Long-time Uriah Heep bassist and Spiders From Mars icon Trevor Bolder has died of cancer at the age of 62, it’s been confirmed.
Bolder joined David Bowie’s backing band in 1971, alongside guitarist Mick Ronson – with whom he’d played in The Rats – and drummer Woody Woodmansey. He appeared on the albums Hunky Dory, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Aladdin Sane and Pin Ups.
He replaced John Wetton in Heep in 1976 and made his recording debut with them on 1977′s Firefly. He also played on Innocent Victim, Fallen Angel and Conquest, before joining Wishbone Ash. In 1983 he returned to Mick Box’s outfit and played on Equator two years later. He’d appeared on every album since, including their most recent outing, 2011′s Into The Wild.
Earlier this year he announced what was hoped to be a temporary absence as a result of surgery. He later told Classic Rock: “I had pancreas cancer so I had to have that removed. Not the entire pancreas; but still, it was bad news. They’ve cut out the bad bit. I’ve had a bit of chemo, got to have that, which I’m doing now, in case there’s anything hanging about. Once that’s done, I should be back to doing what I do for a living.” The band had said he was aiming to be back in action in time for Heep’s appearance at the Download Festival.
A statement from the band reports: “Trevor was an all-time great – one of the outstanding musicians of his generation, and one of the finest and most influential bass players Britain ever produced.
“His long time membership of Uriah Heep brought the band’s music, and Trevor’s virtuosity and enthusiasm, to hundreds of thousands of fans across the world.”
Box adds: “Trevor was a world class bass player, singer and songwriter – and more importantly a world class friend. He will be sadly missed by family, friends and rock fans all over the world. We are all numb to the core.”
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Doors co-founder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek died today in Rosenheim, Germany after a long battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74.
"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today," Doors guitarist Robby Krieger said in a statement. "I'm just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him."
From the Archive: Ray Manzarek Opens a New Door
Manzarek grew up in Chicago, then moved to Los Angeles in 1962 to study film at UCLA. It was there he first met Doors singer Jim Morrison, though they didn't talk about forming a band until they bumped into each other on a beach in Venice, California in the summer of 1965 and Morrison told Manzarek that he had been working on some music. "And there it was!" Manzarek wrote in his 1998 biography, Light My Fire. "It dropped quite simply, quite innocently from his lips, but it changed our collective destinies."
They quickly teamed up with drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger and began playing gigs around Los Angeles. About a year later, the Doors recorded their debut album for Elektra Records. "We knew once people heard us, we'd be unstoppable," Manzarek wrote in his memoir. "We knew what the people wanted: the same thing the Doors wanted. Freedom."
The Doors didn't have a bassist, so Manzarek often played the bass parts on his Fender Rhodes piano. He also played a Vox Continental organ, which can be heard on the famous intro to "Light My Fire" and numerous other Doors classics. The group shared credit on most songs and split all profits evenly.
The group carried on for two more albums after Jim Morrison died in July of 1971, but they split in 1973. Manzarek remained extremely busy, producing albums for X and playing with Iggy Pop, Echo and the Bunnymen and others. In 2002, he began touring as the Doors of the 21st Century with Krieger and Cult frontman Ian Astbury. Doors drummer John Densmore filed a lawsuit over the use of the name and it lead to a protracted legal battle.
"Morrison required all three of us diving into his lyrics and creating music that would swirl around him," Manzarek told Rolling Stone in 2006. "Without Jim, everybody started shooting off in different directions. . . The Doors was the perfect mixture of four guys, four egos that balanced each other. There were never any problems with 'You wrote this' or 'I wrote that.' But [after Jim died] the whole dynamic was screwed up, because the fourth guy wasn't there."
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