De mortuis nil nisi bonum
Of the dead let nothing be said
but what is good. The
phrase, which originated circa 5th
century AD reminds us that it is
rude to speak ill of the dead.
Parker used heroin; Ray Charles
was a self-absorbed misogynist with
a drug habit; Dr. King had affairs;
Gandhi was a racist given to molestation
of women; John F. Kennedy – a notorious
womanizer; FDR died in the bed of
a woman not his wife; Abraham Lincoln
led a life of depression which may
have been caused by his sexuality.
Comes the time, I’m sure a treatise
will be published that indicates
that Mother Teresa was cruel to
It is taken for granted these days
that all the faults of everyone
are held under a microscope for
everyone to examine. And so
it was that while on the plane returning
from the burial of Clive Bradley,
the sadness still fresh in my heart
like a new coat of paint, I learned
there were some who chose to write
about the alleged circumstances
of Mr. Bradley’s death. It
can hardly have been unexpected,
but I confess to having been a little
shocked that without the benefit
of an autopsy report, and with a
most irrelevant photograph of the
man’s grieving children such things
could be printed under the guise
Let me be clear, I seek not to defend
Mr. Bradley. He lived his
life he wished, without, I may add,
apologies to anyone. By all
accounts, the man was a genius in
his music and a caring father.
No, I wish for a moment to examine
the motivation of those who seek
to only write about the bad.
Mediocrity condemns genius in the
name of “truth”. I also wish
us to look inward and question the
value of this “information”.
Why is it that we live in a time
which allows anyone who is admired
to be scrutinized mainly for his
faults. Do we not realize
that in doing this, we cheat ourselves
and our children out of heroes.
We diminish greatness for the sake
of humanizing everyone, but this
behavior doesn’t follow the laws
of physics. The diminishment
of another man does not act as a
counterweight and make us bigger;
if anything, we become smaller by
it. If every detail of a man’s life
is to be held to some myth of perfection,
what individual could bear this
level of examination?
Unequivocally, Clive Bradley was
one of the best arranger/musicians
that Trinidad has ever seen.
Period. People should hold
mirrors up to their own souls; let
God sort out the rest.
Howard has performed with
for D'Radoes, NY Nutones
and Pan Rebels steel orchestra
. In addition Angela
is regular contributor to
When Steel Talks.
more great Bradley moments with
When Steel Talks - Site