Daily Trojan
University of Southern California
Volume LXXXIX, Number 45 
Thursday, November 20, 1980

Babylon Warriors --- a progression of Jamaican roots
---Gloria Heller

Los Angeles, like London has its own reggae-roots movement, which are now beginning to gain momentum in the club circuit and generate interest in industry circles. If something breaks in L.A., it’s gonna be big.

The Babylon Warriors, a local reggae band with a unique sound and a forceful presence; the music of these six gents is at once soulful, gusty and melodically memorable. They are true and impressive exponents of reggae music born in the Caribbean that you can’t hear without being affected.

Most of the musicians in the group were born in Belize, the British colony on the Caribbean coast of Central America formerly called British Honduras. The unique sound of the Babylon Warriors is partly attributed to their deep Belizean roots.

The Belizean members include Lem Vaughan, the group’s arranger, on bass and vocals, drummer Manny Good, keyboardist Calbert Bucknor and band leader Patrick Barrow, on rhythm guitar. The other Warriors include Jesse Easter, a street-wise rogue from Oakland on lead guitar and vocals and lyricist Lewis Samson.

The Warriors started in 1978 when Barrow thought about putting together a new sound for the Los Angeles area. His motto was “Reggae music is going to be the sound of the 80’s.” Rehearsing in a garage that has steadily progressed into a full-fledged rehearsal studio, the group began with copy tunes, focusing primarily on material by Bob Marley, Third World and Peter Tosh. Their initial performances were successful. They rapidly moved on to writing their own songs and perfecting their strong roots-rhythm attack which forms the basis of their appeal, demonstrated on songs like “Right Now,” “One Love,” and “Dread Situation.” As Barrow said, “The reggae beat is like 20,000 tons of bass thrown right at you while the drummer is setting up the time for a double explosion.”

You can check out the Babylon Warriors, Los Angeles’ own “roots uprising,” at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go on Sunset Blvd., Tuesday night, Nov. 25.
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Reader’s Guide

UB40, BABYLON WARRIORS AT THE ROXY
---Matt Groening

Roxy, 9009 W. Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA.
(Thursday through next Sunday, May 23, 1981), 

The UB40, Babylon Warriors (UB40, a young racially mixed reggae band from Midlands, England, was an overnight success in that country last year with the release of their masterpiece debut album, Signing Off. Their melancholy wistful melodies, combined with propelling reggae rhythms and subtle dub production, made for an album with at least two classic songs: “Tyler” and “Mother Medusa.” UB40’s music is moving yet accessible; if any reggae outfit with talent has a chance to reach the timid American pop audience, this could be the band to do it.

The local Babylon Warriors are a good complementary opening act.
Los Angeles Times - Calendar Pop Music
Monday, May 25,1981

British Reggae Band UB40 and Belizean Babylon Warriors Palys Roxy
----Steve Pond

The show was opened by the Babylon Warriors, a more energetic, traditional Jamaican-based reggae band with a slinky, kinetic lead singer. The band turned their set into a tenacious, powerful display of hard, basic reggae. The engagement ended last night after there nights of performances.
Wave Newspapers
Wednesday, March 5, 1986

1st L. A. Marathon set Sunday March 9, 1986

The Babylon Warriors will perform at a L.A. Marathon event sponsored by the Mid-City Chamber of Commerce between 9am and 2pm Sunday at Pico and Crenshaw boulevards. Event includes free concert and food drive for hungry and homeless .Co-sponsors are KJLH radio and LIFE (Love is Feeding Everyone).
Music Connection, Los Angeles, California
VOL. 5 NO. 5  MARCH 5-MARCH18, 1981

Babylon Warriors at Wong’s East
---Jeff Silberman 

The Players: Patrick Barrow, rhythm guitar; Louis Sampson, lead vocals; Jesse Easter, lead guitar, vocals; Lem Vaughan, bass, vocals;  Calbert Buckner, keyboards; Emmanuel Good, drums.
 
Material: As their name intimates, the Warriors serve up a very tasty brew of reggae. Sweet pop melodies are anchored by a smooth yet pulsating rhythm section that defies you not to dance. “One Love” is one of many uplifting songs spiced by sharp lead guitar work. The uptempo energy fuels “Are You Feeling Alright?” like high octane in a sports car. The Warriors music doesn’t roar; it purrs. After a while, the songs do become a blur of smoky, luxuriant rhythms, making it hard to concentrate on what they’re trying to say. But lyrics always take a back seat when your major goal is to make people dance.
 
Musicianship: Excellent to the man. Drummer Emmanuel Good supplies a crisp beat, while Lem Vaughan’s sturdy bass lines combine to form a crackerjack rhythm section. Patrick Barrow establishes some fine grooves on rhythm guitar, while lead guitarist handles both smooth and raspy lead lines with a confident aplomb.
 
Performance: Singer Louis Sampson provides what visual theatrics there are; his trance movements flow well with the beat. But if you can’t dance to the music, there’s nothing you can do visually to incite it. The Warriors needn’t worry about that. A considerable portion of the normally staid crowd was dancing throughout the set.
 
Summary: Good reggae, to me, is like the tide of a quiet surf. The waves seem smooth, supple, but they come in tirelessly. The Babylon Warriors’ reggae has the same effect, thanks to a silky dancing beat and pop melodies that refuse to become redundant.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner

Warriors, Hoovers mix it at Madame Wong’s
---Darcy Diamond

The demographics of Madame Wong’s Chinatown club (Los Angeles) Thursday night were an interesting mix of collegiate, Pendleton-shirted types, new-wave skinheads, and semi-conscious bobbing and weaving reggae fans. Spotted in the packed, Hawaiian-style lounge were also some industry observers, giving the bill of the “direct from England” Hoovers, and our local, West Indian Babylon Warriors, a definite seal of timeliness.
 
The Babylon Warriors, who began playing roots clubs like Digby’s and 20 Grand over a year ago, are demonstrating a wide appeal and a wide draw by performing in local rock forums recently. This five-man band has excellent command of reggae musicianship and simple showmanship.
 
