Tag Archives: uriah heep

JOHN SLOMAN – New Album, Two Rivers to be Released Soon

John Sloman is firmly established as one of the ‘voices of rock’. Famed for his octave straddling voice, John has performed with Gary Moore, Uriah Heep, Lone Star and UFO, among many others, and he is to release a new album titled ‘Two Rivers’. Two Rivers will be preceded by a 2 track digital single on Red Steel on October 29th 2021.

Lifted from his magnificently strange and exquisite album Two Rivers the single is called “This River Is A Time Machine”. This digital-only 2 track single is backed with an alternate take “This River – The Instrumental”, as the ‘B-side which is not included on the forthcoming album.

Please credit Jeff Moh

The album is described as – “having traces of a major stage production with elements of acoustic Zeppelin evident along with several other references. Even Zapperesque at times.”

John is also working on a retrospective collection with tracks drawn from his deep well of solo albums titled ‘Conspectus’. Furthermore, there is a full series of back catalogue remasters for release in 2022 as well as more new material to follow…

The album’s cover-art is based on a photo by Jeff Moh then painted by Callum Fernandes-Clarke, all put together with Callum and John.

https://www.facebook.com/johnslomanofficial

PETER HESSLEIN – Talks About New Solo Album & New Lucifer’s Friend Compilation

For Lucifer’s Friend fans, despite the recent deaths of both Dieter Horns and John Lawton [Dec ’20 / June ’21], there are a couple of upcoming releases that will [hopefully] lift fans’ spirits. October will see the second solo release – Night Drive 2, from guitarist Peter Hesslein, and in December there will be the Lucifer’s Friend compilation The Last Stand. In this exchange Peter Hesslein gives some answers regarding both of these new releases, as well as future releases that fans can look forward to.

*For pre-ordering of both of these CDs check out > http://www.cherryred.co.uk

Regarding Night Drive albums: 

How was response to the first one? 

The reaction to the first Night Drive album was a huge surprise for me, with unanimously positive reviews, I had planned the album for myself to relax and to bridge the gap until the next Lucifer’s friends album for the loyal fans, I was initially a little insecure as the rock lovers can be felt, I was immediately motivated to find a successor with many good reactions, especially since John still had not started with the vocals, although the playbacks were completely finished.

When was the 2nd Night Drive recorded? and does it differ much from the first one?

Night Drive 2 was finished in May 21st, it’s a little more rocking than number one.

After so many years of working in bands or with other people, how did you enjoy recording solely for yourself?  

Working while listening to top musicians from all over the world naturally shaped me, as I have already done everything myself for Lucifer’s Friend and John had given the vocals, it was a habit for me.

Do you foresee yourself doing another such solo album, or is there something else [musical direction] you’d like to record in? 

I finished the recordings for Night Drive 3 and I even aimed it towards Brazilian music, inspired by my long-time friend and percussion player Pablo Escayola

Nice. when is this planned for release?

In May 2022.

Lucifer’s Friend :

The Last Stand compiles songs from the LF albums ’94 to 2019. Is this basically your own choices or how did you choose the tracks? 

The Last Stand was supposed to be the new Lucifer’s Friend album, as this wasn’t possible now, management decided to turn it into a sampler of tracks from the last four albums. I chose these songs in the sense of being John’s favorite songs.

Is there more Lucifer’s Friend stuff in the vaults that could be released — be they leftover studio tracks, demos…? 

Lucifer’s Friend only have playbacks without vocals.

You had mentioned previously a LF recording from Japan. Might this be something you could still release, and is there any other live recordings that was  could be issued? 

There is a live recording from Japan, but unfortunately the quality is too poor to be released.

Regarding the unfinished LF album –  I understand that everything was done except for the vocals!? If so, is this something that could be finished musically OR with ‘guest’ singers? 

The management has decided to close the chapter of Lucifer’s Friend for the time being.

Curious if there were any song titles [?]

Since John always wrote his lyrics shortly beforehand, so unfortunately, none exist.

Is there any chance we could still get proper CD reissues of the entire Lucifer’s Friend catalogue? [maybe a box set]

When the management gets the rights for a box set from the different companies, maybe at the end of ’23.

Is this something that is being planned with a particular record company? 

That is planned with Cherry Red. 

Might you consider writing a memoir of your career in music? 

My rheumatism makes it difficult to write.

Links:

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/peter-hesslein-night-drive-2/

https://www.facebook.com/Lucifersfriendph

https://www.facebook.com/LucifersFriendOfficial

*Photos courtesy of Richard Wagner.

