Uriah Heep
Uriah Heep - Official Web Site



April 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. 

I was 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 been." 

Remarkably, the 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.

 "We 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 belonged."

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