The Warriors, throughout the Wong’s show, radiated an elasticity of form which moved them and their audience comfortably from song to song. The opening “One Love,” a staple in their set, gave the Warriors an opportunity to stroke and nurture the slow confidence in which they lay down basic bass tracks and elaborate over them. Good effects from synthesizers and wah-wah pedal intertwine with smooth vocals on all material.
 
By the middle of the set, and until its conclusion past midnight, the rectangular floor was stripped of skinhead control as the fuzzy capped, swaying and rocking dancers sashayed to “Dreadlock Beware,” and a variety of other supersonic sounds.
AMANDALA Belize
Friday July 20, 1990, PAGE 10

Nelson Mandela in L.A.
Los Angeles, Fri. June 29, 1990
---Kenny Morgan
 
The temperature had cooled off from midday high of 88 degrees Fahrenheit to a mild 71 degrees when the gates were opened and the crowds began to pour into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1984 Olympic Games and now the venue for yet another important historical event.

This time however, the atmosphere was charged with electricity far exceeding that generated by any sports or entertainment figure on this or any continent. In fact, spotted in the capacity audience were such biggies as Mr. L.A. himself, Irvin “Magic” Johnson, Dionne Warwick, and Quincy Jones, to name a few. Along with folks from every possible walk of life, these and many more stars were out paying tribute to a genuine legend, a bonafide hero, and a man on a mission. The mission was and is to gain worldwide support for the A.N.C., the only group truly representative of the millions of oppressed blacks native to the land called South Africa. The man was Nelson Mandela.

At exactly 8:00 p.m. the sound system was quieted and from behind the curtain on the massive five story stage erected for this occasion, the p.a. announcer informed the Coliseum that the program was to commence. The South African anthem was played to open the activities, and then the paying public of 80 thousand plus was treated to moving performances by entertainers such as Deniece Williams, Tremaine Hawkins, Andre Crouch, Kris Kristofferson and human rights activist, Dick Gregory, among others. The first half of the show was topped off with African-born Jonathan Butler coming on right after the rappers Ice-T, King Tee, Def Jef, Tone Loc and the Loco Tribe had the natives chanting and dancing in the aisles and bleachers to a rousing Mandela rap-jam.

Then the lights were dimmed once again and to open the second half of the show the speakers boomed out into the night air the information that the next performance was bringing the spectators of this event the Caribbean rhythm of reggae.

“Please welcome,” said the announcer, “from the Central American nation of Belize, the Babylon Warriors!” And welcome them we did.

Never once in its history had the Los Angeles Coliseum hosted a live reggae group prior to this performance, and it was as if every person there that evening intended to make up for that discrepancy.

The intensity was overwhelming as the people rose to their feet with clenched fists held high and sang along with the Warriors. The song was “Brutal”, a track from their latest release, bemoaning the plight of the South African people in their homeland, and when they dropped the music for an accapella chant of ”Free South Africa”, the response was thunderous.

Highly visible among the front rows was another Belizean great, Bro. David Obi, he of the Cungo music, leading the chanting audience. All in all, Babylon Warriors did Belize proud.

Then came Judy Mowatt, formerly of the I-threes, who could not have possibly asked for a better opening act, and she delivered. Paying tribute to Winnie Mandela and the women of the world, she did her hit, “Black Woman” and a well received rendition of Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up”.

Next was Paula Star, representative of the Cheyenne Indians of Oklahoma, followed by Assembly woman Maxine Waters, the African Dance Community of L.A., Rosalyn Cash, and Jesse Jackson.

In his speech, Rev. Jackson stressed the deplorable fact that a man who is more popular than his country’s President and has more credibility than his country’s Government, still does not have the right to vote.

“A victory for Mandela”, he said “will be a victory for the world and humanity.” Hugh Masekala and his band were next, doing it as only they could, and then it was time.
It is the writer’s opinion that my words would not do justice to the reception Mr. Mandela received. Neither could they relay the eloquence and honesty with which he addressed the multitude. I will not attempt it. I will suffice to say that, displaying the strength and fortitude which delivered him through two-score plus years of imprisonment and injustice, displaying the resilience of character which now has him on his worldwide mission of destiny, Mr. Nelson Mandela has still managed to retain that quality which divides that which he stands for and that which he fights against. He has retained his humanity.
 
Let us close then by saying that Mr. Mandela has proven that with positive thought and action, all is possible. In regards to America, he came; he saw; he conquered. I know, I was there.   Amanda
A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Congratulations and a thousand thanks for a fabulous show !

Your unselfish dedication, imagination and perseverance, all given in the best spirit of volunteerism, made this wonderful evening of brotherhood a reality.
With deep appreciation from Assemblywoman Maxine Waters, (Chairwoman) Mandela Reception Committee (Los Angeles)

“Rally for a Free South Africa – A Tribute to Nelson Mandela”
Friday, June 29, 1990
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
A Sold-Out Event Attended by 75,000 People
Oz Scott: Director
Leslie Song Winner: Producer
___________________________

A Fabulous Cast:

Ed Asner, Babylon Warriors, Roscoe Lee Browne, Jonathan Butler, Rosalind Cash, Andrae & Sandra Crouch & the Crouch Choir, Robert Downey Jr., Def Jef, Kim Fields, Marla Gibbs, Danny Glover, Cyndi Gossett, Louis Gossett, Jr., Dick Gregory, Tramaine Hawkins, Anna Marie Horsford, Ice “T”, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, King Tee, Kopano, Kris Kristofferson, Ted Lange, Dawn Lewis, Gloria Loring, Hugh Masakela & Co, Judy Mowatt, Nichelle Nichois, Michael Nouri, Judy Pace, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Dianne Reeves, Sy Richardson, Holly Robinson, Esther Rolle, Paula Starr Rubideau, Kimberly Russel, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Cree Summer, Geoffrey Thorne, Beverly Todd, Tone Loc & the Loc Tribe, Marsha Warfield, Mykel T. Williamson, Alfre Woodard,
  
A Marvelous Staff and Crew:
Reggae

Rasta Rising In Los Angeles, CA.
---Charles Andrews Dec. 4, 1981
 
The first band which played reggae locally and lasted for any time was Del & the Sensations, though their music was Trinidadian, more generally classified as Caribbean. Formed in the late 60’s, the group seems to exist still, though their performances are infrequent.
 
