Connect with us

What happened to Judas Priest ex-drummer Dave Holland

What happened to Judas Priest ex-drummer Dave Holland


What happened to Judas Priest ex-drummer Dave Holland

Most remembered for being the Judas Priest Drummer, Dave Holland went from stardom with one of the greatest heavy metal bands in history to jail.


Contrary to what many people think, their first big band was not Priest. Holland was the drummer of Trapeze, band that had like bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath).


Dave Holland on Trapeze

Contrary to what many people think, their first big band was not Priest. Holland was the drummer of Trapeze, band that had like bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath).

The was band formed in March 1969, by vocalist John Jones and guitarist/keyboardist Terry Rowley, with guitarist Mel Galley, singer/bassist Glenn Hughes, and drummer Dave Holland.

Listen below to the band’s most famous song that had Holland on drums:

“Seafull” by Trapeze

Medusa (1970)

The band had a fairly fluid line up, finally dissolving in 1994. Many members went on to join better known bands, including Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash.

The core and most familiar line-up of the band was Glenn Hughes, Mel Galley, and Dave Holland. After Glenn Hughes’ departure in June 1973, Galley and Holland kept the band together with constantly varying members until 1979. When Holland went on to join Judas Priest. Holland tried to revive the band in 1990, after leaving Priest, but the band finally broke up in 1994.

Judas Priest

Dave Holland on Trapeze

Holland left Trapeze and joined Judas Priest in August 1979. Playing the drums on many of Priest’s platinum albums, such as British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance, Defenders of the Faith, and Turbo. He was responsible for many unforgettable drum tracks, like “Living After Midnight”, that you can hear below:

“Living After Midnight” by Judas Priest

British Steel (1980)

After almost 10 years with the Judas, things started to go wrong. On the 1988 album, Ram It Down, the band recorded the drums with the use of a drum computer, Holland although was credited with the parts.

In 1989, personal problems (health and family issues) and musical differences forced Holland to leave Judas Priest. He was replaced by original Saints Or Sinners drummer Scott Travis, who had also previously played in the band Racer X.

Life after Judas

Dave Holland in the 90s

In the 1990s, besides touring with reformed Trapeze and filling in for various bands, Holland gave drum clinics and private lessons.

He also managed and produced bands such as the Swedish “teen funk trio” Shutlanger Sam whom Holland introduced in person at a show with his former Trapeze bandmate Glenn Hughes in Vänersborg 1996, and played on various recordings of his former mates.

In 1996, he participated in sessions that involved Glenn Hughes, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath fame, and keyboardist Don Airey. In 1998, a collaboration with Al Atkins, Judas Priest’s original singer, was released, featuring a few covers of early Priest songs that Holland did not originally play on. Judas Priest with Atkins at the helm had supported Trapeze in 1971.


In 2004 Dave Holland was found guilty of attempted rape and several indecent assaults against a 17-year-old male with learning disabilities to whom he had been giving drum lessons.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison. As a result, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi chose to replace Holland’s drum parts on The 1996 DEP Sessions because he did not want a convicted sex offender appearing on his album. Holland was scheduled for release in 2012 and was reportedly out by June that year.

Dave Holland in jail

In late 2006, Holland, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, revealed that was in the process of writing a autobiography. Writing to Judas Priest biographer Neil Daniels from prison, Holland stated “I was convicted of a crime that I didn’t commit, and like so many others in similar situations to the one in which I find myself, an offense that never even existed in the first place.”

Judas Priest commented via their official web site at thime about the sex-abuse charges leveled against Holland. Writing to the band’s official Noticeboard, Judas Priest Management Co-Ordinator Jayne Andrews said:

“Needless to say we find this whole situation very distasteful and hope that Dave is totally innocent and will be exonerated very soon. We know no more about the case than what we read in the papers. Judas Priest parted company with Dave Holland over 15 years ago and we haven’t had any contact with him for many years now. As far as the questions about whether he was gay or not — well, Dave was a very private man and kept his private feelings to himself. We will not comment any further than that.”


On 18 January 2018, management of Trapeze confirmed that Holland, who was “a very private person”, had died “a few days ago”, with no cause of death reported. Initially, his death was reported to be a hoax, when Judas Priest fans confused him with a similarly-named jazz musician.

On 22 January 2018, Spanish newspaper El Progreso reported that Holland had died six days earlier at Hospital Universitario Lucus Augusti in Lugo, Spain, a hospital close to A Fonsagrada, a town in the mountains where the drummer had lived at the time of his death. No cause of death was revealed, but the newspaper stated that he was already cremated.

See more News

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

To Top