PETER GOALBY – Former URIAH HEEP and TRAPEZE Frontman Returns With First Solo Album After 30 Years

Peter Goalby had a long and successful career throughout the ’70s and ’80s. From Wolverhampton (England), Peter was in such bands as Fable and Trapeze as a singer, guitarist and writer. He also had a solo deal with Magnet Records in the ’70s, releasing a few singles. Following a final tour and live album with Trapeze he joined a revamped Uriah Heep, lead by Mick Box. As a frontman and writer he played a major role in the band’s resurrection in 1982 with the successful Abominog album, followed by Head First, and then Equator. In this interview [his first since his interview with the Uriah Heep Appreciation Society in 1992, and his first since walking away from the music business] Peter explains his reasons for leaving the band, as well as a few events that lead him to leaving music all together in the early ’90s. He took other jobs, put away his guitar, and moved on, having little contact with the music industry. However, November 5th marks the return of Peter Goalby in a way – it is the release date for his brand new album – songs that he’d recorded over 30 years ago! Songs he feels strongly about, and that he needs to see released. Easy With The Heartaches will be his first album since 1985! Peter says he is “thrilled” with this new album. And here’s hoping that it generates enough interest that we might hear more from the man!

*Check out the link at the bottom to order Easy With The Heartaches.

To go back a bit, I just want to clarify that you did not leave Uriah Heep because your voice was gone – it was the relentless touring along with personal matters at the time!? Can you talk a bit about that decision and how it came about ? Did the lack of success with Equator play a part as well?

The touring was relentless from day one. Everything revolved around the live shows . Just to give you some idea, we once did 22 countries in 30 days. My longest run was 16 nights back to back. I remember checking in to the Hamburg Hilton and I bumped into Gary Moore in reception. I told him that this was show 16 on the bounce, he said “Sack your manager!” Our manager was standing next to me, so I said “Gary meet Harry!” LOL.
Equator was a major part of the end for me. I have never understood why we did not use Ashley Howe on this third album > I was told we were using Tony Platt because he had worked with Mutt Lange. The album flopped mainly because the sound is awful. It’s drenched in Reverb and difficult to follow. Way too many overdubs.
We arrived in Australia to do our second tour in two years. We were met from the plane by three people from CBS Records. They had no idea that we had a new album out (Equator). We were so pissed off – I could not believe it . What a cockup!
So. as the first Aussie tour went so well. this time they put 36 shows into 40 days . We got about three quarters through it, then one afternoon Lee took me fishing off the rocks. All I caught was a throat infection – Laryngitis. I lost my voice completely for 4 days. I was not allowed to speak at all. We resumed the tour and my voice was fine. My voice did not give up, I did! Many reasons added up to me wanting to leave but my voice was fine. I hope you will agree when you listen to my album .
I am so proud that finally people will listen to my very best work. I love the songs – all of them! It’s the real me, what I always wanted.
The story of me having problems with my voice suited the band at the time, it fitted in . No one ever asked me if it was true. This is my first interview since those days [ed – UHAS int] .

Can you touch briefly on the highlights of your career – with Heep, Trapeze, as a solo artist… Any tracks you were most proud of or favorite concert moments?

There are so many Highlights in my career –
Fable was a great band, all 5 of us sang; I loved the harmonies and all that stuff. We were a cover band really but we did the songs live better than the original artists.
I was thrilled when I was asked to join Trapeze. Mel was a great guitarist, very unique style of playing. I wrote three songs for Trapeze – “Livin On Love”, Don’t Ask Me How I Know”, When Gou Get To Heaven”. All three ended up on side one of the album, Yea! My favorite Trapeze track I sang was “Don’t Break My Heart Again” – I think I did a fine job on that one !?
Castle Donnington was the start of the Heep story – we blew all the other Bands off the stage, as we did so many times, at many festivals over the years. We headlined so many, all over Europe, it was great! I remember waking up one morning in a hotel in Europe, I could hear the riff to Golden Earing “Radar Love” live – It was 11am, the show had started and we were not on until 9pm. I thought to myself “Wow that’s where I am, great stuff!”
I loved working with Def Leppard – Joe, Phil and the boys – great people, they really were. We were all great buddies at the time. Joe and I played golf in Las Vegas. We used to share a taxi when doing the radio interviews before every show.
I was watching Sky Arts TV channel the other day, watching the Eagles live, and I thought “look at the size of that gig!” – then realized it was the LA Forum. I have played that gig!
I loved playing India, that was incredible, And yes, I really do have a scar on my back, where I was bitten by a naked Indian guy who jumped on the stage.
I regret not doing Russia; that must have been fantastic for the boys.