Another band was the Skyliters, formed (in 1971) and led by Thaddeus Barrow on keyboard and Patrick Barrow on Rhythm guitar and Raymond Barrow on Bass guitar a native of Belize. They brought Caribbean musical heritage to the group, but it wasn’t until 1973 that they became turned on to reggae.
 
The Skyliters were scheduled to back up Johnny Nash, the American singer who worked with Bob Marley, for a Los Angeles concert. Nash cancelled but was replaced by John Jones, a Jamaican star of some note at the time, who proceeded to teach The Skylighters how to play reggae.(engagement was at The Shrine Auditorium,in Los Angeles.
 
Patrick dissolved the group in ’78 but did not lose his fascination with reggae. The next year he reappeared with a group of like-minded players, who took the name the Babylon Warriors, the first LA band to play nothing but reggae – initially cover songs by Marley, now all original material. The remaining original Warriors are all Belizeans, except for Jesse Easter.
 
The Babylon Warriors have broken much new ground here. They have opened for touring top-name reggae and reggae-tinged performers, and headlined the large Reseda venue, the Country Club, drawing a surprisingly decent crowd on a week night. The Warriors have been recognized by most for some time as the best reggae band in town.
H2O
The Magazine of Waterfront Culture
Reggae
---Gloria Heller
 
Torrid, sultry and rhythmic, in Jamaica, reggae musician be heard all day and all night long, blaring out of old tube radios, rivaling the birds’ cries and the local  patois. At roadside cafes serving exquisite Blue Mountain brew sweetened with condensed milk, in disco holes-in-the-wall where romantic atmosphere is created by simply turning off all available lighting, in shacks huddled by shanties. The music, like the ganga, serves the people as a buffer. Their music and ganga are their protection, their insurance against depression, faced as they are with insurmountable problems every day.
 
A people forced to scrounge for their basic survival produce happy-sounding music. A strangely complex phenomenon. And the music presents even more provocative contradictions when listened to. Preferably live. The beat directly stacks the feet, legs, and hips; the lyrics work on the heart, mind and soul.
 
Reggae bass and drums are unmistakable. When done well, the bass is referred to as “gummy” in Jamaican parlance, describing the way the thump-de-thummmp-thump grabs hold and doesn’t let go. Like the way the island humidity sticks to you, or the way an island man will dance, wrapping himself around a cool woman who never even looks at him. If the bass is the thick heat of the island, the drumming is the stimuli of a very busy environment, the never-ending hustle of a people constantly moving, walking, talking, all at different speeds, all looking for something to make their life a little better.
 
And all the while reggae lyrics are urging people to pay attention to the state of their souls. The reggae has a philosophy is not surprising since it originated as a musical extension of a religious sect, Rastafarianism. This separatist group, whose antecedents can be traced as far back as the twenties in Jamaica, flourished partly because of the poor living conditions suffered by the majority of Jamaicans. It offered the people an escape route through a message of peace, love, and repatriation back to Africa.
 
Now, in the Land of Good and Plenty, reggae’s message is realistic, reflecting the growing concern that the System is gonna do us all in. Reggae groups outside the Yard, in order to be dubbed authentic, will incorporate paeans to universal love into their work, in an attempt to echo Burning Spear’s wisdom or Marley’s preaching.
 
One local Venice band, The Babylon Warriors, writes nothing but these genuine hymns, as a matter of fact, all thundering evocations of Caribbean sensuality mixed with relevant messages. That’s the thing about reggae: it’s where we’re at RIGHT NOW. The trouble we’re in RIGHT NOW. About government and science being used against people instead of for them. About how the rich make the laws for all.   About strategy being made behind closed doors. And the story is that “love won’t stop the bullets but it can save the day.” Reggae encourages us to enjoy life, rise above the madness, the soul must over the problems of the material world. Look alive; it’s no sin to survive.” It’s the brainwashing of our cultural systems that divide us from our brothers, that cut us down to size. Reggae musicians preach universal love and they are sincere. Take charge of yourself and your life, “with love in ya soul and hand.”
“Reggae Jam Fest ’89”
San Francisco, California

Dear Patrick,
Many thanks for the time, energy and support you contributed towards “Reggae Jam Fest ’89” at the I-Beam on March 18th. The concert was a smash success, and the Babylon Warriors efforts in making it so are truly appreciated. As a result, more quality shows of this kind will be happening in the near future! Again, thank you for all your help and positive energy.

Gus Brown, Producer
Brown’s Caribbean Trade Enterprises Inc.

Overtones
Nov / Dec. 1980, #5

Reggae Sunday!
---James C. Hovey

  One of the last opportunities for a full scale outdoor garden concert was October 26, a warm relaxed Sunday. The Babylon Warriors held reign over a happy throng of fans and passersby, which peaked at about 200 persons. Our capacity is only 150, so where were the rest? Standing five people deep on the sidewalk, peering in. The Warriors were glad to see such a turnout.
 
Returning exactly a year after their 1979 stint at the Comeback, the group has made quite a change. In leader, PAT BARROW’s words the group is “ten-times better”. They are now one of the most popular reggae outfits in LA, receiving wide radio airplay with a sensational 12” single ONE LOVE. Their booking at the Whiskey is indicative of the power of this energetic Jamaican soul music. We wish them even more luck and hope for their return when the weather becomes more dependable.

Los Angeles Sentinel
VOL. XLIX—NO. 31
Thursday, November 24, 1983

-- Warriors Move Forward --
   
The Babylon Warriors, considered by many to be the premiere reggae group in Southern California, will be featured at the 3rd annual L.A. Reggae Festival on Saturday, Nov.26. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
  
The festival, which also stars Leroy Sibbles of the Heptones, Eek-A-Mouse, the Untouchables and Del and the Sensations, starts at noon and continues until midnight.
  
The Babylon Warriors are based in Los Angeles, but have a tremendous following throughout the State of California. They recently signed a recording contract with American Music and album listening party, held last Thursday evening, was a smash success.
  
“We feel that the Babylon Warriors will become one of the best-known and most-loved of all reggae groups in America because they are a people-oriented group,” said Milt Wilson, a partner of American Music.
  