KJ, 09 / ’21

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

LUCIFER’S FRIEND – The Last Stand

A new compilation from German progressive / hard rock band Lucifer’s Friend marks the end of this great band, following the losses of founding members Dieter Horns [bass] last year, and singer John Lawton earlier this year. The band had began in 1970, and continued until 1981 with Lawton leaving the band in 1976 to join Uriah Heep, then returning for one album in 1980 following the departure of his replacement Mike Starrs. The band regrouped in 1994 as Lucifer’s Friend II, minus founding member – keyboard player Peter Hecht, and with a new drummer, and released the album Sumo Grip. They disbanded again, but Lawton, Horns, and guitarist Peter Hesslein would reunite again in 2014 to record some new songs for the compilation Awakening in 2015. They then played some shows in 2015, when they would record Live At Sweden Rock [issued the next year]. 2016 also saw the release of a brand new studio album titled Too Late To Hate, which was followed by 2019’s excellent Black Moon album. During this time health issues prevented the band from playing live before the Covid pandemic started in 2020. At the time of Black Moon John Lawton stated that another album was largely done, and was just awaiting his vocals. But Covid had closed the studio John would normally work out of, so no chance to record seems to have shelved this project. Sadly, In December of last year Dieter Horns, who had had recent health issues contracted Covid-19, and passed away in hospital. Further tragic news came when John Lawton suddenly passed away on June 29 of this year, leaving fans shocked. Late last year Peter Hesslein released his first solo [instrumental] album Night Drive, and is set to release the follow up, Night Drive 2.

The Last Stand is a fitting touch to end the band’s catalogue (unless of course, there’s things in the vaults 🙂 ) . It is compiled by Hesslein, from the albums from Sumo Grip, up until Black Moon.

Track Listing:

1 Heartbreaker
2 Sheree
3 Ride The Sky ‘94
4 You Touched Me With Your Heart
5 Pray
6 Did You Ever
7 Demolition Man
8 When Children Cry
9 Straight For The Heart
10 This Time
11 Black Moon
12 Passengers
13 Call The Captain
14 Freedom
15 When You’re Gone (Live)

KJ, 09 /’21

PETER GOALBY : Post Heep Solo Recordings Finally Get Official Release!

Peter Goalby left Uriah Heep following 1985’s Equator album and world tour. His first move was to release a single under the name Perfect Stranger in 1988. The singer, who also was a major songwriter during his time in Heep would resurface on the band’s 1989 album Raging Silence, as he wrote the single “Blood Red Roses”. As well he wrote “Falling Apart”, for Smokie on their 1989 album Boulevard Of Broken Dreams. He would also record a number of tracks for a solo project in 1990. A few of these tracks would see the light of day on official releases – “Mona Lisa Smile” was issued as a single in 1988, co-written & arranged by guitarist Robin George [ex Byron Band], and produced by Mickie Most. That track, as well as “Chance Of A Lifetime” [also on Easy With The Heartaches] were also recorded by UK band Estrella for their 2012 album Come Out To Play [an album produced by former Heep keyboardist John Sinclair]. Peter also wrote for a few other artists [notably John Parr], as well as guested on stage with Uli Roth, but would retire from the business, and taking on a job for a guitar company. But these recordings would later find their way out on the internet – bootlegged to download or on Youtube. His 1990 unreleased solo album was no secret amongst Goalby’s fans. Recently retired, and knowing these are the last things he wrote and recorded, and was proud of, the singer finally decided it might be a good idea to get his lost solo album out as an official release. Easy With The Heartaches features 11 tracks personally overseen (from tape transfer, mastering and artwork) by Peter Goalby. And here’s hoping that fans enjoy it, it’s not the last we hear from him!

Track Listing:

1 Easy With The Heartaches
2 Hold The Dreams
3 I Found Real Love
4 Chance Of A Lifetime
5 Mona Lisa Smile
6 They’ll Never Find Us (Running For Our Lives)
7 I Used To Be Your Lover
8 Take Another Look
9 Perfection
10 I Built This House
11 The Last Time

*Also released on the same label in 2019 was a 2 CD Trapeze compilation , which includes a previously unreleased live show featuring Peter Goalby [his debut with the band] from 1977. https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/trapeze-leavin-the-bad-times-behind-the-best-of-trapeze-2cd/

URIAH HEEP : A Visual Biography – by Martin Popoff

The latest in the ‘visual biography’ series from Canadian rock writer Martin Popoff just happens to be on the mighty Uriah Heep. A project I had a slight hand in. And having said that – has made it hard for me to write much about it It is a very nice coffee-table book, chalk full of photos from throughout the band’s history, with photos mainly coming from fellow Heep fans who were fortunate to have seen the band over the decades, with different line-ups. So credit must go to those who contributed their photos, and time in scanning as well.

