Former WHITE SPIRIT/TANK Drummer Dies

British drummer Graham Crallan, who played on WHITE SPIRIT's 1980 debut LP and TANK's 1985 release "Honour And Blood", passed away on July 27, 2008. No further details are available.

According to AllMusic.com, WHITE SPIRIT is mostly remembered as the first appearance of guitarist Janick Gers, who later went on to greater fame with the IAN GILLAN band and IRON MAIDEN.

Formed in 1975 by Gers and Crallan, WHITE SPIRIT bided its time as the punk revolution unfolded, eventually completing its lineup with vocalist Bruce Ruff, keyboard player Malcolm Pearson, and bassist Phil Brady. Latching on to the fast-rising movement known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the quintet issued its first single, "Back to the Grind", in May 1980 through Neat Records. While many of their peers were looking to BLACK SABBATH, JUDAS PRIEST, or MOTÖRHEAD for inspiration, WHITE SPIRIT's organ-heavy sound was heavily influenced by DEEP PURPLE — a rare choice at the time. Picked up by MCA, they released an eponymous album in September 1980; but when it failed to chart, the label lost interest, pulled what small promotional resources they'd committed to begin with, and the band quickly fell to pieces, disbanding in early 1981. A half-baked resurrection took place a year later, with future BAD COMPANY singer Brian Howe stepping in for Ruff and Mick Tucker (later of TANK) replacing Gers for a one-off single called "Watch Out".

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