statements presented from Uriah Heep
members, past and present:
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
of all things Heep where friendships are made through
the love of Heep music old and new. We really do
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
soul. As I am writing this I am listening to some
of the old Spice stuff and he really shone even in those
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
word!! The Heep legend is alive and well!
Evangelise! We need some trainee Heepsters to take
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
defied common sense, like touring for 300 days a year or
recording for 72 hours non-stop. Up until the time
alcohol got the better of David I think Uriah Heep was
unstoppable. After that, at least for me, it had
I didn't know David well personally but I loved writing
for him and working with him and I will never
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
be with you in spirit!
Hey guys, my good
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
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
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 &
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 !
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
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
It's all about the fans, and it's all about friends, as
Pete says, "A Gathering of Friends".. nothing could be
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 ?