Music marks John Izod’s work

The Fabulous Red Diesel Band - fantastic musicians
John Izod on his favourite bench

In 2016 Rye lost its wonderful “in-house” artist, John Izod. He was known by everyone, often sitting on the bench in front of  Gramophone Records on the High Street or found in the various pubs he loved – and if there were jazz/blues music he was first one up to dance. But mostly he was known for his fun, ironic and satirical drawings of local people or events.

The inscription to John Izod on the back of the Community Bus says “John gave unstintingly of his time and talents for the benefit and support of many groups and organisations in this community”

On Saturday May 4, Pat Hughes, who manages and fights for funding to keep the Rye & District Community Transport running, presented a gig in the community centre on Conduit Hill to celebrate John’s birthday. He would have been 84.

Proceeds raised will go towards helping with the expenses of the of the various minibuses. John was very much loved and had many friends in the town, a lot of whom turned up to remember him.

The Fabulous Red Diesel Band entertained the audience and eventually got everybody up to dance. The music was a mixture of genres with varied instruments.

‘Miss Behave’ and Simon

The four musicians were multi talented. Kat “Miss Katty” played the keyboard/flute and sang, having written many of the songs; Bea “Miss Behave” played double bass/tuba and trumpet; Will “Duke Boom” was on drums and lastly Simon “Rabbi Jaffa Delicious” played guitar/trumpet.

Simon explained that their band names stuck when listeners chose to give them nicknames. They were fabulous, interacting with John’s friends throughout.

Image Credits: Heidi Foster , Rye News library , John Minter .


  1. My third attempt to comment !
    I had known John Izod for over 60 years, and I know he was more than just an “in house artist” who frequented the pubs. He gave of himself to many and various causes all his adult life.
    When he returned to this country from many years in Canada, where he was big in the rugby scene as well as being a jobbing artist, and sometime film actor ,he came to live in my family home in Iden in the mid 1990s, and also when I moved into Rye. In Iden he became the question master for a successful ladies quiz team,as well as getting involved with Rye Players, acting and scene- painting, also the Rye Rugby Club found a faithful cheer leader and bar-tender. He kept in contact with so many old chums from his army days as well as the huge number of Canadian friends, ex-wives and son Max and his family. In all the years I knew him he never missed sending and making Christmas cards.

    He certainly was one of a kind, which was proved when we held his 60th
    Birthday party in Iden which included all his family of a sister and 2 brothers, and all their progeny. A good time was had by all!

    We will all miss him, but I do hope that more , and wider notice , could be posted earlier so that more of us could support this worthy cause.


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