Bunny Lee’s studio razed

BY SIMONE MORGAN Observer reporter morgans@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

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LEGENDARY music producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee's Gorgon Entertainment Studio was destroyed by fire on March 9.

According to the producer, all his music equipment valued at almost $100 million was lost in the blaze. The building, located in Duhaney Park in St Andrew, also houses a museum that contains Lee's music archive. That section was spared.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer yesterday, Lee said his engineer Newton Williams was at the studio when the fire broke out.

Giving his account of the fire, Williams said everything happened in a split second.

"I was setting up for a vocal session and as I plugged in the 24-track tape, I heard a popping sound. When I looked behind me, I saw the room engulfed in flames. I took my shirt off and attempted to out the blaze but it was already out of control," Williams told the Observer.

The engineer escaped with minor burns.

Among the equipment lost in the blaze were two computers, reel-to-reel recorders, Pro Tool Machines and sets of 2-16 tracks tapes.

The building was uninsured.

Giving a brief history of his studio, Lee said he brought the building from the late producer Joe Gibbs in 1972.

"I bought it for about $30,000 and shopped for the equipment in England. It was locked up for about 14 years. Almost every veteran recorded here and also several dancehall artistes," he said.

Lee began his musical career in 1962 when he was first introduced to producer and sound system operator Duke Reid. He would go on to create music of his own, working with some of the pioneers in the development of the Jamaican music industry.

"Bob Marley recorded in that studio. Is in there Peter Tosh record Maga Dawg," he said.

Lee said Nicky Thomas's Love Of The Common People and Have A Little Faith were also done there.

Other entertainers that have used the equipment include Dennis Brown, Jacob Miller, Joseph 'Culture' Hill, Roy Shirley, John Holt, Slim Smith, Beenie Man and Elephant Man.

In 2008, he was awarded the Order of Distinction (Officer class) for his contribution to the development of Jamaican music.

Lee said he and his team are currently cleaning up and expect to refurbish the studio.

"I hope to restart operations later this year," he said.


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