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On June 6, bassist Rolle Love left the (Beat) Farmers after 25 years. Love helped found the band in 1983 alongside Buddy Blue, Jerry Raney, and Dan “Country Dick Montana” McLain. Following Blue’s departure from the band in 1986, Joey Harris was brought into the group.

After the 1995 death of McLain on stage during a performance in Whistler, British Columbia, the remaining band members performed under various names, including Powerthud and the Flying Putos. In 2005 they regrouped (sans Harris, but with Blue back in the band) as “the Farmers.” Former Penetrator/Hitmaker Joel Kmak was brought in to drum.

Guitarist Buddy Blue passed away in 2006. Love’s departure leaves Raney as the sole original member in the group. Raney, who has been a mainstay of San Diego’s music scene since the early 1960s, never considered splitting the group.

“Rolle just didn’t want to do it anymore, but we had a bunch of gigs lined up that I didn’t want to cancel. There was no doubt we would keep going.”

Love did not return calls for comment. Another ex-Penetrator, Chris Sullivan, will replace him on bass. Love’s departure means a delay in recording a follow-up to the band’s 12th album (2005’s Loaded), but Raney sees a silver lining.

“We’ll definitely be adding some Penetrators songs into the mix. After all, there are now more original Penetrators in the band than Farmers.”

– Bart Mendoza

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