The visual history also comes with a timeline of Heep’s history, noting many birthdays, important dates, related releases, etc…

It is a fine addition to an avid Heep fan’s collection. It is heavy (weight), but will make for a cool conversation piece.

For the record, someone commented ‘enough with the Heep books‘ – well, I for one am in favor of seeing more, and preferably more from those (players & participants) who were there. Uriah Heep was/is a major band in the golden era of heavy rock, an era that will disappear sooner than later. So, if you’ve got something to say, photos you’re stashing, recordings you’re holding on to, unprinted interviews to share — Now is the time!

*For more info and to order please check out the link below. +Martin also has copies of his Thin Lizzy book in the same series.

Uriah Heep: A Visual Biography (martinpopoff.com)

Uriah Heep: A Visual Biography: Popoff, Martin: 9781912782567: Amazon.com: Books

JOHN LAWTON : 15 Classic Career Spanning Tracks

No description available.

It was just over a week ago that the shocking news that British singer John Lawton had passed away on June 29 came out. July 11th would’ve been John’s 75th birthday. Though best known for his time with Lucifer’s Friend and Uriah Heep, John had a very lengthy career full of great recordings — not only the 2 major bands he was known for, but plenty of one-off projects, solo albums, singles, guest appearances. One thing that is undeniable is that regardless of who John was performing with – it was his vocals that stood out. A buddy of mine used to say – “he could sing the phone book and make it sound great!”.

I’ve picked 15 tracks from throughout John’s career to celebrate his life and recordings. And this is just a scratch on how much great stuff the man was a part of. *Please leave a few favorite tracks in the comments.

Ride The Sky – Lucifer’s Friend

The best known song from Lucifer’s Friend, and probably the most well known vocal from John. He and the band sounding like they could fit in alongside the biggest names in early hard-rock / metal in 1970. Covered by a few bands, most notably Avantasia. One of a few LF songs that John would later include in his live repertoire for years. Lucifer’s Friend [II] would also re-record the song in 1994 for Sumo Grip.

Burning Ships – Lucifer’s Friend

From Lucifer’s Friend’s 2nd album – Where The Groupies Killed The Blues. An acoustic ballad that builds up. One of John’s trademark numbers, and many o’ Lucifer’s Friend fans’ favorite song. More recently Jason Kane & The Jive did an excellent cover of this. *I’ve included the 2015 live version here, as I’d previously included the original studio take in my post on John’s passing. I think the band still did an incredible job on this 43+ years later!

Mama Loo – The Les Humphries Singers

Many people may not realize that John’s main gig prior to Uriah Heep was recording and touring with The Les Humphries Singers, a pop band featuring a number of great singers, who played many top hits [covers], as well as songs written by Les Humphries. This was written by Les, and was the group’s biggest hit, with John singing lead.

High Flying Lady (Goodbye) – Lucifer’s Friend

From Lucifer’s Friend’s most ambitious album, and the one John cited as his favorite – Banquet. It was one album he’d have liked to have performed live in full. This is the a great upbeat rocker, full of brass, great production, and amazing vocal from John.

Little Chalk Blue – Roger Glover’s Butterfly Ball

John sang on this track written and recorded for Roger Glover’s 1974 theatrical album The Butterfly Ball And Grasshopper’s Feast. A sweet orchestrated ballad. It was issued as a single and part of an EP, but not on the 1974 LP. John would perform it at the 1975 live staging of The Butterfly Ball, where he also sang the song “Love Is All”.

Wiseman – Uriah Heep

Written by Ken Hensley, “Wiseman” was a minor hit in Europe. It’s a classic Heep ballad, and John once cited it as the first song he sang with the band. He would keep it in his live repertoire years later, and re-recorded it with Steve Dunning for their 2002 album Steppin’ It Up. The song also earned Heep a spot on UK TV show Top Of The Pops.

Free N Easy – Uriah Heep

John wrote a few songs on the last few Heep albums, and a couple of them were the heaviest things the band did during this period. “Free N Easy” [co-credited to Mick Box] was a huge fan favorite, from Innocent Victim [altho’ “Free Me” was the massive hit in some countries during this era]. The band would bring this one back in more recent years, and it would feature on the band’s Live In Europe ’79 album, as well as John’s reunion album with Ken Hensley – The Return.

Hey Driver – Lucifer’s Friend

After leaving Heep, following the recording of a 4th [as yet released] album, John recorded a solo album [co-written with Peter Hesslein, and using Lucifer’s Friend as the backing band], followed by an awesome reunion album with LF – Mean Machine. A return to straight ahead hard-rock, influenced by the New Of British Heavy Metal at the time. One of my top 3 LF albums with so many great hard rockers to chose from.

