Thursday, June 4, 2020

Sweet bassist Steve Priest dead at 72

Sweet bassist and founding member Steve Priest died June 4 at the age of 72.

The rocker’s passing was announced by guitarist Andy Scott.

“Then there was one!,” shared Scott on social media. “I am in pieces right now. Steve Priest has passed away. His wife Maureen and I have kept in contact and though his health was failing, I never envisaged this moment. Never. My thoughts are with his family.

“He was the best bass player I ever played with. The noise we made as a band was so powerful. From that moment in the summer of 1970 when set off on our Musical Odyssey, the world opened up and the rollercoaster ride started! He eventually followed his heart and moved to the USA. First New York then LA.

Rest in Peace brother. All my love. Andy”

While no cause of death has been announced, Priest’s social media team had been keeping fans posted on the bassist’s status in recent months, including news in March that the rocker was in a Los Angeles hospital and “receiving the best possible care.”

Priest teamed up with vocalist Brian Connolly, drummer Mick Tucker and guitarist Frank Torpey to form the first version of Sweet (aka The Sweet) in London in 1968; by 1970, guitarist Andy Scott was added to the lineup and the group issued their album debut, “Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be”, in 1971.

The glam rock Sweet scored a number of hits with singles like “Little Willy”, “Block Buster!”, “Wig-Wag Bam”, “Hell Raiser” and “Ballroom Blitz” before their second and third albums, 1974’s “Sweet Fanny Adams” and “Desolation Boulevard”, would continue the trend as “Fox On The Run” went Top 3 in several countries.

More albums and singles followed, with “Love Is Like Oxygen" earning top 10 status in multiple regions before Connolly exited in 1978; Sweet carried on as a three-piece before disbanding in 1981.

In later years, Scott, Connolly and Priest would all go on to launch their own namesake versions of Sweet.

Connolly passed away in 1997 from liver failure and repeated heart attacks at the age of 51, and Tucker died in 2002 from leukemia at the age of 54.