R.I.P. Michael Heslop

Bezerker guitarist dead

Michael Heslop Michael Heslop/Metal Archives

Michael Heslop, guitarist with pioneering Adelaide thrash band Bezerker, has died. 

Bezerker were the most prominent metal band on the 80s Adelaide scene. In 1989 they released the album Lost and opened for Faith No More before relocating to London where they played a few shows and split up. Heslop moved into the area of recording and sound production; he passed away on December 26.

  • Danielle White

    Sad news about Michael Heslop. He was having much success in sound engineering / mixing, as well as doing some work playing with local bands in the north of England. This is where this talented musicians origin was. As a kid he moved to Adelaide, Australia and quickly became saturated with music, including his own guitar awareness. It wasn’t long until he met schoolmates that shared with him the love of music. Once he was out of school, it was “look out “. And away he went. The earlier days saw him playing in a band called JOHN THE BEAST known for hitting it hard and fast. Anyone around Adelaide in the 80s would remember the outlandish costumes. I remember spikes, lots of spikes attached to the band members. Something that they probably wouldn’t allow these days. He was in BESERKER. One of the first Australian thrash metal /speed metal bands around. They were total trailblazers in their field and exported themselves to the UK to try their luck. It was a hard slog and things became unravelled.
    Back in Oz in the early 90’s saw a mellower Michael in his band SEAHORSE. Different from any other bands he’d been in before, Seahorse unfortunately was not happening. Listening to their music years later, you can tell that what Seahorse had, was just before their time. Just 5 years later and it would have fared better, it had, in my opinion, a laid back grungy type of feel. He taught many people and inspired so many people, I don’t think that he really knew how many people looked up to him. it wouldn’t v changed him in any way even if he was aware of this. He kept his friends close and one day, THE ONE WITHIN was born. Players of this piece of genius consisted of his school friends /ex band members of old. As soon as one members shed was converted into a studio, they were off and running. Many old haunts had been made into Pokie rooms by this stage, but the band determiningly booked as many gigs as possible to make heads bang and hair fly once again. THE ONE WITHIN remain a great band in Adelaide with a few tweaks as Michael left for the UK. He was one of the most patient guys all round but especially when it came to teaching anyone about music. He was a gentle soul behind all the hardcore riffs. My daughter and I mourn his passing. I know he shared himself with many people and I doubt that there’s anyone else who would make such a lasting impression as he. R.I.P. my friend, my teacher and mate. You will be missed by all who you touched.