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Bradley’s Greatness
Signed, Sealed and Delivered
In Spite of Detractors

by - Angela Howard - When Steel Talks


New York -

De  mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est

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.       


Charlie 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 small animals. 


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 of “news”.


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. 

Angel Howard has performed with for D'Radoes, NY Nutones and Pan Rebels steel orchestra .  In addition Angela is regular contributor to When Steel Talks.

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NY Panyard 2004 DVD

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Pantonic Live!!!  Five-time New York Panorama champions show why they are the best in the North America... 
Clive Bradley at his best..
review by Frankie McIntosh




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