Gary Thain of Uriah Heep is a member of the “27 Club” (Part 7)

Amy Winehouse died last week and joined the “27 club” which is a group of rockers that died at age 27. Gary Thain also joined that same group long ago and I wanted to look at his life today.

Uriah Heep – Wizard


By Sean Nelson, Special to MSN Music , July 23, 2011

Gary Thain (Uriah Heep)


The bassist from Uriah Heep is more or less the quintessence of the rock 'n' roll casualty. Known only to the band's die-hard fans (and their families and loved ones), these guys neither burn out nor fade away; they merely get replaced in time for the next tour, the next session. Gary Thain was from New Zealand. He moved to London. He played with a band that opened for Uriah Heep. They asked him to replace their bass player. He did. They made some records, played some tours. Somewhere along the way he got addicted to heroin and got fired, replaced by someone else. He overdosed on December 8, 1975. As fate would have it, he was 27. (Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via AP Images)

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Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via AP Images

The bassist from Uriah Heep is more or less the quintessence of the rock ‘n’ roll casualty. Known only to the band’s die-hard fans (and their families and loved ones), these guys neither burn out nor fade away; they merely get replaced in time for the next tour, the next session. Gary Thain was from New Zealand. He moved to London. He played with a band that opened for Uriah Heep. They asked him to replace their bass player. He did. They made some records, played some tours. Somewhere along the way he got addicted to heroin and got fired, replaced by someone else. He overdosed on December 8, 1975. As fate would have it, he was 27.
Today RockStar Weekly would like to pay tribute to Uriah Heep bassist Gary Thain, a member of rock’s 27 Club who passed away on this date (Dec. 8) in 1975. The 27 Club, also occasionally known as the Forever 27 Club or Club 27, is the name for a group of influential rock and blues musicians who all died at the age of 27, including such notables as Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain.


Early in 1972, Gary received a phone call from Ken Hensley and joined Uriah Heep as their 3rd bass player (replacing Mark Clarke). Heep was touring the USA at the time, Gary flew in to join the band and practiced the material he had to perform for several weeks.  His first gig with Uriah Heep was on February 1, 1972 at the Whiskey A Go-Go in Los Angeles, California.

The first album that Gary recorded with Uriah Heep was “Demons & Wizards” (released May 1972), only 4 months after he joined the band.  “The Magician’s Birthday” followed later that same year, and by that time Gary co-wrote some of the songs (Spider Woman and Sweet Lorraine).  The remastered edition (released 2003) also includes “Crystal Ball” and “Gary’s Song”, which he wrote during that time. (Gary’s Song being an alternate version of Crystal Ball).

Gary also toured with Uriah Heep almost non-stop.  In the beginning of 1973 the first collection of some of those touring efforts was released, aptly titled “Uriah Heep Live 1973”.  One of the points worth mentioning  is the excerpt of their Rock ‘N Roll Medley endings.  It shows Gary’s skill of using the 50’s and R ‘n R Bass lines that he had so diligently learned early on in his career.

All in all, he participated in over 140 live performances all over the world with Uriah Heep in just 3 years. After continued struggles with health and drug problems, Gary died of respiratory failure due to a heroin overdose on December 8, 1975, in his flat at Norwood Green at the young age of 27.

Enjoy this promo clip from 1972, Sweet Freedom, featuring the legendary Uriah Heep line up: David Byron, Mick Box, Ken Hensley, Gary Thain, Lee Kerslake


Lori’s Story: Unsatisfied and Depressed

I have had an amazing two years. About two years ago I graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and joined the family business. Just over a year ago I married a wonderful man. This past spring, my husband and I bought a fantastic house for the children we hoped to have in a few years. Just over a week ago I completed my master’s degree. Sounds like I should have been happy, right?

And yet I wasn’t. About six months ago, I realized that I had lost my purpose. What had really happened was that I had lost my joy.

I tried everything. In a session at the Monadnock women’s retreat a few weeks ago, the speaker, Linda Shultz Anderson, spoke about looking for happiness in all the wrong places. She described the Avis mode–if I only try harder, I’ll be happy. She also discussed the mall mode–if I only had this new pair of shoes, or in my case, this house, I’d be happy. Then there was the devastating leaning mode–somehow my family or friends should ensure my happiness. The reason that this was so destructive for me was that nobody, including myself, could even figure out what I had to be so depressed about, so what was it that I was expecting from them? In a nutshell, she had summarized the year and a half of my life leading up to my salvation.

Trying harder only made me tired. Buying more was fun for a while, and don’t get me wrong, I love our home. But it didn’t fill my emptiness. And trying to make other people responsible for my happiness only strained our relationships. I finally realized that I was tiring myself out trying too hard to achieve the things that mean success according to the society we live in. I just felt stressed out and tired. I started having brief fits of depression, where I would be completely devastated by anything that didn’t go my way. Then I would cry uncontrollably, because I didn’t know what I was so upset about and felt like I had lost control of my life. If I didn’t get any joy from the life I’d been living and the goals I’d achieved, then why was I doing it? And if none of these things could give me a fundamental purpose, then where was I possibly going to turn to find one? I felt like I had looked everywhere.

