesting dilemma.”

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Elton was Captain Fantastic in 1975!

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own  webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Barry White, Manfred Mann, Mud, Led Zeppelin, Pete Townshend (The Who), Kevin Ayers, Mike Harding.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.