Gary Thain Profile

Keith Newman
20 Apr 2015

Known for his deft slap and finger picking style and mesmerising stage presence, Christchurch bassist Gary Thain recorded five albums each with the Keef Hartley Band and British rockers Uriah Heep at the height of their career.

He was playing with Christchurch band Me and The Others when they hit the London scene early in 1966 and soon after began playing clubs across the United Kingdom. 

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Gary Thain backstage at a Uriah Heep show
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Gary Thain onstage with the Keef Hartley Band, 1969
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The Secrets in 1965: Wayne Allen, Derek Wright, Gary Thain and Paul Muggleston
Photo credit: Ken Cooper collection
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The iconic Roger Dean artwork for Uriah Heep's 1972 album The Magician's Birthday. A gold certified album in the US, it was the first Uriah Heep longplayer to feature Gary Thain on every track.
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Gary Thain (second from right) with the Keef Hartley Band
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Gary Thain in the centre of a 1972 US promo shot with Uriah Heep
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Gary Thain with Uriah Heep, May 16th, 1973 at The Budokan, Tokyo
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Gary Thain at his last gig with Uriah Heep, New Theatre, Oxford, UK, 14 December, 1974
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The Christchurch press notes the death of Gary Thain
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Gary Thain with Me And The Others in Munich, 1966
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Uriah Heep in a pop poster with Gary Thain on the right
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Gary Thain with Uriah Heep in a pop magazine poster
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Gary Thain with Uriah Heep, August 30th, 1973, at the Julia Sanderson Theatre, Springfield, MA
Photo credit: Photo by Don Odell
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Gary Thain with Uriah Heep performing The Wizard live for an unknown TV show in 1972
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Uriah Heep and Spooky Tooth in Salem, MA, March, 1973
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A 1974 US agency promo shot of Uriah Heep, with Gary Thain on the left
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Miller Anderson was the vocalist with the Keef Hartley Band and Gary Thain played the bass on his 1971 solo album
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Gary Thain (right) with The Keef Hartley Band, 1970/71
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Uriah Heep 1973: From left to right Mick Box, David Byron, Gary Thain, Ken Hensley, Lee Kerslake. 
Photo credit: Mick Box collection
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Uriah Heep, 1973, with Gary Thain on the right
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Gary Thain - You Say You're Together Now (Keef Hartley Band, 1972)
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Keef Hartley Band's 1971 album Overdog, with Gary Thain on bass
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Melody Maker reflects on Gary's passing
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Gary Thain in his trademark Ugg boots during a performance with Uriah Heep
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The New Nadir, August 1967: New Zealanders Gary Thain on bass and Peter Dawkins on drums and Californian Ed Carter, who went on to join the Beach Boys, on vocals and guitar 
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A painting of Gary Thain created for the 27 Club site
Photo credit: Courtesy of the 27 Club
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