Last Original Member of Molly Hatchet Steve Holland Dies

Steve Holland—the last surviving member of the influential Southern rock band Molly Hatchet’s most legendary lineup, passed away Sunday (8-2) after a prolonged illness. The guitarist for the group helped perfect the double guitar attack that became the band’s signature, and can be heard on their most memorable hit “Flirtin’ With Disaster.”

Singer Danny Joe Brown passed away in 2005, guitarist Duane Roland died in 2006, drummer Bruce Crump passed in 2015, and guitarist Dave Hlubeck and bassist Banner Thomas died in 2017. Hlubeck officially started the band in 1971 in Jacksonville, FL, but the band didn’t rise to prominence until 1978 with the release of their self-titled record. 1979 and the album Flirtin’ With Disaster is what put them on the national map. Steve Holland joined in 1974 as the band was forming its classic six-piece lineup.

Born in Dothan, Alabama, Steve Holland began playing guitar at the age of 8, and moved to Jacksonville, FL in the early 70’s. He met Dave Hlubeck at a local record store, and the rest of the principle members of the band were in place by 1976, eventually signing to Epic Records. When the place crash involving fellow Jacksonville-based Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd left a void in the Southern rock space, Molly Hatchet stepped up.

Steve Holland recorded on multiple Molly Hatchet records and performed with the band through their heyday, leaving in 1983 after the band released the album No Guts…No Glory as the band was adopting a more hard rock sound. He was replaced by keyboardist John Gavin. Holland later formed the band Gator Country in 2005 with former members of Molly Hatchet. Gator Country had been keeping fans abreast of Holland’s health concerns recently, and announced his passing on Sunday.

“It Is With GREAT SADNESS That I Announce The PASSING Of ‘ORIGINAL’ MOLLY HATCHET Band / GATOR COUNTRY Band Co-Founder Lead Guitarist, STEVE HOLLAND,” said a statement. “Steve Was The LAST MAN STANDING And Has Joined The REST Of His FELLOW Band Brothers Up In Heaven. Steve’s Health Had Been On A Downward Spiral For A While, With Steve Finally Getting His ANGEL WINGS Today August 2nd, 2020. You Will Always Be One Of The GREATEST STEVE!!”

Molly Hatchet also posted a message via social media, saying, “Our deepest condolences are sent to the family of Steve Holland, guitarist and co-founder of Molly Hatchet of his passing. Steve left the band in 1984. He will be missed and remembered by all. RIP 1954-2020.”

Molly Hatchet continues to perform with a new lineup. Steve Holland’s cause of death has not been revealed, but he had been ailing for some time.

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