The History of Maryport

on the North-West coast of England

Elmo Fatts      aka Big Active Lad


Elmo Fatts was a self taught guitarist who rose to the dizzy heights of fame in 1970 with his Slade tribute band, The Four Skins.

When the band split up in 1976, Elmo embarked on a solo career, releasing two albums, the first being "Lychees"

which was recorded in 9 minutes, his second album "Fiends"

took even longer.

In 1983, depressed at losing his job as a bouncer at Mothercare, he went to Glastonbury for three days of sex, drugs and sausage rolls and he was invited onstage to play with Meathead and Motorloaf.

However, the high life and fast living was taking its toll, shortly after Glastonbury, he released a haunting single "Tight As A Drum" which went straight to the top of the charts in Zimbabwe. Nobody realised it at the time, but the lyrics were a revelation, an insight into his life.

"I have a musical nature,

I can yodel, whistle and hum,

I go out as fit as a fiddle,

and come home as tight as a drum"

It was clear that Elmo had become hooked on alcohol and he spent the next four years in the Dean Martin Rehabilitation Unit at Whitehaven Hospital. Upon his release in the summer of 1988, he stayed on the wagon for almost two hours, before getting back into his old ways.

His afternoons were spent in The Bounty Inn and his evenings were spent at home drinking cheap plonk from the Co-Op. On the 1st of April 1989, Elmo went on a brewery trip to Jennings in Cockermouth where he fell into a vat of "Smoothy", several of his friends tried to save him, but he fought them off bravely.

Elmo was cremated at Distington Crematorium the following week and it took three months to put the fire out.

This is the last known photo of Elmo, taken in The Bounty Inn, shortly after his death.