Derek St. Holmes

Last updated

Derek St. Holmes (born February 24, 1953) is an American musician, best known as the vocalist and rhythm guitar player for Ted Nugent's early solo career. After splitting from Nugent in 1978, St. Holmes worked with various artists, most notably the Whitford/St. Holmes project with Brad Whitford, who had recently parted ways with Aerosmith.



St. Holmes was born and raised in Riverview, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He received his first guitar for his eleventh birthday. He started his own neighborhood band, The Organized Confusion, and also played for high school dances.

In 1974, Derek's band, "Scott", opened for an Amboy Dukes show at the Lincoln Park Theater. The Amboy Dukes and their guitar player Ted Nugent had already recorded several albums and were a staple of the Midwest rock scene at the time. When the Amboy Dukes broke up, Nugent's road manager (Phil Nicholson) contacted St. Holmes about auditioning for Nugent's project as lead singer.

St. Holmes joined Ted Nugent, former Amboy Dukes bassist Rob Grange and drummer Cliff Davies to release Nugent's self-titled debut album in 1975. St. Holmes remained in Nugent's band until 1978, when he and Nugent parted ways due to personal, financial and musical differences.

In 1979 Derek joined up with Ted Nugent's bass player Rob Grange, ex-Montrose drummer Denny Carmassi to form St. Paradise. They released one self-titled album for Warner Brothers in 1979 before moving on to other musical careers. In 1981, he teamed up with Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford for the short-lived Whitford/St. Holmes Band.

In 1983, St. Holmes joined the Michael Schenker Group for its 1983 release "Built To Destroy", and also contributed to the live follow-up, "Rock Will Never Die".

In 2000, St. Holmes released Then and Now, a collection of many St. Holmes' rock material. Bassist Chase Chitty (Pat Travers Band), drummer Steve Pace (Hydra, Krokus, Whitford/St. Holmes) and keyboardist Russ Still accompany St. Holmes with songs such as "Standing in the Rain", "Dr. Love" and "Surrounded", and the energy rocker "In Too Deep".

On July 4, 2008 St. Holmes made a guest appearance at Ted Nugent's 6000th concert in Detroit, MI. He jammed on "Hey Baby", "Cat Scratch Fever", and "Stranglehold" with Ted.

On August 24, 2008 he joined Ted Nugent on stage at Capital One Bank Theatre at Westbury in Westbury, New York. He sang and played guitar with Ted Nugent on "Hey Baby", "Just What The Doctor Ordered", "Dog Eat Dog", "Stormtroopin", "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Stranglehold".

Derek has re-recorded some famous Aerosmith songs for a special promotion, and is making them available in MP3 format. Derek's versions are available online on his website.

Derek sang in the Paul Reed Smith Band, co-writing songs including "One in the Same" and "Ice Cold Kisses". The eponymous CD was released in June 2010, [1] with a second album (Time to Testify) slated for release February 17, 2017.

On December 27, 2008, St. Holmes was a special guest at a Get The Led Out concert at Ram's Head Live in Baltimore, MD. He played guitar for "Rock and Roll", then sang and played "Stranglehold" (Ted Nugent). St. Holmes is actually the voice heard in the track recording. He also performed "Stranglehold" with Get the Led Out at the Nokia in New York City on March 7, 2009 and again in Baltimore on May 15, 2010.

In 2010, Derek participated in a tribute album titled Mister Bolin's Late Night Revival, a compilation of 17 previously unreleased tracks written by guitar legend Tommy Bolin prior to his death in 1976. The CD includes other artists such as HiFi Superstar, Doogie White, Eric Martin, Troy Luccketta, Jeff Pilson, Randy Jackson, Rachel Barton, Rex Carroll, Kimberley Dahme, and The 77's. A percentage of the proceeds from this project will benefit the Jackson Recovery Centers. [2]

He toured again with Nugent from 2011 to 2014. Whitford/St. Holmes reunited for a 2015 tour, and the follow-up CD Reunion was sold at these shows.

Also in 2014, Derek announced that Gibson would release a signature guitar in his name later in the year. The guitar is a white Gibson SG custom with an ebony fingerboard and three humbucker pickups. The guitar is fitted with a vibrola.

Derek is known for playing a variety of guitars throughout his career, including Fender Stratocasters, Gibson Les Pauls, PRS Guitars, and various Gibson hollow-bodies.