Heart Of The Night – Zar

In the early ’80s John sang on an album by German hard-rock band Rebel, featuring Tommy Clauss on guitar. Another opportunity arose for John to step in and recording with Clauss again at the end of the decade with the band Zar. Released in 1990, Live Your Live Forever was a fairly commercial sounding heavy metal album, full of killer tunes. John proving he could still rock as hard as he did on the first Lucifer’s Friend album.

Don’t Stop Believing – Gunhill

Gunhill was the band John formed in the mid ’90s. They were primarily a working band, doing plenty of covers, some originals, and a few from John’s past. They did release a CD in 1997 titled Nightheat, which included this as the opener. Written by John, I really liked this one, and a the band’s few other originals here.

Tonight – John Lawton [solo] / Uriah Heep

John was extremely busy in the early 2000s, with Gunhill coming to an end, and a few other projects, a new band, and this solo album from 2000 titled Still Payin’ My Dues To The Blues. A great set of lighter blues and blues based tracks. This is an outstanding ballad that John originally wrote and recorded as part of the 4th [unreleased] album with Uriah Heep. John also re-did this one with Steve Dunning in 2002 Should be interesting to hear Heep’s version.

Written On The Wall – John Lawton Band

The short lived John Lawton Band followed Gunhill, and the band toured and would release this line album, as well as a live DVD . Sting In The Tale was a solid set of blues based rockers. This is the stand-out track for me, a nice heavy rock song.

Steal The Night – OTR

OTR [On The Rocks] was a short-lived project John did latter day Focus guitarist Jan Dumee, as well as a few Brazllian musicians in 2008. A very different album that showed again how much John could sound great in any type of music.

Fairytale – Intelligent Music Project [Diana Express]

Intelligent Music Project is a recording band that is the brains of Bulgarian producer / songwriter Milen Vrabevski . John sang on the first 2 albums in this act. The first one billed as John Lawton & Diana Express and titled Power Of Mind.was a concept album, Diana Express being the Bulgarian band playing here as well. Again, a very different album, more adult contemporary, hard-rock, orchestrations… The ballad “Fairytale” was the first song released from the album, and the standout track John did with these albums.

Passengers – Lucifer’s Friend

From the last Lucifer’s Friend album Black Moon in 2019. A fantastic album, showing John and the band could still come up with good, memorable songs. The band had re-grouped in 2015 for a compilation album [with 4 new tracks], a live album, and a studio album Too Late To Hate in 2016.

*photo of John – courtesy of Richard Wagner

07 / ’21

JOHN LAWTON – R.I.P. To One Of England’s Finest Singers & Gentlemen.

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On July 5th, the sad news that English rock / blues singer John Cooper Lawton had passed away on Jun 29 was posted on the Lucifer’s Friend Official Facebook page. Lawton was known to rock fans for the albums he recorded with the German band in the early ’70s, and then for the 3 studio albums he recorded and toured with Uriah Heep in the latter half of the decade. There was very little details on John’s passing, but really it shouldn’t matter at this point – the world has lost an amazing talent, and more so to the fans who had any contact with him – a genuine great guy, and a true professional.

It is with deep regret that we share the devastating and tragic news of the sudden and totally unexpected passing of John Lawton on 29. June 2021.Contrary to reports, there was no illness involved, which makes his passing incomprehensible. He went peacefully with his wife at his side. John will be greatly missed. A private funeral service to celebrate John’s life will be held following his wishes, with only family and close friends attending. We would appreciate that the family’s privacy is respected during this difficult time.

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Jeff Scott Soto – “I’m so very sad to learn my friend John Lawton known most for his tenure with Uriah Heep, a KILLER singer and wonderful human being, has passed.”

John was born in Halifax, England July 11, 1946. He began singing at the age of 15, citing such early influences as Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, and Chuck Berry. In the later ’60s he made trips to Germany while playing in such bands as West One and Stonewall, and it’s there that he would meet up with the members of a new band to be called Lucifer’s Friend. He also took part in a studio project – Asterix, and recorded the first Lucifer’s Friend album soon after. The band was a studio band who’d release very different and experimental albums each year. Between that John joined The Les Humphries Singers as his main gig – recording and touring. He was also introduced to the Deep Purple family through his appearance at Roger Glover’s Butterfly Ball performance in 1975. It was a highlight of John’s career – “Actually standing on the same stage as David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord, all these people was great! And meeting Vincent Price of the horror films was great. Those are good memories, and something I won’t forget!”

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Axel Rudi Pell – “R.I.P. John Lawton! One of the nicest people in all music business and a great singer! We had the pleasure of getting him on stage for my 25 year anniversary show in July 2014 and rocking 2 songs together. You left us way too soon dear John! My deepest condolences to his wife Iris and his family.”

