Heepvention 2005






Official statements presented from Uriah Heep
members, past and present:

I have been asked by Dave Griffin to say a few words about the Heepvention and David Byron in particular.

Well as far as the Heepvention goes we wish you all a great time and I hope all enjoy every moment of it.  Sorry we
cannot be there but you know our spirit is there with you as well as our music.  I see the Heepvention as a celebration
of all things Heep where friendships are made through the love of Heep music old and new.  We really do have the
best fans in the world and on behalf of the band I hope that you have a truly wonderful experience together.

Now what can I say about David that has not already been said by me.  He was the most wonderful singer,
performer, writer and all around showman.  How he interpreted a song touched a million hearts that burnt into their
soul.  As I am writing this I am listening to some of the old Spice stuff and he really shone even in those days.  He
is such a loss to us all but thank god He has left us a legacy of great music and performances on film that we
continue to enjoy.

May he rest in peace but I know he is up there jamming with the best of them and making his mark like only David can.

Have fun and enjoy every minute of the Heepvention because David would just love that.

'Appy Days,

Mick Box

Hi Everyone!!

Spread the word!!  The Heep legend is alive and well!  Evangelise!  We need some trainee Heepsters to take over!!
If necessary make your own!!

Anyway, from half a world away I just wanted to say hello to you all and to wish you a great time.  In a perfect
world of course I would be there with you but we all know at this time isn't a perfect world don't we??!!

Dave asked me for a few words, some thoughts or recollections about David and that's obviously something I
could write a book about but I will say this!

I worked with and admired a lot of singers over the years but David was much more than that.  He was an artist
in every since of the word and one I would compare with Freddie Mercury or (early) Rod Stewart for originality
as well as for his contributions to musical performance as a art form.

In the 70s we took a lot of risks.  Some of them paid off and some didn't but there is no doubt that, by taking these
risks, we made it a lot easier for bands and artists that came along later.

What is less well-known is the amount of sacrifice we all had to make then so we could devote ourselves to our
beliefs and commit ourselves to the goals we set for our music.  Relationships suffered as we did things that
defied common sense, like touring for 300 days a year or recording for 72 hours non-stop.  Up until the time that
alcohol got the better of David I think Uriah Heep was unstoppable.  After that, at least for me, it had already stopped.
I didn't know David well personally but I loved writing for him and working with him and  I will never forget him.
Gods knows, I remember every time I try to sing those songs that he made his own!

No one person was Uriah Heep, at its best it was a complete band until, at its worst, it fell apart but not before it
had left you and me with some incredible memories and not before Heep had carved its own niche in rock 
music history.

Celebrate!  I'll be with you in spirit!

God bless

Ken Hensley

Hey guys, my good friends,

It has been a while since we last met up....... FAR TOO LONG!!!  but I hope to remedy this in the not to distant
future....... I know lot of thought and planning has gone in to this Heepvention and Iris and myself would love
to have been there with y'all :-)))  but sometimes life dictates otherwise.......

We still remember Myrtle Beach and the first time we got to meet up with friends, that we had only emailed
before.  It was a great time and encouraged us to take part in the planning and performing at the great Heepvention
2000 in London.....

I know Uriah Heep is at the heart of everything you guys and gals do and in many respects its the same for me,
as the words of that song go, "you can check out, but you can never leave"  :-))))))

I know you are doing a tribute to David (Byron) and just to add a few sentiments of my own.....

I never actually met David....except for a nod of recognition backstage at the Hammersmith gig way back in the
late 70s (you know me, my memory was never my strong point) to much Jack Daniels & "fags".  :-))))

I do wish I had had the chance to sit down and talk to him, something I will always regret. :-((((

He was and remains to this day one of the greats of Rock and it is fitting that you guys pay your own tribute, he
would have appreciated this a lot.....

Whatever happens, I hope you my friends have a great few days, we will be thinking of you.....

Lotsa love and hugs....

John & Iris Lawton

I think that aside from the event itself, it's the drive home from any Heepvention that I wait to enjoy.
Traveling from the North of the United States where I live to the South is such a beautiful drive as it covers so many different kinds of scenic views.

They are perfect for adding to the natural anticipation of the event, and then they provide the perfect backdrop for some deep reflection of what had just occurred, and all things related to Heepvention.

Heepvention has been and always will be by fans for fans. Invariably the host will stand to loose a bit of money on it, but it's worth the expense when watching the faces of the people attending. As has been, Heepvention '05 , held in Knoxville Tennessee brought in people from many states. Some flew in, others like myself drove in (my 8 hour drive is a really good block of time to think about all things Heep, others drove as much as 12 hours), and for a few, the drive was right around the corner from their house

This Heepvention for me seemed very much to hold the feelings of the 1st one for some reason. Maybe it's because I had to miss the one last year, maybe it was because the sound system was supplied (as it was from Ken Hensley in 1997), or maybe it was just because I was in yet another Heepster Honda packed pretty tightly with gear. But, whatever the reason, Heepvention '05 will hold a very special place in my heart and the hearts of those that attended.

This memo isn't intended to be a play by play of the event as that will happen in the next few days at the website for the event, http://www.heepvention05.com/ , but suffice to say that there will be the usual bevy of photos, sound files, and "reports" from some of the attendees.

In short I would like to thank this year's hosts Dave Griffin and his wife Kim for the amazing amount of preparation, and coordination that these things require. Not to mention the wonderful hospitality that they offered everyone.

One of the things that we always try to accomplish at these things is to invite anyone who would like to participate, to become a member of the Heepsters Jam Band that simply get on stage and play Uriah Heep songs. Sounds simple, but believe me, the planning, coordination, and effort required to pull off this exercise can be nothing short of mind blowing.