The Babylon Warriors will tour the state and starting early Dec. and will be one of the featured attractions at a teen press party sponsored by Nutbug Productions for the National Youth Journalism and Photography Contest to be mounted in 1984 by Karen’s News Syndicate and the W.E.B. Dubois Academic Institute.
  
The 3rd annual L.A. Reggae Festival, a “marathon of music and unity,” will hold at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
3rd Annual L.A. Reggae Festival

Santa Monica Civic cramps reggae festival
---Tom Carroll 1983

Reggae Sunsplash it wasn’t.
While reggae music, with its contagiously danceable rhythms and overall theme of unity, lends itself more freely to an all-day multiple-bill festival setting than do other musical persuasions, a day-long dosage of Jamaican jamming is best consumed out of doors.
 
By scheduling their skank-fest in November, the producers of the annual L.A. Reggae Festival preclude that most conductive of conditions. But the use of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium as the site of this year’s event, held Saturday, was more confining and inhibiting than an indoor festival venue has any right to be.
 
Los Angeles’s own Babylon Warriors, originally from Belize, incorporated some danceable rock and funk touches to their brand of reggae.
World Cup - USA 1994, Inc.
XV FIFA World Cup
Organizing Committee
Los Angeles, CA
July 20, 1994

Dear Patrick,
  I want to thank you for your contribution to the international entertainment on the Festival Stage at SoccerFest. The Babylon Warriors were a great crowd pleaser and definitely enhanced the atmosphere at SoccerFest. Awesome stage show; costumes, dancers, music – one of the favorite acts of the whole ten-day Festival!
It was a pleasure working with you. Please keep me posted on festivals and events you are involved with in the future.

P.S. And thanks to Pearl Warren for suggesting you.

Sincerely,
Mitch Kirsch
Entertainment Director
SoccerFest – World Cup USA 94

The Belize Times
Sunday July 29, 1990

Dem See Mista Mandela

“He came, he saw, he conquered.”

Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress, speaking before a packed Los Angeles Coliseum of 75,000 plus, conquered the hearts of the many Belizeans in attendance.

“We ask you to assist our people and their organization in this time of hope, but also pain, suffering and anguish,” Mandela appealed.”You can help by maintaining sanction.”
 
Belize’s presence at the Mandela rally was very visible. Belizeans were among the many arriving as of 6:00p.m.on the evening of June 29. Particularly present were African-Belizeans, some dressed in African clothing, others in U.S. made Mandela T-shirts and others wearing the African headdress. By the way, look for Mandela T-shirts to be the most popular clothing item during the September celebrations in Belize.
Belizeans made up part of the electrifying response to Mandela’s appearance. While speakers and entertainers set the stage for an evening of entertainment, education and inspiration, Belizeans had a particular reason to be filled with the ‘spirit of the new wine’.
 
At 8:00 p.m. veteran actor and professor of literature Roscoe Lee Brown, in his capacity as master of ceremonies, took to the stage and introduced Andre Crouch and his gospel ensemble. Following presentations by Marsha Warfield of television’s ‘Night Court’, Kris Kristofferson and singer Diane Reeves, Dick Gregory vowed to take no more solid food, only juice and water, ’until everyone in South Africa has one vote for one man’. The tempo of the entertainment became more upbeat with the              ’heavy’ rapping of famed Iced T, Tone Loc, Def Jeff, King T, Low Profile and other rappers and dancers. They had Coliseum audience on their feet waving their fists in the air.
 
The tempo dropped a notch when Jonathan Butler mellowed the crowd with ’We must heal our land’ dedicated to the brothers and sisters in South Africa. African-Caribbean’s broke loose when Professor Roscoe Lee Brown returned to the stage and brought on ‘The Babylon Warriors’.
 
Overnight, the meek gave up the land and opted to be dancers instead. They were dancing in the aisles and on the seats; folk who had apparently not attempted to dance reggae before were thrusting their fists in the air and throwing one-two combinations to the moon that was now setting over the coliseum.   It was the perpetual motion of lead singer Brother Trapp who at times moved from a mean job of ’skanking’ to the thrusting of his fist in the air that made it impossible for the 75,000 plus to remain seated.
 
The Babylon Warriors knew that they were part of history in the making and were therefore in perfect harmony as they ‘blew’ ‘shooting and killing and dying in the name of the Lord”.   But perhaps it was Trappy’s enticement of the crowd to join in the refrain ‘Free-ee South Africa’ that again brought the crowd to its feet.
 
The Caribbean influence on the programmed continued when actress Rosalind Cash brought Jamaican superstar Judy Moar to the stage.   She sang ‘We’re coming home Mother Africa’. ‘We’ll fight for our right to be free’. And ‘Stand up for your right’. Of course, the 75,000 did just that.
 
It was when Jesse Jackson, during the course of his moving speech, stated “We’re Africanizing America”, that an elderly African-American woman shouted, ”You right about that, son, and I am glad to be part of it.”
 
If you were around in the late sixties you would remember the strong influence South African born Hugh Masakela had on the music world. Well, he has not lost any of his skills as a trumpeter. In introducing a tune about working the goldmines of South Africa he used the following monologue which brought to the forefront what life is like for Black Africans working the gold mines in South Africa. “There’s a train that comes from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, from Gambia and Zaire, from the whole of Southern Africa to contract to work deep in the goldmines of Johannesburg.”
 
Applause thundered when the tall gray haired African National Congress leader stepped onto the stage with fist shot into the air, the traditional salute of the ANC. At his side was his 54 year old wife, Winnie, herself the subject of years of harassment, detention and banishment by South African authorities.
 
“We will not give up until apartheid gives in,” Mandela boomed to the Coliseum crowd. Mandela went on to urge the young to forsake the use of illicit drugs.”We learned that the solution was not to escape reality by resorting to drugs. “We learned that we could make our future bright by overcoming our own weaknesses and weaknesses of others,” he concluded.   “Amandela! Amandela! Amandela! Amandela!”

The programme concluded with the singing of the African American anthem “Lift every voice and sing”. 

Some reflections on the visit of Nelson Mandela:   Non African Americans have always displayed tremendous outpouring of pride, particularly those of European or Latin descent, whenever a leader of their country of origin visits the United States. For the greater part, Africans, African-Americana and Caribbean peoples have never felt a part of that euphoria surrounding such visits.

