About Alexandra Heep

About Alexandra Heep: The internet has allowed allowed Alexandra to maintain a semblance of life when encountering an unexpected, lingering health crisis. The Internet is a lifeline which not only allows her to remain connected to friends, but also survive, via writing.While Alexandra Heep is her pen name, she does not hide behind it. Instead, she used it to brand herself on the Internet and to create opportunities.

Alexandra published her first book, a collection of her best poems, on July 11, 2012. You can buy it at Lulu.com

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Ken Hensley

How ironic that Ken Hensley follows on the heels of yesterday's John Sloman post, as they were both members of the same band, but did not get along, and in the end the fallout led to Ken Hensley pursuing other opportunities. Of course the band is Uriah Heep, but that particular story only interests the die-hard Heep fans.

While his best-known role in Uriah Heep was that as keyboard player, major songwriter/lyricist and occasional guitarist, Ken's journey started at age 11 with his first guitar. His first successful band was called The Gods, formed in 1965 which featured Mick Taylor (later of Rolling Stones fame). The Gods recorded two albums, and Ken joined Spice in 1969, which turned into Uriah Heep in 1970. In his 10 years with Uriah Heep, Ken was a major contributor of 13 studio albums, that is more than one per year! He also released "Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf," an impressive solo effort, in 1973, while in Uriah Heep.

After leaving Uriah Heep in 1980, Ken embarked on a solo career and released "Free Spirit" that same year. In 1982, he joined Blackfoot for three years. He semi-retired in 1985 and made occasional appearances with bands like Cinderella and W.A.S.P. Starting in 1999, he went back to making music, releasing more solo albums and participating as a session musician. He even joined Uriah Heep for select performances in the years to come.

So far (until 2012), he has been part of 51 albums. His styles range from hard to soft, from Christian music to Prog Rock, acoustic, Metal and everything in between. He has also authored a book "When Too Many Dreams Come True," his autobiography, and yes, I have read it of course.

Why do I like Ken Hensley? Well, some of his solo music does not float my boat and some say he had an ego-centric personality. However, at the height of classic Uriah Heep no one wrote music and lyrics like Ken Hensley. Prime examples would be the songs July Morning, Sunrise and Pilgrim. Also, even in his advanced age he still rocks, especially with the band Live Fire.

It was hard to narrow down the videos. I chose Candles' Getting Shorter by The Gods because Beatles fans may like it, The Wizard by Uriah Heep because Ken plays guitar and does lead vocals, When Evening Comes from Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf because it is a wonderful slower song, Sunrise version from the Live 1973 album because it's one of the best live recordings ever, and a recent song by Live Fire called Set me Free.

The Gods - Candle's Getting Shorter



When Evening Comes from Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf



Uriah Heep - The Wizard



Uriah Heep - Sunrise



Live Fire - Set Me Free

1 comment:

Teresa Cypher aka T K CypherBuss said...

Ha! I almost missed your "heep" posts. :-) I kind of think there is still at least one coming for the letter "u". :-) Nice song selection. It is easy for me to forget how great these bands were. And then I go back memory lane, like tonight. Some of today's music is good...but they don't make it like they used to. :-)