December 8, 1967
Collection samples at Rita's Heep Museum
Originally from Germany, but now live
in the USA
Occupation: I have three of those: One
boring day time office job which is supposed to pay the mandatory
bills, a second freelancing one which helps fund my music passion, and
a third, creative one which doesn’t fund anything yet.
My Heep story is one of many twists
and turns, almost as complex as the one of Uriah Heep itself.
There are three main stops on this journey. The very first time I
heard the name Uriah Heep was in 1977 at the age of 9. I was at a
friend’s house and we watched a German television music program.
One year older than myself, that was
the year she started her obsession over the band Smokie, while my music
tastes would take me elsewhere when I got my first fascinating look at
John Lawton with the wild hair and green eye shadow. I just had
to find out the name of this band, and that summer evening left with
the name Uriah Heep imprinted in my brain.
However, being that young and also
being raised in a strict household where rock music and other things
were taboo, it was not until the early 80s, perhaps around the release
of the Abominog album, when I got a second taste of Heep.
This time it was my older brother who
was the culprit. Once he turned 18, he bought a stereo system
with his own money and stored it at his girl friend’s house (rock music
still was not to be had at my house). I begged him to share some
music with me, and he made a compilation tape for me, which I snuck
into the house. He neglected to label it, but later I learned it
contained songs by Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Slade and some others.
However, the first song that touched
me on this tape and never let me go was July Morning. I asked him
who that group was and he said Uriah Heep. There was that name
again! There were some others songs by Heep on that tape
which left a lasting impression on me, such as The Wizard, Easy Livin’,
and On The Rebound. (Not until much later did I learn that the
latter was Heep also, but with a different lineup).
I played this tape daily through my
teenage years, but always skipping the non-Heep songs. Just
before I moved to America at age 18, I damaged this tape when I wrecked
my car, yet hung on to it for sentimental reasons.
Once I was in America and was an adult
with my own money to spend, I kept searching for Uriah Heep in the
record stores, yet came up empty handed, perhaps because of the remote
location I found myself in.
It took almost 20 years for the third
leg of the Heep journey to begin, but it’s been the most eventful
one. I relocated to a more central location in the USA, and when
I discovered the Internet I found Heep Haven. Most everything I
have acquired that is Uriah Heep and related has been since 2005, so my
collection is small compared to others.
Heep also lives on in yet another
generation. My daughter became a fan at age 13 and she proudly
wears her Uriah Heep t-shirt to school, and beyond, while a Demons and
Wizards poster adorns her bedroom wall. She attended Heepvention
2005 with me and definitely was the youngest member there (by a few
decades) at age 14. She herself has passed the music of Uriah
Heep on to her friends.
My most precious Heep item is the
compilation tape I mentioned above. My most sentimental Heep
related item to date (2009) is a John Sloman signed and personalized 13
I also have two personal factors
related to Heep: My first name is the same as Gary Thain’s mom, and I
have a sunrise tattoo on my arm that I designed to commemorate the song
“Sunrise” of course. I have never seen Uriah Heep live nor met
any of the members, past or present, so these factors will have to do
Gary Thain Official