Steve Priest, the bassist and co-founder of glam rock band Candy, has died on the age of 72.
He was recognized for his playful humour and outrageous costumes when Candy performed hits like Blockbuster and Little Willy on Prime of the Pops within the 1970s.
Priest additionally sang the memorable traces “there is a lady within the nook that no-one ignores, ‘cos she thinks she’s the passionate one,” in Ballroom Blitz.
His demise was confirmed by the band, who shared a press release from his household.
Bandmate Andy Scott paid tribute, describing Priest as the most effective bass participant he had ever performed with. “From that second in the summertime of 1970 once we set off on our musical odyssey the world opened up and the curler coaster trip began.”
“I’m in items proper now,” added the guitarist, who’s now the only real surviving member of Candy’s traditional line-up.
“His spouse Maureen and I’ve saved in touch and although his well being was failing I by no means envisaged this second. By no means. My ideas are along with his household.”
Priest was born in Hayes, West London, in 1948, and have become a musician after constructing his personal bass guitar in his teenagers.
After taking part in in bands like The Countdowns and The Military, he shaped The Candy (then referred to as Sweetshop) in January 1968 with vocalist Brian Connolly, drummer Mick Tucker and guitarist Frank Torpey.
Following a couple of line-up adjustments and a false begin on Parlophone Data, the band signed to RCA in 1971 and teamed up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, whose bubblegum melodies and power-pop riffs propelled them into the charts.
In complete, they scored 13 Prime 20 hits within the 1970s, with songs like Teenage Rampage, Hell Raiser, Wig-Wam Bam and the primary single Blockbuster.
Because the band grew to become a daily fixture on Prime of the Pops, Priest grew to become the epitome of glam rock androgyny, recognized for his flamboyant outfits and heavy make-up.
“The make-up factor, I can not bear in mind what began that,” he advised the Phoenix New Instances in 2018. “Marc Bolan, perhaps? Prime of the Pops was a silly present in some methods however it was like, um, you needed to outdo everybody else.”
“I used to be the primary one to put on scorching pants on Prime of the Pops,” he added. “A yr later, Bowie did it and everybody went, ‘Wow, David Bowie wore scorching pants on Prime of the Pops,’ and completely forgot the truth that I did it the yr earlier than.”
However the bassist landed himself in scorching water when he appeared in German navy uniform and sporting a Hitler moustache on the 1973 Christmas version of Prime of the Pops (the track they had been taking part in, Blockbuster, was named after an Allied bomb).
“It is superb how everybody nonetheless talks in regards to the Nazi uniform,” he stated in 2010. “Good outdated BBC wardrobe division. Individuals all the time need to know if I used to be critical. I imply, a homosexual Hitler. Hi there?!”
Candy parted methods with Chinn and Chapman in 1974, decided to write down their very own materials. Influenced by The Who, their new sound was more durable, and yielded hits like Fox On The Run and Motion.
After Connolly departed the group in 1978, Priest took over lead vocal duties and Candy continued as a trio till 1981.
‘A courageous glam rocker’
In recent times, there had been two competing variations of Candy: Priest had the proper to make use of the band’s title within the US, the place he lived, whereas guitarist Andy Scott toured the UK with an alternate line-up.
Their greatest songs continued to get radio play – whereas Ballroom Blitz, a track impressed by a Scottish gig the place the band had been bottled offstage, gaining a brand new lease of life within the 1990s after that includes within the film Wayne’s World.
Tributes to Priest have poured in since his demise was introduced, with many sharing their reminiscences on social media.
“When Candy had been on [TV] you sat there in awe considering, ‘sod the college careers adviser that is the job for me,'” wrote The Damned’s guitarist Captain Smart. “And so they wound your dad and mom up one thing rotten too, which was a bonus. Steve Priest RIP.”
David Ellefson of Megadeth stated that Priest was “with out parallel“.
He added that Candy “gave me considered one of my earliest reminiscences of nice laborious rock on the radio as a child and [1974’s] Desolation Boulevard nonetheless holds up as considered one of rock’s best albums from that interval.”
“RIP Steve Priest,” wrote Nancy Wilson of the US rock band Coronary heart. “A courageous glam rocker and man.”
“As you may think, I’m positively a Candy fan,” stated Dee Snider, lead singer of Twisted Sister. “Unhappy that so lots of the authentic band are actually gone.”
Priest is survived by his spouse, Maureen, whom he married in 1981 and their three daughters. No reason behind demise was given.