Dave Holland (drummer)

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Dave Holland
Born(1948-04-05)5 April 1948
Northampton, England
Died16 January 2018(2018-01-16) (aged 69)
Lugo, Spain
  • Drums
  • percussion
  • piano
  • vocals
Years active1965–2004
Associated acts

David Holland (5 April 1948 – 16 January 2018) was an English heavy metal drummer born in Northampton, England, best remembered for his stints with Trapeze from 1969 to 1979 and Judas Priest from 1979 to 1989.

Northampton Place in England

Northampton is the county town of Northamptonshire in the East Midlands of England. It lies on the River Nene, about 67 miles (108 km) north-west of London and 54 miles (87 km) south-east of Birmingham. It is one of the largest towns in the UK. Northampton had a population of 212,100 in the 2011 census.

Trapeze were an English rock band from Cannock, Staffordshire. Formed in 1969, the band originally featured former The Montanas members John Jones and Terry Rowley (keyboards), and former Finders Keepers members Glenn Hughes, Mel Galley and Dave Holland (drums). Jones and Rowley left the band following the release of their self-titled debut album in 1970, with the lineup of Hughes, Galley and Holland continuing as a trio. After the release of Medusa later in 1970 and You Are the Music... We're Just the Band in 1972, Hughes left Trapeze in 1973 to join Deep Purple.

Judas Priest British heavy metal band

Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. The band has sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band struggled with indifferent record production and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to rock superstar status.


Early life

At the age of six Holland began piano lessons, but soon developed a "mania for the drums" in his own words and begged his parents to let him have a set. After his first appearance as a stand-in for a local band, Holland realised he wanted to be a musician. When he was 14 years old, he supplemented his pocket money by playing with another local band called The Drumbeats, and selling furniture and carpets.

As a youngster, Holland listened to traditional jazz. He cited his first rock influence as Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. Later, he became interested in funk music in the vein of Booker T & the MG's, the blues rock of Free and progressive–psychedelic music of Traffic.

Funk is a music genre that originated in African-American communities in the mid-1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues (R&B). Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer. Like much of African-inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves. Funk uses the same richly colored extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths and thirteenths.

Free (band) English rock band formed in London in 1968

Free were an English rock band formed in London in 1968, best known for their 1970 signature song "All Right Now". They disbanded in 1973 and lead singer Paul Rodgers went on to become a frontman of the band Bad Company along with Simon Kirke on drums. Lead guitarist Paul Kossoff formed Back Street Crawler in 1975, but died from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 25 in 1976. Bassist Andy Fraser formed Sharks.

Traffic (band) English rock band

Traffic were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham, in April 1967 by Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason. They began as a psychedelic rock group and diversified their sound through the use of instruments such as keyboards like the Mellotron and harpsichord, sitar, and various reed instruments, and by incorporating jazz and improvisational techniques in their music. Their first three singles were "Paper Sun", "Hole in My Shoe", and "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush".


Early bands

In early 1965 he was with Northampton band Dorian Gray. Later that year Holland was persuaded to leave and join The Liberators who had recording and management contracts ready within a few weeks to evolve into Pinkerton's Assorted Colours, a pop band that put autoharp to good use, taking after The Loving Spoonful. In 1966 a single, "Mirror Mirror" (released 15 January 1966 on Decca, produced by future The Moody Blues producer Tony Clarke), peaked at No. 8 in the UK Singles Chart.

Pinkerton's Assorted Colours were a mid-1960s pop band from England.

Autoharp musical string instrument

The autoharp is a musical instrument in the chorded zither family. It features a series of chord bars attached to dampers, which, when pressed, mute all of the strings other than those that form the desired chord. Although the word autoharp was originally a trademark of the Oscar Schmidt company, the term has colloquially come to be used for any hand-held, chorded zither, regardless of manufacturer.

Decca Records US/British record label

Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, along with American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and later American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U.S. Decca labels was broken for several decades. The British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, which is owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, France. The US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG.

Finders Keepers

Holland stayed with the band until August 1968, when he joined Finders Keepers, a pop cover outfit. However, Holland continued studio session work. He did not play on a 1969 No. 5 hit single "Smile a Little Smile for Me" released by the band that used to be Pinkerton's Assorted Colours under the name of The Flying Machine.

Finders Keepers were an English band, featuring then future Trapeze members Glenn Hughes, Mel Galley, and Dave Holland.

The Flying Machine was a British pop band who are best known for their 1969 American #5 hit, "Smile a Little Smile for Me".

Finders Keepers, who were soon joined by Mel Galley (guitar) and Glenn Hughes (bass), recorded several singles, with some of the songs now available on various compilations. Soon afterwards the threesome joined forces with vocalist and winds player John Jones and multi-instrumentalist Terry Rowley of The Montanas fame to form a quintet called Trapeze (the band name was Terry Rowley's idea).

Melville John "Mel" Galley was an English guitarist and singer, best known for his work with Whitesnake, Trapeze, Finders Keepers and Phenomena.

Glenn Hughes British singer-songwriter

Glenn Hughes is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze, the Mk. III and IV line-ups of Deep Purple, as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s.


Trapeze appeared in the British TV show Colour Me Pop and soon was swamped with offers of recording contracts, including one from The Beatles' Apple. Trapeze, however, settled for the newly formed Threshold label, belonging to The Moody Blues members. The band would soon open for The Moodies and other well-known acts. On Threshold, the band released three records, the debut as a quintet and the rest as a power trio.

