1981 - January 1982
Mick Box on his own ...
"At that point
in time," recalls Box, "myself and Trev paid a visit to David
Byron to ask him if he'd like to join the band again. We had the deals
and the money in our pocket while he was still trying to put something
together and we couldn't believe it when he said he didn't want to
know." Trevor Bolder then decided to accept a lucrative offer to
join Wishbone Ash ("I didn't really want to leave, I just thought
it was maybe time to try something different.
I'd had enough of Gerry
Bron and the management.") and then Dechert threw in the towel,
leaving just Mick with the name and contract. After all the trials and
tribulations, it finally seemed that Uriah Heep had bit the dust.
"Heap of Heep" said the Melody Maker, reflecting on the twenty
members that had come and gone.
"I locked myself
in my flat for two days," says Box, "and drank myself
senseless in complete self-pity. But I somehow managed to pull myself
together and consider my options. Neil Warnock, my agent, was suggesting
I go out and do the guitar hero thing, because the time was right, but I
wanted to look at the possibilities of Heep still.
getting a lot of mail from fans all over the world, saying how we had
been a part of their lives, and also lots of kids just discovering us
too, so I was encouraged by that quite a lot." From that moment the
Uriah Heep rebuilding started to take place.
First Box rang Lee
Kerslake (who had meanwhile co-founded Blizzard of Ozz with Ozzy
Osbourne, appearing on the eponymous debut and 'Diary Of A Madman'
albums), initially unaware that the drummer and bassist Bob Daisley had
just left the bat-biting one. ("Ozzy's a great guy and he meant
well but he allowed him set to be manipulated," says Lee.) "I
suddenly realised we had the basis of the new Heep," says Mick.
Both Kerslake and
Daisley were interested, with the former happy that the previous
problems had been eradicated, and a rehearsal later the three of them
were considering keyboard players. "Then the name John Sinclair
came up (who'd supported Heep many years ago while in the Heavy Metal
Kids), we tracked him down working with a band called Lion in Los
Angeles, brought him over and that was it, like it had always
frontman's position was filled with equal speed. Peter Goalby, the
Trapeze vocalist who'd actually failed an audition prior to the
selection of Sloman, was still an interested party and having then
fulfilled his commitments to that act (ex-Argent man John Verity was
also considered) Goalby was finally confirmed as the new vocalist.
Goalby still doesn't
know why he wasn't chosen the first time round, but his current
selection was particularly ironic in the light of later comments from
Hensley, who said that he was the one who had wanted Peter in but had
been out-voted by the others!) Would it still be Uriah Heep though?
"It was an embryonic situation." recalls Lee Kerslake.
obviously couldn't continue in our previous direction, ie. CONQUEST, and
we couldn't do any more RETURN TO FANTASYS, that era had gone. But with
us all contributing to the writing we forged our new direction."
"The spirit was there," adds Box. "We had some dynamite
songs and the important thing was that we continued to look ahead, I
realised that it was coming together when we were interspersing our new
songs from ABOMINOG with our old ones and they all sounded as if they