Well, we have finally had our day in the sun. It lasted for 12 days. To most of us, Nelson Mandela represented a chief among his tribe. Our king finally paid us a visit.  His visit was a boost tour self image.

Belizeans, particularly African-Belizeans, spoke of the difficulty in expressing just what it was like to hear, much less see Mr. Mandela.   Would it be too much for the asking for Mr. Mandela, to someday ride in an open back truck down Freetown, into Douglas Jones, on to North Front Street, into  Albert Street and on to Yarborough Green where he would address a crowd of at least 20,000?

Thanks again, Babylon Warriors.

CALENDAR - Los Angeles Times,
August 26, 1984 

L.A. Beat
The Warriors Reggae On
---Jeff Spurrier
 
Last summer, Babylon Warriors lead singer Harrington Trapp was lying in a hospital bed after a mugger shot him through the throat. A well-meaning visitor tried to console the speechless singer by saying it was too bad that the Warriors were “finished.”  Rather than accept the condolences, however, Trapp grabbed a piece of paper and wrote,
“The Babylon Warriors are just starting!”
 
It wasn’t just empty bravado. Despite doctors’ fears that he would never be able to talk again, Trapp was on Stage performing with the band within two months at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
 
“I had my faith and Jah was with me,” says Trapp, 33. “The living God told me that everything was going to be all right. And now even though I can’t hear our record on the radio, that doesn’t bother me because I know it’s all going to come forward for us.”
 
Such faith is typical of the Babylon Warriors, a group that has received more than its fair share of lumps over the last six years. In addition to the shooting, the Warriors have seen members depart and tours collapse at the last minute, and faced a ho-hum response from local bookers despite recent sold-out shows in Santa Barbara and San Francisco. In fact although the group has headlined at such prestigious venues as the Hollywood Palladium, the Roxy and the Country Club (where they return for a Sept. 8 show), it’s been nearly two years since the band has had  a bill locally.
 
Most disappointing however is the lack of airplay for last year’s debut EP, ”Forward” (on American Music Records). The record, produced by one of Jamaica’s top hit-makers, Karl Pitterson, covers the range of the Warriors’ music: roots reggae, ska, R&B and splashes of West African jazz, calypso, and rock.                                                      
 
As Trapp notes,”Forward” is not a typical reggae record, just as the Babylon Warriors are not a typical reggae band. Only one member, guitarist  Jymi Graham, is from Jamaica. Founder/guitarist Pat Barrow, Trapp and bassist Jah Leh Vaughn are from Belize; keyboardist Sly Degbor is from Ghana, and drummer Vincent Greenaway is from the Bahamas.
 
This international background reflects the strength of the band and offers the potential to introduce a new spirit in reggae, says Degbor.   “I think reggae is getting monotonous,” says the 30-year-old keyboardist.  In our music I hear reggae and also my natural high life (from West Africa) with a jazz-type bass line. Reggae should go more into African rhythms because that’s where it all comes from. Everybody is waiting for the next Bob Marley but there can’t be one. Bob Marley was Bob Marley and now someone should do something else.”
 
While Babylon Warriors are looking forward, according to Vaughan, too many radio programmers and deejays are mired in the past.   “This is open music, international music", he says. “It’s 1984 and people are supposed to be more liberal and open-minded, but there are still too many deejays locked in1954 with prejudiced fears. I think that a lot of things we sing about frighten people. This isn’t your typical get-down-and-get-funky-tonight party music.”
 
One of the strongest songs on the record is “Reggae Lives,” a rootsy, well-executed statement of the band’s upbeat attitude in the face of adversity: “Riding the road positive, Reggae on the rise, Reggae lives…. The wheels of change, coming over the mountains.”
 
Founder Pat Barrow, says that despite the bands past difficulties, he thinks the time is right for the wheels of change to move forward.
Los Angeles Sentinel
November 24, 1983

‘Babylon Warriors’ moving ‘Forward’
---Angela Johnson
 
The Babylon Warriors recently hosted a listening party for their debut album “FORWARD” at the Club Lingerie on Sunset Blvd.
 
The Babylon Warriors are a reggae band six members including Jymi Graham, Harrington Trapp, Lem Vaughan, Patrick Barrow (the founder of the band) and Sylvester Degbor. The band’s musical roots are in Belize, Central America, which is where most of the members are from.
 
The band’s main musical influence comes from Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder. Their type of music is a mixture of New Wave and Reggae, according to Jymi Graham who is the band’s lead guitarist.
 
All the music on the album is original material written by various, members of the group. Harrington, who is the lead vocal for the band, has written two songs on the album, and also Jah Lem , a former LACC student, who has been with the group for the past three years, has written several songs on the album.
 
The album “FORWARD” was released on the American Music Label in August 1983, and the Warriors will be going on a tour of Southern California to promote the album.
 
The message of the album is to “let the children be aware of the corruption of the world,” according to Patrick Barrow, group leader.
 
The next appearance will be Sunday at the Blue Lagoon, and they also will perform in the third annual Los Angeles Reggae festival Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Santa Monica Civic.
Babylon Warriors @ Comeback Inn, Venice, California
Babylon Warriors @ Comeback Inn, Venice, California
Babylon Warriors 1989
Babylon Rarriors @ The Roxy "Hollywood"
Babylon Warriors @ The Nelson Mandella Freedom Rally concert
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Harrington Trapp
Mid-City Chamber Of Commerce
Jan.21, 1986

Att: Milt Wilson,

I am very happy that the Babylon Warriors have agreed to participate in the show we are producing in association with the Los Angeles Marathon on March 9th.

Sincerely,
Don Weiss (Executive Director)
Sundial
Santa Barbara, California
News & Review Calendar of Events & Entertainment
Thursday March 5th 1981

Cruising
---Barbara Gould

The Babylon Warriors

Fans of reggae music in Santa Barbara seem perpetually in wait for the too infrequent appearances of Jamaican artists on tour. As a counter to this, One Love Productions is presenting L.A.’s hottest reggae band, the Babylon Warriors, at Baudelaire’s Saturday, March 7th @ 8:30 and 11 pm.

