Ace photographer Howard Moo Young dead at 80
Howard Moo Young, who snapped the only colour photographs of the One Love Peace Concert in April 1978, died on Wednesday in St Andrew. His daughter, Alyssa Moo Young, confirmed his passing at age 80.
Moo Young and former Radio Jamaica broadcaster Radcliffe Butler started Moo Young/Butler, which became arguably the leading advertising/public relations company in Jamaica during the 1980s and 1990s.
The eldest of seven sons, Moo Young was born in Kingston. He was a graduate of Wolmer’s Boys’ High School and School of Visual Arts in New York.
Moo Young’s lifelong passion was art and photography. Experience in both fields served him well while working for leading Jamaican ad agencies like McGann Erickson and MacMillan Advertising during the early 1970s.
On April 22, 1978 came his biggest assignment — the One Love Peace Concert at the National Stadium in Kingston. It was held to calm political tension between supporters of the governing People’s National Party (PNP) and Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
In a 2018 interview with the Jamaica Observer to mark the show’s 40th anniversary, Moo Young remembers arriving at the venue “a little before 5:00. People really started to come in after 7:30.”
He recalled that, “The crowd was decent. VIP was around the bandstand…the diplomatic corps, the Members of Parliament, uptown people, the commissioner [of police], the brigadier [head of the army]. On the field was a lotta Rastaman, ordinary Jamaicans. I had 30 frames in my camera, so I had to make every one count. I had one lens, not a zoom, so I had to walk to the stage each time I thought something big was going to happen.”
Moo Young remembers getting closer to the stage as Marley, headliner for the concert, took the stage. He was not surprised when the reggae star brought bitter rivals, prime minister and PNP leader Michael Manley and JLP leader Edward Seaga, together in a symbolic show of unity.
“Bob Marley brought them [Manley and Seaga] together. He was the only one in the world who could,” said Moo Yoo Young.
In recent years, Moo Young mounted several exhibitions displaying his art work and photography.