Was the possibility of a trip to Russia in talks before you left?

Just before we went to Australia for the second time , we were offered Russia but it  was not officially on . I did not realize it was going to be that big , must have been incredible . Well done Mick.

Too Scared To Run was a great intro for the band!?

When I wrote “Too Scared To Run”, as I did with a lot of songs, I always pictured certain bands playing it or what would they would they do. And I wondered what would Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy do? And it’s really weird because looking at some of the comments on the internet about Too Scared To Run one guy actually said that it reminded him of Thin Lizzy! So, I thought ‘yeah, I got it right.

Immediately following Heep, was your initial plan to get on with a solo career or was there other options, offers, things you wanted to do? And what lead to eventually writing and recording these tracks that make up Easy With The Heartaches?

Straight after leaving Heep I I was introduced to Mickie Most. He had just bought back RAK records from EMI. He signed me and we made two singles which he produced . “Mona lisa Smile” an d then a great song called “I Don’t Wanna Fight”. I then got a publishing contract with Rondor Music. They treated me very well. I was allowed to go into the studio any time I had new songs and record them . Which I did; that’s how these recordings came about. I would wait until I had three or four songs ready to go, then book the time in Mad Hat studio in Wolverhampton . We would record three songs complete in a couple of days . To be honest I was thinking maybe I would get an offer from a band. I never thought of me doing a solo thing or having my own band. My writing was getting better and better at the time; I felt like I was in the zone. The songs were getting stronger and stronger. Had I stayed with Heep they would have ended up as Heep songs I am sure. I also think part of the reason the songs were getting better was that I now had the time to concentrate on being a writer. Really that’s all I wanted to do, be a writer of songs. The songs on Easy With The Heartaches were written after I left Heep, there was nothing left laying around with the band, nothing.
John Parr contacted me, he had heard some of my songs and loved them. He asked if we could do some co-writes for his next album I said YEA. We wrote “It’s Startin’ All Over Again”, “Everytime”, and “This Time”, which John put on his Man With A Vision album. John played all guitar solos, I played all other guitars.
I also did some co-writes with Robin George. Robin is from Wolverhampton, so we knew each other for many years . I have put three Goalby / George songs on my album : “I Built This House”, “Monalisa Smile”, and “Chance Of A Lifetime”. They were recorded in Robin’s home studio.

In talking about some of the tracks – Monalisa Smile is one many will know [as it was a single], but it also created a bit of controversy in comparison to a Heep track on Raging Silence!?

When Heep were doing Raging Silence, Mick asked if I had any songs they could do. I had “Monalisa Smile”, and I wrote a new song especially for the album, I called it “Blood Red Roses”. It is a great song. So I sent those two songs to Mick. Then when I heard the album I played “Blood Red Roses” and thought “WOW – I should have recorded it myself”. I loved it . But the next track came on and my father-in-law said “that’s your song too ?” I phoned Mick and said that “Voice On My TV” was the same as “Monalisa Smile”. He told me it was a co-write with the new keyboard player. Mick apologized and it has not been mentioned since that day.

Do you have any personal favorite tracks on this album? Anything specific that you felt would’ve made a great single at the time you recorded them?

I love every track on Easy With The Heartaches. I chose that song as the title track because of the lyrics. They are rather fitting. they mention ‘too scared to run’ and ‘Rainbow’. I think my very favorite has to be “They’ll Never Find Us”, it fits together so well, and I sing it well (I hope).

These songs have always been noted as being demos!?

I call them demos, but they sound as good as anything else that’s out there from the 80s. 


What happened following these recordings that they ended up getting shelved [and eventually bootlegged] and you eventually leaving the music business as a writer / performer?

