Trevor Bolder, longtime bassist for Uriah Heep, is taking some time off from the band so that he can undergo an undisclosed operation. The band reported the news on its website (via Bravewords) yesterday (Jan. 13).

"Trevor Bolder is going into hospital for an operation which will require several months’ recuperation," the message began. "Everyone connected with Uriah Heep wishes Trevor a speedy operation and recovery, and Trevor’s wishes are that the band should carry on without him, until he is fit and ready to come back."

In the meantime, John "JJ" Howitt will take over bass duties. This will allow the band to fulfill their current obligations, which include a performance in Tel Aviv, Israel and a U.K. and European tour that runs from late-February through the end of March.

The 62-year old Bolder has been a member of the British hard rock veterans since 1976, when he replaced John Wetton. He is best known, however, for his work with David Bowie, having performed on his seminal early-70s works, including 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.'

It's been a difficult year on the health front for Uriah Heep. Back in June their longtime manager and producer, Gerry Bron, died at the age of 79.