Main Albums with Ted Nugent

1975 Ted Nugent Ted Nugent (Epic Records)*

1976 Ted Nugent Free-for-All (Epic Records)*

1977 Ted Nugent Cat Scratch Fever (Epic Records)*

1978 Ted Nugent Double Live Gonzo! (Epic Records)*

1982 Ted Nugent Nugent (Atlantic Records)

1995 Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild (Atlantic Records)

2014 Ted Nugent Shutup & Jam! (Frontiers Records)

Main Albums – Others

1979 St. Paradise St. Paradise (Warner Bros. Records)

1981 Whitford/St. Holmes Whitford/St. Holmes (CBS Records)

1991 Vanilla Fudge The Best of Vanilla Fudge Live (Rhino Records)

2000 Derek St. Holmes Then & Now (Perris Records)

2009 Blood of the Sun Death Ride (Brainticket Records)

2011 The Paul Reed Smith Band (Cargo Records)

2015 Derek St. Holmes Band Derek St. Holmes Band (Bentnote Music)

2016 Whitford/St. Holmes Reunion


1983 Michael Schenker Group Built to Destroy (Chrysalis Records) (contributed vocals on the US mix of Still Love That Little Devil)

1984 Michael Schenker Group Rock Will Never Die (Chrysalis Records) (Rhythm guitar, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" and "Rock You to the Ground")

1989 Nightmare Beach Movie Soundtrack

1994 Dazed and Confused Movie Soundtrack (MCA Pictures)

1996 Steve Fister Shadow King (FTP Records) (contributed vocals on 3 songs)

1997 Private Parts Movie Soundtrack (Paramount/WB)

1999 That '70s Show/Rockin TV Sitcom Soundtrack (Volcano Records)

2001 Various Artists Welcome to the Aerosmithsonian: A Tribute to Aerosmith (Perris Records)

2010 Mister Bolin’s Late Night Revival What If ... (Rainbow Foundation Music Inc.) (contributed vocals on 1 song)


1981 Ted Nugent Great Gonzos (Epic Records)**

Related Research Articles

<i>Cat Scratch Fever</i> 1977 studio album by Ted Nugent

Cat Scratch Fever is the third studio album by American rock musician Ted Nugent. It was released on May 13, 1977, by Epic Records. Vocalist Derek St. Holmes, who had left the band during the recording of the album Free-for-All, had come back for touring in 1976 and was again the principal lead singer on this album.

Brad Whitford American musician

Bradley Ernest Whitford is an American musician who is best known for serving as the rhythm and co-lead guitarist for the hard rock band Aerosmith. He has also worked as a songwriter for the group, co-composing well-received tracks such as 1976's "Last Child".

The Amboy Dukes were an American rock band formed in 1964 in Chicago, Illinois, and later based in Detroit, Michigan. They are known for their one hit single "Journey to the Center of the Mind". The band's name comes from the title of a novel by Irving Shulman. In the UK, the group's records were released under the name of The American Amboy Dukes, because of the existence of a British group with the same name.

<i>Ted Nugent</i> (album) 1975 studio album by Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent is the debut studio album by American hard rock musician Ted Nugent. The album was released in September 1975, by Epic Records. It was released after the disbanding of his former group The Amboy Dukes.

Damn Yankees (band)

Damn Yankees was an American rock supergroup formed in 1989 consisting of Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Ted Nugent of The Amboy Dukes, and Michael Cartellone.

<i>Tooth, Fang & Claw</i> 1974 studio album by Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes

Tooth, Fang & Claw is the seventh album by The Amboy Dukes, credited as "Ted Nugent's Amboy Dukes". The band's second release on DiscReet Records, it was the final album released under the Amboy Dukes name before Ted Nugent launched his solo career the following year.

<i>The Amboy Dukes</i> (album) 1967 studio album by The Amboy Dukes

The Amboy Dukes is the first studio album released by The Amboy Dukes. It was released in November 1967 on Mainstream Records. The Amboy Dukes interested a record label that primarily produced jazz albums. Ted Nugent assembled a new band of local Detroit players to secure a recording contract with them. He immediately brought in the soulful baritone voice of John (J.B.) Drake as lead vocalist. He had a long history with Drake in a local band called The Lourds. Nugent and Drake then recruited the remaining players. Steve Farmer was known as a rhythm guitarist, lyricist, composer and vocalist and was a natural fit with Nugent. He came from a local group called The Gang. Dave Palmer was a drummer and percussionist with experience in two local bands, The Galaxy Five and The Citations. Bill White played bass guitar and Rick Lober was an eclectic keyboardist rounding out the new group.