Mickie Most went to America with “I Don’t Wanna Fight” and “Monalisa Smile”, and got me an album deal. And they offered him 15 points [percentage breakdown], and he wanted 19, and he walked away! So yet again – this is the story of my life! There would’ve been a Pete Goalby album a few years after I’d left Heep.

This single started to do well, it was on round table, which is a Friday night radio show where they play new singles and comment on them
UK DJ Mike Reid was on that night .I remember it well, I was listening to the show. They played my record and Mike said – “What a song. The vocal is a hit vocal, but the production sounds so old fashioned . It sounds like the sixties. Awful”. Monday morning Micky pulled the record from release. He withdrew the record .

I remember there was a shake up at Rondor, my contract was up for renewal. The guy that had signed me got fired and so did all of his Artists – including me . So that was the end of that. I decided enough was enough and quit the music industry. I had given my all for so many years but decided there were other things in life like being happy.

In the years since leaving the business did you miss it at all – not so much the ‘business’ end, but the writing, recording or performing live? And do you still play on occasion [in private, for company or yourself]?

I missed it all, big time! That’s why I stopped completely. That was the only way to deal with it. I was in denial.
It took a long time to get over it all and become normal again. I could not figure out why I could not get it off the ground. So I stopped. I have not picked up a guitar in many years. And the same with the singing. The last singing I did was for Uli Roth, 1992, I think.
Looking back, I hated the music business, but loved the music . This album is so important to me. I truly believe these are my best songs.

What sort of lead you at this stage to get these recordings out? Curious if you’ve seen a lot of positive comments about your recordings with Heep and Trapeze, and if that played a part? Can you kind of go through what got you motivated, and the whole process to get to this release? {i believe it was late 2019 when you first mentioned it].

I had been looking on YouTube etc , and was blown away with the comments about the songs. People totally get it! And that’s great. So many people saying they like the songs.
A very important thing happened to me when I was 60 years old – my Mother told me the man who I thought was my Dad, actually was not my Dad. My real father was a singer and piano player – Wow! Then it all made sense. I finally knew who I was and where it all came from. Had I known this before I would not have stopped singing and writing etc (isn’t it a strange old world?)
Losing Trevor, Lee and Ken made me think real hard about things. I thought when I go, some one will buy the rights to my songs and release them anyway. So I decided to stick around and hopefully enjoy releasing the album and all that goes with it.

Has this release inspired you to want to see more stuff from your past get released [or reissued] – like Fable, various singles…..? 

As I said when I am gone , it will all get released so, if that’s what people would like . Then let’s go for it now Kevin.

Why did you decide on Easy With The Heartaches as the title?

I wanted to call it Easy With The Heartaches because it could be about me, if you listen to the words.


As you had more than enough songs to pick from [people who have the ‘bootleg’ out there will say there’s songs missing]. So curious how you chose the songs for this release? And what might become of the ‘leftovers’?

I was not even aware there had been a bootleg album of my songs. I thought some one had been nice enough to put a couple of my songs on You tube.
I wanted the album to be punchy. After being in such a great band with Mick. I think that is what people will expect. I have more songs and we will see how things go with this album.

How happy are you with this album being released [finally]?

This is my first album since Equator and it’s been such a long time. It’s weird but I can detach myself from them ’cause it’s been so long since recording them. It’s as though I am listening to some one else. I think he is good, I like his voice! But I love the songs and style of the songs. It’s the kind of music I love. So it makes me very happy.

Could you foresee yourself recording anything new – be it reworkings of old songs or perhaps writing something new?

I am not sure about singing or writing new songs but lately I have learnt – NEVER SAY  NEVER!

How involved and happy were you with the Trapeze compilation that came out in 2019?

I had a nice surprise last year with the release of the Trapeze compilation. I don’t know why but they did not use “When You Get To Heaven”. I think that was a strong song… Anyway, never mind. I was not involved at all with the release. I was asked to do something for the sleeve notes, which I was very happy to do.

There are a number of things in the Heep vaults from your time – the Ridge Farm stuff, the live in Auckland show, there’s also a live show from Glasgow [radio broadcast]. . Would you be keen to seeing some of this stuff ever released? 

