The band Sweet tweets on Twitter «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».
Steve Priest was known for his playful humor and outrageous costumes when Sweet played hits like Blockbuster and Little Willy on Top of the Pops in the 1970s.Priest also sang the memorable lines there’s a girl in the corner that no-one ignores, ‘cos she thinks she’s the passionate one, in Ballroom Blitz. Steve Priest, the bassist and co-founder of glam rock band Sweet, has died at the age of 72.
Now bandmate Andy Scott is only surviving member of Sweet`s classic line up. He describing Priest as the best bass player he had ever played with. « 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.From that moment in the summer of 1970 when we set off on our musical odyssey the world opened up and the roller coaster ride started. I am in pieces right now, added the guitarist, who is now the sole surviving member of Sweet’s classic line-up.
Priest was born in Hayes, West London, in 1948, and became a musician after building his own bass guitar in his teens. After playing in bands like The Countdowns and The Army, he formed The Sweet (then known as Sweetshop) in January 1968 with vocalist Brian Connolly, drummer Mick Tucker and guitarist Frank Torpey.
Following a few line-up changes and a false start on Parlophone Records, the band signed to RCA in 1971 and teamed up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, whose bubblegum melodies and power-pop riffs propelled them into the charts. Sweet actually became a regular on Top of The Pops. Priest became the epitome of glam rock androgyny, known for his flamboyant outfits and heavy make-up.
Priest was the first one to wear hot pants on Top of the Pops and a year later Bowie did it and everyone was shocked but they forget that Priest did it the year before. Sweet may seem like a commercial and little significant band, but astonishingly many famous musicians have drawn inspiration from Sweet.
David Ellefson of Megadeth said that Priest wa s without parallel. He added that «Sweet gave me one of my earliest memories of great hard rock on the radio as a kid and Desolation Boulevard from 1974 still holds up as one of rock’s greatest albums from that period».