Remembering Trevor Bolder

There has been near-universal consensus following his death that bass player Trevor Bolder was a good egg. The man who played in David Bowie’s band on ‘Hunky Dory’, ‘Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars’, ‘Aladdin Sane’ and ‘Pin Ups’ passed away yesterday, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The usually silent Bowie himself led the tributes: “Trevor was a wonderful musician and a major inspiration for whichever band he was working with. But he was foremostly a tremendous guy, a great man.”

That list also includes Wishbone Ash and the Cybernauts, but Bolder’s longest association was with progressive metallers Uriah Heep. They themselves said: “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 has ever produced. His longtime membership of Uriah Heep brought the band’s music, and Trevor’s virtuosity and enthusiasm, to hundreds of thousands of fans across the world.”

Of course, the legend of Ziggy Stardust is thing that has been leading the epitaphs, and Bolder was proud of his association with it, although he maybe needed a little encouragement to go with the whole concept. Remembering the making of that record, he told NME last year: “I’ve heard people say it’s about a guy who comes to save the world from outer space. But to me it’s just songs.”

But Bolder soon got with the androgynous programme: “Wearing the costumes was different,” he said. “But as it took off we got more into it. When I joined I had a full beard, ‘cos I was in a blues band. Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles had full beards, and I shaved the middle and the ‘tache off and was left with droopy, long sideburns. So we kept those. It took months to develop each member’s image. Mick and I got so comfortable with it we’d go out in Beckenham in costume.

“One minute he was David Bowie, then he was this big star. He’d become Ziggy, and it was having an effect on him …he couldn’t be Ziggy Stardust for the rest of his life.”

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