No!  The live in New Zealand  I think is fab. I’ve watched it. That was done properly, it sounds good, we’re playing [what I call] proper songs.  That wouldn’t be a problem.  But all this stuff like Ridge Farms, and stuff I’ve seen over the years like backing tracks, I’m thinking ‘who is doing this, what is the point?’ ,  it’s crap – it’s not very good.  [Q- stuff on the box sets?] . Yeah, I don’t agree with any of that, it was never meant to be released. You wouldn’t release them at the time. The reason something doesn’t get released is because it’s not strong enough or it’s not in the right style, or whatever. So you pick and choose what’s going to be on the album, and all these songs get fallen by the wayside, and a lot of them aren’t even finished because you think there’s no point in finishing it because it’s not going to make it; it’s a no-go.  And to hear them coming out as bonus tracks, I’m embarrassed, because it was never meant to be! 


You remained a very private person since leaving the business, even avoiding social media. Can you give fans an insight in to how you are doing and what you’re into these days?

So, it’s all looking great, I have been very lucky in many ways. I am enjoying my Retirement, although I think I will be very busy after November 5th.
We are still very much into our horses and horsey stuff.

Though it’s been a long time – have you occasionally been recognized or approached by fans while out in public?

I am still recognized, yes. I have always played it down though. A lot of our friends still don’t know I was a singer in the 70s and 80s. It’s great fun when they find out.

You spent a lot of time with Trevor and Lee, and were friendly with Ken. Any special memories or tales of any of them? 

We  lost Trevor, Lee, Ken , and then John Lawton . I did  not know John but he was part of the family  and all are missed .

I loved Lee, he looked after me . Bob Daisley said , if Lee tells you anything you must either half it , double it, or completely ignore it  LOL

Bob  called Lee  ‘Grenade Head’ ’cause he was likely to go off at any moment  LOL.  Bob and Lee were very close right until the end .

Lee was an absolutely fantastic drummer. To stand to in front of the drum riser with Lee playing behind me, his bass drum used to blow out my trousers, he was so loud, he was like Cozy Powell. Cozy was exactly the same. A fantastic drummer. But Dave Holland was a great drummer too. 

Trevor – What a  bass player! I still see him all the time on all the Spiders From Mars videos on TV. Trevor was also a funny guy; very quiet  but in a calm way I loved sharing a stage with Trev.

Ken, what a talent – so many classic songs . I wish I could have shared a  stage with Ken. It did cross my mind to do an album with him but I left it too late . He was a great keyboard player; a different style to my mate John Sinclair, Both  fantastic.

You’ve kept in touch with Mick over the years, and presumably John Sinclair. And Bob Daisley was in the band prior to Trevor…

Yes I am in touch with Micky  but more so with my mate John, he is the funniest man in the world, so funny. He said to me a few months ago – “Pete you are the best singer I have ever worked with… Oh, apart from OZZY!” LOL

When Bob left the band I was so upset, as we were great together. He is a great bass player and writer – ,everyone knows that. Bob and Lee together, WOW – bloody fantastic! It was an honor Bob.


If you were to ever join Heep onstage for a couple of songs from the ’80s — what would you like to do? 🙂

If I ever joined Mick on stage for a couple of songs from the 80s – “To Scared To Run” – for sure, as it’s my song. And I think maybe “The Other Side Of Midnight.”

Join our Peter Goalby Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/124798726162

Check out Peter’s 1992 interview with the Uriah Heep Appreciation Society > http://www.travellersintime.com/UHAS/UHAS03.PDF and http://www.travellersintime.com/UHAS/UHAS04.PDF

http://www.uriah-heep.com/newa/indexoutsiderdw.php

*Pics of Peter Goalby – from Head First & Uriah Heep from Abominog by Fin Costello.

KJ, 09 / ’21

3 thoughts on “PETER GOALBY – Former URIAH HEEP and TRAPEZE Frontman Returns With First Solo Album After 30 Years”

  1. Great to read this interview and hear Peter’s story. I preordered The new CD as soon as I learned of it. Really looking forward to hearing these songs with improved audio quality over the bootlegs. They are all great songs. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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