Uriah Heep
Uriah Heep - Official Web Site



 May 1983 - November 1985

John Sinclair, Mick Box, Lee Kerslake, Pete Goalby, Trevor Bolder.

Promotional pictures here

With Trevor Bolder then coming back into the fold. "After two years with Wishbone Ash I still felt like an outsider", he says. Though the band were still generating momentum in most markets, they were losing ground in America. 

A couple of months were spent over there still, in support of Rush ("who owed us a few favours"), Judas Priest ("who treated us like shit!") and Def Leppard, whose vocalist Joe Elliot remembers that tour vividly. "They were the best band that we've ever toured with either as a headline or support, because there was no ego, no pretentious kind of stuff. They were good in as much that we learnt a lot from them, they always gave good advice without saying, 'Listen, son', with that smarmy, father-like attitude. 

And Mick Box has got to be one of the funniest, most genuine men I've ever met." Gerry Bron had by now relinquished management (agent Neil Warnock was now looking after them in Europe, with Blue Oyster Cult's management team of Sandy Pearlman and Steve Schenck handling affairs in the US) and with Howe now producing that left just Bronze Records as the link between Heep and their former Godfather. Ultimately, even that liaison was to finish, with Bronze being crippled by massive debts. 

The company finally went into liquidation in June 1983, severing a relationship that had lasted over thirteen years and a collapse that "cost Heep a lot of money" according to Box. It was from this point in time that Heep started to put some serious miles on the clock in terms of heavy duty touring. And not content with the usual established markets, now they started to expand their horizons by visiting such obscure territories (in terms of heavy metal) as India, Malaysia and Indonesia. "We started to go much further afield because the offers were coming in." Box says. 

"And if you're gonna do Australia and New Zealand it makes sense to do those other places as well on route." And with every new venture, there's another amusing tale. "It was in India where some drug-crazed Indian jumped up on stage and bit into Pete's back, and he wouldn't let go! A load of police jumped on stage and they're beating this guy to death with riot sticks and still he continued to hang on. Pete still has the scar to this day." 

"I also remember one show in Bombay (following a major festival performance in San Diego with Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Eddie Money) being literally in the middle of a field, and our lightshow consisted of something like four lightbulbs each side! A reporter asked me about our effects and I said, 'Yeah, on and off!'"

The ensuing period saw Heep adopt the role of global warriors, even venturing into the Eastern Block in early '84, before hitting the recording studio for the recording of Equator

"We were spending so much time on the road though," reflects Goalby, "that I felt there was no time to do anything. I felt there wasn't enough time spent preparing on the new record." New manager Harry Maloney had lined up a worldwide deal with CBS's Portrait label, and on paper it could not have looked any rosier. 

This time producer Tony Platt was brought in, though on reflection, it's probably fair to say that Platt's unique style of production was not quite suitable for Heep. EQUATOR is certainly not a bad album; on the contrary songs such as 'Poor Little Rich Girl' and 'Heartache City' have strength of character while 'Rockarama', though sounding a little deliberate, proved Heep could still rock out. 

All in all it was a solid piece of product that had the potential to do extremely well. "CBS just did a terrible job getting it into the shops." says Box. "We were going out and playing, doing really good business but you couldn't buy the bloody record!" The band's relentless touring schedule, however, began to take its toll, particularly on Pete Goalby, whose voice was suffering.

 "I bumped into Gary Moore while in Hamburg and he said I sounded terrible, asking if I'd lost my voice. I said no but we'd just played sixteen dates back to back. He told me I should sack my manager!" Goalby's voice finally went while in the middle of an Australian tour and so, somewhat disillusioned by the apparent lack of support from CBS, the endless touring and having so little time to write, Goalby made his decision to say au revoir. "I loved and believed in Uriah Heep but it kicked the shit out of me in the end," he says. 


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