From the Times, London. Drummer Steve Tate held up bank with music stand


Senior Member
From The London TimesSeptember 23, 2008

Drummer Steve Tate held up bank with music stand
Steve Tate played for Take That and Texas

Lucy Bannerman
A drummer who toured with Take That, Texas and Whitney Houston has been jailed for four years after holding up a bank with a music-stand disguised as a gun.

Steve Tate — who enjoyed a successful career in the music industry under the name Steve Washington — hung his head as he was sentenced for the “ham-fisted” robbery.

The court was told that he stole £1,200 from a branch of Lloyds TSB in Folkestone in July by using a gift-wrapped music stand to imitate a gun and pretending he had a bomb strapped to his leg.

He forced the cashier to hand over banknotes, stuffing them into a guitar case, but was arrested after a passer-by saw him putting the notes into his pockets on a nearby beach.

Related Links
Two men accused of £26m bank robbery are released
Seven arrested in Ireland bank robbery raids
Tate, 46, who spent five years touring with Take That during the height of their fame in the early 1990s, needed the cash to pay off a £400 drugs debt and cover his rent, Maidstone Crown Court was told.

During his time with the band he was able to buy a Porsche and a Welsh cottage with cash, and went on to perform in front of crowds of 150,000 as a member of Texas during their European tour in 2001.

The Jamaican-born drummer, who left school at 12 to back the American soul singer Jimmy Ruffin, eventually fell out of work, however, and turned to drugs.

“At one stage he was the top pick of his profession,” said Andrew Espley, for the defendant. But the desperate robbery, he said, was “ham-fisted”. “The fact that he used a bicycle as a getaway vehicle says something about his ineptness.”

Edward Connell, for the prosecution, told the court: “Tate entered the bank and when there was only one customer there he took a black stocking and put it over his head and went to the cash desk.

“He removed an item wrapped in gift wrap from his guitar case that was three or four feet long. The woman behind the counter believed it was a gun.

“He demanded she hand over her money and when the woman called over to another member of staff the defendant said, 'I've got a bomb attached to my leg and I will detonate it'.”

Tate, from Folkestone, admitted robbery and asked for four shoplifting offences to be taken into consideration.

Passing sentence, Judge Andrew Patience said: “The bank employees must have been absolutely terrified. They didn't know if it was a gun or not and there was the absurd thought that you might let off a bomb attached to your leg. Long after you have served your sentence such people will still be suffering.”

During his career, Tate also played for Jason Donovan and the 1980s singer-songwriter Nik Kershaw. He was a teacher at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Art, set up by Sir Paul McCartney, and The Prince's Trust Rock School. Before his arrest, he had been offered a job as a music teacher at a school.


Platinum Member
Sounds like this talented guy had everything going for him but it all "fell apart". Pretty sad :{


Pioneer Member
Wow. Steve Washington???!!! No way. His face was on virtually every other page of the UK drum magazines for endorsements back in the 90s. One of the most pathetic, tragic things i've ever heard. Crack, no doubt.


Pioneer Member
That is truly a sad story...............

on a lighter note, everyone knows floor tom legs more resemble the shape of a rifle, or sawed off.


Maidstone Crown Court? I've been there... I used to go to school there. Scarily close to home.


Senior Member
Must have been heck of a music stand....... holding up a bank n' all.
Holy god that's hilarious, it's like 8 am here in my little cubicle and I think I just woke up all the people around me laughing. Nothing like a silly-ass pun to wake one up.