Mr. Holland's Opus (Dave Holland, that is...)

  • Ok folks - with Dave Holland's name being tossed around a bit, I thought I'd ask those of you who can separate the music from the newspaper headlines a question: What do you consider to be some of Dave Holland's best drum work, either with Trapeze or in his later career with Judas Priest?

    I love Dave's playing with Trapeze, but to be quite honest, for as funky as the band could be, I really don't think he was a funky player at all. Listen to his playing on "Your Love is Alright", for example. The funk comes from the riff...Dave's playing doesn't have much swagger. I'm reminded of Simon Kirke of Free. Always in the pocket, but not too fancy. Later, in Priest, Dave wouldn't break any new ground either. But not everyone has to be Neil Peart - sometimes a slightly more creative version of Phil Rudd is just what the doctor ordered. Listen to Dave's workouts on 'Riding on the Wind' (from Screaming for Vengeance) and 'Freewheel Burning' (from Defenders of the Faith), or the simple heaviness of 'The Rage' (from British Steel). Great stuff.

    Dave Holland filled a niche, and was the kind of drummer who should be listed among peers like Phil Rudd of AC/DC, Simon Kirke of Free and Herman Rarebell of Scorpions. Most often, those bands are the sum of their parts, and I think in that musical environment, the gentlemen I listed above really got a chance to shine by virtue of their rock solid-ness (for lack of a better term, I'll simply make one up! LOL).



  • You can't come up with a better intro to "Living After Midnight" soon as you hear those drums you know what is coming! Like many artists in the early 70's, Dave was saddled with a rather dull drum sound....listen to live recordings of the band and you get the full impact. I think it is in the Wilkepedia article about Dave where he is referred to as "Mister Time". He played for the song and kept the flash in his pocket. Todd is right, I never saw him as a funky drummer; Clyde that man is chrome plated FUNKY!! I am flashing on the live in the studio version of "Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose" that was recorded for the "Sex Machine" album. The album version had overdubbed applause to simulate a live in concert feel, but the "Brand New Thang" CD retrospective presents this track in its original form. Clyde and bassist Bootsy Collins lay down a groove for the ages!

    Simon Kirke could be jazzy; check out his playing on the full length 18 minute version of "Time Away" which was edited down and included on Paul Kossoff's "Back Street Crawler" solo LP. On the long version, the musicians jam on a chord change feeling out the groove until the 11 minute mark where Koss suddenly strikes sonic gold and the other players settle into the hypnotic groove; John Martyn's echoplex guitar, Tetsu Yamauchi's supple bass lines and Simon's tasteful jazz stylings complement Koss's Leslie drenched melodicism.

    It all begins with the groove! :thumbup:

    Yours In The Funk
    Bill "Capt. Midnite" Redford


    "Cause if you fake the FUNK..your nose got to grow!" Bootsy Collins

  • I think that one of the important attributes of Trapeze, beyond just out and out musical technique was their arranging skills...for three young guys it was brilliant, and Holland's parts were necessarily important in that way. With three members, everyone had to be exceptionally ...full and in the pocket to make it work. The dynamics in their arranging is so important to me.

    Think about the drum part in Your Love Is Alright or Jury...(and so many more). Without those dynamics...drums were constantly laying out and kicking in ...or just high hat and then kicking in the bottom to start or re-start the groove. I don't know if they all arranged or if there was one boss, but it is very good and very important. Simplicity but perfect timing. Rock and roll.

  • I love all of his work with Trapeze, especially the slower songs, "Coast to Coast", "Will Our Love End", "What is a Woman's Role", etc. But when the song called for a faster tempo, he was equally amazing, especially on "You are the Music, We're Just the Band", "Medusa", "Black Cloud", etc., some of his greatest work IMHO at faster tempos. But I hate to admit it, but there is a Chad Smith video on YouTube with Mr. Hughes playing a very sick version of "Medusa"...the drum work is simply stunning...and the drums being Pearl doesn't hurt at all!! ;) And as usual, Mr. Hughes is awesome as well. This video changed my perception of Chad Smith for good, he is not just a prankster, he is indeed the real deal when it comes to playing and honoring legendary music.

    As for the Judas Priest question, I don't really care for them at all, even with Mr. Holland on their songs. Maybe you guys could point me to some Priest songs I might like? By your replies, I see you know your drummers. :cool: I especially love captmidnite1962's comment about this legend: "Clyde that man is chrome plated FUNKY!!" Classic capt!!! :bow: The great guys and gals over at Evans Drumhead Forum enlightened me to Ian Paice's playing with Deep Purple, because all I ever associated with them was "Smoke on the Water". Little did I know I was missing out on "Fireball", "Burn", "Speed King", "When a Blind Man Cries", and the stunning "Child in Time".

