Gary Thain of Uriah Heep

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Scooby D, Oct 11, 2000.

  1. Scooby D

    Scooby D

    Oct 3, 2000
    Hi! This great bass player was a huge influence on me. When I was growing up in the seventies, Heep was a very popular band and listening to Gary's playing was my main reason for picking up the bass. I think that he's kind of forgotten now but one listen to Uriah Heep Live 1973 and you'll see what I mean. He was incredibly melodic but still drove the band. Gary died in 1976 but the music remains! Bye for now. SCOOBY!
  2. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Hey, Hambone! We've got another member to add to our Gary Thain fan club! ScoobyD, welcome aboard. We regularly bring up Gary Thain's name here. He was a major influence on me. I just replaced my copy of Uriah Heep Live, and you are dead on. "Sweet Lorraine" was a cut that showed what Thain was all about. He was a nice blend of rhythmic and melodic all rolled into one.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I, too, dug him(believe it or not)...Gary definitely had some R&B happenin' in his lines.
  4. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I am a HUGE uriah heep fan. Thain was such a melodic player. tough stuff.
  5. Was searching through some old posts (is it that obvious?), and ran across this. Just wanted to say that Gary Thain, IMHO, plays a killer bass. He doesn't get the recognition he deserves. In matter of fact, Uriah Heep doesn't get the recognition they rightfully deserve. Of course his replacements after his death gets much more exposure, that being John Wetton and Trevor Boulder. But they fail to come close to Thain's playing abilities.

    RIP Gary Thain and David Byron
  6. Gary Thain was my best buddy in our early teenage years, we went to different schools, but we learnt guitar together, did a paper route together, and hung around for 3 or 4 years. He and his elder brother Arthur formed a band called the Strangers, and were very popular in Christchurch, New Zealand. I played in various bands, and so we drifted apart, moreso when he and the rhythm guitarist from his band decided to go to England to seek fame and fortune. He was a talented guy, even before he went overseas he was known as a rock-solid player.
    ThudThudThud and Uncle Moe like this.
  7. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    great bass player!!!!
  8. Playmeout


    Nov 14, 2004
    At last...... I've found some like minded appreciation of a very underated player. First saw him with Keef Hartley Band in the early seventies & was blown away then with his driving & melodic feel. As far as studio albums go, thought Uriah Heep's Demon's & Wizards was his 'tour de force' & the 'Rock & Roll Medley' from the 'Live 73' album is a real good lesson in how it should be done ! Read somewhere that he used to spend hours playing along to old soul records - think that was reflected in his style. Great bass player & sadly missed !
  9. It's always good to see this thread revived.

    Thain was, is, and probably always will be the first one I point to when asked about my influences. To me, he was simply the finest rock bassist I've ever heard.

    No doubt, his style was shaped by the horn sections from R&B groups.
  10. Wulfman


    Nov 17, 2004
    In my book about cancer deseases (»Der Feind in meinem Körper« (The enemy inside), to be published Jan./2005) it is said in the epilogue (in an abstract about persons I'd like to meet on the other side):

    »And Mr. Gary Thain, of course, the very bassman rock history ever created. A man of spindly shape, portrait by his intimates as a maximum cool perfectionist, with the behaviour of natural humility, gifted with moods of accurately placed mother wit. He died at the age of 27 in consequence of an overdose. After a tragic accident made him lose his purpose in life he gave himself up to the perfidious mix of drugs and alcohol. However - he was the first deceased I ever mourned.

    Would be great to get to know him, afterwards. But presumably he would just state something like: 'If you intend to be definitely best you've got to do a hell of practice ...' You know, he was always a bit of laconically.«
    (Amateurish translation)

    So - even in belief of facing death - some of my thoughts were with him. So do you?!

    The Wulfman
  11. First song of theirs that I heard is the radio standard "Easy Livin'"... That has to be one of greatest rockers of all time... Short, to the point, fast, driven, and melodic as hell... The wailin' organs and guitar, that sweet sweet bassline, and those vocal harmonies... Love it... I will definitely check out more of the Gary Thain stuff from Uriah Heep...
  12. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    I was in the 3rd row at the show in Dallas where Gary was electrocuted. That event certainly contributed to his ultimate demise.

    The band was chugging away, when all of a sudden the bottom totally dropped out. I looked over at Gary - he was standing in a very wobbly stance with his mouth wide open gasping for air. He then fell over face first to the stage right on top of his bass. I remember seeing his platform boots bounce up in the air when he hit the floor. There was blue smoke rising behind his amp and the roadies were running all over the place.

    When the paramedics brought him out on the stretcher he was concious and rubbing his head, but was extremely dazed.

    I recall reading that after that incident he suffered from dibilitating pain and bouts of amnesia. So sad and what a loss.
  13. HMNC


    Apr 12, 2005
    USA (East Coast)
    I see this thread is old, but I am a fan of Uriah Heep also, and prefer definitely the era where Gary played Bass with them.

    If there are any of you out there that want to talk about Gary (I am working on a tribute for him) feel free to e-mail me, thanks
  14. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Those were the days.
  15. I'm of the opinion that it's guys that got to work with horns that got like that. Thain is always my top influence because he was my earliest but when I think about my other favorites outside of the rock/fusion element, I think about Jaco, Prestia, Gradney, Graham, and lots of others that had that heavy hornband experience. There's somethiing there guys. I don't know what it is but I've always said that if I could get a gig with a horn band I'd jump on it quick!
  16. I once went on a rugby tour, purely for the experience, I wasnt playing or anything, and one of the player's Dads heard I was a bassist and he kept going on about Gary Thain. I remember him driving away in a taxi and drunkenly screaming "GARY THAIN! DONT FORGET! GARY THAIN!" as the taxi pulled away down the street. I've never checked him out though. Maybe I will.
  17. HMNC


    Apr 12, 2005
    USA (East Coast)
    wow I am glad this thread came back to life. Well I started a website on him, because not much is out there, so if anyone wants to contribute let me know.

    My daughter is in band in school (she plays flute) and she says they have a kid there that is an awesome bass player also - he plays different instruments, but unfortunately by what I hear he has no support at home - if anything problems at home if you know what I mean
  18. From what you've told me HMNC, you might have a mission here... ;)
  19. HMNC


    Apr 12, 2005
    USA (East Coast)
    "From what you've told me HMNC, you might have a mission here..."

    Well once I put my mind to something ... I can become quite obsessed.

    Actually I started it 3 days ago and it's coming along okay - learning html from my daughter hehe

    I figured since this year is Gary's 30 year death anniversary I might as well do it - since my web surfing only came up with one Site dedicated to Gary - and that one seems to have been created on his 25 year death anniversary - but I don't know if it's being updated. But - what bugs me about that site is that all advertising banners are in the text, they did not move the text down far enough
  20. This is the mission I was referring to... :)