Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
Condolences to the family and many friends of Mr. Brown. May he rest in Peace.
My condolences to the family of this great guy. What a loss.
May he rest in peace.
My Condolences to the family of Mr. Brown… RIP, you will defiantly be missed
Guppy was a very good friend of mine. I introduced him to the Steelpan family in Boston, MA. I first met him as a young kid when I played for the Rising Star Youth Steel Orchestra in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. He was there every time I played with Lord Kitchener and always offered kind words of encouragement. I had sent my Tenor pan down to him on September 1st to have it tuned, not knowing that he was not well. I spoked to him on the phone and he never once complained, but graciously said that he was going to tune it and have my friend bring it back up to me. I will be in concert at Roxbury Community College on December 10th and will dedicate a part of my performance in memory of this great, wonderful and talented man. May he rest in eternal peace.
First met Mr. Herman "Guppy" Brown in 1992 when I was introduced by Clarry Benn, one of the Managers of Tropical Angel Harps who got all their frontline from Mr. Brown. I had marveled at the sound of the Angel Harps tenors and Clarry took me to the man who made them.
After less than 10 minutes at the Pan factory, I asked if I could purchase a D Tenor to take home. "where is home" Herman asked. "Dominica" I said. "all you have steelband there?" "yes but nothing that sounds like this".
He took me to his Sound Room and set up three tenors. "Chose one" he said. Iasked for sticks. He smiled. I played no, stroked each instrument. He smiled. I played old time calypso like "Lady Walk A Mile...he smiled. I played "Voices of Spring" the PanAm version, ,,,,he smiled.
"Which one you want" he asked. I pointed to one instrument. "Why that one?" he asked ...no smile.
I said that the resonance is more balanced. "What you mean?" ... no smile.
While all the instruments sound great, a few notes on this one and that one over there, are less resonant so that when you lay slow tempo music, you hear the difference. This one does not behave like that as all the notes seem equally resonant and make for a smoother sound. He smiled again.
"I agree" he said. That was my first "Guppy".
Later I discovered from Clarry that he had told Mr. Brown that he was bringing someone from Dominica to him who knew about pan. Mr. Brown had decided to put this person to a test and if he passed, he would sell him one of his pans.
That was the start of a warm and mutually respectful friendship.
In 1994 I brough a group of the best young pan players from Dominica to Trinidad and one of our most memorable stops was Mr. Brown's Pan Factory where he dropped everything and showed the young visitors his entire operation.
Since then I have purchased and am the owner of one of his D Tenors and his Double Seconds. Both with his name and the date of manufacture carved into the steel. He undertook to tune these instruments for no fee once he was satisfied that no other tuner had fooled with his instrument. Arrangements have just been concluded to take the instruments to Trinidad for tuning after 19 years and they still sounding as sweet as ever.
Today I discover on WST that Herman has travelled. The tuning of those instruments will have to wait ... for a very long time.
"By their work shall you know them"......
Guppy Brown, like Clive Bradley ...one of a kind.
Together with all the young pan players and the not-so-young ones, who had the unique pleasure of stroking a "Guppy", we say thank you Sir, for sharing part of your journey with us.
Sweet Pan Forever .... Mr. Brown ... make sure you tune those instruments in music heaven because that is the band we all want to play in when we get there.
To your dear family, love and strength ....
Great story thanks for sharing
wonderful story - you will remember this till the day of end times
Oh my Gosh! ...is this real....... I visited Guppy while I was in Trinidad last August for the International Conference and Panorama ....we had a good talk...he was ok but he was complaining of some physical problems but no help from gov't or other pan authorities as regard the plight of aging pan tuners. The last gesture was that my wife bought him a sno-cone while we sat and talk. We bought some pan stands from his son. ........
What a great loss for the pan world...an irreplaceable lost.. By all standards Guppy was arguably at the top of the present line of pan tuners ... I am very fortunate to have an alto pan (double second) from him.
My family and I extend sincere condolences to the family and community of this legendary Pan Tuner
R.I.P. Guppy ..you certainly have contributed a big part to pan .............
Another Great one gone, we waiting until they die to do something for them, SMH, rest in peace Guppy,
He was/is one of the greats. His place in the pantheon is assured because it has been earned and not awarded.
Condolences to his family.
Another great one bites the dust ,,, a terrible shame. Just when he was desperately trying to finish outstanding orders for various pans. Condolences to his family.
My condolences to the family and friends of Guppy who has left this world so much better for his great contribution.May he rest in peace