Since the Warriors formed about a year and a half ago they have become a dynamic and pervasive force with a steady L.A. following. Their Single, “One Love” and “Feel Alright,” has received a good deal of airplay, and their first album is ready for release. The Warriors were one of the few local bands to gig at Hollywood’s Whiskey-A-Go-Go last year.

A real “roots” band, four of the six Warriors are from Belize (formerly British Honduras). They perform all original music, incorporating ska, funk and rock as well as direct roots reggae. Their music is vibrant, energetic – eminently danceable.
No one interested in reggae at its finest should miss the Babylon Warriors. day.
Isla Vista Children’s Center,
Santa Barbara, CA

May 8, 1981

Dear Warriors,

We want to pass along to you the final attendance count for your concert ”REGGAE MAYDAY” May 1st in the gym at UCSB campus. We are very pleased to announce that approximately 1600 people attended the concert, which makes this a very successful entertainment and fundraising event. In fact, we have gotten nothing but praise concerning your performance and the overall quality of the production; people are already asking when you will return for another engagement.

We want to express our sincere appreciation for your willingness to perform here for us and for the excellence of your music and show. We hope that we can schedule another event with Babylon Warriors for sometime in the near future. Best Wishes and Thank You.

Yours Truly,
Yoni Harris “Director”
Isla Vista Children’s Center

DAILY NEXUS
University of California, Santa Barbara

Reggae Mayday,
May 1st, 1981

As a Public Service
 
To the Dancing, Partying and Loving peoples of Santa Barbara, UCSB and Isla Vista, the kids and big folks of the Isla Vista Children’s Center, A.S. and KTYD present REGGAE MAYDAY: a benefit reggae dance concert starring the Babylon Warriors.
On MAYDAY, TONIGHT UCSB’S Old gym will be converted into a lush Jamaican nightclub with plenty of room for dancing.  If you’re tired of those postage stamp sized Santa Barbara dance floors then this Party is for you.

The Warriors, an L.A. based reggae group, have been seen and heard in Santa Barbara twice before and both concerts were sellouts. Their recording of “ONE LOVE” and “RIGHT NOW” are currently getting lots of radio airtime, both here, (KTYD will play it if you request it and KCSB has a live recording from the earlier shows) and in L.A. or Babylon, as some call it.
 
The two shows, which will include special guests, The African Drum Ensemble, will be M.C.ed by Karen Littman of KTYD’s Rasta Reggae and are scheduled to start at 7:30 and 10:30 pm. Tickets went on sale at the A.S. Office on Monday, April 27 and are $5.50 per show or $9.00 for both shows. The proceeds will go to the I.V. Children’s Center to help offset of the May 8th Reagan cutbacks.
 
Fresh tropical fruit, juices and eggrolls are among the foods to be served that night, all prepared under the watchful eye of Sandra, one of the members of the Isla Vista Children’s Center Parents Advisory Board.
 
So come on out and enjoy your REGGAE MAYDAY with the Babylon Warriors, TONIGHT and Dance, Dance, DANCE the night away!
Santa Monica Evening Outlook
 
How Reggae is Staying Alive
---Paul Vercammen, 1981
 
With the death of Bob Marley, the future of reggae as a commercial force in America becomes even more uncertain.   Despite high hopes, reggae in its purest form never reached large-scale acceptance in the United States. Only splashes like Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come,” from the film’s soundtrack, and Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up (for your rights)”made a beachhead. In fact, Eric Clapton’s recording Marley’s “I shot the sheriff” might be the Jamaican-based music’s best-known offering in America.
 
The offbeat music made its biggest impact on the American music scene coming through the back door, as artists like The Police, The Clash and Stevie Wonder enjoyed commercial success with the Caribbean-accented material.
 
But now, here in the Southland, reggae and its cousins ”ska”, “blue beat” and rock steady” seem to be gaining popularity. It could be that a future for Jamaican music in America is being assured right in Southern California.
 
This popularity is sparked by two bands that stand at opposite ends of the Jamaican music spectrum "The Babylon Warriors", who entrance with their mystical, leisurely paced reggae, and the Boxboys, a sextet that rollicks in the abandon of their ska (sped-up reggae) influence.
 
For about two years now, the Venice-based Babylon Warriors have been together playing every major club on the Los Angeles circuit, including recent performances at the Roxy with British reggae stars UB40.
 
Reflecting the spiritualism of Rastafarianism, the Babylon Warriors exude a highly personalized, mesmerizing reggae. Lewis Samson, born in New York of Jamaican parents, is the band’s visual magnet, often standing far to the front of the five other Babylon Warriors, waving a finger in admonishment to oppressors or clenching a fist, urging the unification of his fellow man on songs like “One Love.”
 
Samson is a man in constant motion – literally, He sways and jerks to the choppy rhythms, his dreadlocks (long plaited hair) flopping in time as he sings in a Jamaican patois a bit higher than that of Marley’s, a man who means much to Samson and the band’s music.    “More than anything, I don’t want Bob Marley’s death to be for nothing,” Samson said. “But time will tell. Bob Marley was a freedom fighter – he worked so hard for the people. I know that I am a better person because he was on this planet.”
 
Like Marley, the Babylon Warriors express to their audience that through fellowship and hard work, victory against even the most ominous obstacles is inevitable.    “Reggae music is for the people",  Samson said. “For one thing, commercial record companies are uninterested in reggae bands".

Samson explained that being signed to a record contract is not that important to him; if the band is, then fine. Therein boldly stands the Babylon Warriors strength –absolute sincerity.
 
The unaffectedness is readily visible in performances, as the six Babylon Warriors ooze the meditative, infectious reggae pulse in front of a red, yellow and green (Rastafarian colors) banner that evidences their roots. On the banner are depicted the islands of Jamaica and Belize. Four of the group’s members are from the latter isle.
 
So via the Caribbean and into Los Angeles, the tightly synchronized saunter of the Babylon Warriors may someday find its way to a record contract. As Samson said about Marley’s impact – time will tell.
Music Reviews -
CSUC Rose Garden

Everybody Smilin’
---Miles Thompson

Babylon Warriors

Righteous rhythmic music: Harrington Trapp provided the vocals when the LA – based Babylon Warriors performed Friday evening outdoors  at the Chico State rose garden.
 
