Tribute to Frank “Crawl” Findley

From the Heart about Desperadoes Steelpan Great

“Crawl” on Nine-Bass
“Crawl” on Nine-Bass

Brooklyn, New York - I write these words with a heavy heart.

On Sunday June 11, 2008 a good friend of mine informed me that my long time friend “Crawl” had died in a vehicular accident, I was in total shock when I got the news.

Frank Findley more famously known as “Crawl” came to Trinidad in the early sixties and we became friends immediately. Crawl was always an exciting individual, in his teenage years he was always well dressed and in those days he was considered a ‘Saga boy’ a term fondly used in those days to describe a so-called ladies man, and used to woo the ladies and aggravate the men with his special walk hereby which he got his now famous name.

He was a member of the ‘Silk Hats’ a group of boys in those days that were admired by their peers for their spunk and courage. He always showed an interest in the steelband which was in its evolutionary stage at that time, he always like the challenged of the bass because of the number of pans to be played.

After his initial entry into the steelband world, we both were part of a small steelband called Staronettes. In 1965 we all graduated to the Desperadoes Steel Orchestra playing our various instruments, he was a standout immediately with his unique style of playing the bass which often fascinated the members of the band; even stalwart bassmen as Gonga Din and Reddock were amazed with this phenomenal bassman and how easy he made it look, and in that same year he became a member of the stage side and remained a Desperado for life.

Crawl had travelled the world with Desperadoes, and gained a lot of fans internationally. Despers and the pan world have lost one of the best and longest serving bass man ever. This year is forty-three [43] years that he has been playing bass non-stop for Desperadoes, he played in every competition that Despers has won, and in recent years he had even spread his wings and fly to New York to play wave his magical sticks and play the bass for D’Radoes one of the top steelbands in Brooklyn.
He is poetry in motion behind his nine-bass, and many young bassists have learnt the art of playing the bass by watching him. When the history of Desperadoes Steel Orchestra is written, Crawl and his nine bass will always be mentioned with reverence.

His lost has left a void in the pan fraternity, a void so had to fill. He will be missed by us all and would be very had to be replaced. Rudolph Charles- Gonga Din -Panter- Bradley –Michael and Buffy are all waiting for their musical brother “Crawl” to continue their musical odyssey with the angels.

My heartfelt condolence to Crawl’s family and all the members of Desperadoes past and present. Shadow maybe the Bassman from hell but Crawl is the Bassman from Heaven.

Crawl my friend it’s so hard to see you go, but I say to you, wherever you are right now. [May The Blessings of Almighty God be with you] Rest in peace my friend.

Till we meet again.

Valentine Young

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