Stephen Norman Priest was a British bass player known as the lead and backing vocalist of the glam rock band Sweet. He was born on 23 February, 1948 in Hayes, Middlesex. Stephen Norman Priest has died at the age of 72.
Steve Priest Career
He made his own bass guitar and started playing as a young teenager in local bands, after being influenced by artists like Jet Harris of the Shadows, the Rolling Stones and The Who.
Priest was invited to form a four-piece band in January 1968 with vocalist Brian Connolly, drummer Mick Tucker, and guitarist Frank Torpey (born April 30th, 1947, Kilburn, North West London) – the band that was to become The Sweet. In 1969, Torpey was superseded by Mick Stewart. Guitarist Andy Scott joined in August 1970, after Stewart ‘s departure and the establishment of a classic line-up.
The Sweet was a band that was going through lots of ups and downs. Initial success for The Sweet began in 1971, after the band and songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman teamed up. The Sweet can, however, write some of their own hits. Priest often directly backed up the vocals of Brian Connolly and took distinctive short, high pitched vocal leads that were at the time a key to their musical style. Priest became the principal singer after Brian Connolly left The Sweet in early 1979. This continued till the original Sweet disbanded in 1982. Priest had divorced his first wife Pat by this time, and moved to New York City. He married his current wife Maureen (born O’Connor) on 18 June 1981, who was then East Coast Publicity and Artist Relations Director for Capitol / EMI Records in New York City. Along with guitarist Marco Delmar and drummer Steve Missal, he founded a band called the Allies while in New York. Success was elusive while a film, Fast Food, featured their composition “Talk To Me.”
Priest had published his autobiography in 1994, Are You Ready Steve? Which title is taken from the Sweet’s “The Ballroom Blitz” intro when Brian Connolly counts in the song, “Are you ready Steve? …Andy? …Mick? …Alright fellas, let’s gooooo!” and in 2006 he released the CD Priest’s Precious Poems. Priest formed a new version of the Sweet in January 2008 not related to the band’s version of Andy Scott.
This new band mainly played festivals and stages in the United States and Canada. In early 2009, the band released a live CD, recorded in August 2008 at the Morongo Casino in Cabazon, California. Priest subsequently lived in La Cañada Flintridge, California, with his wife Maureen and daughters Danielle and Margaret. He died on 4 June 2020.
Steve Priest Cause Of Death
Steve Priest, glam rock band bassist The Sweet, died at 72.
He was a founding member of the group that in the 1970’s rose to worldwide fame, with hits including Block Buster.
The news had been announced on the official Facebook page of The Sweet. The statement read: “Dear Friends and Fans, We have very sad news-Please see the statement below from the family of Steve Priest.
In a post on the band’s Facebook page, Scott wrote, “Then there was one! I am in pieces right now. Steve Priest has passed away. I’ve stayed in contact with his wife Maureen and I, and while his health was in short supply, I never anticipate this moment. Never.
“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.”
“‘It is with a heavy heart that we announce at 8:25am PT today, Steve Priest, founding member of The Sweet, passed away.
“He is survived by his wife, Maureen, three daughters, Lisa, Danielle & Maggie and 3 grandchildren, Jordan, Jade & Hazel.'”
The band followed this up with a second post as the tributes began to pour in from fans.
“Just a quick note to say “Thank you” to everyone for the sincere condolences. We are very saddened but also very appreciative of your loyalty and kindness these many years.
“We may not be able to get back to everyone individually but please know Steve’s family and the band are aware of and appreciate your thoughts. The Sweet Team.”