Dale Fredericks

Ever since I first heard the music of Uriah Heep and the intoxicating vocals of David Byron, I told myself that one day I was going to have the opportunity to sing some of these songs for more people than just me, myself, and I. 

When I first got on the Heeplist and met all the wonderful people that were as big of fans of Heep as I was, I had no idea where the beginning of this journey was going lead. I knew that I was among friends instantly and felt so comfortable communicating with the "group" during our Heep chats that we used to have on a monthly basis. Yet even through all the e-mails, chats, and occasional phone calls, it wasn't until about 2-3 months later that I realized we had some potential top-notch musicians amongst us. 

When Dave White, Mac Steagall, and Bob Dreher began talking about the music they were doing together, by way of tapes through the mail, it really began to stir my interest in wanting to contribute in any way I could. Then it happened!.......a 'Heepvention' was mentioned and there was talk of guys bringing their instruments to St. Louis for a real "Jam"!

I found my opportunity was just around the corner.........this was a chance for me to share my love of singing and my love of Heep all at the same time! I practiced 2 songs over and over, night and day, until I knew them in my sleep......"Rainbow Demon" and "Return To Fantasy". I went to St. Louis in October of '97 with a zest for life and a renewed energy that I didn't know I had. I was going to meet other Heep fans AND be part of a musical "experiment" that would only get better with each ensuing Heepvention.

When I had done both my songs that night and got favorable responses, I knew then that I had finally realized a dream come true........but you know, the best was yet to come!

Now we put the calendar ahead by 7 months...........it's HV #2 already and we are in Cleveland. Dave White says he wants me to come by his place and come on down to the 'Basement Studio', where we proceed to get ready to try a song on tape. I'm as nervous as a kid on his first day of school, but Dave gets me right into the flow of things and we decide to lay down a version of "Come Away Melinda". 

I had been wanting to do this song for a long time, and of course, Dave had never heard me attempt this before. As we begin, I feel a certain calmness fall over me and I just forget about my surroundings and put myself into David Byron's shoes and proceed to sing to the best of my ability. As we finish the song and Dave is fading out the ending on guitar, I look at him and if looks could speak.......well he had a look on his face that let me know that I had moved him as much, as singing the song had moved me. It was then that I knew I had achieved the ultimate 'high' that I had envisioned back in '72 when I heard my first Uriah Heep song.

Thank you Dave........I will never forget that moment for as long as I live.

Dale Fredericks