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Revisiting - Herman Johnston - The Johnston Fantastic Symphony Steel Orchestra - Steelband History

Global - He is one of the central figures in the history of the steelpan instrument and art form. He was a legendary performer, musician, innovator and leader in the Golden age of Pan. In addition, he is a founding member of the champion North Stars Steel Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago, BWIA Sun Jets / West Side Symphony, and the Johnston Fantastic Symphony Steel Orchestra of North America.

In a relatively short time, he experienced extraordinary success within the steelpan art form. When Steel Talks (WST) spotlights Herman Johnston as we revisit his 1985 interview with academic, journalist, historian, and cultural and music standout Doris Green.
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Herman "Rock" Johnson, A Pan-man Legend that left before his time,

Strange that no mention was made of the years he spent with the Esso Steel band in Bermuda.

Yeah, I thought so too.

Lawford Duprez and James Martinez it is up to you all to make the correction/ addition to his bio.

I met Herman once in Bermuda when he was there, playing with the Esso Steelband of which my brother Steve was the arranger. He was known for his brilliant execution of classical pieces which were a big hit with the tourist audiences of the time. The only person from the band, still alive, who might be able to give a timeline of his stay in Bermuda is Rudy Commissiong, the captain. I'll see if he is willing or able to say more.
Knew Herman in T&T and later in Queens NY. Tuned our pans in NY. A very beautiful and generous human being who was always willing to impart his knowledge of anything. My son was the beneficiary of one of his pans, a three pan called an echophone, the sweetest sounding pan I've ever heard. His bass pans were of high tonal quality too.

So Patrick Ramdoo, you also knew Jeffrey Pierre "Jeffers", he use to play with  Rock and the Bwia Sunjets  and used to live in Brooklyn?

Bede, we used to party by Jeffers back in the day. Patrick is from behind the police station.

Jeffers? Yup I know him and the family, cChin, Linky, Cheryl et al. Also hang with the guys from 'legends' the band that Jeffers arrange for. Back then Herman used to deliver papers with his bros. I have music from the family band, hope I can put my hands on 'em.

Yeah Patrick Ramdoo, I was the one instrumental in getting Jeffers to play, I taught him his first tune, "I who have Nothing", nobody wanted to teach him to play and from there he move up, Years  later I came to America and went to NY and found out that Jeffers  was Teaching Pan Music in School, lol

I saw a lot of Rock backstage at Queen's Hall during the 1962 Music Festival when I had the good fortune to be playing with Metronomes (Romance) when we competed with North Stars (Voices of Spring).  You can read more: http://www.bestoftrinidad.com/steelband/johnston.html

Herman was responsible for tuning the pan called THE PIANO PAN I was in company with Jeffrey Pierre today he is also my cousin nick named Daddy Jeff here in New York . Herman won the music festival in 1964 playing ROSES FROM THE SOUTH . The band also placed third at panorama in1965 playing HOLD ON TO YOUR MAN sung by the late Aldwyn Roberts . The band also played STERING WHEEL that year which was a hit throughoutPORT OF SPAIN THAT YEAR 1965


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