UPDATED BY JOHN
have written these notes as they happened
there are any errors found, then hopefully these will be
corrected later in the script
understand that Bud now lives in the Alicante area of Spain
and plays solo but rumours have leaked back to the UK that
he works also as a duo with a former member of 10CC.
Gary still lives in Exmouth and since the “Graded Grain”
days played with “Catch 22” until about 2007. He then
joined "Stringband" until the band retired in January 2009.
He is currently in a band called Fiv5way -
never played after 1986 and devoted my time to “Potters” and
I sold it in 2001. However, after twenty years, I got
re-interested in music, plays guitar again - for amusement
only & have spent a lot of time compiling this web site and
now writing my memoirs!
2009 - Ray (Kemp) e-mailed me & informing me that he, John &
Andy (Carpenter) are in a band called the "Unknowns" -
They disbanded at the end of 2012 but Ray, John & Andy has
reformed with another name - to investigate!
30/8/09 - I bumped into Brian (Spartans) and he is still
playing solo but he sadly informed me that Tommy
(Spartans/Graded Grains) passed away in 2006.
Tommy was a great drummer &
character & we had a real love/hate relationship. He
took the piss out of me a lot with my antics.
I am heavily into the Family
Tree but after his death I discovered I was his 4th cousin -
what would have been his reaction!
31/08/09 - I found this link -
I see that Terry (Graded Grains) has posted an article so I
hope between us we can fill in all the missing bits over the
last nearly forty years!
25/05/10 - Chris Martyr e-mailed me. He was in the "Rivals"
with Cliff & Hilton Andrews (brothers) but both have sadly
passed on - Cliff was in the "Graded Grains" at Butlins,
Minehead 1967 followed by a six-month tour of Germany -
25/06/10 - At last I tracked down Terry (Graded Grains)
playing at a charity function in a marquee at the "Waie Inn"
at Zeal Monachorum. After a spell with the Wurzels in the
late 1980s he later, with Russ (Holland) & Tim (Joslin),
formed the "Cornish Wurzells" and are having a great time
with a lot of support -
the same function "Barnaby" was also on the bill and Trevor
(Pugsley) (Contraband) is still treading the boards.
Terry has now left the "Cornish Wurzells" - I am not sure if
the band has continued or disbanded. Terry is now with -
16/2/11 - I traced Chris (Spartans) about a month ago and we
have exchanged a couple e-mails and we will both keep in
touch - Chris now lives in Cambridgeshire.
Also only a couple days ago Rod, our long serving roadie in
the Graded Grains, tracked me down and we enjoyed 45 minutes
swapping stories on the phone - Rod now lives in
heard recently that Brian Roberts (Starline Entertainments)
/ Brian Day (Plymouth Sound - Radio) passed away in March
Sadly, Dave (Graded Grains/Gary Kane & The Tornadoes) passed
away on the 17th May 2012 after a long battle with cancer.
was invited to the "Old Boys from the Bands" get together.
Gully rounds up the troops every six weeks or so. Last
Thursday, 21/6/12, I tagged along - a great three-hour
session. Gully of course was there along with Barney, Cuffy
& Trev (Pugsley) from "Barnaby", Rawden, Ray (Kemp) with the
"Unknowns", Brad formerly with "Hot Nuts", Dave (Bennett) &
Joe formerly a roadie. Sorry if I have forgotten anybody or
the spelling. I look forward to the next!
Now nine months down the road, 14/3/13, I have been to all
the "Over Sixty of the Sixties" get together except one.
Other "member" include Brian (Sandy), Pete Evans, Ray Beavis
& Dave Trant.
bizarre thing happened today - 04/10/12. I was working on
my family tree (I am well into this project as you can see
in that section of my website) & I discovered that Tommy was
my fourth cousin! My Mum is a Turner & en route she, & I,
bumped into the Searle family!
the end of 2012 yet another coincident. My Mum (91)
regularly plays whist with half a dozen or so old timers &
in conversation without knowing my Mum regularly plays with
Bud's Mum - Betty Street. Also Brian was doing a gig in
Heavitree, Exeter fairly recently & bumped into Betty who
was in the audience.
