RC Tall Tales - The Bobby Keyes Story

This is the first installment of RC Tall Tales. You never know who you are flying with at the RC field!

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RC Tall Tales - Flying With Bobby Keyes

I have had an idea! I want to share RC stories that are a little hard to believe! If you have ever sat around a campfire with me you know I have a few stories to tell. Some of my stories are so hard to wrap your head around I don't tell them anymore. I was thinking about this while mowing the lawn and it hit me that this would make a great series for RCGroups!

I have made a list of some of my great RC stories but I want your stories too! Do you have an unbelievable RC story? If so shoot me a PM!

I have video for this tale. It's old and gritty with bad sound but it's video!

Flying With Bobby Keyes

If you don't know who Bobby is then just keep reading. You will be as surprised as I was.

When I worked at Hobby Lobby back in the good old days there was a guy that I would see in the back at LA Johnston's work bench. I could tell by his accent that he was a Texan and that meant I had to introduce myself. Bobby was gregarious and ready to let out a laugh as often as possible. I immediately felt like we were friends.

Each Wednesday Hobby Lobby would head to the airfield and fly new planes, review planes and just have fun (WHAT A JOB!!). Bobby got smart and realized that if he needed an experienced pilot or some RC tips Wednesday was a good day to be at the Edwin Warner field. He was always there. Every few weeks he would have a new plane to fly. At first HL employee Randy was his test pilot. Somehow I became his test pilot. You would never know what little thing was done wrong (that we missed on preflight) that might create a "challenge" on the maiden. Bobby is really the one that taught me how to thoroughly go over a plane before take off and to never assume things were done right! He would hand me the transmitter and say "Tell me what's wrong with this plane!" One time the problem was that the ailerons were reversed! I'm happy to report that out of all the test flights I only put one into the ground but it wasn't totalled.

Video of the Story (old and terrible audio)

Jim Graham Interview WIth Bobby Keyes of the Rolling Stones (3 of 3) (5 min 59 sec)

Bobby was always telling stories and one day I heard him talking about the Beatles. "Yoko did not like me one bit. In fact she stopped me from visiting John (Lennon) every day for "meditation." It wasn't until she had me imitate a bull frog with my saxophone on her new album that she let us hang out. All I did was hit the lowest note on the sax." I asked, "Bobby what do you do for a living?" He replied, "I play sax for a little band you might have heard of, the Rolling Stones."

Jim Graham Interview WIth Bobby Keyes of the Rolling Stones (2 of 3) (2 min 57 sec)

There was also the time Bobby was going on tour with the Stones and tried to convince the band that he needed a sax assistance that would be in charge of a rolling crate filled with his RC planes. Can you imagine being the RC tech for the Stones and touring the world? Ultimate RC job??!!!

Jim Graham Interview WIth Bobby Keyes of the Rolling Stones (1 of 3) (5 min 47 sec)

Bonus Story

In the lead image of this story you see Bobby and I wearing my Billy Hell shirt. He liked that shirt and took it on tour. On day I had a voice mail. It was Bobby and Keith Richards. They were obviously feeling no pain! They were on a beach somewhere in Europe and Bobby was sporting his Team Hell shirt. Keith decided he had to have one as well. Bobby immediately called me to let me know. Man, what an exciting message to receive!

In the end Bobby admitted that thrill and high he got off of RC helped replace some bad habits he picked up on the road. He really did love it. He flew a lot with Randy from Hobby Lobby and was super nice for a guy that had been running around with famous people for most of his life. Bobby is gone now but his music will most definitely be around as long as people are walking on this earth!

It is still unbelievable that this guy that had been handing me planes built to crash was the sax player for Buddy Holly, and had played on songs like Brown Sugar and countless other hits. You never know who you will run into at the airfield!!

I Want to Tell Your Tall Tale!

Do you have a crazy RC story? I want to write an article about it! Pictures? Better. Video?? Awesome! PM me the details!

Last edited by Jim T. Graham; May 19, 2021 at 11:14 AM..
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May 19, 2021, 05:23 PM
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alfabeast's Avatar
Heck, I thought that was Doc Austin in the photo at first!
May 20, 2021, 08:50 AM
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nick l's Avatar

Low notes


RIP Bobby, Loved, "of course everything was a long time ago back then".
Thanks Jim
Latest blog entry: Sanding sealer
May 27, 2021, 09:46 PM
I fly, therefore, I crash!!!
SteveT.'s Avatar
I already told you mine Jim!!

SteveT.
Latest blog entry: My shop....


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