Douglas Trendle (born 6 September 1958), better known as Buster Bloodvessel, is an English singer and the frontman of the ska revival band Bad Manners. His stage name was taken from the bus conductor played by Ivor Cutler in the Beatles' 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour.
Born in Stoke Newington as Douglas Woods to a single mother, Buster was adopted and brought up by his great-aunt Mary Trendle and her husband, Edward. He did not know he was adopted until the age of seven, when he overheard his adoptive mother talking to a neighbour. He discovered that the woman that he knew as 'Auntie Lily', was really his mother. He never met his father.
He founded Bad Manners with friends at Woodberry Down Comprehensive School in North London in 1976. Bad Manners were a popular live attraction in North London, with their brand of humorous ska making them comedians of the ska revival scene, with Buster often wagging his large tongue at his audiences. Bad Manners earned nine Top 40 singles between 1980 and 1983, and the band have remained a popular live act throughout Britain and Europe ever since.
However, the group originally split up in 1987, after their contract with Portrait Records finished and he eventually formed a new outfit called Buster's Allstars, performing at clubs and pubs in London, but he still played some concerts with Bad Manners at larger venues, along with some new musicians and a few other original band members.
In 1988, Buster licensed the Blue Beat Records name and logo, and he ran the record label from an old houseboat that was stationed in his back garden at his former home in Hackney. Blue Beat issued a number of releases, notably by Bad Manners, Napoleon Solo, Buster's Allstars and the Billies, but the label folded in 1990.
Buster Bloodvessel also appeared in the films Out of Order and Sammy and Rosie Get Laid before landing a part in an episode of Boon in 1990. In 1998, he signed a solo deal with the Virgin Records offshoot label, Innocent Records, and recorded an album but the label decided to axe the project just before his debut solo single was to be released.
Buster struggled with morbid obesity and underwent laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery in 2004, his weight dropping from 31 stone to 13 stone. He once owned a hotel in Margate called Fatty Towers, which specifically catered for larger customers, with features such as extra large beds and baths as well as fatty meals. The hotel closed in 1998 and Buster moved back to London. He often appears as a guest on various television shows, as well as in the tabloid newspapers. In early 2001 he fell ill during a concert in Perugia.
In July 2010, he appeared on Sky Sports while singing before a Mark Walsh darts game at the World Matchplay Darts competition in Blackpool. Buster appeared in the film, Eldorado, starring Daryl Hannah, released in 2012. He had a cameo role as a sheriff, and also recorded music for the film.
He released a three track EP in August 2011 for the benefit of ex-British servicemen.'Ska For Heroes' was issued as a download single under the moniker of Buster's Ska Battalion. The vocalist now spends a lot of his free time in Bulgaria, but he still owns a houseboat in West London.
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