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Dave Holland (Judas Priest, Trapeze) has died

Judas Priest
Dave Holland-era Judas Priest

Dave Holland, who drummed in Judas Priest from 1980’s British Steel through 1988’s Ram It Down and before that played in Trapeze with future Deep Purple/Black Sabbath member Glenn Hughes, has passed away at age 69 in Spain, where he had been living. Spanish newspaper El Progreso initially reported the story, and Rolling Stone confirmed his death. Holland reportedly died on January 16 and has already been cremated. No cause of death has been given.

Decades after his time in Judas Priest, Holland’s life took an abusive turn when he was imprisoned in 2004 for the 2002 attempted rape and indecent assault of a 17-year-old boy with learning difficulties, who Holland had been giving drum lessons to. Holland was released in 2012.

Judas Priest gave a statement on Holland’s death that reads: “It is with regret that we hear of the passing of Dave Holland. Despite his actions since working with the band, his time with us was amongst the most productive and successful in the band’s career and for that alone he shall be missed.”

Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing added: “Dave was a solid friend in life and solid musician both on the stage and in the studio; I will cherish the many gigs we played together and the albums that we made and I will always be grateful to the indelible contribution that Dave gave to Judas Priest.”

Dave Holland played in other bands over the years too. Before his time in Judas Priest and Trapeze, he was a member of Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours and had a hit in 1966 with “Mirror Mirror.” He also played on Glenn Hughes’ first solo album, and recorded an album with Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, though Iommi replaced his drum tracks after Holland’s conviction.

Watch some Dave Holland-era Judas Priest videos below:

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