The dancer. The children. The students. The police. All have big goofy smiles on their faces.   Reggae music fests, like hippie shows of the past, are gatherings of dance-happy, bobbing and weaving fans of a righteous music. The bass is simple, heavy and loud, all the while laying the foundation for the solid effects of synthesizers, wah-wah pedal guitars and smooth vocals.
 
So what happens when the Associated Students brings the Los Angeles-based Babylon Warriors to the partied-out town of Chico for a free concert in the setting sun?
 
First of all, you make room for the dancers-of-life at the front of the stage. They’re the ones who dance because it feels good. Partners aren’t needed. A dancer-of-life is partners with everyone.   Then, it seems, you close off the party to obnoxious and drunken warriors. Missing last Friday night were leftover rioters and most of the Greek population.   And, finally, you group together a function junction that has faith (at least as long as the reggae’s playing) in the human race. When that happens, you get hundreds of voices singing, “One love-that’s the only way,” or singing along with Bob Marley’s anthemic “Get up. Stand up. Stand up for your rights.”

You realize you’re really in sync here. You’re with the people. This music. This movement. This band has brought it all together.
 
Front and center is Harrington Trapp.
 
In 1984 Trapp was shot through the throat and diagnosed never to sing again. But just ask any of the 200 or so percent Friday night on the lawn next to the Chico State rose garden and they’ll tell you just how well Trapp sings.  “I had my faith and Jah was with me,” Trapp has said. “The living God told me that everything was going to be all right.”
 
To the left of Trapp was rhythm guitarist and band leader Patrick Barrow. Barrow put the Babylon Warriors together in 1978; at the time it was only L.A. band that played nothing but reggae.

Across from Trapp was the band’s Lead guitarist, Jymi Graham, whose left-handed guitar playing brought with it some extended rock ’n’ roll leads. Take the song “China Doll,” Inching away from reggae, the song lent itself to city disco with its high falsetto vocals and Graham’s screechy guitar leads. Above all, Graham added a bit of zest to the routine of reggae.
 
Behind everyone on stage was drummer Vincent (Matuzalem) Greenway, along with bassist Lem Vaughn, who was the heavy beat that kept the hips moving and heads bobbing.
 
The coolest part of the evening came just at the end of the first set, during the song, “I Want You To Feel Good.” To the audience’s and band’s surprise the Chico State sprinkler system took charge of the scene. Trash cans were quickly found to cover some of the sprinklers, and others simply were sat on.
 
No problem. Just a little added wet to the smiles.

Reggae on the Rise”
----Carrie Radio
Casa de la Raza, Santa Barbara ,June 2nd


Get skankin’! Moss Jacobs is bringing the Babylon Warriors, Los Angeles’ premier reggae band, to Casa de la Raza, Santa Barbara, CA. Saturday, June 2nd for a show that promises to be an excellent display of the finer points of rockin’ reggae. This long-lasting six-member band plays silky melodies pulsating with sensuous vibrations.

The Warrior’s original songs, calling for world reform and peace, luxuriate in a sea of synthesized rhythms impossible not to sway and tap to. Their ‘1983 LP, Forward, is evidence of their formidable reggae power and inventiveness – incorporating jazz, African and ska influences into a forcefulness and clarity that is smooth and uplifting. It’ll be an evening of musical pleasure no reggae fan should miss.

Los Angeles Times
Tuesday / Calendar November 4, 1980

Pop Music Reviews
Home-Grown Reggae At ON Klub
---Don Snowden  

Fans of live reggae have had to be content largely with the infrequent appearances of Jamaican artists until the Babylon Warriors and Zeff & the Ravers emerged recently on the local club circuit. The former’s 45-minute opening set at the ON Klub in Silver Lake Friday night indicated that the home-grown variety is pretty potent as well.
 
The Warriors’ five black members hail from Belize (formerly British Honduras) rather than Jamaica proper, but geography certainly doesn’t hamper the band’s ability to register on the skank-o-meter. An outstanding, ska-styled opener enticed a substantial portion of the audience into packing the dance floor and the sextet encountered no difficulty in keeping them there for the balance of the set.
 
But the Warriors’ music has more than a strong rhythmic drive to recommend it. Jesse Easter’s stinging lead guitar adds an intelligently applied rock flavor and Cal Buckner displays a similar attention to texture in his keyboard contributions. Lead vocalist Louis Samson is a strong singer, and while his prancing visionary moves are a bit overdrawn, they never come remotely close to being obnoxious.
 
The songs are well-arranged and executed, incorporating ska and funk elements as well as a variety of different tempos that keep the set moving along nicely. The Warriors also demonstrate an almost uncanny instinct for knowing how long to sustain the songs; it seemed as though every time I started to think that a particular song might benefit from a little editing, it ended 10 seconds later.
The Harvest Moon
July 1981,  VOL. 111 NO. XIX  San Bernardino, CA

Babylon Warriors Transporting Reggae Folklore
----M/M Charles Cambridge

As finale to a string of year-long noon concerts at UCR, the reggae movement was given long awaited equal time. It was only coincidence that Bob Marley had died one month prior to the appearance of the Babylon Warriors at UCR. Whether Marley will become a martyr toward further popularizing reggae music is speculation. He did however become an international superstar, though his audience in the U.S. was limited to the cult level.

The Babylon Warriors, from Los Angeles, downplayed capitalizing on Bob Marley. The only reference to Marley during their hour set was a song they wrote dedicated to him entitled “Let the Children Beware.”

Forming in Los Angeles last year, four band members are from Belize, which before the country’s revolution was British Honduras. The two California members of the Babylon Warriors bring the group rock and funk influence. They’ve played at most of L.A.’s major music showcases and to date remain free agents as far as being signed to recording contract. They admit being confused about the record business but are satisfied with their constant activity.

“Communication in the United States is hard to understand,” said singer Lewis Samson. “People are reluctant to new ideas. We did not come to this country looking for fault or to be complainers,” Samson added. “We are glad to see other parts of the world. The hardest things for us to figure out in the U.S. are the record companies and the news media, which are both important to reggae music.”

Samson said there are six reggae bands in Los Angeles, saying that the Babylon Warriors play some of the faster rhythm Ska style. “Actually reggae music wasn’t meant to be commercialized, although if that happens it will not be a cop-out. We will be going to Las Vegas for some concerts. We will take reggae music wherever there’s the audience. It makes no difference where we go to bring love. Reggae is spiritual first. Very much like church gathering.”