    Great topic toadsterama!! Prank/Leonard

  • EYJrk6JXsAAix42?format=jpg&name=900x900

    Welcome To The Real World - Live 1992
    Live at the Borderline

    Purple Records 1998

    Track 4 'Coast To Coast'

    Listen to the drum break at 02'31''

    Awesome! :bow:


    P.S. And gear heads, check out the impressive Tama drum set he played!



  • Oh boy, am I ever embarrassed!! The above post clearly shows Mr. Hughes playing the bad, and sorry Mr. Hughes!!! :o But whatever you were playing, that performance is simply bad a ss!! I love it, downloaded it awhile back and listen and watch it several times per week and am always amazed at how awesome Mr. Smith really is, as well as the other awesome artists you assembled that day. Dave Holland should be very proud, as Chad kept most of his parts faithfully, but also threw in some of his own jaw dropping licks that were simply killer :claphandsall around!! Prank/Leonard or Lenny

  • I'm surprised at your take on Daves drumming Todd... (Happy Belated birthday by the way!) I think that Trapeze was another one of those magic bands that thier sound was the sum of each talented member. I think he should be credited for the "funky" Trapeze sound as much as any of the other guys. I believe that John Bonham not only enjoyed hanging with these guys as friends- but really enjoyed playing and listening to thier music. And I think that says loads about his drum playing. This of course is just my deduction from the few things we've heard. I've recently listened to "Way Back to the Bone" and continue to be blown away by Dave's maintaining the same dynamics and intensity live as the original recordings. I'm not a big Priest fan- but there isn't too much that stands out for me in his days with them. I think he was by far more in his element in Trapeze. The answer to your question would be "Way Back to the Bone"- any version with Dave. I'd be curious to know what Chip's opinion of Dave's drum playing..

  • Well Mark, I'll tell you what I think :D

    I love Dave's playing style. When I saw Trapeze back in '94, Dave sat back there, low on the stool, and provided that Trapeze groove. All the while, making it look so easy. Reminds me of seeing Billy Cobham play up close a few years ago...amazing stick-work and doing it so effortlessly. Like a walk in the park.



  • There are some interesting comments about Dave Holland over at in the Noticeboard forum. Apparently the new Judas Priest biography talks about a drummer named Jonathan Valen, who was a ghost drummer for Dave Holland, playing behind the scenes on Priest's 1986 tour. There are a few more comments that follow, where Holland's drumming is basically described as pedestrian compared to his predecessors (Simon Phillips and Les Binks) and his successor (Scott Travis). Interesting.


  • From the outset Trapeze in all of it's parts was a groundbreaking outfit and each player important to the overall success. As a three-piece band who gained it's reputation on live performance, fancy virtuoso indulgences would never have worked. Dave was always a key figure on the live performances, and Trapeze live were always exceptional. As much as they strived to produce their live sound in the studio, seeing them live was always a great experience.

  • I think you're probably right about Holland in Priest, Chip. However, having said that, much of Priest's most classic material came from that era, and Dave was along for the ride when they ruled arenas throughout the 80's. For that, more power to him.

    Although he's not my favorite drummer, I like Dave Holland's drumming. I was exposed to it first via Judas Priest, and then worked my way backwards to his Trapeze days. I'm wondering just what the attraction was for Priest to bring in Dave Holland as they shifted gears into their metallic heyday?

    In any case, I've enjoyed talking about him a bit more, if only to kind of feel out what others think of his playing. In the end, there's really only one drummer for Trapeze, and of course that's Dave Holland. The band obviously had a chemistry that worked, and there's no telling where they would or could have gone if Glenn had never defected to Deep Purple.

    Thanks for indulging me.


  • Dave Holland's drumming on the original Dep sessions (with IOMMI) is much better than the official version that came out a few years later. The guy can play some drums, for sure.

    | Burn | Stormbringer | Come Taste The Band

  • Great drummer, I know nothing about the technical aspects of playing drums, but I just happen to enjoy his drumming very much... He did a great job with Judas Priest in my opinion... great natural sound on British Steel and Point of Entry, a little more "metallic" on Screaming For Vengeance... and a little more "processed" (in lack of a better word) on Defenders of the Faith. Even his work on Turbo is great, the band was experimenting more with digital sound though. He wasn't part of the recordings of Ram It Down (all drum machine).

    Supposedly there was a hidden drummer on the Turbo tour... playing an electronic drum kit here and there to augment the sound.

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