During one of my crying fits, my father made a very simple suggestion. So simple that it’s amazing to me that nobody else had suggested it, or that it hadn’t even crossed my mind. He said, “Why don’t you go to church with Beth this weekend and see if there’s something there that can help you with this?” I said, “Yeah, you know, it couldn’t hurt.”

Before I even got to church that weekend, my dad gave me some tapes of some of the Pastor’s sermons. There were two in particular that I’ll never forget, because they spoke right to my heart and my troubles. The first one was based on Philippians 3:12-14 and Philippians 4:11-13, where Paul talks about learning to always be content no matter what his material and worldly situation is. It became so clear to me that I had been chasing material goals and I needed to chase God instead. I could stop worrying so much about having a great car, house, and career, because He would take care of me if I’d only ask Him to.

The second sermon talked about Pontius Pilate and how he was troubled by Jesus because he knew that there was something extraordinary about this guy, but he shrugged it off and turned away his chance for salvation. This struck me, because God had caught my attention a few times over the past few years, and I had let my interest fade each time. I asked God not to let me slip away this time. Within two months I accepted Jesus as my personal savior and asked God into my life.

Since then, I’ve slowly been healed. I still mess up of course. I can still slip into having pity parties for myself, or find myself worrying about things instead of turning them over to God. But I can pull myself out of these modes because when I’m starting to fall by relying on a new source of joy in my salvation. I have a new feeling of purpose.

I have been amazed by the things that God has provided for me every time I’ve asked. This spring, He gave me those taped sermons. He has brought me back in touch with an old friend of mine, who accepted Christ in the last year and has been a great help in my young faith. I asked Him for some kind of bible study group because I feel like I need something structured to get me reading the bible on a regular basis. He brought me to a discipleship conference which really helped. I was driving to church a couple of weekends ago thinking that I needed a booster shot, and the Pastor’s sermon was “Do you need a fill-up?” Every time I’ve asked, He’s given.

So I thank God for my family; especially my husband. I also thank God for being stubborn with me this time, and showing me all the reasons I have to rejoice.

If you are depressed or unsatisfied with life, please follow this link:
What is purpose of your life?


What is the Purpose of Your Life?

Discovering Your Purpose In Life

Like most people, you may have wondered why you are here on Earth. Do you think your existence is an accident or are you here for a reason? Is there some purpose for your life? According to the Bible, you are not a mistake and you were created by God for a reason.

Created For A Reason

The main reason God created you is to make you part of His eternal plan (Romans 8:28-29). God wants us to be in Heaven with Him and to tell people about Him. His plan is for every person to be saved from their sin and Hell and to spend eternity with Him (2 Peter 3:9). Unfortunately, some people choose to live their own way and abandon God’s plan for their life (Proverbs 14:12).

What Are You Living For?

Most people seem to believe that the main purpose of life is enjoyment and personal fulfillment. Are you living for things such as money, fame, success, fun, possessions and power? The wise King Solomon accomplished many great things and had all that anyone could desire, yet described it all as meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1:2). How about you? Are you more consumed with the pleasures of life than what happens to your soul when you die? The Bible says “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?

Life Is Short Compared To Eternity

Hopefully, you would agree that what happens to you eternally is far more important than what happens to you on Earth. Think about the word eternity. That is far beyond trillions and trillions times longer than our earthly life. It is so hard to even comprehend that concept because it never ends. You may have a great life or a terrible life on Earth, but either way it will come to an end someday. Then, you will spend everlasting life in either Heaven or Hell (Matthew 25:46). Please think carefully about where you will go after you die as it can happen any day.

The Problem

Too many people assume they will go to Heaven when they die based on their own concept of God. The reason why everybody can’t spend eternity in Heaven is because sin separates people from God (Isaiah 59:2). You have rebelled against God and committed a sin every time you broke one of God’s commandments by stealing something, telling a lie, hating somebody, disobeying your parents, having a lustful thought, or countless other things. God hates sin and will severely judge each and every one of your sins. Just being a good person or believing in God won’t erase your sin either. The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

The Good News

The good news is that no matter how severe your sins are, God made a way for you to be forgiven and be declared innocent on judgment day. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Being a good person or being religious won’t rescue you from your sin. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) The word grace means “undeserved favor”. Your sin separated you from a perfect and sinless God, but Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins and later rose back to life (Matthew 28:5-6) so you can have everlasting life in Heaven. Even though none of us deserve Heaven, God was kind enough to make a way for us.

Receiving Forgiveness

It is not enough to just believe that Jesus died for your sins. You must personally trust in Jesus to save you from the penalty of your sin (Romans 8:1-4). You must also be willing to repent (turn from) your sin (Luke 13:5) and follow Jesus as Lord of your life (Romans 10:9-10). Doing this mends your broken relationship with God and allows you access into Heaven.

Live For God

You were created to know God and to live for Him. That is why you exist. Only then does your life have the meaning and purpose God intended for you. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). To live your life for the glory of God means that you will love, obey, worship, please, and trust Him. This should not be a burden, but a pleasure because of what He means to you.

The Choice Is Yours

You never know how much time you have left on this Earth and nothing is more important than where you spend eternity. Hopefully, you will decide to follow Jesus so your life can be used to glorify God. Please make this choice right away, because after you die it will be too late.

Yes, I would like to know how I can become a follower of Christ
No thanks, I prefer to live life my own way

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