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Trevor Bolder

Born: 9-Jun-1950
Birthplace: Hull, Yorkshire, England
Died: 21-May-2013
Cause of death: Cancer - Pancreatic

Gender: Male
Religion: Scientology
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Bassist

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Uriah Heep bassist

Yet another Hull native to become important to the London music scene during the 1970's, Trevor Bolder was born to a strongly music-oriented family, taking up both cornet and trumpet at the age of nine and performing with local brass bands during his adolescence. In his teens he took the direction followed by many other young males of his generation and switched to the guitar, at which time he formed The Chicago Star Blues Band with his brother. Stints in other Hull-based bands like Jelly Roll and Flesh came later, with Bolder eventually trading in his guitar for an electric bass; meanwhile, food was kept on the table through a series of day jobs that ranged from hairdresser to piano tuner. In 1970 he received an invitation from fellow Hull native Mick Ronson to come to London and join Ronno -- a outfit that had been active earlier in the year as The Hype, and which had served as a backing band for vocalist David Bowie. Ronno only managed one single (1971's Fourth Hour of My Sleep) before poor response prompted Vertigo, the band's label, to abandon them; not long afterwards, however, Bowie enlisted most of the line-up (Ronson, Bolder, and drummer Woody Woodmansey) for his fourth album Hunky Dory (1971). Thus the way was paved for the creation of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars in 1972, a highly theatrical concept band that would launch Bowie and his bandmates into international stardom.

Hot on the heels of the success of The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, The Spiders worked with Bowie on the albums Aladdin Sane (1973) and Pin-Ups (also 1973, but minus Woodmansey) before the singer brought an end to the unit by announcing his retirement from live performance. The bassist continued his affiliation with Ronson for the next year or so, touring as part of his band and performing on the solo albums Slaughter on 10th Avenue (1974) and Play Don't Worry (1975). Bolder then joined forces once again with Woodmansey in a short-lived (and ill-advised) attempt to resurrect the Spiders From Mars name, their 1976 eponymous release being met mostly with indifference from both critics and fans. A more rewarding situation was right around the corner, however, and later in the year Bolder was enlisted to replace bassist John Wetton in Uriah Heep -- a band that would remain his primary musical home for most of the years to come.

Bolder's first recorded participation with Heep materialized as the 1977 album Firefly, and he maintained a strong instrumental and songwriting presence on the subsequent releases Innocent Victim (1977), Fallen Angel (1978) and Conquest (1980); but by 1980 the internal situation in the band had become unmanageable, prompting him (somewhat unwillingly) to make the decision to move on. Work with Heep keyboardist Ken Hensley on his solo album Free Spirit kept him busy for the early part of 1981, after which he once again was chosen to fill a gap created by a departing John Wetton -- this time in the art rock outfit Wishbone Ash. This new situation lasted two years, involving a constant schedule of touring and a contribution to the 1982 release Twin Barrels Burning. Then in early 1983 an opportunity to re-join Uriah Heep presented itself, and Bolder was quick to accept; he has remained active in their ranks ever since, with a dozen further Heep albums added to his credits.

In 1994 a second resurrection of his partnership with Woody Woodmansey as the Spiders From Mars was undertaken for a Hammersmith Apollo memorial concert for guitarist Mick Ronson, who had succumbed to cancer the previous year. The pair were joined for a set of early 70's Bowie material -- incongruously enough -- by Def Leppard's Joe Elliott and Phil Collen; the four bonded over the material and, after an appearance by the two Spiders at a second Ronson memorial staged in Hull in 1997, eventually formalized their collaboration under the name Cybernauts. A Cybernauts tour of the UK was arranged that same year, with the unit resuming activity in 2001 for a tour of Japan.

    David Bowie Bassist (1971-73)
    Ronno Bassist (1970-71)
    Mick Ronson Bassist (1973-74)
    Uriah Heep Bassist (1976-)
    Ken Hensley Bassist (1981)
    Wishbone Ash Bassist (1981-83)
    Cybernauts Bassist (1994-)

    Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (Dec-1973) · Himself

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