Thursday, September 8, 2016

Prince Buster RIP

Prince Buster and his great friend/collaborator
Gaz Mayall in Japan, 2003.
As many of you know, Prince Buster (nee Cecil Bustamante Campbell) died today in Florida at the age of 78. No cause of death was given, but he had apparently been in ill health for several years now (back in 2009 it was said that he had suffered a fairly debilitating stroke).

The Guardian has published a pretty comprehensive obituary and others, no doubt, will follow.

Prince Buster's legacy is enormous--it cannot be overstated how much of an impact he had on the creation and popularization of 1960s ska and rocksteady as both a producer and performer. And his music has inspired successive generations of fans and musicians worldwide (2 Tone might never have gotten off the ground without him; the first two hit singles for 2 Tone involved Buster originals: The Specials' appropriation of "Al Capone" for "Gangsters" and Madness' cover of "Madness" on the flip side of their tribute to Buster, "The Prince").

At some point in the near future, I'll write-up a more extensive tribute to Prince Buster (possibly an overview of some of his best recordings).

My deep condolences (and those of many others) go out to Buster's family, friends, colleagues, and fans. His music endures, but he will be sorely missed.

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