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|Origin||Cannock, Staffordshire, England|
|Genres||Funk rock, hard rock, blues rock|
|Labels||Threshold, Warner Bros., Major League Productions (MLP)|
|Associated acts||Finders Keepers, The Moody Blues, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Whitesnake, Phenomena|
|Past members||Mel Galley
Trapeze was an English rock band formed in March 1969, by vocalist John Jones and guitarist/keyboardist Terry Rowley (who named the band), with guitarist Mel Galley, singer/bassist Glenn Hughes, and drummer Dave Holland. The band had a fairly fluid line up, finally dissolving in 1994. Several members went on to join better known bands, including Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash.
The core and most familiar line-up of the band was Glenn Hughes, Mel Galley, and Dave Holland. After Glenn Hughes' departure in June 1973, Galley and Holland kept the band together with constantly varying members until 1979, when Holland went on to join Judas Priest. Holland tried to revive the band in 1990, after leaving Priest, but the band finally broke up in 1994. Their first three albums remain their best known and most commercially successful.
Trapeze was formed in 1969 by vocalist John Jones and guitarist/keyboardist Terry Rowley (both former members of the band 'Montanas') with guitarist Mel Galley, singer/bassist Glenn Hughes, and drummer Dave Holland. Trapeze issued its self-titled debut album Trapeze in 1970, but early that year Jones and Rowley returned to Montanas. In late 1970 the more familiar trio of Galley, Hughes, and Holland surfaced for the first time with the album Medusa. Trapeze would tour as this trio until early 1973. The band toured mostly in the UK and the Southern U.S. Their commercial success was minimal up to this point. You Are the Music...We're Just the Band was released in 1972. Glenn Hughes left the band after the 1973 tour to replace Roger Glover in Deep Purple. After the departure of Hughes the band's profile and sales grew, mostly based on the first three albums with Hughes; but their concert base grew as well, with them playing small arenas all over the U.S.
In 1974 the band released The Final Swing a compilation album that had two previously unreleased tracks "Good Love" and "Dat's It", which had been a fan favorite at concerts for many years prior. Guitarist Rob Kendrick and bassist Pete Wright signed on for Trapeze's 1974 album Hot Wire, followed by a second self-titled album, Trapeze, in 1976.
The original trio of Galley, Hughes, and Holland reunited for a short time in late 1975. It was to be a full-fledged reunion with an album of new songs, but Hughes again left the band before the album could be produced. Hughes' 1977 solo album called Play Me Out had two new songs, "LA Cut-Off" and "Space High", that Hughes had written for the cancelled Trapeze album, and that Galley and Holland had played with him on the short 1975 reunion tour.
Hold On also called Running was released in late 1978, and again featured Pete Wright in addition to new guitarist and singer Pete Goalby. The 1981 live album Live in Texas: Dead Armadillos featured new drummer Steve Bray, Dave Holland was playing with Judas Priest as of late 1979. Mel Galley toured one last time after Pete Goalby left to sing for Uriah Heep in 1981, then went on to play for Whitesnake, leaving Trapeze disbanded by late 1982.
The original trio of Galley, Hughes, and Holland reformed again in 1991, joined by Asia's and Yes's keyboard player, Geoff Downes, for a small tour. They released a live album of the reunion show in 1993, called Welcome to the Real World.
In February 1994 Galley, Hughes, and Holland reformed again, playing in New York in a tribute concert for vocalist Ray Gillen, of Badlands and Black Sabbath fame. This led to other dates, kicking off in the UK in March 1994 at the 'Robin R'n'B Club' in their home town of the West Midlands region, and in April in the U.S., with veteran blues guitarist Craig Erickson accompanying Hughes on both lead and rhythm guitar.
1989 saw "The Loser" appear on Time-Life's Lost 70s Guitar Classics. The 23-track best-of compilation On the Highwire came out in 2003, featuring the tracks "Black Cloud", "Way Back To The Bone", "Keepin' Time", "Your Love is Alright" and "Back Street Love". In 2004 ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee paid homage by covering "Way Back To The Bone" on his album of 1970s covers. In 2006 Pat Travers also paid homage by covering "You Are The Music" on his album of 1970s covers called P.T. Power Trio 2.
Guitarist and band leader Mel Galley died of esophagus cancer on 1 July 2008 at the age of 60, effectively ending any future chances of the band reforming.
Many Trapeze songs have been performed live by Glenn Hughes over the last 20 years.
- Mel Galley – guitars, bass guitar, lead vocals (1969–1982, 1991-1992, 1994)
- Dave Holland – drums (1969–1980, 1991-1992, 1994)
- Glenn Hughes – bass guitar, guitars, lead vocals (1969–1974, 1991-1992, 1994)
- John Jones – vocals, trumpet (1969–1970)
- Terry Rowley – organ, guitar, piano, flute (1969–1970)
- Pete Wright – bass (1974–1982)
- Rob Kendrick – guitars (1974–1978)
- Peter Goalby – guitars, lead vocals (1978–1982)
- Steve Bray – drums (1980–1982)
- Richard Bailey – keyboards (1982)
- Mervyn Spence – bass, vocals (1982)
- Geoff Downes – keyboards (1991-1992)
- Craig Erickson – guitars (1994)
- Touring musicians
- Pete MacKie – bass guitar (live 1973)
- Trapeze (1970)
- Medusa (1970)
- You Are the Music...We're Just the Band (1972)
- Hot Wire (1974)
- Trapeze (1975)
- Hold On (1978) also called Running (1979)
- Live in Texas: Dead Armadillos (1981)
- Welcome to the Real World - live 1992 (1993)
- Live Way Back To The Bone (1998)
- Live At The Boat Club1975 (2003)
- The Final Swing (compilation and rarities, 1974)
- Way Back to the Bone - Best of 1970–1972 (1986)
- High Flyers: The Best of Trapeze - Best of Studio 1970–1974 (1996)
- On the Highwire - Best of 1970–1992 (2003)