Tribute to the Legend Clive Bradley
Paying Respect to Clive Bradley at the Funeral Service
December 02, 2005
"My name is Violet Williams, and I found that Mr. Bradley was a nice fellow and he did good for pan. Whenever he was working (arranging) with the band (Despers) he would say, "listen to me and take all yuh time, but you have to drill that thing until in the morning". I never used to stay late because I lived in Snake Valley in Bowen Trace.
I have been with Despers from since the time when I lived in Wharton Street up the hill, and that is a long time ago. I would say I am the oldest fowl (laughter) in the band. Right now we are studying who we are going to get to arrange for Despers because I always like to know that Despers will win something."
"My name is George Kallicharan aka 'Yoyo', and I live in Diego Martin. I am a pan tuner and everybody knows me in the pan world as 'Yoyo'. Originally I am from Point Cumana Boys Town. Boys Town was the band that won the first steelband music festival.
I used to tune and arrange for a band called 'Melo Stars', and during that time I used to see Bradley around with his guitar. One day I called Bradley and I asked him to come and try something with the band. He decided to come and he did 'Stardust' and 'I Who Have Nothing'. We rocked Port of Spain Carnival Monday and Tuesday with those tunes. The talk spread when they realized that Bradley was the man who made it happen. After that Bradley worked with other bands.
The first band Bradley arranged for was from Diego Martin. Bradley's music was excellent and he was a genius. I haven't seen any arrangers who are in the same class as Bradley and 'Boogsie' Sharpe. It will take a long time before anyone can fill Bradley's shoes. You cannot replace Bradley. You have to be dedicated, you have to love it and you have to give your life to it. For instance, I am a pan tuner and I have been tuning and playing pan all my life."
"My name is Jamal Chance, and I knew Mr. Bradley because he taught me how to play the pan."
"My name is Roy Cape, and I happen to be the person who took Bradley to Desperadoes. Today, Bradley is acclaimed to be one of the greatest steelband arrangers, and he also made a serious contribution to the conventional music. He did Kitchener's 1969 and 1980 albums.
In 1967, I was playing with a band called Ron Berridge, and Clive was playing with a band called Clarence Curvan. Five of us left Ron Berridge, and five left Clarence Curvan, and we opened a band called 'Sounds Incorporated'. It lasted a couple of months and then some of us went to Hilton. Clive's heart was broken. Also in 1967, Rudolph Charles came to me looking for an arranger. I had the opportunity to recommend Clive, hoping that would have mended the hurt from what had happened to him. Over a period of time we maintained a good relationship.
One of the best theme songs that our band has ever had was written by Clive. I brought Clive into Spektakula, and I asked the guy to play the rhythms (what I wanted him to write the horns on), and while we continued rehearsing other music we went into the back. When we were finishing rehearsals, Clive had kept the music scores without touching a piano or anything. The year Kitchener had 'Don't Ask Me to Work for Carnival', I asked him to come home by me, and without a piano or harmonica, he sat on a chair in the living room and wrote the music for "Work for Carnival".
Clive was a mathematician and god had blessed him. He never went to any music school, yet he was able to elevate himself and was music literate. There are so many things you can say about Clive.
I saw an article years ago with the headline, 'The Man Who Changed the Shape of Panorama'. He was not a panman and yet he was able to master the arrangements for steelbands. He is respected amongst all the 'Pan Greats'. He stands out as maybe the greatest pan arranger that we have ever seen in Trinidad and Tobago.
Life has its ups and downs and you know we have to take it, but you cannot take away the genius and the blessings that god has blessed him with. His memory is going to remain with Desperadoes."
"My name is Shanon Martin, and I play for Blue Diamonds. I knew Mr. Bradley because he taught us a song and we came second with it.
Mr. Bradley was a good, kind fellow and he used to talk to us like he was our father. The first time I met him was when he came in the pan yard to teach us. I didn't know who he was until the other arranger from Pan Am (Jit Samaroo) told us who he was."
Kirwin Peter Bradley
"My name is Kirwin Peter Bradley, Clive Bradley's son. When my father got the stroke a few days ago, I never got the chance to see him, and unfortunately he passed away before I got here.
I am really not sure what to say because I haven't been to Trinidad for the last five years. This is a whole new experience for me because he (Clive) seems to be a very popular man here. In the States, I am not used to all this attention. It is good to see everybody come out and support his music and what he has done for Trinidad over the last twenty years plus. Even before I was born he was making music for you guys. I hope in the years to come you'll enjoy it, and still remember him for Carnival 2006. I might not be here, but I hope you guys will be."
"I thought Clive Bradley's music was absolutely superb. It was also very exciting, innovative, something someone will always want to follow and to try and achieve. To me it was not so much about the music, it was about the man. I knew Bradley very well from many years ago, before he even became famous as an arranger. He was the best man at my sister's wedding. We all had such a lovely friendship. He was full of fun and he always wanted to give you a little rude joke. He was very caring and would always ask about the family.
I think Bradley was a person who was born to shine, and he did. Despers is a great band and they will survive. I think one of the important things for Desperadoes is that there are a lot of people who are from Laventille who will stay with the band. Then there are people like me who didnít grow up in Laventille, but has come to love Desperadoes, and we will be there for the band forever."
Peter 'Flagman' Diaz
"My name is Peter Diaz, Flag Bearer of Trinidad and Tobago. Clive Bradley was my good friend. He assisted me in playing pan with Nu Tones Arima which won with 'High Mass'. He was a 'down to earth' leader and when I say leader, I mean with regards to teaching people to play pan and arrange. He wasn't a pompous guy like most of the fellows. You could have talked to him.
I hope he is in Paradise enjoying himself. His music was first class. He was self-taught - nobody taught him. He had a gift from god."
Clive Bradley's body was at Desperadoes Pan Yard from 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Friday 2nd December 2005. Funeral Services for Clive Bradley was held at 10:00 am on Friday 2nd December, 2005 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Independence Square Port of Spain thence to the Diego Martin Cemetery for burial.
Moving send-off for pan icon Bradley
Funeral Services and Tribute to Clive Bradley Album at:
- Tribute to the Legend Clive Bradley - 27th Nov. 2005
- Tribute to the Legend Clive Bradley - 28th Nov. 2005
- Tribute to the Legend Clive Bradley - 30th Nov. 2005
- Tribute to the Legend Clive Bradley - 02nd Dec. 2005 - Pt 1
- Tribute to the Legend Clive Bradley - 02nd Dec. 2005 - Pt 2
Visit Desperadoes Steelband Album at:
Tribute to Bradley Homepage | Trinbago Pan Homepage