In 1976 he was called upon to replace David Byron in Uriah Heep, and went on to record 4 albums with the band, and one live album. Although Heep’s direction changed during this era, John proved an excellent singer in an era where the band’s popularity in North America declined. He remembered his first US tour fondly – “This was my first time in America, and I was touring with Uriah Heep, and we were the opening band to Kiss… Kiss were a good band – they were the biggest thing around at that time, and we still got to play to a lot of people.” In other countries though the band had some major success during this period, particularly with the hit “Free Me”, from 1977’s Innocent Victim. While the band’s direction in songs & production changed, many would agree that it was John’s powerful vocals during the late ’70s that held many songs together and provided much of the highlights. John also wrote and co-wrote on a few Heep classics during this era – “Free ‘N Easy”, “I’m Alive”, and “Woman Of The Night”.

Mike Starrs – “Another great singer has left the stage. John Lawton, You were the inspiration For many great singers and John you will be SO SADLY missed. Have a great trip my old friend. Und sehn wir uns.”

Following recording for an as yet released 4th album, and European tour, John left Heep, and went on to record a solo album, followed by a return to Lucifer’s Friend with an album in 1981. Throughout the ’80s & ’90s he kept busy on numerous recordings, and even made a brief return to Heep in ’95, filling in for Bernie Shaw for a South African tour and a few dates in Europe. During the ’90s and in to the 2000s John Lawton really warmed to the Heep fans through his band Gunhill, and appearances at Heep’s year end Magician’s Birthday Party shows in London. There was also a reunion show and tour with Ken Hensley, solo albums, another Lucifer’s Friend album …. Throughout John showed he was just a good, down to earth, and friendly guy to any fans that met him or had contact with. He attended fan conventions, remembered those he came in contact with, and despite being such a great singer with an amazing career, he seemed like more than an old friend to many.

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Mick Box – “The passing of John Lawton on the 29th of June came as a complete shock and has left me numb. John was a big part of the Heep family, and on stage when he was covering for Bernie, who was having hospital treatment at the time, he said over the microphone “you can check out, but you never leave Heep.” That was our John and he was one of the good guys. On a personal note we had some fantastic times in Heep, and some fantastic times too outside of Heep. On filming the movie ‘Love dot net’ and playing shows with him in Bulgaria we never stopped laughing, and I will always remember those joyous times. I enjoyed the songs we wrote together, and he had an amazing voice that was both powerful, soulful and with a bluesy edge. Rock music has lost one of the great rock voices of all time and his legacy will live on forever. Our condolences go to his wife Iris, their immediate family, and his German band ‘Lucifer’s Friend.’ John, may you rest in peace my friend.”

In later years he had reunited with Lucifer’s Friend, and recorded a few studio albums, released a live album, and played a number of concerts (something the band didn’t do much prior to 1976). The band’s last album was 2019’s excellent Black Moon. At the time of my last interview with him, he had mentioned that there’d be another album, and last heard from him was that he was awaiting a studio to open (after Covid) so he could record the vocals for it. John was also very keen on seeing the 4th album he recorded with Uriah Heep get a formal release. Often referred to as ‘Five Miles’ he thought it was important this should see the light of day. I am sad that John, who was keen on it’s release (as were Lee and Trevor) won’t be here to see it, as I understand it is very good.

Jack Williams – “John was one of those rock stars who was extremely grounded & from what I saw never forgot where he came from, thus this great rock singer who had cut his bones in another huge rock band “Lucifer’s Friend” always treated me like I was always part of the “Heep” family, I will never forget the years I spent in the UK writing with Ken Hensley & watching John Lawton sing the hell out of my songs!!!RIP John Lawton.”

I was most fortunate to interview John on a good few occasions. He was always positive, and never spoke negatively about anyone. Speaking in 1997 John said – “I’ve done everything I set out to do when I was 15….I think I’ve been lucky, I’ve done everything I wanted to do musically. So, I just let life come at me these days, and it can throw at me whatever it wants, and if it’s to do with music, then I’ll do it.” And to think how much more he did after that! RIP John. Thanks for so much great music.

*Photos courtesy of Richard Wagner

KJJ, 07 / ’21

Uriah Heep – 12 Favorite Tracks From The Bernie Shaw Years.

Uriah Heep Announce Living the Dream 2018 UK Tour - Your Online Magazine  for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal

Canadian singer Bernie Shaw recently turned 65. Bernie relocated to the UK in the late ’70s and went on to record with such bands as Grand Prix, Praying Mantis, and Stratus, before joining Uriah Heep at the end of 1986. He’s sang on the band’s 9 studio albums since 1989, as well as numerous live albums. Keyboard player [and major writer in Heep’s albums for the past 32 years] is Phil Lanzon, who joined Heep not too long prior to Bernie, so the pair have given the band great stability as well as a number of excellent albums over the past 3 decades. This is just my own list, but feel free to drop any of your own favorites in the comments!

