HE’s a charity champion who has been raising funds for local causes for almost 30 years.

Now Joe Musker - original drummer with Dead or Alive, has been recognised for his work with local youth charities.

Joe, 67, from Parkstone, has been made Ambassador for the Youth Cancer Trust in recognition of his 17 years of charity work for them.

In addition, the dad of two has also been asked to become a trustee of the Absolute Music Trust which helps youngsters through structured music tuition. He takes up the role in July when he retires from his job working with apprentice plasterers and youngsters with special needs at Bournemouth and Poole College.

And 2021 is proving an exciting year for musician Joe as he is also releasing a single this Friday (January 15)with the Bournemouth band Dumb Poets who he has been drumming with for three years.

It’s called Paint and Feathers ( Wonder that you are), written by guitarist/lead singer Lance Riley ( formerly of The Spoons)and recorded at Steve Smith’s Ringwood based Room with a View studio.Also making up the band are brothers Mark Arnold on guitar and Paul Arnold on bass.

Joe plans to organise a fund raising gig with the band in aid of the homeless and rough sleepers once live performances are possible again.

Joe first started doing Charity work in 1983 in his native Liverpool. He was visiting a child at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and remarked how the children started crying when the parents left following visiting time. He decided to help set up a radio unit to play children's songs and got all his musician pals involved in a fundraising 24-hour drumathon.

"I had a chat to all of my friends in the music business in Liverpool. Because so many people wanted to be involved I co organised Drums Over The Mersey which lasted for 24 hours. We didn’t get all of the money for the project but we raised a considerable amount to get the radio station started.

Drummers all lined up with their drum kits at Liverpool Pier Head as we were waiting for the Ferry to collect passengers going over to Seacombe. Once the Ferry was on our side the Four Drum Kits were loaded and all set up on the Top Deck of the Ferry. When the clock on the Liver Building struck at 10.00am that was our nod to start playing. As the ferry made its way across The River Mersey the passengers were all clapping in time to the rhythm. As the ferry was 50 yards away from the Landing Stage at Liverpool. A team of drummers marched with a Police escort to The Royal Court Theatre. Where we stayed for the duration. We all played on a relay system of 10 minutes per drummer. All playing in Time.”

Since then Joe has run drumathon’s here in Bournemouth for several charities and this Easter Saturday will hold his 28th Drumming4Life at Absolute Music. His last  was at  Mr Kyps was for the homeless, donating waterproof sleeping bags and food, and he hopes to help them again this year.

 Joe came to Bournemouth from Liverpool in 1987 and worked at Bournemouth Hospital where in 1989 he saw an advert with Bournemouth Youth Services. It led to Joe teaching drumming as a means to deal with anxiety in a role that lasted 28 years, until government cuts to youth worker roles in 2015.

 Joe says he worked with “youngsters with special educational needs/learning difficulties together with youngsters from the main stream who attended to learn how to play the drum kit. Over the many years I got the youngsters actively involved in drums and drumming as I noticed it helped those with Special Needs with their Motor Skills.

“Helping charities and raising money for other children's charities is a great way for all youngsters to help one another."

Joe started playing drums in 1972 and played with the Foremost:

" John Lennon wrote us the song Hello Little Girls - it was great work playing four or five nights a week with bands like Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Swinging Blue Jeans ."

It all came to a stop in 1980 and Joe met the late Pete Burns who said to him:  “ You are a fantastic drummer would you like to join our band?"

They had been offered an important gig on John Peel show but the band  needed a name at that point. Joe came up with the name ' Dead or Alive' - and the rest is history!