Glenn Hughes has mourned the loss of Dave Holland, calling his former TRAPEZE bandmate “an incredible drummer and a great guy.”
In 1969, Holland became a founding member of TRAPEZE alongside Hughes and Mel Galley. Hughes left TRAPEZE in 1973 to join DEEP PURPLE, while Holland ended up hooking up with JUDAS PRIEST in 1979 and staying in the band for a decade.
During a recent interview with the “Music Mania” podcast, Hughes was asked to comment on reports that Holland died on January 16 at a hospital in Spain at the age of 69. He said (hear audio below): “Dave was my first drummer in TRAPEZE. And what an incredible drummer and a great guy.
“I’ve lost both members of TRAPEZE — I’m the last one standing again,” he continued. “Of course, Dave had some difficulties later in life, which we know about. But all I wanna talk about is how great was around me in those early years. TRAPEZE [was] the ’70s, before I went on to join PURPLE and Mel went on to join WHITESNAKE and Dave went on to join JUDAS PRIEST. Those were very, very formative years for me, for a young musician from the north of England, to come out to the United States and have a career. Very important.”
Hughes, who has described himself as “a very notorious cocaine addict” during the ’70s and ’80s, went on to express his surprise and sorrow over the fact that he is one the few surviving members of the extended TRAPEZE camp.
“If you know anything about my past, I would be silly if I didn’t tell you that all those years ago, I was not in the place I am today,” Hughes said. “And I am… And this is quite scary: five road crew, two agents and the whole band are gone except for yours truly. You wouldn’t have put money on that all those years ago. It just really, really tears me up to think that those guys are all gone. And don’t get me wrong — I love my life and I love what I do and I’m very, very grateful and happy to carry the message. But to lose the final guy, for me, was very, very… very, very shocking.”
At the time of his death, Holland had reportedly been residing in Fonsagrada, a town and municipality in the province of Lugo in northwest Spain, after spending several years in a British jail for attempting to rape a teenage boy. The drummer was sentenced in January 2004 of trying to assault the 17-year-old in his cottage in Northamptonshire, England, while giving him drumming lessons. The abuse was revealed in a letter written by the teenager to his parents.
Holland always denied any involvement in the attempted rape of the special-needs student and was at one point said to be planning to write a tell-all biography of his life and career.