Between Two Worlds

From 1998’s Sonic Origami. Spooky intro build-up to the band kicking in. Just a great intro and epic rocker. Lyrical subject about being able to cross over and share the stage again with former members no longer in this world. I love this album, tho’ I wish there was a few more in this style on it.

Against The Odds

When I first heard 1995’s Sea Of Light, I couldn’t believe how much better it was than it’s predecessor and just loved the songs and production. This [again] being a killer opener, one of the best & heaviest guitar rockers the band ever did.

What Kind Of God

From 2008’s Wake The Sleeper. A crushingly heavy album; I really preferred side 2, which is what this track opens. Inspired by the book [and story within] of Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. Very to different to anything on WTS, love the drum march throughout, the Hammond organ, the bass and the bass solo near the end, not to mention Bernie’s vocals….

Logical Progression

At the time Sea Of Light was still new my favorites on it changed many times, but this one jumped out right away, and was always a favorite. Very smooth, love the Hammond organ throughout this and the chorus…

Take Away My Soul

From 2018’s Living The Dream. This album didn’t let up for the first 5 tracks, and this song I liked more so for Mick’s guitar solos. Cool that the song begins with the chorus, a neat twist. If anything, in my opinion this should’ve been the first track on the album [though “Grazed By Heaven” was an excellent choice as first video-single]. Reminds me “Between Two Worlds” and “Against The Odds” in it’s energy.

One Minute

This one, from 2014’s Outsider stood out on this album, and got a good bit of attention for the band [w/ Alice Cooper featuring it on his radio show]. The piano / vocal intro is such nice piece on it’s own [wish there was more of this here], it’s a beautiful intro before the band kicks in to a pop-rock track that is very catchy, with such a memorable chorus.

Blood Red Roses

The first studio album with [then new] singer Bernie Shaw from 1989 was Raging Silence. It’s like the band tried to recapture the impact of Abominog with this album, and all the covers. But it’s the band’s own songs that I prefer here, particularly this one, which was written by departed vocalist / songwriter Peter Goalby! A great pop-rocker for the time, and still sounds great. I occasionally wonder if only PG had stuck around for this one…. hmm…

Trail Of Diamonds

I really like 2011’s Into The Wild, lots of excellent songs [tho’ I wasn’t crazy about the single]. This one being one of those epic blends of everything Heep – light and heavy, a few changes, great vocals from Bernie…

Love In Silence

Perhaps the track most loved by the Heep faithful from Sea Of Light [?]. An epic ballad! Phil Lanzon did an amazing job on this song with the piano, the Hammond break, the strings, and the various changes throughout the track. A great feel good Heep classic.

I Hear Voices

Sonic Origami had a lot of lighter stuff, but I really enjoyed that album. This one being a great pop-rocker, with a memorable chorus and vocal effects. I really liked this one as the following track to “Between Two Worlds”, such a great pair kicking off the album, back to back.

I’m Ready

Great straight ahead upbeat rocker and [I believe] show opener at the time. This should’ve been the album opener [IMO] .

Knocking At My Door

Cool guitar / organ intro, to a favorite rock track from Living The Dream. Bernie does a great job delivering the words dealing with paranoia. And excellent mid song break and solo from Mick.

URIAH HEEP Studio Discography w/ Bernie & Phil:

Raging Silence – 1989

Different World – 1991

Sea of Light – 1995

Sonic Origami – 1998

Wake The Sleeper – 2008

Celebration – 2009

Into The Wild – 2011

Outsider – 2014

Living The Dream – 2018

06/’21

A Pair Of Classic Albums: Blizzard Of Ozz & Diary Of A Madman

You know, those albums that go together as a set, if you have one – you got to have the other[?] They are linked in some way, be it – cover art, band line-up / personnel, success, sound, lyrical themes and song titles, etc…

So, I’ll start with one of the easiest pairs of albums for me, and that is the first 2 Ozzy Osbourne albums [aka the Blizzard Of Ozz band]. 1980’s Blizzard Of Ozz and 1981’s Diary Of A Madman – the same band, written & recorded less than a year apart, for the same label. These 2 go together as a set, more than anything else in Ozzy’s career, and for me it was all downhill after these 2 albums. Both were major successes, and gave Ozzy’s post-Black Sabbath career a huge lift-off. (I’ve also added in some detail & recall).

