Bonanza-Studios - restoration and archive Exit card designer P. Spencer Brian Diamond & the Exit (1985)
Exit 1985 Wimbledon Town Hall
Brian Diamond & the Exit band

Richard Douglas Higgins
Biography - by the man himself.

Alternative Text


Doug Higgins (1936-2014)Doug Higgins - 2012
Drummer

Before Exit was formed back in the summer of 1973, I had been playing for 12 years.
In the beginning I tried playing Alto Saxophone (untutored) but failed to get on and went on to trombone. A friend had left this instrument at my house after a visit and I took it up with gusto, playing along to records. I thought that I was doing alright until the neighbours arrived with the petition. The trombone playing ceased - my mother insisted. So I came to the drums almost by default. Having decided, I bought a dreadful load of clatt (rubbish) masquerading as a drum kit and wrote off for lessons.
Within a week, someone in the pub offered me a gig at a local wedding. It was a dreadful gig, but at the end of the evening, I had had some fun, two pints of beer, four sausage rolls, been given the eye by a nice young lady and presented with two pounds ten shillings. This, I thought, is the life for me, and so it's proved. Over around fifty years on the scene, I've had more sausage rolls than you could shake a stick at.
Soon, the first drum kit fell to bits. This happened during a short solo which finished abruptly in a spectacular series of crashes and bad language.( I can still hear the laughter!)

The second kit, altogether more professional, got me into a series of decent bands. The first one of note was the Brian Thompson Jazz band. We played around Croydon, formed our own club and were adopted by the local branch of CND who gave us quite a few gigs. Eventually, Brian Thompson moved on to pastures new and some of us formed a Georgie Fame type group, called quite innocently, “Club 69!”

After a while, I was fired from this group (Politics!) but was soon offered the drum chair in the Bruce Turner Jump Band, a prestigious band on the fringe of the then tailing off Traditional Jazz boom. This was a terrific time which saw me traveling around Britain with them and also backing visiting American trumpet stars like Bill Coleman and Henry Red Allen. The Jazz scene did eventually collapse and with it, the band.

But I (Doug) was soon playing on the American Bases with a show type band called the “Mark Seven”. This started off playing Jim Reeves stuff and we were dressed in blue gabardine blazers and trousers but was unable to withstand the onslaught of flower power. We finished up in flares and kaftan's doing reasonable impressions of James Brown.

The name was changed to the “Front Line” and we became MGM recording stars on contract. However, we did not record a single side. So much for fame. eh?

Front Line (Left to right)

Johnny Winterbotham-Trombone              Reg Blake ,Trumpet,
Pete Mizen - Guitar                                  Dave Doubble, Trumpet/Arranger,
Pat Adamson - Vocals                             John LeGrande, Baritone Sax,
Doug Higgins - drums                               Laurie Harvey, Bass Guitar

After a few years gigging around, I had the good fortune to meet up with Brian Diamond, which took care of the next 23 years. Happy days.

Latterly I took up with some old Jazz friends and did gigs with two bands. The Clive Peerless Jazz band, the Polygon Band, the odd session with a C & W group (Box Car Kelly) [such is the man's versatility].
Although these bands are now ceased

 Doug still kept busy on the local jazz scene, active at;
The Lord Napier, Norbury with the "Legacy Jazz band" -  2nd/4th each month.
The Surprise, Croydon with "The Suprise Pack"  (Last Wed, 1pm - 4pm)
Woolpack, Banstead with "Mike Byrne’s Thameside Seven" - 1st Tues, 2.30pm-5.30pm.

They will have to prise the sticks from my lifeless hands.
Addendum:
It is with great sadness that we report Doug passed away quietly in his sleep
(24 August 2014).
True to his words he play the night before. He will be missed.

Doug





Bruce Turner (1922-1993)
Born: Yorkshire
Bill Turner Jump Band circa 1960.
In this clip John Armitage plays drums


Link
Front Line Soul band
Outside the Lyseum in London, circa 1968
.
DH Front Line circa 1968
Pete Mizen (right) in Think Floyd 
Pete Mizen went on to be one of the founders.
Brian Diamond & Exit (1977-1985)
The Exit Band @ the Fulham Volunteer 1977-1985

K/bds - George Gillam, Vocals - Brian D
iamond
Drums - Doug Higgins, Bass - Martin Kirby
Guitar  - Pete Spencer, Paul Hugget

Polygon (jazz) movie
Mike Byrne’s Thameside Seven (below)

Mike Byrne’s Thameside Seven

Bonanza Studios - Essex  - UK
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