<i>Full Bluntal Nugity</i> live album by Ted Nugent

Full Bluntal Nugity is a live album by the American hard rock guitarist Ted Nugent, recorded on New Year's Eve (12/31/2000) at Ted Nugent's annual Whiplash Bash in Detroit, MI. A live DVD with the same title was released in 2003 by Eagle Rock Entertainment.


Damnocracy was a heavy metal supergroup formed on, and for, the VH1 TV show Supergroup in 2006. The members of the band ultimately dubbed their band project Damnocracy.

<i>Free-for-All</i> (Ted Nugent album) 1976 studio album by Ted Nugent

Free-For-All is the second studio album by American hard rock musician Ted Nugent. The album was released in October 1976, by Epic Records. It was his first album to go platinum.

<i>Call of the Wild</i> (Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes album) 1973 studio album by Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes

Call of the Wild is the sixth and penultimate album by The Amboy Dukes, credited as "Ted Nugent & The Amboy Dukes". Recorded in the summer of 1973, it is the first of two albums released on Frank Zappa's DiscReet Records, followed by Tooth Fang & Claw, the band's final album, in 1974. In 1977, both albums were reissued by Warner Bros as the compilation Two Originals of... Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent American rock musician

Theodore Anthony Nugent is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and pro-gun political activist. He initially gained fame as the lead guitarist of The Amboy Dukes, a band formed in 1963 that played psychedelic rock and hard rock. After dissolving the band, he embarked on a solo career. Nugent is known for his Gibson Byrdland, his bluesy and frenzied guitar playing and his energetic live shows. Despite possessing a distinctive, wide-ranging singing voice, Nugent recorded and toured with other singers during much of his early solo career, including Derek St. Holmes, Brian Howe, and Meat Loaf, only taking on full lead vocal duties later on. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was part of the supergroup Damn Yankees.

Hydra is an American Southern rock band founded in the late 1960s by Spencer Kirkpatrick (guitar), Wayne Bruce, Steve Pace (drums) and Orville Davis (Bass). In 1977, it became a three-piece band and the band broke up later that year. It released three albums, Hydra (1974), Land of Money (1975) and Rock the World (1977). In 2005, the band reunited for two shows. A live album, Hydra: Live After All These Years was released.

"Stranglehold" is the debut single and the first track from Ted Nugent's self-titled 1975 album. The vocals are by Derek St. Holmes. However, the "Sometimes you wanna get higher" verse is sung by Nugent. Nugent admits that the song was cowritten by Rob Grange, who received no share.

<i>Out of Control</i> (Ted Nugent album) 1993 compilation album by Ted Nugent

Out of Control is a comprehensive double-disc set containing 34 songs from all stages of Ted Nugent's career, including tracks from his previous group The Amboy Dukes.

Cliff Davies (musician) British musician

Clifford "Cliff" Davies was a British drummer, songwriter and producer.

Steven O. Farmer was an American guitarist, composer and lyricist, best known for his composition with Ted Nugent in 1968, "Journey to the Center of the Mind", performed by their group The Amboy Dukes. Farmer wrote the lyrics to the hit song, which peaked at #16 in the charts. He also co-wrote with Nugent, or self composed, 22 compositions on the first three albums by The Amboy Dukes.

<i>Whitford/St. Holmes</i> 1981 studio album by Whitford/St. Holmes

Whitford/St. Holmes is the 1981 self-titled debut album of a hard rock collaboration by American musicians Brad Whitford and Derek St. Holmes, of Aerosmith and Ted Nugent respectively.

<i>Sweden Rocks</i>

Sweden Rocks is a 2006 live album by the American hard rock guitarist Ted Nugent, recorded at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2006. It was also released at the same time as a live DVD. Bassist Barry Sparks would depart Nugent's band shortly after, at which time Greg Smith took over.

Rob Grange, is an American rock bass guitarist, best known for his work with Ted Nugent and his unique phase bass lines in the song "Stranglehold".