Sadly, I have to report another death of a Graded Grain's
drummer. Yesterday I read in the Express & Echo that Steve
Orgee unexpectedly passed away with a stroke on 19th May
Today is the16th February 2014 hoping to report some good
news but I am afraid it is not so, as last Tuesday Brian
(Sandy) phoned me about the passing of Chris (Forte). He
was buried at the Higher Cemetery, Exeter on Friday 14th
Chris & I go back a long way to the Cycle Speedway Team
days, forming the Spartans at Forte's Ice Cream Factory in
Preston Street, Exeter & appearing in over 200 gigs. We did
not cross paths much after the Graded Grains formed but the
friendship revised when Chris & Gary met through business.
Chris came on many gigs with us in the late 70s & early
80s. Bud, Gary & Chris supported Exeter City & I, not a
football fan, tagged along to a few Exeter matches & the
"big" away ones with special memories at Wolverhampton &
About this time Chris joined the RAF & ended up as a Wing
Commander, in the catering side & stationed at RAF Lyneham,
Nr Swindon - possibly stationed other places.
After the Graded Grains days, I lost contact with Chris
until he tracked me down on this website & in & around 2011
we exchanged many stories by e-mail. By then he had retired
from the RAF & was lecturing in Cambridgeshire & not in too
good health. We kept on promising each other to meet up
somewhere but we never did & sadly never will.
In hindsight I kick myself as I always
thought of Chris as we passed by Lyneham many times en route
to visit my son in Hertfordshire & in later years
Cambridgeshire was not too far from the St Albans area
In April 2016 our neighbour, three doors
away, in passing, was talking about having to go to Torquay
to sort out some costumes for a show which he & his wife
were involved in.
He mentioned the name Lionel Digby.
Obviously my ears pricked up & I asked him to pass on my
sincere regards to Lionel. On his return he told me that
Lionel had in fact, last year, tried to track me down as he
had a big do - his 80th! He knew that Bud was in
Spain but he had lost track of me.
A couple weeks ago, May 2016, our
neighbour's, still getting these costumes together, took me
along to meet up with the man – after 35 years! We spent
half a day, catching up with the past & swapping stories!
The first one he reminded me of was my “Fire
Act” – at Barnstaple Queens Hall!
The “Fire Act” was to spray lighter fluid
over my amp “stack”, then take a mouthful of petrol & spit
this with an ignited cigarette lighter which in turn set
fire to the stack. The “finale” then was to gob a mouthful
of lighter fluid at the crowd – nobody got hurt as the
flames finished before it got to the punters.
It was quite a busy this night & right at the
front there were a load of bikers.
On this occasion whilst “spitting” at the
crowd it did not ignite. I loaded myself up again & this
time it worked – but, without thinking, the greasers still
had fluid over them & I set fire to at least one of them!
Lionel was in the wings watching, in horror,
as one of the bikers was frantically dosing himself out! –
Lionel’s first thought a blood bath was imminent but the
greaser must have thought it was part of the act & all was
All their bikes were parked in the market by
the stage door by our van! – no problems!
Brad has now moved to Spain & working with Bud on the revamp
of Hot Nuts (Chas & Dave "Tribute")
August 2017 - I am so sad to inform you that Gary passed
away suddenly, at the young age of 67, on 25th July 2017.
The internment was at Withycombe Parish Church, Exmouth on
4th August. Apparently there were no symptoms of any
health problems. Obviously a huge loss to all
especially Maureen, Scott & the rest of the family - what
else can I say? I am guessing there were over 200 at
the church & as near as many at the wake, at the Royal
Beacon Hotel, Exmouth. I swapped stories with many of
the the old group members over the last fifty years plus!