Legend Ken Yeo can get around town!

PUBLISHED: 18:59 08 March 2011

Carol Gilson and Ken Yeo.

Carol Gilson and Ken Yeo.

Archant

Honiton music star benefits from unique scheme - thanks to the memory of Joe Gilson and The Midweek Herald. Ken’s lived life in the fast lane, but he will always be an iconic character.

The Ken Des Tones. Ken Yeo is pictured in the centre.

HONITON rock and roll legend Ken Yeo has become the 20th person to receive a free mobility scooter from a Midweek Herald-backed scheme.

The 71 year old former front man of The Ken Des Tones received the scooter from the scheme’s founder, Carol Gilson, last week.

Carol set up the Joe Gilson Mobility Scheme in memory of her late husband.

Ken, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and angina, was overwhelmed by the gift and joined Carol in thanking those who have donated scooters to the scheme in memory of loved ones.

Ken Yeo.

A builder by day, Ken, of St Leonards Road, rocked East Devon for decades as lead singer and rhythm guitarist with the three-piece band.

“I don’t expect there is a village hall within 30 miles of Honiton that we didn’t perform in,” he said.

The Ken Des Tones were legendary for their country music and songs from the 1960s. They were regulars on stage at Honiton Motel and played in the Royal British Legion Club once a month.

It all started after Ken, who was born in Bude, Cornwall, moved to Honiton in 1962.

He says his rock and roll lifestyle has now caught up with him.

“I suffered a heart attack on December 29 and I thought it was very inconsiderate of my body to keep me in hospital for New Year’s Eve,” he said. “You could say I had a bit of a rock and roll lifestyle.

“I had plenty of booze and women chasing me, but I never carried on.

“I have been happily married for 36 years.”

Ken gave up smoking more than a year ago and says he found it quite easy. “People put every illness down to smoking, but I know people who smoke more than I did and they haven’t got COPD,” he said.

“I am absolutely delighted to get a mobility scooter. I can’t believe people’s generosity.”

Carol said: “It is wonderful that people give the scooters so the scheme can help people like Ken.”

These days, Ken is an occasional visitor to the Three Tuns pub and, despite his ill health, says he wouldn’t change a thing about his rock and roll past.

Those years may have caught up with him, but he is still a real star.


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