Desperate Oates were a 3 piece band based in the wild fenlands of Lincolnshire. The band were formed in the early 1980's and featured Jake 'Lin Tremayne' Williams (alias John Singing Rock) on guitar and vocals, John Line on bass and vocals and Shaun Muffet on drums and vocals. The music was a blend of hard rock and boogie. The band gained quite a repertoire in their area and played many gigs over their four year existence. Jake's guitar style was influenced at this stage quite a lot by the legendary Steve Zodiac of nwobhm band Vardis. However, the band only ever wrote a handful of their own material backed up by heavier versions of covers such as Quo's 'In my chair' and Bolan's 'Get it on'. A couple of demo tapes were released and one single. The single gained Desperate Oates some respect as it reached no: 50 in the then indie singles chart, as well as having a small review in Sounds magazine. Around the beginning of 1987 the band members went their own separate ways. Jake moved to Cornwall and formed Chain Lightning. Sadly about 3 years ago John Line the bass player passed away, and Jake and Shaun have not been in touch since the band separated.
Above: The front and back covers of the single released in 1984
GRINDER: Jake, Kev, Steve and Steff
Steve Glasson was the former roadie/lighting engineer with Heavy Metal band ‘Chain Reaction’ and front man with his own band ‘Precinct-3’. ‘Precinct-3’, Steve put on hold after joining a band called the ‘Breed’. Then after nine months of constant gigging with them and their subsequent demise, Steve, with the knowledge & writing skills he had gained from the former band started about writing his own material. Then all he had to do was get a band together to play it.
First was the bass player Stef, who had stayed in contact and who he had met through Dominic Walsh a former drummer in one of his earlier bands. Then most obvious choice for drummer was Kevin Leatham, also previously a member of the ‘Breed’. The hardest part was finding a guitarist who had the same sense of humour & was willing to play Steve's own songs, and also liked a drink or three. The man in question was former ‘Chain Reaction’ guitarist Andy Talbot, who to Steve's surprise said yea ok! So, around 1988/89 the band ‘Grinder’ was formed. Now all they had to do was rehearse & get gigs.
After 3 years of gigging hard around Cornwall and through building up a local following, Andy Talbot decided to leave Grinder, who still had gigs booked. Grinder needed to find a replacement pretty quick. First to try was a friend of Kevin's called Lee Adams. Lee was a very good guitarist and a great guy but he was never going to replace Andy's unique style. Next along came Mike Thompson an old friend of Steve's from his first band ‘Precinct-3’. Mike came in at the drop of a hat for a couple of gigs and played a blinder (good man) but never stayed. Next after much hassle/payment/begging, ‘Grinder’ got a guitar whiz kid called Shaun Kennedy who was an incredible player, but would only do one gig as ‘Metal’ was not his thing. Pity because he was very good at it.
Now here's where it gets a bit sketchy! through the late Keith Seymour (who used to be the bass player in ‘Medusa’, the predecessor to the ‘Breed’), Steve was introduced to a guitarist called Lin Tremayne aka Jake as he's now known. Jake was in a band called ‘Chain Lightning’ who happened to need a vocalist and ‘Grinder’ needed a guitarist. So both bands sort of helped each other out and a good working relationship was formed as was a friendship which was to carry on to this day.
The gigs Jake played with ‘Grinder’ were some of the best in a long time as he was and still is a very talented player. The few gigs Steve did with ‘Chain Lightning’ were also very good for him as it was a more melodic type of ‘metal’ as opposed to Grinder who had a much harder sound.
Steve was replaced in ‘Chain Lightning’ by a guy called Trevor Senior from Manchester. ‘Grinder’ decided to call it a day after about 4 years of gigging. However, they got back together for a reunion gig after one of their songs was played on the BBC's Tommy Vance's Friday Show's Battle of the Bands & came 2nd in their heat. Afterwards that was the end for Grinder. Jake carried on with Chain Lightning, who Stef also joined. Kev the drummer Joined ‘Who's on Top?’ and Steve joined those young upstarts called ‘Medicine Train’.
Steve Glasson still plays bass today and fronts the ‘Heavy Rock’ band the ‘1/4-Pounders’ with Dave Hall (formally of ‘Medusa’) on drums and Paul Rogers aka Jolly on guitar.