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Bobbie Graham

Bobby and myself go back a long way. We first met in the summer of 1961. I remember walking up the stairs at 304 Holloway Road and Joe Meek welcoming me at the top. He took me into the studio and said ‘Oh, this is Bobby Graham…He’s your drummer on ‘Johnny Remember Me’.

It was a little while after that first meeting, in fact it was after ‘Johnny Remember Me’ had reached No.1 in the UK charts and ‘Wild Wind’ was following closely on its heels, that I found myself headlining a week’s variety show in Chester and Bobby was once again on drums backing me with The Outlaws.

On the last night after my opening song, I was about to lead into the next number when I realised that the audience were laughing. I thought I haven’t said anything funny – what the hell are they laughing at. I turned to look at the band to see if they could throw any light on it to discover that Bobby had completely shaved his head and painted a Union Jack on it. Now you have to remember that this was 1961/62 and nobody had seen a shaven head before let alone one with a Union Jack painted on it. I believe that Bobby was the first man ever to shave his head and today whenever I see a shaven head it always reminds me of Bobby and that night in Chester.

You could always count on Bobby to do the unexpected. He was quite a character and had a great sense of humour. As Mike Berry often recalls ‘Bobby’s main claim to fame was his diet which consisted almost entirely of egg, chips and peas.’

He was a great drummer and he will be remembered with great affection.

John Leyton
September 2009.

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