“I went to a gig in London, and there was a band called ‘Girl’ playing, and they were a Jet Records band; Widowmaker had also been on Jet Records (as you probably know). I was looking for work myself, and I thought ‘well, it’s always good to put yourself around and see who’s about!’ I met Arthur Sharpe – who had been working for Jet Records, and it was Arthur who introduced me to Ozzy. Ozzy told me he was about to form a band and would I like to go up to his house in Stafford, and have a play, and he’d get a couple of local musicians in, and I said ‘Yes’. So I went up there, and he knew I’d just come from Rainbow; he said he liked my playing and would I be interested [?]. And I said ‘yes, I’d be interested in getting a band together with Him, but I wasn’t so sure about the local drummer and guitar player that he’d got in. And he said ‘OK, leave it to me, hang on a minute.’ And he walked out of the room and in to the studio that was in his house and said ‘OK guys – it’s not working out – Now pack up your stuff and go!’ [laughs]. And that was how he told them, which I thought was quite funny. Then he got on the phone to Arthur Sharpe and said ‘Bob and I get on like a house on fire, and the fire-brigade’s just left!’ And we went from there. He said he knew a guitar player that he’d met in LA called Randy Rhoads, so Jet Records flew Randy over and we started auditioning drummers…. He [Lee] was the last drummer we auditioned, and we must’ve auditioned 30-40 drummers at that time. We almost decided on 1 or 2, but they didn’t work out, and we had one more to audition and that was Lee Kerslake…. We auditioned down at The Who’s rehearsal place at Shepperton in London, and he perfect within the first number! I think the first song we did was ‘I Don’t Know’, and as soon as Lee started playing he just went for it ‘big time’, broke sticks, bits of sticks were flying everywhere, and Randy and I looked at each other and thought ‘this is the guy!’. He was like a bull in a China shop – he was perfect!” – Bob Daisley, 1999

To start you had a new band [for any doubters, look up earliest band photos] that featured the line up of Ozzy Osbourne [fired from Black Sabbath, but who had a distinctive voice and was a major character], along with Bob Daisley – ex of Rainbow, Widowmaker, and whom would pen most of the lyrics on the 2 BOZ albums], Lee Kerslake – the last to join, had been a huge part of Uriah Heep’s classic line-up having played on their biggest albums, And a young American guitarist named Randy Rhoads – Rhoads was a guitar teacher, and previously played with LA glam rock act Quiet Riot; he could play classical guitar, as well as contributed huge riffs and solos. He had a sound of his own, and as far as ’80s guitarists go, he was #1 for me – NO one sounded like him, or was as creative.

“He [Randy] was admittedly influenced by Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, and certainly Eddie Van Halen, you can hear a bit of the Van Halen thing in his playing. But he had his own interpretation, and he had a great musical background, having come from a musical family – his mom ran a music store and Randy had been a teacher for quite a few years himself. It really fell together right, the chemistry was right, we got on well as personalities.” – BD

Although the band would co-produce both albums, Max Norman engineered Blizzard, while serving as co-producer on Diary [while Lee & Bob were cut out of the credits on this album]. You had Don Airey playing keyboards on the first album, while Johnny Cook played on the 2nd [uncredited]. And even though the album covers aren’t very similar, they do feature what would become Ozzy’s classic logo, as well as a photo of Ozzy in some scary setting [with upside down crosses], taken by legendary rock photographer Fin Costello.

(5) Ozzy Osbourne – Mr. Crowley Live EP (with Lyrics) – YouTube

“That was the idea – to make it a sort of comic book image. It took on legs with ‘Diary Of A Madman’ and with ‘Bark At The Moon’… It worked in establishing Ozzy after the Sabbath imagery. It’s the same stuffed cat on the first two. The cover for Japan’s Tin Drum cover was shot on the Diary set on the first day of construction.” – Fin Costello

I can put on either of these albums any days, both feature 8 classic songs [OK, Diary features a short guitar piece by Rhoads titled “Dee” for his mom, and “No Bones Movies” may have been a later add on that isn’t quite as outstanding]. But, both featured killer intro songs [“I Don’t Know” vs “Over The Mountain”], followed by a classic rocker that would be the major hit single off the album [“Crazy Train” vs “Flyin’ High Again” and become one of Ozzy’s trademark tunes, followed by a ballad [or lighter track\ featuring Randy Rhoads on acoustic guitar [“Goodbye To Romance” vs “You Can’t Kill Rock n Roll”]. Each featured another killer rock song with lyrics based on dark subjects to kick off side 2 [“Mr Crowley” vs “Little Dolls”.] “Little Dolls” would feature 1 of 2 big intros from the drummer.

