Ken is likely best well known as one of the founding fathers of the 70’s prog rock band Uriah Heap. Certainly a lot of water has passed under the bridge since those days, but interestingly enough it is those days that inspired his two latest projects, a book and a CD, both titled Blood On The Highway. The sub title reads ‘When Too many Dreams Come True’, a more apt title I cannot think of.

Both the CD and Book are biographical in nature, through music and words Ken takes us through the ugly world of fame and (mis)fortune. The music scene of the early 70’s seems like an antique today, unfortunately that also labels me as an antique.

Uriah Heap had their roots in England, and without doubt the glue to that early band was Ken Hensley. Bands are like marriages, not all of them work well, and that was the case with Ken, he opted to resign when the other members wanted to move into directions that he was not happy with.

The CD Blood On The Highway is a superb work, it cannot be pigeonholed, the song styles are divergent, yet the story is consistent, and compelling. Who has not laid in bed and dreamed of being a Pop star? The glam, the glitz, who could resist? The problem is, that while fame gets you on the cover of magazines, it comes at a price. That price can be a hefty one. More importantly what happens when the next great music idol arrives? To quote from one of his songs:

What you gonna do when the phone stops ringing
What you gonna do when the world stops singing your song

Uriah Heap, for reasons that I do not pretend to understand, were treated as minor players by the music press in England, in particularly NME (New Musical Express) and Melody Maker. Both of these organizations seemed to ignore this band. Uriah Heap were innovative and creative, but it was also clear, at least in my mind, that they had somehow upset the music press.

Ken Hensley is an engaging character, and it was with a happy heart that I entered into this interview. Of course, Murphy, as in Murphy’s Law had to intercede. With 90 seconds to going live, no Ken. But I don’t scare easy. I had his US publicist on the phone, and he was not going anywhere. Billy is a trooper, and did a great job. The good news is that Ken Hensley did join us after about 10 minutes, and Billy was off the hook! I think the term ‘Greased Lightning’ best describes his departure 🙂

You can catch the entire interview here, and you will also get to hear some samples from Blood On The Highway.

Simon Barrett

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