Skatalites member in hospital with mounting bills

Skatalites member in hospital with mounting bills

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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LLOYD Brevett, bass player with the legendary Skatalites band, is in a St Andrew hospital after suffering a series of seizures and a stroke two Sundays ago.

According to close family friend Maxine Stowe, "he's in critical, but stable condition".

She said the 80-year-old's health had rapidly deteriorated following the shooting death of his son, Okine, in the early hours of February 26 near his home in Seaview Garden, St Andrew, where the family lived. Young Brevett had just left a function after collecting an award on the Skatalites' behalf. The family has since left that community.

Stowe — with whom Brevett and his wife, Ruth, were staying prior to his hospitalisation — said there has been no resolution on Brevett's son murder as well as no practical support for their circumstances.

"Right now, Mr Brevett and his wife, who are US citizens, are here in Jamaica without any ability to avail themselves of their social security and health benefits. Mr Brevett has been unfit to travel. So right now, we are between a rock and a hard place," said Stowe.

Stowe explained that despite 50 years of unbroken service to the Skatalites, a legal impasse currently prevents Brevett from reaping benefits related to the ska/rocksteady/reggae band. The family is, therefore, looking for the revival of a fund which was announced at the time of his son's death to assist with mounting hospital bills.

"We did not want to make this a public issue, but with Mr Brevett's debilitating circumstances and resources exacerbated by his family's dislocation, we are now forced to make it an issue," Stowe told Jamaica Observer.

"We are in current discussions with the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association; the Ministry of Culture; and former Prime Minister PJ Patterson on the definition of an event," she said.

The Skatalites band was formed in the 1960s. Its members included Lester Sterling, Lloyd Knibb, Don Drummond, Tommy McCook, Roland Alphanso, Jackie Mittoo, Johnny Moore and Doreen Schaefer. They are best known hits Guns of Navarone, Simmer Down, Freedom Sound and James Bond.

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