Wild rock life killed Gary...

An interview with Stein "Casino Steel" Groven - 1995


I had already met Gary in 1974 when I was playing with the Hollywood brats and Gary was in Heavy Metal Kids. We had the same manager who did us out of money and after a while we began to hang about together, particularly in the pub, that was where Holton & Steel were born. I was obviously devastated when Gary died. He had only just come back from Spain after playing in his new episodes on a British TV series called Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

I just dropped everything when I heard the news, I had to get away. I got a place on a charter flight out to the Canary Islands. I traveled under a false name so that no-one would recognise me. I couldn't bear to think or talk to anyone bout Gary's sudden death. I had to get over it and grieve alone. My thought was that no-one would recognise me in the Canary Islands as Casino.

Casino Steel brings out his new record ten years after the death of Gary Holton. It is today ten years since Gary, one part of the Norwegian/British rock duo Holton & Steel was found dead in London. The official cause of death was a heart attack, but the British press claimed that it was a combination of alcohol and drugs that was the true cause. Currently a compilation album called "Ruby" with twenty of the most popular songs from this duo is being made. They formed part of Norway's history living up to an image of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. One of Gary's lyrics was: "Don't bother about a gravestone for me when I die - just put a picture of me in the pub there instead."

"We really lived it up, it almost killed me and it killed Gary. I lived a tough life in London in the 1970's when I was a member of a band called Queen (not the famous version) Hollywood Brats, London SS and the Boys. There was so much alcohol, I had to get away from London life and travel home to Norway with the idea that I was going to start up a new life with Gary both mentally and musically.