[hand] [face]
The Original Deep Purple Web Pages
The Highway Star

The fire that burned

Ken Hensley — multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, singer, producer, and founder of Uriah Heep — has passed away on November 4. Glenn Hughes pays him a tribute on social media:

So deeply saddened to hear that my long time friend & Brother, for five decades, Ken Hensley @uriahheepofficial ,has passed. An incredible songwriter, guitarist and keyboard player, and more importantly, – a beautiful kind human being. Your music will live on Ken. Honored to have sung a song called ‘Last Dance’ on your solo album, Blood on the Highway. All my Love …

Thanks to Blabbermouth for the info.

17 Comments to “The fire that burned”:

  1. 1
    Scott Haskin says:

    I just interviewed Ken last week. He was in good spirits and as kind and as passionate about music as ever. Deeply grateful I was able to connect with him.

  2. 2
    Jérémie Caz says:

    I wonder if DP considered him as a replacement for Jon?

  3. 3
    Dr. Bob says:

    Uriah Heep has been a greatly underrated band. Top 10 for me.

  4. 4
    MacGregor says:

    Vale Mr Hensley, one of a kind. A wonderful musician, a superb Hammond player, one of my favourites, asublime pianist & those great slide guitar solos, not to mention his acoustic guitar playing.
    A good vocalist also, he had it all.
    Those early Uriah Heep songs he wrote, magic indeed! Still play many of them to this day, & his solo album Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf. A wonderful storyteller. He managed to get his life together after the kaos of the 70’s, respect. So soon after Lee Kerslake and the same year as Neil Peart. So much of a legacy to leave, well done to them all. Thank you for posting this tribute. RIP

  5. 5
    Richard Alblas says:

    Scott Haskin Did you have any indication he was not doing well? I wasn’t aware of any health issues and was truly shocked when I heard about his passing.

  6. 6
    Scott Haskin says:

    Richard Alblas No, it was completely out of the blue. He sounded great and was excited about projects he was working on. It was a wonderful conversation. It is out now if you would like to hear it.

  7. 7
    Richard Alblas says:

    Are you in radio? Would love a link if you can share it. Such a loss.

  8. 8
    Scott Haskin says:

    Richard Alblas Sure. I have 2 podcasts. Here is the YouTube link and it is also available on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify… the usual suspects. I can say I certainly enjoyed speaking with him. Not only an amazing writer and performer but a kind and gentle soul.

  9. 9
    Scott Haskin says:

    I’ve wondered that to but not heard any mention of it from any of the band interviews. Could be because they weren’t looking for someone that was such a strong vocalist. Just my thought anyway.

  10. 10
    Richard Alblas says:

    Thank you Sir. I very much appreciate it. And I would’ve loved to have met and talked to him. Looks like it’s now a cherished memory for you. Be well.

  11. 11
    Scott Haskin says:

    Richard Alblas Indeed. I am very grateful to have re-connected with him, as you’ll hear in the opening. Enjoy his words, my friend.

  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Jérémie: Ken was a wonderful songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, singer and a great keyboard player in the Uriah Heep context, but he once said himself he never felt comfortable being named alongside virtuosos such as Rick Wakeman, Jon Lord and Keith Emerson “because being self-taught I’m nowhere in their league”.

    If you listen to his keyboard playing with Uriah Heep, his organ sound is mighty, but it is almost all rhythm and harmony work, very little solos. A keyboard player with DP always has to be a match for the very good lead guitarists that band has had … Blackmore, Bolin, Satriani, Morse – no slouches there. I believe that Ken would have been out of his depth playing lightning-fast unisono runs with Steve Morse, that just wasn’t him.

    That’s not knocking Ken, songwriting-wise he was more a Blackmore to UH than a Lord. But Heep never had as much an instrumental and improvisational focus (and also not that level of individual skillful playing) like DP. Mick Box would probably rightly add: “Damn right we didn’t, instead we had real choruses and proper harmony vocals!” ; – ) And of course he’s right. There is a reason why Heep had more hit singles and catchy tunes than Purple. And the reason was mainly Ken Hensley.

    DP’s undeniable instrumental brawn played a great part in the grudging respect they got from rock critics or prog fans who generally liked more sophisticated, complex music. No one could argue that Blackmore and Lord didn’t have the necessary chops or improvisational skills. I remember hearing it so often in the 70ies: “I don’t like their music, but they sure know how to play.”

    I’ll miss Ken Hensley greatly. Easy livin’ wherever you are.

  13. 13
    aireight says:

    That was an awesome version. I had no idea he sang so well. What a loss.

  14. 14
    ivica says:

    R.I.P. dear Ken

  15. 15
    Louie Diolazo says:

    RIP Ken

  16. 16
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    Uwe @12,

    A great observation, I could not have made it any better. Kudos! :>



  17. 17
    errolarias says:

    Still sad for Hensley passing away. Still listening his music. Always listening his music. Still feeling very sad 🙁

Add a comment:

Preview no longer available -- once you press Post, that's it. All comments are subject to moderation policy.

||||Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing
© 1993-2022 The Highway Star and contributors
Posts, Calendar and Comments RSS feeds for The Highway Star