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became regarded as the foremost and most influential band in history. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to pop music's evolution into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated classical elements, older pop forms and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and later experimented with several musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As the members continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they were seen as an embodiment of the era's sociocultural movements.

Apple Records is a record label founded by the Beatles in 1968 as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. It was initially intended as a creative outlet for the Beatles, both as a group and individually, plus a selection of other artists including Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, and Billy Preston. In practice, the roster had become dominated by the mid-1970s with releases of the former Beatles as solo artists. Allen Klein managed the label from 1969 to 1973, then it was managed by Neil Aspinall on behalf of the Beatles and their heirs. Aspinall retired in 2007 and was replaced by Jeff Jones.

Trapeze were gaining momentum at the time, especially in the southern United States, but lost a major contributor as Glenn Hughes decided to leave the band and join Deep Purple for the recording of their Burn album.

Mel Galley and Dave Holland added a bass player and a second guitarist. Dave Holland and Mel Galley also toured as part of John Lodge (musician)Justin Hayward (of The Moody Blues fame) band The Blue Jays (Blue Jays (album)).

In 1978 Trapeze recorded their last studio LP, Running/Hold On.

Earlier on, both Galley and Holland lent a hand in the recording of Glenn Hughes' first solo album, Play Me Out , offering a unique blend of psychedelic jazz funk. Holland was assisted by Mark Nauseef on percussion.

In 1979 and 1980, Holland recorded some drum parts for Justin Hayward's solo albums, Songwriter and Night Flight .

Judas Priest

Holland left Trapeze and joined Judas Priest in August 1979. He played drums on many of Judas Priest's platinum albums, such as British Steel , Screaming for Vengeance , Defenders of the Faith , Turbo and Ram It Down.

During the 1980s, Holland also collaborated with guitarist Robin George, as part of his band Life and on George's solo project, Dangerous Music.

In 1989, personal problems (health and family issues) and musical differences forced Holland to leave Judas Priest. He was replaced by original Saints Or Sinners drummer Scott Travis, who had also previously played in the band Racer X.

Later career

Throughout the 1990s, besides touring with briefly reformed Trapeze and filling in for various bands like The Screaming Jets during their European tours, [1] Holland gave drum clinics and private lessons, managed and produced bands such as the Swedish "teen funk trio" Shutlanger Sam (fronted by Kim Fransson who later had a solo career where he collaborated with among others hit songwriters Andreas Carlsson and Desmond Child) whom Holland introduced in person at a show with his former Trapeze bandmate Glenn Hughes in Vänersborg 1996, [2] and played on various recordings of his former mates. In 1996, he participated in sessions that involved Glenn Hughes, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath fame, and keyboardist Don Airey. In 1998, a collaboration with Al Atkins, Judas Priest's original singer, was released, featuring a few covers of early Priest songs that Holland did not originally play on. Judas Priest with Atkins at the helm had supported Trapeze in 1971.


In 2004, Holland was found guilty of attempted rape and several indecent assaults against a 17-year-old male with learning difficulties to whom he had been giving drum lessons. [3] In an interview during the criminal proceedings, Holland revealed that he was bisexual. [4] He was sentenced to eight years in prison. As a result, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi chose to replace Holland's drum parts (re-recorded by Jimmy Copley eight years later) on The 1996 DEP Sessions because he did not want a convicted sex offender appearing on his album. [5] Holland was scheduled for release in 2012 and was reportedly out by June that year. [6]

In late 2006, Holland, who had steadfastly maintained his innocence, revealed that he was in the process of writing a tell-all autobiography. Writing to biographer Neil Daniels from prison, Holland stated "I was convicted of a crime that I didn't commit, and like so many others in similar situations to the one in which I find myself, an offense that never even existed in the first place...". [7]


On 18 January 2018, management of Trapeze confirmed that Holland, who was "a very private person", had died "a few days ago", with no cause of death reported. [8] [9] Initially, his death was reported to be a hoax, when Judas Priest fans confused him with a similarly-named jazz musician. [9]

On 22 January 2018, Spanish newspaper El Progreso reported that Holland had died six days earlier at Hospital Universitario Lucus Augusti in Lugo, Spain, a hospital close to A Fonsagrada, a town in the mountains where the drummer had lived at the time of his death. No cause of death was revealed, but the newspaper stated that he was already cremated. [10]


With The Liberators

With Pinkerton's Assorted Colours

With Finders Keepers

With Trapeze

With Glenn Hughes

With Justin Hayward

With Judas Priest

With Marchesi

With Tony Iommi

With Al Atkins


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  1. "The Screaming Jets bio". Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) at the band's official site
  2. "Judas Priest Info Pages – Alumni Profile". Thexquorum.com. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  3. "News – Former Priest Member Convicted". Knac.com. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  4. "Former JUDAS PRIEST Drummer DAVE HOLLAND: 'I Am Bisexual'". BlabberMouth.[ permanent dead link ]
  5. "TONY IOMMI Erases Sex Offender From 'DEP Sessions'". BlabberMouth.[ permanent dead link ]
  6. "Al Atkins Interview, June 2012". Powerofmetal.dk. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  7. 2007 Article from Blabbermouth.net Archived 22 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  8. "Dave Holland of TRAPEZE & JUDAS PRIEST Fame Dies". dmme.net. 18 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  9. 1 2 "R.I.P. ex-Judas Priest and Trapeze drummer Dave Holland (1948-2018)". sleazeroxx.com. 21 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  10. "Report: Former JUDAS PRIEST Drummer DAVE HOLLAND Dead At 69". Blabbermouth.net. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  11. Tom Long member of Liberators.