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Barry Mayger from Maidstone, founder of Chicory Tip, has died in Portugal

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A founding member of Maidstone-based Seventies band Chicory Tip has died.

Bassist Barry Mayger played with them when they had their Number 1 hit Son of My Father.

Chicory Tip in the 1970s: Barry Mayger is second from the right
Chicory Tip in the 1970s: Barry Mayger is second from the right

The song, which featured a driving rhythm from a Moog synthesizer, was at the top of the UK charts for three weeks and a huge hit around the world.

Mr Mayger was born and bred in Maidstone and went to South Borough School where he was best mates with Rick Foster.

The two shared a love of music and in 1961 after leaving school at 15 they formed their first band together, The Sonics, with other boys from the school.

The had their first paid performance at Seal Village Hall - and shared £6 between five of them.

The band broke up in 1965, but Mr Mayger and Mr Foster reformed as Chicory Tip in 1967 - a name dreamed up by Barry Mayger after seeing a bottle of Camp Coffee.

Son of My Father - three weeks at No1
Son of My Father - three weeks at No1

They were happy to play local gigs while continuing their full-time jobs until they found themselves supporting Vanity Fair at the Tudor House in Maidstone - a popular music venue at the time - where they were introduced to music impresario Roger Easterby.

Shortly after, Mr Easterby secured them a recording contract with CBS - but they weren't an overnight success.

Son of My Father was actually their fifth record release.

It did set them on tours of Holland, Spain and Germany. Two subsequent records also charted but never quite matched the success of Son of My Father.

They appeared on Top of the Pops a total of 12 times.

Chicory Tip
Chicory Tip

Rick Foster left the band in 1973 to join Eddison Lighthouse and Chicory Tip disbanded in 1975, with Mr Mayger becoming the landlord of the Dog and Gun pub in Boxley Road, Maidstone.

Twenty-one years later, on the occasion of Rick Foster's 50th birthday, Mr Mayger and Mr Foster reformed the band and the continued to play together until 2008, when they did a TV show in Portugal.

Mr Mayger fell in love with the country, quit the band and moved there.

He died on Tuesday, January 14, after several months of illness. He was 73.

His funeral will be tomorrow in Faro in Portugal.

Mr Mayger was married three times and is survived by his wife Lorraine and sons Kevin and Lee.

Former Mayor of Maidstone Dave Naghi used to live opposite Mr Mayger when he was at the Dog and Gun. He said: "Barry was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. He will be sadly missed."

Rick Foster said: "We were best mates for such a long time. He was a good man. He died far too young."

Chicory Tip continues as a three-piece band comprising Rick Foster, Brian Shearer and Peter Giles.

The have their next gig at Bearsted Golf Club on Saturday.

For more ideas on days out and things to do, head to our What’s On section

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