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David Byron

ByroncomAs Rock emerged from the Pop of the '60s, the charismatic frontman was essential to draw audiences into a heavier and edgier style of music. And the three most charismatic to emerge were Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, the Who's Roger Daltrey and Uriah Heep's David Byron.

David who?

It's the sad tale of a shooting star that lit the rock firmament for a brief period of time (and then flamed out to alcoholism) that results in the majority of today's music fans having no idea of the vocal talent of one David Byron. A session singer brought in to front Ken Hensley's concept of an organ based metal band, it was the combination of Byron's soaring vocals and onstage persona that lifted Uriah Heep out of working class England to tour the world and release a handful of songs that still get played on Classic Rock stations (and by Russian cover bands) today.

And, it's a shame that he flamed out so quickly...because David really was (within a band that critics generally reviled) a rare talent.

On this Music Friday, we go back over 40 years to one of the first rock bands to play Budokan...with David Byron and Uriah Heep's "Sunrise."

RIP, sweet drunken prince.

Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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