Samson said the death of Bob Marley made the Babylon Warriors more determined to continue. “As far as making reggae music more popular, it will be no different now than it was when Bob Marley was alive.” Samson described Marley as a freedom fighter,”yet few people understood his message was more religious than political.”  He said also that the group would like to take a record back to Belize since the country has no recording outlets. Samson concluded by asking people “to give reggae the same chance they give rock and roll music.” He was then asked if that meant having to go to Disneyland. Samson answered, “We would go to Disneyland.”

Babylon Warriors
---Gloria Heller 1979

On Sunday, October 25, at the Comeback Inn, Venice, California will have the opportunity once again to hear the energizing music of the BABYLON WARRIORS, a local reggae band with a unique sound and forceful presence. Their music is at once soulful, gutsy, and melodically memorable. They are true and impressive exponents of reggae, a type of music born in the Caribbean that you cannot hear without being affected.

Perhaps this is due to the reggae’s origins in the social and political turmoil of Jamaican life in the sixties. The reggae originally started as a musical extension of the separatist group, Rastafarianism. This sect, whose antecedents can be traced as far back as the twenties in Jamaica, thrived on the poor living conditions suffered by the majority of Jamaicans, offering them an escape route through a message of peace, love, and repatriation back to Africa; and so, naturally, its music concerned itself with the betterment of life also. Not limiting its focus to only social conditions, there was also a strain of religious philosophy, in Rastafarianism as well as the early reggae, referring to Haile Selassie as the living God, for example.
It is important to point out that the purely instrumental side of reggae was also innovative. For instance, the distinctive drumming hearkens back to the ritualistic drum beats revived by the Rastafarians. In addition, the unmistakable bass, which gives reggae its flavor, was also developed at this time. When done well, the sound of the reggae bass is referred to as “gummy” in Jamaican parlance, and this describes the way it grabs hold and just doesn’t let go.

No longer strictly associated with the original religious movement, reggae has continued to grow as an artistic form in its own right, and only some of the present-day reggae musicians can still be considered solely as preachers of the esoteric theology. Reggae music today reflects a multitude of humanitarian concerns, as can be heard, for example, in the lyrics of such recording artists as Burning Spear, The Mighty Diamonds, The Heptones, and Junior Murvin. In fact, much of the reggae songs published nowadays in Jamaica, England, and the U.S. are plaintive about the relations between men and women and the struggles that so often accompany the search for love. Social commentary still remains as a strong theme for reggae. A majority of songs protest exploitation and oppression everywhere. The struggle up from slavery is seen as world-wide; freedom is a condition of the soul as well as the body. Reggae sings out against tyranny. It sings for universal love. Personal liberation on all levels.
If anything, this is the message of the BABYLON WARRIORS’ music. The very name of the band is a reference to this fight.

The members of the band feel engaged in the fight against “Babylon,” which is the Rasta word for “the system.” Most of the musicians in the group were born in Belize, the British colony on the Caribbean coast of Central America that used to be called British Honduras. The different sound of the BABYLON WARRIORS can be attributed partially to these Belizean roots, which run deep. That would include Lem Vaughn, the group’s arranger, on bass and vocals, Manny Good the drummer, Calbert Bucknor on keyboards, and Patrick Barrow, the leader, on rhythm guitar. (Patrick, a master furniture refinisher, owns and operates Pat Barrow’s Refinishing in Los Angeles, a successful business specializing in custom refinishing and repair and restoration of antiques.) Reggae actually reached Belize not long after its popular inception in Jamaica, through the efforts of Byron Lee and The Dragonaires, who brought Ken Lazarus (The tomorrow’s Children), Eric Donaldson, and other reggae singers from Jamaica to tour the country in the late sixties. It was the music more than the message that formed the immediate appeal in Belize. As Patrick describes it, “The reggae beat is like 20,000 tons of bass thrown right at you while the drummer is setting up the time for a double explosion.”

The other BABYLON WARRIORS are Jesse Easter, a street-wise rogue from Oakland, lead guitar and vocals, and Lewis Sampson, lead vocals, a yard-man who believes in his lyrics.

The group got its start about 1978  when Patrick began thinking of putting together a new sound for the Los Angeles area: “Reggae music is going to be the sound of the ‘80’s.” Rehearsing in a garage that is steadily progressing into a full-fledged rehearsal studio for the BABYLON WARRIORS, the group began with copy tunes, focusing primarily on songs by Bob Marley, Third World, and Peter Tosh, among others. Their initial performing efforts met with considerable success, and so they rapidly moved on to writing their own songs. This originality, the group’s distinctive sound, forms the basis of their appeal. There is an enthusiastic following for their original tunes, such as ”Right Now” (I wanna know how you’re feelin’, you feelin’ all right?”),”One Love”(we are the new  generation”), and “Dread Situation” (what you gonna do when your world falls apart, what you gonna do when your days go dark?) Among other gigs in the area, the BABYLON WARRIORS have appeared at the Arena, the O.N. Klub, the Starwood, the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, Cal State San Bernardino ,and University of Southern California at Irvine, and they have recently been videotaped for Channel 3’s New Wave Theater.

Pepperdine University
Malibu, California
November 9, 1995
Babylon Warriors

RE: ETHNIC DAY 95’
Dear Babylon Warriors,
  On behalf of the Campus Life, Cultural Enrichment Program of Pepperdine University, I would like to personally thank you for your participation in our Ethnic Day Celebration on Wednesday, November 1, 1995.
  Your music (Punta Rock) was rich with African and Belizean tones that captivated all that under its sound. Not only did we get a chance to learn more about the music and its background, but we also learned words in another native tongue. It was a wonderful learning, and tantalizing experience. For this I thank you.
  The Cultural Enrichment Program is committed to providing culturally enriching social programs at Pepperdine University which embrace multiculturalism and contribute to the education of our students, as Ethnic Day.
  Thank you for your support, and once again it was a pleasure working with your band. Hope to work with you in the near future.

Sincerely,
Danielle Wilson, Tamara M. Stewart, Endyia Kinney, Kevin Clayton
Cultural Enrichment Program