In an earlier Facebook post I wrote “with respect to the print media…I am not convinced that a lotta those who write articles on music in the newspaper are qualified to influence public opinion where my profession, and by extension my life, is concerned

This note should help to clarify why I wrote that.

The following is what happened when I was moved to challenge an entertainment journalist in Barbados. We shall call that person guru.

A guru is a person who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area, and uses it to guide others.(Wikipedia)

{NB, re: PhotoMikey is on right, Scott Galt to left} About 5 or 6 years ago musician (trombone player) Adrian ‘Boo‘ Husbands went to Cuba and while there he would have come into contact with some excellent players of instruments. On his return to Barbados I remember reading something in the paper along the lines of this… he was offering advice to young aspiring musicians… basically saying that he saw some youngsters 14 and 15 years old that were technically better than he on the trombone. These would have been players with the same natural talent as he… but where he was mostly self taught… they were being properly trained from the beginning. His advice to the youngsters was to practise the right way from the beginning and not to under-estimate training… learn as much as you can about theory, technique, tone, breathing etc. I think it takes quite a bit to basically come and say that these kids were better than him. I really admired that… Boo is one of those musicians who will help anyone who is willing to learn and many of us have learnt from him… his musicianship, his confidence and his leadership.

NOW… lo and behold I look in my paper one Friday and see an article by guru and as usual I started to read it… jus’ to see what doo doo (my opinion) guru was gonna write this week. Now it was 5 odd years ago… maybe more… and I don’t remember exactly what the article was about… but I clearly remember one section because as I read it I got out my pen. ‘Guru‘ said something about the NCF and having qualified people to lead bands etc… he then said that the leader of the Party Monarch band (Boo)… by his own admission… was not qualified enough… Boo said what he said to try and HELP these youngsters be the best they could be and here was guru about to turn it on him

I said to myself well dis guru could only be a joker… I have worked under quite a few bandleaders in my 22 years in the biz… and I say without apology that Boo Husbands is THE BEST. If you doubt me… seek out some of those in the Party Monarch band and ask them for their opinion… Or ask anyone in Headliners Tent.

Well I was pissed off so I wrote a letter to the editor explaining to ‘Guru’ something along the lines that the Party Monarch Band was setup from the beginning using musicians who were accustomed to playing in fetes and clubs so as to be able to give the party music proper representation… it worked… it really worked… go thru… allllll the contestants in Party Monarch from 1996 to 2007… poll them all… and you will probably find 98% would agree with that… there were a tiny handful that came with isms… to my mind largely due to agendas. I also told guru that guru needed to know that it doesn’t take a band full of Berklee graduates to be able to groove hard… you could have de baddest musicians together in a room playin and they ain’t groovin … I believe teaching someone to groove is times harder than teaching them notes and chords. Anyhoo; I always felt that guru was one of those who didn’t have much clue about music….like perhaps guru just liked it…was more of a fan…a groupie when someone ‘important‘ was in town……well that ent good enough for me…as I have said in other posts if u gonna influence public opinion about my profession please to know what ur talking about…..and prove it to me…and prove it over and over in your writing….or esle u shall be called up. Anyway I let him have it to the applauds of many of my colleagues who felt the same way about guru.

maybe a year or so later I was reading another guru masterpiece when I came across something that resembled this…contrary to what some people may think a band needs to do a little more than just groove hard to make it…blah blah sumting….so i felt as tho he was belittling me…taking a pot shot…it pissed me off…maybe guru meant me or maybe guru didn’t but i felt to write again….this time i decided to send an email directly to guru and ask if it was a pot shot at me….and i let guru know that I thought their lack of knowledge was glaring……yes I went at guru… but I figured I had read enough trype that I was justified in saying so.

Here is guru’s response to me

MY GLARING lack of knowledge? What about your glaring lack of musical skill? Thankfully, the days are now gone when the Festival Band needs to be bolstered by a drum programme, machine or whatever.

Pot shot? I wouldn’t waste my time, and I don’t think u should waste yours sending me emails. There’s nothing I can learn from u, but if you continue to read each and every piece of my work, you just might learn something. Next time, send your usual abusive tirades to The Editor.”

lol i laffed…coz that was what i expected….guru could have told me I was wrong if I was wrong about guru knowledge…showed me how i was wrong and how they came to know…….I had read so many guru articles and I still couldn’t find a reason to say…yeh….this guru really knows their stuff. What was funny too is the reference to the festival band and drum machine….you would never hear me say the festival band needs to be bolstered by a drum machine….I was asked to augment the festival band by The Mighty Gabby in 2000 because he wanted the percussion to be as close to the recording as possible. Poonka was free to improvise as he wanted and it went really well. No Big deal really….. it was the first time it had been I was told…one of guru’s colleagues even came up to me at the rehearsal for an interview…to which I said…about what?…a drum machine??…lol…lawd..i tell ya. See where guru says the days are now gone when the festival band needs to be bolstered by a drum program, machine or whatever?….here’s a lil secret…the festival band never NEEDED to be bolstered by a drum machine…it was only to add a little extra percussion for those who desired it…..however up to last year 2008 I augmented the festival band in both RPB and Sheldon Hope’s songs….I have done it for TC and Smokey Burke as well……in fact…since the master took me there in 2000 I have probably only missed one year.

I will never forget when a big star we will call Bobby X was coming here, guru wrote about a youngster here in Bim that could sing Bobby X songs JUST LIKE Bobby X…..I thought well maybe the kid can sing real well…but sounding JUST LIKE Bobby isn’t really something he should wanna be doing…unless he wants to go to Vegas or somewhere so and do Bobby sound alike….anyhow…guru went on to suggest that this kid should be invited to perhaps open for Bobby X at the Bobby X show…LMAO….well……need I say more?

If some need clarification here goes… you NEVER sing the headlines act’s songs before they perform.

As to my glaring lack of musical skill….I wonder which of these people would agree with guru.

Nicholas Brancker
Arturo Tappin
Chris Allman
John Roett
Anthony Lowhar
Glen Johansen
Terry Arthur
Deepu Panjwani
Spice and Co
Emile Straker
Franc Mosbaugh & Ivory
Ernie Ranglin
The Troubadours
The Mighty Gabby
The Mighty Grynner
Red Plastic Bag
Mac Fingall
Kid Site
Adrian Clarke
Ras Iley
Alison Hinds
Edwin Yearwood
Tony ‘Rebel‘ Bailey
Mr Dale
Lil Rick
Peter Ram
Shakey Ranks (RIP)
Tamara Marshall
Carole George
Sandra Cross
Biggie irie
John King
Mya Daniel
David Kirton
Philip Forrester
Toni Norville
Livvi Franc
Shurwayne Winchester
Maximus Dan
Toots Hibbert
U Roy
Papa San
Maxi Priest
Dennis Bovell
David Rudder
Denyse Plummer

Just a few i could remember that I have worked with in one way or another over the years

I don’t consider myself the greatest musician by any stretch, but I have paid some dues and learnt a lot over time. I continue to listen and learn everyday from everyone I work with, and I have a serious problem with the possibility that someone could tarnish one’s reputation through a lack of knowledge.


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