IM Aston 'Family Man' Barrett

Reggae-icoon overleden

Muzieknieuws 05-02-2024 11:00

Op 3 februari is Aston 'Family Man' Barrett overleden. De reggae-legende werd 77.

Aston Francis Barrett werd op 22 november 1946 geboren en hij groeide uit tot een legende in de reggae-scene. Hij was bassist en bandleider van Bob Marley's The Wailers en mentor van de latere Marley-bassist Robbie Shakespeare. Zijn bijnaam Family Man kreeg hij niet voor niets. Bij diverse vrouwen had hij ruim veertig (!) kinderen.

Naast met Bob Marley and The Wailers speelde hij met onder meer Burning Spear, Peter Tosh, Sons of Jah, Rita Marley, en vele, vele anderen.

Bij leven werd de bassist al geprezen door grootheden in de muziekwereld:

Bass Player:
‘Perhaps no music evokes the notion of bass and bass tone like reggae and dub, and no two words are more synonymous with those plucking practices than Family Man.’

Ali Campbell (UB40:
‘There was bluebeat, rocksteady and ska. That all happened before reggae, which kind of happened in about '69, you know, when reggae as we know it was invented by the Barrett brothers, I'd say.’

John Lennon (The Beatles, over Bob Marley and The Wailers album Burnin'):
‘In fact, if they really wanted the right sound, they should go to Jamaica! Go to the same studio that Bob Marley used! Get down with the Rasta men and smoke ganja in big spliffs or hash in chillums. Then they could get that deep-down, super funky, bass-box sound that comes from Trenchtown. You couldn't get that sound in New York. No way!’

Ziggy Marley:
‘I think the drum and bass, they are a very important part in Bob music. It was, you know, Family Man and Carlton, two brothers. They have their own style.’

Keith Richards:
‘The first time the Wailers went to England, soon after this, I caught them by chance up in Tottenham Court Road. I thought they were pretty feeble compared to what I'd been hearing in Steer Town. But they certainly got their act together real quick. Family Man joined in on the bass, and Bob obviously had all of the stuff required.’

Robbie Shakespeare:
‘Well ... what can I say? He is the man (laughter). Just the way the man plays the bass, you know. There are gun fighters and there are gun fighters, seen? I can't tell you nothing more. He is a master for me. I have had help and influences from other people, but I have to give it mostly to Family Man.’