Regional

Drummer Nelson Miller sent home in musical style

BY EVERAD OWEN
Observer correspondent

Monday, August 05, 2019

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Port Antonio — Music was always a big part of the life Nelson Beaverbrook Miller and fittingly paid a major part in his final send-off at the Port Antonio Baptist Church recently.

The man his friends and family called either “Tim” or “Drummy” or “Tup Tup” was hailed in words and music for a life well lived.

As the thanksgiving started his good friend and former classmate, musician Lenford “Brutus” Richards used his guitar to deliver a tribute in music which included the reggae anthem Satta Massagana, No Tears in Heaven and Hard To Say Goodbye.

Marie Shakespeare delivered tributes from Miller's widow, Carmel, and one of his sons, Christopher.

In her tribute Carmel recalled how they met on a JOS (Jamaica Omnibus Service) bus and started a union which produced two sons, Mardon and Christopher.

She remembered Miller as a loving caring father who loved music and a family man who cared for his family.

“He loved children and the children were attached to him. He taught them his love for drumming. There were many occasions when he would purchase drum sticks and give to children as he taught them the trade,” said Carmel who is better known as “Mitzie”.

His son Christopher recalled his father as being very supportive and kind and one who would carry him on his back.

He also remembered Miller as a good, kind, loving, and supportive father who would take him to the races, teach him about horses, trees, and birds.

According to Christopher, he will always remember, “him teaching me to read and helping with my lessons and homework I will never forget. He guided me in the music industry and taught me how to become a recording studio engineer and working for artists including Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Mario Campbell, and Mr Vegas.

“Daddy Nelson you were magnificent and splendid. You were my father, my brother, my best friend. Now you are gone to Mother Earth where we must all return. Your voice I will always remember you're my daddy,”said Christopher.

Chairman of the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artists and Affiliates Frankie Campbell, in his tribute, described Miller as a great drummer and recalled that they grew up together.

He noted that Nelson played with the internationally acclaimed roots reggae vocalist and musician Burning Spear for many, many years.

“He loved his children and others and cared for people and his music carried him to the rest of the world,” said Campbell as he challenged his fellow musicians to take care of their health and to visit their doctors and do regular check-ups.

The eulogy was read by Annette Clayton, Miller's close friend and former schoolmate.

She noted that Miller lived his life boldly, internationally, and confidently.

“He was a family man who was warm, friendly, unpretentious, and straight forward,” said Clayton.

“He attended Port Antonio Primary, Titchfield High School, and CAST (College of Arts, Science and Technology) which is now UTech (University of Technology). He was fascinated with drums and started with his thigh, as he was always beating a tune on his thigh.

“He moved to sticks on a piece of board and later graduated to a square piece of car tyre. His family thought he was just making noise but young Tim had a vision for the future.

“Later, he finally owned a set of drums and bought that drum instead of a pair of shoes. His response when questioned was, 'These drums will take me right around the world some day. It will bring me money to buy the shoes I need and other things',” added Clayton.

She further noted that, “Tim was an athlete and could run fast and play football as he represented Titchfield.

“He was an academic and after CAST he worked at Fisheries Department then resigned to do his music that took him all over the world with Burning Spears and other groups like Jahpostles, the Meditations, Lloyd Parkes. He was a highly respected and had incredible talent.

“He was a peacemaker and his favourite phrase was 'Jus cool man, jus cool' He loved his wife and children and took time out for them. Tim knew and loved the Lord and spoke of how he was always with us from childhood remarking how different life was now when so many feared neither God nor man.”

In delivering the sermon the Reverend Dwayne Grant challenged those present to live their dreams and be positive.


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