Steve Priest, Bassist for The Sweet, Dead at 72

Carla Harmon
June 7, 2020

Their top single in the US was Little Willy in 1972, which reached third.

PRIEST was born in HAYES MIDDLESEX, U.K., FEBRUARY 23rd, 1948.

The band confirmed the news on its official Facebook page. "The noise we made as a band was so powerful", he recalled.

In total, they scored 13 Top 20 hits in the 1970s, with songs like Teenage Rampage, Hell Raiser, Wig-Wam Bam and the number one single Blockbuster.

Priest had been living in the Los Angeles area for several years, and his band played often at local venues including the Canyon clubs in Agoura Hills and Santa Clarita.


After playing in bands like The Countdowns and The Army, he formed The Sweet (then known as Sweetshop) in January 1968 with vocalist Brian Connolly, drummer Mick Tucker and guitarist Frank Torpey. Please see the below statement from Steve Priest's family.

They added: "Just a quick note to say "Thank you" to everyone for the honest condolences".

"It's hard to put a highlight on what I've been doing for the past 50 years". Behind the scenes, Sweet had also signed to RCA and been introduced to songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman.

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Sweet would go on to have a few more intercontinental hit singles, including "Action" (1976) and "Love Is Like Oxygen" (1978) before splintering in the late 1970s when Connolly left for a solo career.


"The Ballroom Blitz", which was sampled in the Beastie Boys' "Hey Ladies" and appeared in multiple movies including Wayne's World, became a sports anthem that is still heard at stadiums around the world today.

David Ellefson of Megadeth said that Priest was "without parallel". "Ballroom Blitz" - which featured the familiar "Are you ready, Steve?" intro that name-checked Priest - and "Fox on the Run" both reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 that summer.

"As you might imagine, I am definitely a Sweet fan", said Dee Snider, lead singer of Twisted Sister.

Priest is survived by his wife, music publicist Maureen O'Connor, three daughters, Lisa, Danielle and Maggie and three grandchildren, Jordan, Jade & Hazel. A cause of death has yet to be revealed.


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