Imagine 8-10 people all wanting to perform basically un-rehearsed with people that they may or may not have ever met before. It happens each time we have a Heepvention, and the trepidation that is experienced is matched only by the massive feeling of relief and subsequent sheer FUN after the 1st few bars of the 1st song.

This year was no different, and I'll let others fill you in on the details about that !
I'm told there are over 250 photos that were taken as well as almost 2 hours of recorded music by the Jam Band.

All the people that helped out in any way with either the planning or execution of Heepvention '05 need to be mentioned, and I'm sure they will be in the pages to come.

A brief list of the "players" in this years event:

Thank You to:

Donna , the owner of the Prince Deli and Sports Bar where the main event took place. You provided a perfect atmosphere, and your crew were just great.

Kevin Prenger - the man behind the board at the Prince. Kevin did the work of 3. Aside from manning the control booth (that looks like something from Space Shuttle), Kevin wired the stage, the lighting, and the videos displays, and juggled his time recording the event on digital 8 track as well as being a gracious announcer as well !

Avery Rogers - Avery stepped up to the cause as our drummer extraordinaire at the last minute (and I mean within a few days of the event) when the drummer we had planned on couldn't attend. Avery learned and preformed the songs like the pro that he is. He also helped with the stage gear, and had some really good ideas as far as the music was concerned. I hope to see you again one of these days !

Ed Halliburtion - The Media Director - we are looking forward to seeing your stuff Ed. Thanks for making it happen !

Ron Mann for providing the website for Heepvention '05, http://www.heepvention05.com and, as you know by now, for being the Heeepsters Heepster.

Charlie Gibb -Armed with an very impressive looking camera, Charlie was our photographer - his stuff will be up shortly.

The Heepsters Jam Band consisting of

Rob Dwyer - The Jam Band musical director, and a brilliant guitarist. You'll see and hear his work shortly. Rob held much of the lead guitar duties, and has an uncanny ability to play solos from anyone note for note, but infused with his only style as well !

Keith Shaw - Along with Rob, Keith was on 90% .. (or was it 95% for them) of the songs, and is also a fantastic guitarist, and a gifted vocalist as well. Keith provided stage right with some damn good Heep vibes !

It's my understanding that Rob and Keith almost single handedly directed the activities of the Saturday night acoustic set as well as the main event Saturday.

I've seen the tapes of this very special acoustic night and these guys really outdid themselves. Could an album be far away guys? I'd certainly buy one !

Bass Guitarists:

John White - Hi Cuz ! During the songs he was on, John kept everything under control on the bottom end of things, and is amazing on the bass.You nailed the tunes dude ! Did I hear BOTH Thain and Bolder in there ?? :-)

Mac Steagall - Sporting a Fender, Mac did his thing pretty much like he did on Heepsteria, but only faster ! Great playing Mac ! Next time tho, can you please get to the stage on time :-)


Andre Sokolnikov - It's getting to be a habit, but Andre is constantly twinkling those ivories with amazing accuracy and feel. An excellent job again, and you do deserve the longest trek award, coming in from California by way of Memphis only the day before?


Brad Todd - Vocals - An excellent performance from Brad all throughout the evening. Very emotive vocals, AND saved the day with the backup keyboards. Thanks for that !

Don Ellis - Vocals ! Was a pleasure to meet you Don, and so glad you could make it .. a stirring rendition of Blind Eye

Dave Griffin - Heepvention '05 host, and someone I am proud to call a friend.

Dave, you provided a great night for so many people. Thanks from all of us to you and Kim for doing what you did. For some it was their 1st Heepvention, for others it was one of their Heepventions, but for everyone it was a GRAND Heepvention. Well done, and yes you can sing at the next one too if you like :-)

David was watching, he knows...

Special hellos go to :
Rita, Kim, John and Pat Kooiman from Michigan, Bob Winward and is lovely wife Susan, so good to see both of you again, the Ken Simpson, the staff and crew of the Prince, and how could we not mention DejaWho ! These guys were just great, and provided about 45 minutes of songs giving the Jam Band a needed break !

Andy Howe, the lead singer writes:
To the Heepvention people:
This is Andy, the lead singer/harp player from DejaWho. I just wanted
to say thank you for inviting us to the Heepvention and to let you
know that we all had a really great time playing and just hanging out
with y'all! It was a super fun evening and we look forward to seeing
you again sometime.

Peace, love and rock n roll, my brothers and sisters! And thank you
again sincerely for inviting us to your party!
You can visit their website at http://tsmi.inobis.com/DejaWho

It was simply a wonderful time, a true gathering of friends, a party celebrating the life of one David Byron, and of course all things Heep.

In closing - I am reminded of the drives and airplane trips I have taken to and from the various Heepventions over the years.
It's always a very important time for me, and I use it to reflect on what just happened, and more importantly why if happened.

We are bound by the music, but we are bound now by deep rooted friendships that have come from 10 years of Uriah Heep on the internet.

I know that I can speak for everyone by saying I'm proud to be associated with such a diverse and talented group of people that are spread all over the world and have attended and given of themselves to provide and contribute to something which will forever remain deeply within them.

It's all about the fans, and it's all about friends, as Pete says, "A Gathering of Friends".. nothing could be more true.

In 2007, at this time I would like to plan that Heepvention '07, the 10th Anniversary of Heepventions, will be held in Cleveland again. I urge you to plan on attending. More news later ... but for now, the question is - Where oh where will Heepvention '06 be ?

Stay tuned...

Dave White

© 2005 CHA Promotions