Molly Hatchet Guitarist Steve Holland Dies
Guitarist Steve Holland, who rose to fame with Southern rockers Molly Hatchet, has reportedly died.
The news was shared via social media by Gator Country, the band Holland formed in 2005 with fellow ex-Molly Hatchet members Jimmy Farrar, Duane Roland and Bruce Crump. Holland's age and cause of death were not revealed. His recent health battles have been regularly chronicled on the group's Facebook page.
Holland was the last surviving member of the classic six-piece Molly Hatchet lineup. Singer Danny Joe Brown passed away in 2005, followed by guitarist Duane Roland a year later. Drummer Bruce Crump died in 2015, and 2017 saw the deaths of both guitarist Dave Hlubek and bassist Banner Thomas.
Born in Dothan, Ala., Holland began playing guitar at the age of 8, with Booker T. & the MGs' "Green Onions" being the first song he learned to play. In the early '70s, he moved to Jacksonville, Fla., and met Hlubek at a local music store. By 1974 he had joined Molly Hatchet, which had been started by Hlubek three years earlier, and the other four members were in place by 1976.
A year later, they signed with Epic, and their 1978 self-titled debut and 1979's Flirtin' With Disaster filled a void in the Southern rock world in the aftermath of the plane crash that killed three members of fellow Jacksonville natives Lynyrd Skynyrd. The latter effort was their peak of popularity, going double platinum and reaching No. 19 on the strength of the hit title track, but Brown's departure before 1980's Beatin' the Odds began their commercial slide.
Holland left after 1983's No Guts...No Glory, reportedly telling John Galvin, the keyboardist in Brown's solo band, "Wanna be in the band? You can take my place, I've had enough" during a show with Sammy Hagar in Detroit. Galvin accepted, and, with the exception of a five-year stretch in the '90s, has remained in the band.
Holland never returned to Molly Hatchet, but there was a reunion of five of the original members -- Roland was the exception -- at a 1999 benefit after Brown had a stroke.