1990: Warpipes


Left to right: Guy Babylon, Billy Trudel, Nigel Olsson, Bob Birch, Davey Johnstone.

Holes cover

Warpipes was a rock band formed in 1990 by Davey Johnstone and Nigel, which included two members of Elton John's band: keyboardist Guy Babylon and bassist Bob Birch, plus lead vocalist Billy Trudel (who went on to sing backup for Elton). Davey and Steve Trudell (no relation to Billy) were the principal songwriters, with some contribution from Billy and Guy. In 1991 the group released their debut Holes In The Heavens
to much critical acclaim. Unfortunately, their label Artful Balance went bankrupt soon afterwards. A slightly revamped version of the album was later re-released on Charlie Morgan's Bridge Records. The track "Satellite City" was deleted, and "Dust on My Boots" and "One Love True" were added; the album was simply retitled Warpipes. Both titles appear to be out of print, but Holes often turns up on eBay.

Warpipes holds the dubious distinction of being the only band Nigel was ever involved with
in which he had the SHORTEST hair.
Bridge Records cover

Warpipes on Bridge Records

Warpipes is:
Billy Trudel—Lead vocals
Davey Johnstone—Guitars, mandolin, banjo, and backing vocals
Nigel Olsson—Drums and backing vocals
Guy Babylon—Keyboards
Bob Birch—Bass and saxophone

Colour Warpipes

From the back of the Holes in the Heavens booklet

Holes longbox

This appeared on the back of the longbox (remember those?) for Holes in the Heavens

All photography by Jeff Katz