Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bassist Trevor Bolder Passes On

Trevor Bolder, who played bass with David Bowie's band The Spiders from Mars and with Uriah Heep, died 21 May 2013 at the age of 62. The cause was pancreatic cancer.

Trevor Bolder was born in Hull, East Yorkshire on 9 June 1950. He came from a family of musicians, and in high school played coronet in the band. He was active in the Yorkshire rhythm and blues scene as a young man. In 1970 he joined guitarist Mark Ronson's band. Mr. Ronson has played for years with local Yorkshire band The Rats. In 1971 Trevor Bolder, Mark Ronson, and former Rats drummer Mick "Woody" Woodmansey as part of David Bowie's backing band for his fourth album, Hunky Dory (released in 1971). This band would become known as The Spiders from Mars for David Bowie's next and possibly most famous album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972). Although no longer called "The Spiders From Mars," the band would more or less remain in tact for David Bowie's next two albums, Aladdin Sane (1973) and Pin Ups (1973).  Following Pin Ups David Bowie moved to the United States and parted ways with The Spiders from Mars.

After The Spiders from Mars, Trevor Bolder played on Mark Ronson's albums Slaughter On 10th Avenue (1974) and Play Don't Worry (1975). In 1976 Trevor Bolder joined Uriah Heep, replacing former bassist  John Wetton. He made his debut with Uriah Heep on the album Firefly (1977) and appeared on their next three albums: Innocent Victim (1977), Fallen Angel (1978), and Conquest (1980). Eventually Uriah Heep began to fall apart to the point that only Trevor Bolder and founding member Mick Box remained. Unfortunately, initial attempts to reform Uriah Heep met with little success. It was for that reason that Trevor Bolder accepted an offer to join Wishbone Ash. He only played with Wishbone Ash for one album, Twin Barrels Burning. Afterwards he rejoined Uriah Heep, remaining with them for the rest of his career.

Trevor Bolder was quite simply one of the best bassists to ever live. If the rhythm sections of David Bowie's albums Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Aladdin Sane, and Pin Ups are particularly strong, it is largely because of Trevor Bolder.  As a bassist Mr. Bolder did not simply play accompaniment. His bass was always as important part of the songs on which he played as the lead vocals or lead guitars. When you listened to songs on which Trevor Bolder played, you knew it was Trevor Bolder playing bass. He was a talent who has rarely been matched and almost never surpassed.

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