Bolder joined David Bowie’s backing band in 1971, alongside guitarist Mick Ronson – with whom he’d played in The Rats – and drummer Woody Woodmansey. He appeared on the albums Hunky Dory, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Aladdin Sane and Pin Ups.
He replaced John Wetton in Heep in 1976 and made his recording debut with them on 1977′s Firefly. He also played on Innocent Victim, Fallen Angel and Conquest, before joining Wishbone Ash. In 1983 he returned to Mick Box’s outfit and played on Equator two years later. He’d appeared on every album since, including their most recent outing, 2011′s Into The Wild.
Earlier this year he announced what was hoped to be a temporary absence as a result of surgery. He later told Classic Rock: “I had pancreas cancer so I had to have that removed. Not the entire pancreas; but still, it was bad news. They’ve cut out the bad bit. I’ve had a bit of chemo, got to have that, which I’m doing now, in case there’s anything hanging about. Once that’s done, I should be back to doing what I do for a living.” The band had said he was aiming to be back in action in time for Heep’s appearance at the Download Festival.
A statement from the band reports: “Trevor was an all-time great – one of the outstanding musicians of his generation, and one of the finest and most influential bass players Britain ever produced.
“His long time membership of Uriah Heep brought the band’s music, and Trevor’s virtuosity and enthusiasm, to hundreds of thousands of fans across the world.”
Box adds: “Trevor was a world class bass player, singer and songwriter – and more importantly a world class friend. He will be sadly missed by family, friends and rock fans all over the world. We are all numb to the core.”
Bowie has released a brief statement of his own, saying: “Trevor was a wonderful musician and a major inspiration for whichever band he was working with. But he was foremostly a tremendous guy, a great man.”
Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott, along with guitarist Phil Collen, Woodmansey and keyboardist Dick Decent, had played with Bolder in their Ronson tribute band Cybernauts. Elliott said last night: “I had the great pleasure of knowing Trevor for the best part of 30 years. He was one of my idols growing up. I got to know him when Uriah Heep opened for Def Leppard on the Pyromania tour in 1983, and we became firm friends. I stayed with him, he stayed with me and we recorded and toured together.
“For myself and Phil it’s devastating, because we were looking forward to finishing up some new Cybernauts recording pretty soon – that may now not happen. But our real thoughts right now are with his family. Trevor was one of the good guys; we have lost a brother, a great bass player, a funny, funny man who lit up any room he walked into. I guess now, him and Ronno have a bit of catching up to do. Rest in peace, my friend.”
Uriah Heep have set up a memorial guest book on their website.