Trevor Bolder

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Trevor Bolder
Bolder in Milan, 9 November 2008
Bolder in Milan, 9 November 2008
Background information
Born(1950-06-09)9 June 1950
Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died21 May 2013(2013-05-21) (aged 62)
Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • Bass
  • vocals
  • trumpet (early)
Years active1963–2013
Formerly of

Trevor Bolder (9 June 1950 – 21 May 2013) was an English rock musician, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for his long association with Uriah Heep and his tenure with the Spiders from Mars, the backing band for David Bowie, although he also played alongside a variety of musicians from the early 1970s.


Bolder was born in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England.[1] His father was a trumpet player, and other members of his family too were musicians. He played cornet in the school band[2] and was active in his local R&B scene in the mid-1960s. Inspired by the Beatles, in 1964 he formed his first band with his brother and took up the bass guitar.[3]

He first came to prominence in the Rats, which also featured fellow Hull musician Mick Ronson on lead guitar. In 1971 Bolder was called in to replace Tony Visconti in David Bowie's backing band, which would soon be known as the Spiders from Mars; he subsequently appeared in D. A. Pennebaker's 1973 documentary and concert movie Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. He is name-checked as "Weird" (Bowie's stage nickname for Bolder)[4] in the song "Ziggy Stardust", in the lyrics "Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Weird and Gilly, and the Spiders from Mars".[5] Bolder "never looked comfortable as a glam-rock mannequin, tottering behind Ziggy Stardust in platform boots and a rainbow-hued outfit of latex and glitter".[3]

Bolder's bass (and occasional trumpet) work appeared on the studio albums Hunky Dory (1971), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), Aladdin Sane (1973), and Pin Ups (1973), the Spiders' swan song with their leader.[1][6] He went on to play on Mick Ronson's 1974 album Slaughter on 10th Avenue which made the British Top Ten.

Bolder playing a Fender Precision Bass signature bass guitar in 2006

In 1976 Bolder joined Uriah Heep, replacing John Wetton. He worked on the albums Firefly, Innocent Victim, Fallen Angel and Conquest; when the line-up that had recorded the latter disbanded, he alone remained, along with Mick Box, guitarist, founder member, and legal owner of the band's name. The attempt to put a new line-up together temporarily stalled; and Bolder, needing to earn a living, accepted an offer in 1981 to join Wishbone Ash. Bolder had, coincidentally, again swapped places with John Wetton, becoming Wishbone Ash's bass player for their 1982 album Twin Barrels Burning. It was another short-lived connection, as by 1983 he returned to the rhythm section with Uriah Heep, playing on the Head First tour (although Bob Daisley played on the album) and all subsequent studio albums up to and including Into the Wild.[6]

As well as his usual bass-playing and backing-vocal duties, Bolder produced Heep's 1991 album Different World.[7]

In 2012 and early 2013, Bolder worked with Stevie ZeSuicide (Steve Roberts of the band U.K. Subs) as producer on singles "Wild Trash" (co-writer with ZeSuicide), "Lady Rocker" and a cover of "Ziggy Stardust".[8] Bolder also played on these tracks.

Bolder died in May 2013 at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham from cancer, aged 62.[9] He had undergone surgery for pancreatic cancer earlier that year.[10]


  • Sail the Rivers 2012-2013 (2020)
With David Bowie
With Cybernauts
  • Cybernauts Live
With Dana Gillespie
  • Weren't Born a Man
With Ken Hensley
  • Free Spirit (1980)
  • From Time to Time (1994)
With Mick Ronson
With The Spiders from Mars
  • Spiders From Mars (1976)

With Uriah Heep
With Wishbone Ash


  1. ^ a b "Biography". Retrieved 4 November 2008.
  2. ^ "Interview with TREVOR BOLDER (URIAH HEEP)". Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Trevor Bolder", The Times (Obituaries), 23 May 2013, p. 67.
  4. ^ "The Ziggy Stardust Companion: "Ziggy Stardust"". Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  5. ^ "Jamming good with Weird and Gilly / And the Spiders From Mars". Genius. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  6. ^ a b Hill, Gary. "Trevor Bolder | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Trevor Bolder | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Stevie ZeSuicide". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  9. ^ Paul Cockerton (22 May 2013). "Trevor Bolder dead aged 62: David Bowie leads tributes to Spiders From Mars bassist – Mirror Online". Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Trevor Bolder dead at 62". Retrieved 22 May 2013.

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