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Tributes paid to Grantham musician who has died after almost 60 years on the music scene



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A Grantham musician has passed away at age 75, after almost 60 years on the music scene.

John Burnett sadly passed away on November 30, after battling lung cancer which had spread to his brain.

He was born and bred in Grantham, attending King's School and worked at local businesses, including Brad Burn Contractors, which he founded with another local musician, Brian Bradley.

John Burnett, right, with Tony Bradley and Brian Bradley in 1970. (53908243)
John Burnett, right, with Tony Bradley and Brian Bradley in 1970. (53908243)

John formed his first band, The Individuals, in 1965 at a local youth group, and decided to play his sister's 21st birthday party at the Barrowby Memorial, which they learnt and played six songs for.

John's sister, Judith Burnett, said: "Music was his life, particularly rock and roll music, he was there at the beginning when people like Elvis Presley were starting and he concentrated all his life on music.

"He was also a very intelligent man and had a lot of convictions about politics, the world, everything. We phoned each other most days and it was regularly an hour or more of putting the world to rights."

John Burnett in the late 1980s. (53908436)
John Burnett in the late 1980s. (53908436)

Whilst in The Individuals, later changed to Individual Set, the band auditioned at the famous 2i's Club in Soho, London and won the Midlands Band of the year twice.

Then in 1970 the Individual Set soon joined together with another band, The Kobalts, forming Hadrian's Wall which was a six piece harmony band.

Three years later John left his full time job and joined brothers, Brian Bradley and Tony Bradley, in forming a contracting company named Brad Burn Contractors.

John Burnett, right, plays the Lincoln Art School pop rock festival in 1972 with Tony Bradley and Brian Bradley. (53903741)
John Burnett, right, plays the Lincoln Art School pop rock festival in 1972 with Tony Bradley and Brian Bradley. (53903741)

Brian said: "We were contracting in the mornings, and if we was gigging in the evening then we would get ourselves organised, load the van up and nip off to wherever."

The three of them stayed in business together until about 1980, when John decided to leave the company, but they all stayed in the band together until 2020.

Over the decades John was apart of many bands, and was a well known lead guitarist and singer in the area.

In 2012 he joined the Antiques Rock Show band, and his final gig was in 2015 at Castleward Social Club, Lincoln.

John Burnett, left, with the reformed Kobalts in 1985. (53903640)
John Burnett, left, with the reformed Kobalts in 1985. (53903640)

Judith added: "He was also quite heavily involved with Mencap, as am I, because our youngest brother who died in February 20 had a disability and lived at Farview Farm a Mencap residential home for over 30 years.

"Like me, John was involved with Fairview quite a lot, he visited a lot, and he and some of his colleagues did charity work and music shows for them."

John Burnett, right, plays the Lincoln Art School pop rock festival in 1972 with Tony Bradley and Brian Bradley. (53903741)
John Burnett, right, plays the Lincoln Art School pop rock festival in 1972 with Tony Bradley and Brian Bradley. (53903741)

Don Holmes, has written a poem in honour of John, entitled 'Heavenly Queue'.

Pete Tempest was the first who flew

With harp and wings to start the queue

Of band-mates from his old home town

As fabled Reaper cut them down

Danny, Pedlar, Ricky too

With Licorice in that heavenly crew

But Heaven ain't heard nothing yet

Now they've been joined by John Burnett

They'll tune those harps to make them zing

As they play Rock and Roll and sing

Every song from days gone by

So look out God and look out sky

They'll have a ball, but I fear

We'll never hear them way down here

So goodbye John, and bless your soul

Another loss to Rock and Roll



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