Steel Pulse's former drummer is dead

Saturday, January 20, 2018

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STEVE “Grizzly” Nisbett, drummer and a member of British reggae band Steel Pulse's classic lineup, died in London Thursday at age 69.

A post on Steel Pulse's Facebook page confirmed his death and acknowledged the Nevisian musician's contribution to their success.

“It is with a heavy heart that we must pass the sad news that today, our brother, our friend, our time keeper for so many years, original founding member of Steel Pulse, Steve “Grizzly” Nisbett has passed away suddenly.

As we the Steel Pulse family far and wide have lost someone so close to us, we will still take the stage in a few hours on the Jam Cruise, knowing that the joy that Grizz had bringing the Steel Pulse music and message to our beloved fans around the world, will continue on today, and his spirit, love, and love for you all will ring out across the seas, touching your heart and ours.

Bless Grizzly, Rest In Power!”

Nisbett, who moved with his family from Nevis to the United Kingdom in 1957, began his career as a musician in the early 1970s. His first band was Penny Black, a Rhythm And Blues unit that backed acts like Bob and Marcia when they performed in the UK.

He did not have a lot of exposure to reggae when he joined Steel Pulse in 1977. That year, they signed to Island Records and released their debut album, Handsworth Revolution.

Nisbett also played on True Democracy, the 1982 album widely considered the band's best work, as well as Babylon The Bandit which won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1987.

In an interview in 2003 with British writer Andy Brouwer, Nisbett said a highlight of his career was performing with Steel Pulse at the 1981 Reggae Sunsplash in Montego Bay.

“We appeared on international night at Sunsplash. They looked after us really well. We loved it, though I was very nervous before I went on. For the first couple of tracks the audience were nonplussed but at the end they were digging us big style,” he said.

Nisbett last played drums for Steel Pulse on their 1997 album, Rage And Fury. He officially left the group in 2001.

— Howard Campbell

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