PUTTING Canvey’s community spirit to one side, there is one other hallmark that the island is renowned for – yet few know just how grand it is.

In an age where we are reluctant to examine the past, it is easy to forget the town was once a music dynasty with a rich heritage.

Not only has it exported bands around the world who reached the very top of the charts, it has also welcomed a veritable Who’s Who of music royalty on to the island.

In March 1974, Queen’s Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon were busy finding their way in the music industry after recording their second studio album.

They did however find time to perform at the Paddocks, in a night that goes down in Canvey folklore.

Peter May, of Komberg Avenue, says despite the aura Mercury possessed, the cocksure managed to fall foul of his mother Iris’ strict standards.

Mrs May, a cleaner at the Paddocks, took umbrage at the frontman spitting on the floor, prompting her to give him in an earbashing.

He said: “I am told he apologised, but I think it showed how down to earth we all are. There’s no airs or graces.”

“We’re so special and people don’t realise just how much talent we have on Canvey.”

The island even boasts the founding father of one Britain’s best known rock bands as its most famous adopted son – Fleetwood Mac’s founder Peter Green is an islander.

In terms of home grown talent on Canvey, the names of Dr Feelgood and Eddie and the Hot Rods go down as the island’s most famous exports.

Feelgood enjoyed great success in the mid to late Seventies, with six albums charting in the UK.

Their breakthrough came with the group’s third album, Stupidity, which topped the UK charts in October 1976.

The pub rocking Hot Rods also enjoyed success in the decade, which included playing a set at London’s famous Marquee Club.

Their opening act that night was a young band playing their first London gigs – namely, the Sex Pistols.

The fortunes of the bands changed the life of one lucky roadie, whose “dream job” took him around the world.

Dean Kennedy stints working with Dr Feelgood and The Hot Rods coincided with the glory days for both bands.

Mr Kennedy, 57, added that the island was a musical hotbed, bursting with talent.

He said: “If you were from Canvey in the 1970s and you played in a decent band, you got signed up by a label.

“The best way I can describe the Canvey music scene, is that it was like Liverpool in the 1960s. People used to just come here to see what was happening and look at new bands.

“A lot of people remember Freddie Mercury coming on the island, but we also had Edwin Starr, Hot Chocolate and plenty of other performing at the Kings Club, when it used to do cabaret.”

“I loved every minute of life on the road, and I just think to myself how lucky I was to have that as my job. Being on Canvey at that time, I was in the right place at the right time.

“I used to bunk off school when I started out working with the Hot Rods, and then I started helping out with the Feelgood’s.

“A lot of people have asked me what my standout moment was on the road, there are just too many to mention, and I wouldn’t want to get anybody into trouble.

“But that said, there’s so much to tell from Canvey’s time, people don’t realise just how much music the island has produced.”

Mr Kennedy has now stored all of his precious memorabilia in a café that he and wife Shirley have opened in Furtherwick Road – The Great Rock n Roll Kitchen.

A visual example of Canvey's music heritage, run on community spirit.