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Former Judas Priest Drummer Dave Holland Dead at 69

Former Judas Priest drummer Dave Holland is reportedly dead at 69. Holland manned the kit for some of Priest’s most masterful albums, but was ultimately disgraced after being convicted of attempted rape and indecent assaults in 2004.

Before joining Priest in 1979, Holland was a member of Trapeze with future Deep Purple legend Glenn Hughes. After becoming Judas Priest’s drummer, Holland compiled an incredible discography with the metal gods, playing on British Steel, Point of Entry, Screaming for Vengeance, Defenders of the Faith and Turbo. Holland was also credited on 1988’s Ram It Down, though Priest heavily used electronic percussion on the record. Holland reunited with Trapeze after parting ways with Priest, also playing drums on Tony Iommi’s The 1996 DEP Sessions.

In 2004, Holland was found guilty of attempted rape and multiple assaults against a 17-year-old male with learning disabilities, who had been taking drum lessons from Holland. The drummer was sentenced to eight years in prison, serving his full sentence before reportedly being released in 2012. Holland maintained his innocence throughout his life.

According to Spanish newspaper El Progreso, which broke the news on his reported death, Holland lived in self-imposed exile in the mountainous A Fonsagrada area of Lugo, Spain. The news source says Holland was “known by very few” of his neighbors, but those who had socialized with him described the drummer as a “very kind and proper person.”

El Progreso reports the cause of Holland’s death is unknown and his remains have been cremated.

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