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Mervyn Spence

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Mervyn Spence

Mervyn "Spam" Spence
Birth name Mervyn Spence
Also known as O'Ryan
Born 1966 (age 47–48)
Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Genres Hard rock, progressive rock, pop rock, blues rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician, producer
Instruments Vocals, bass, guitar
Years active 1980s—present
Labels Parachute music, Emjo Media
Associated acts Trapeze, Wishbone Ash, Phenomena, Croots

Mervyn "Spam" Spence is a Northern Irish bassist, best known for his work with Wishbone Ash and Trapeze.

Musical career

Spence moved to Staffordshire from Ireland in the late 1970s, and began playing with bands such as The Jury and Big Daisy.


During Spence's time in local bands, he was spotted by Mel Galley, who promptly offered Spence the bassist and vocalist position in Trapeze, which had been left vacant since Peter Goalby had left to join Uriah Heep. Spence briefly toured with the band, and during his tenure recorded one album's worth of material , which – due to Galley's departure to replace Bernie Marsden in Whitesnake – remains unreleased.[1] Several of the songs from these sessions however (Demos exist in bootleg form), would form the basis for Galley's Phenomena project.

Wishbone Ash

Following the break-up of Trapeze, Spence was offered an audition for Wishbone Ash while he was pitching demo material to various outlets. On the strength of his vocal range and enthusiasm, Spence became a member of the band. Spence would perform on one album by the band, 1985's Raw to the Bone.[1]

Post-Wishbone Ash

Spence left Wishbone Ash in 1986 "to pursue family matters". He has since released two solo albums under the name "O'Ryan" (his mother's maiden name), 1993's Something Strong and 1995's Initiate.[2]



  • Something Strong (1993; as "O'Ryan")
  • Emer May (Single) (1995; as "O'Ryan")
  • Initiate (1995; as "O'Ryan")

with Wishbone Ash

  • Raw To The Bone (1985)
  • 40th Anniversary Concert: Live In London (2010)

with Face Face

  • Childhood Dreams (1994)
  • Bridge to Nowhere (2006)

with Purple Cross

  • Eyes of the Mirror (2000)

with Phenomena

  • The Complete Works (2006)

with Big Daisy

  • Big Daisy (2012)


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