It was just on the spur of the moment. And as we were writing it, and I went ‘I’ve got an idea for this’, and I did, as simple as that!”  – Lee Kerslake, 2014

(5) Little Dolls – YouTube

Also included would also be a fast paced rocker [one that is under appreciated IMO – “Steal Away” vs “S.A.T.O.”] , as well as an epic track featuring classical guitar and strings [or synths resembling strings] [“Revelation (Mother Earth)” vs “Diary Of A Madman”] – both have the band coming off like an metal orchestra! And not to be forgotten were 2 other fan favorite / classics [“Suicide Solution” vs “Believer”].

(5) Revelation (Mother Earth) – YouTube

Unfortunately, the band would be split with Daisley & Kerslake being fired before the release of Diary Of A Madman [hence, no credits and a photo of the ‘new’ Ozzy solo band on it]. A shame there are no official live releases from the one UK tour this band did, though there was a 12″ Live EP released between albums featuring live versions of “Mr Crowley”, “Suicide Solution”, and the non-album track “You Said It All”. The BOZ albums stand above and apart from anything else Ozzy did in the years [and decades] to come, and I eventually lost interest.

(5) Ozzy Osbourne – S.A.T.O. – YouTube

Over the Mountain, Flyin’ High …- They’re great tracks, they’re so different. And I was the first to ever put triplets in to an introduction of a song, also a single on Over The Mountain.”  – Lee K.

Randy Rhoads was tragically killed in a plane crash on March 19, 1982. A live ‘tribute’ album w/ Randy was eventually released, featuring much of these 2 albums, but with Ozzy’s US touring band.

“He was a very dedicated musician; he practiced a lot, he was really in to music. He was a very young up and coming guy. I think he got an award as one the ‘best new talents’. He certainly was and still is an influential guitarist for that sort of music, and he certainly had a lot to do with the success of Ozzy’s career as well!” – Bob D.

Bob and Lee went on to join a reformed Uriah Heep after their departure from BOZ, and .bring some of that ‘heaviness’ and energy to the albums Abominog & Head First. Bob would return to work with Ozzy, while Lee stayed with Heep for the remainder of his career. The pair reunited for 2004’s Living Loud project [along with Don Airey, Steve Morse, and singer Jimmy Barnes] where they did an album which included a number of remakes from Blizzard Of Ozz & Diary Of A Madman. In 2007 Lee was forced to retire, due to health issues, and sadly passed away September 19, last year. He made record a solo album in his last few years [recently released] titled Eleventeen.

Following the loss of Randy Rhoads, Ozzy carried on – first with a live album of Black Sabbath tracks [guitarist Brad Gillis doing an excellent job], followed by 1983’s Bark At The Moon. By this time Bob Daisley had left Heep and returned to write [uncredited for a few more Ozzy albums]. Max Norman was also back for Bark At The Moon, and the live albums, as was Don Airey. I liked that album [Bark] at the time, to me it tried to keep to the pattern of the 2 BOZ albums, and Jake E Lee [who would also get hosed, as well as not credited for his writing] did a great job. But the album was less heavy and less consistent, as well as including the ridiculous sappy ballad “So Tired”. Bob would go on to work on Ozzy albums The Ultimate Sin and No More Tears, as well as record with Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, and The Hoochie Coochie Men. He also wrote his book “For Fact’s Sake”, published in 2013, which detailed his career, with plenty of insight and stories into his time writing and recording Blizzard Of Ozz & Diary Of A Madman, and generally setting the record straight about his years working with Ozzy – a must read, really. Don Airey would eventually join Deep Purple, and Ozzy would carry on recording solo albums [with one released last year]. and with much of his live repertoire reliant on classics from the albums the original band created. I haven’t bought an Ozzy album in years, [mainly, but] not just for it being that last few I heard sounded forgettable, but the treatment of former band members [Sharon once referring to Lee & Bob as ‘session players’], the re-writing of Ozzy’s early history by Sharon, and Ozzy’s overall rise to fame as a TV star / celebrity, with his ‘metal’ persona and music taking a laughable back seat were about it for me. I was happy to see him with Black Sabbath 4 or 5 years ago, but I’m done with adding to my Ozzy collection in this lifetime – unless I come across something already out there of the original BOZ band I haven’t heard or have.

RIP Lee and Randy.

Additional links:

(5) Ozzy discusses the Blizzard of Ozz band BBC Aug 1980 – YouTube

(5) Over the Mountain featuring Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake only – YouTube

The Official Bob Daisley Website

Randy Rhoads: “I started tuning up and Ozzy said, ‘You’ve got the gig.’ I didn’t even get to play!” | Guitar World

CRR Interview – Bob Daisley: Diaries of a Madman! (classicrockrevisited.com)

Lee Kerslake: the last interview | Louder (loudersound.com)

KJJ, 03/21