Though Ziggy was the nazz with God given ass – it was the late Trevor Bolder who tethered together the mighty Spiders from Mars with his dense, unyielding bass parts which oft referenced the hip rhythm and blues cats who backed Elvis, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry. The Spider with rock ‘n’ roll’s most elegantly multi-colored elongated side-whiskers steered the Stardust ship with his clunky Gibson EB-3 hot-wired into stacks of Marshall amplifiers and cabinets – which consequently afforded guitar deity Mick Ronson and piano maestro Mike Garson a firm platform on which to render their theatrical melodies to prop Bowie’s extraterrestrial sound and vision.
My choice Bolder bolstered collection from that golden glam era is Alladin Sane – especially “Watch that Man” wherein Trevor improvises within an atypical 1-3-5-b7 blues bass pattern to shape the track with a simultaneously retro / futuristic vibe. Of course, the bass crime of the 20th Century on that album was perpetrated by Mr. Jones who did not permit Bolder to repair the glaring error on “The Jean Genie” – which was likely a result of David’s propensity for miscues. Bolder also forged a highly distinguished career with prog -metal masters Uriah Heep (replacing John Wetton) from 1977 until his passing in 2013. Take note of Trevor’s lead vocal and biting bass work on “Fear of Falling” from Heep’s latter day classic Sea of Light (1995).
And Trevor was magnificent with Ronno for Slaughter on 10th Avenue, and Play Don’t Worry – two releases which prove that the Spiders were much more than Ziggy’s hired ray-guns! When the kids had killed the man, Ziggy broke up the band – much, much too soon.