Trevor Bolder (9th June 1960 to 21st May 2013)

 

When you see footage of David Bowie in the early years all eyes follow him and the musicians are often lost in the background. One was Mick Ronson (gone at 46 from liver cancer). The other was the bass guitarist Trevor Bolder and on a long weekend in Scarborough I went to visit him. Here I am at his headstone which is in the grounds of a country hotel (I had to walk through wedding celebrations to reach it.)

 

He was a respected musician, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for his long association with David Bowie and Uriah Heep but worked with many professional musicians for forty years.

 

Trevor was born near his final resting place in Hull and was absorbed by music as a boy, first playing cornet in the school band. Aged 14 he was inspired by The Beatles, formed a band with his brother and learnt to play the bass guitar. Soon he joined The Rats which featured fellow Hull musician Mick Ronson on lead guitar. Aged 21 he was asked to replace Tony Visconti in David Bowie's backing band. At the time David Bowie was quite well-known however after the seminal albums The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Aladdin Sane and Pin Ups he became a cult. Though Trevor worked on all these albums playing both bass guitar and trumpet he was never comfortable with the glittery Ziggy Stardust persona and left the band.

 

Aged 26 he joined Uriah Heep and then aged 31 he joined Wishbone Ash before playing again for Uriah Heep. He played, toured and produced albums for decades and was working until a year before his death. Word that Trevor was near the end of his life spread and David Bowie called his old buddy on the Sunday shortly before he died of pancreatic cancer. (they hadn’t spoken for years.) He died at 7:30pm in the evening aged 62 at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham leaving a wife, son and daughter.

 

The grave was easy to find but was in an odd location – a church next to a country hotel. I could tell there was a wedding party on when I crawled up the crunchy drive and parked by the church: ladies in hats, men in formal suits, music. Being a leader of fashion and always immaculately dressed I knew I would fit in and walked up the side of the hotel with guests, crossed a croquet lawn then went down a path to access the graveyard. From here I could see the wedding guests at the rear of the hotel. It looked like the wedding service was over and the more enjoyable part of a day was ensuing. Some chap was singing romantic slop on a terrace and the grape was flowing. Strangely a man in red tractor was working in one of the fields.

 

After I’d finished in the churchyard I had to pass down the side of the lawn to return to the car. The bride and groom were looking out across the scene they’d probably spent months planning. I was going to strip naked and spin a 50m cartwheel across the lawns just to make their day memorable but I didn’t want to mess up my 14 hairs or lose my £2.99 hat.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________

Trevor is buried up this drive near The Rowley Manor Hotel…

 

 

There was a wedding at the hotel near the church…

 

Looking for Trevor…

 

 

 

The lady on the right could have been my mum…

 

If you see a war memorial you’ve just got to salute…