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Re: Babatunde Olatunji passes on

thanks.   he was an influence on me as well.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Walker/Loop.pooL" <GLOBAL@cruzio.com>
To: "LOOPERS DELIGHT" <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2003 6:52 PM
Subject: OT: Babatunde Olatunji passes on

> I just recieved the very sad news that the wonderful
> Nigerian drummer and Emissary for Peace and Community,
> Babatunde Olatunji passed on after a long series of health
> crises.
> Baba was an amazing spirit!!!    He put desire to unify people
> above any other thing in his work and was an Ambassador for
> World Peace and multi-cultural diversity and love.
> He was as much a spiritual father to me as a drumming father, even though
> I toured and recorded with him for a while and first was attracted to him
> because of his drumming skills.
> He was also the first adult male who ever approved of me and my musical
> choice in
> life and gave me the courage and support to become a true artist.   He
> nurtured me and he loved me like a son and,indeed, went on to become
> my official godfather.   He called me 'captain'. Why, I'll never be sure
> it felt good to me.
> One day, many years ago,  he called Arthur Hull (the famous community 
> circle facilitator) and I together for a breakfast business meeting and
> asked if I would become his official world touring manager in a dual role
> a performing member of his ensemble.    I was flattered beyond belief but
> felt that I really wanted to be an artist and humbly turned him down.  He
> was very gracious and supportive of me then, even though it didn't serve
> purposes to have me turn him down.
> At that meeting,  he was reading a newspaper headline about the then
> president, George Bush, Sr.    I made some scathing remark about how much
> hated
> George Bush's politics.     Baba scolded me and said, "No, no, captain, I
> pray for the president every single day when I shower".
> I was aghast........."But Baba,  He is doing horrible things to people
> around the world in the name of our country".
> And he replied............"He is the president of this country and people
> all over the world look to him for his views, so every single day I pray
> that he does the right thing...........I pray that he makes the most
> compassionate and selfless decisions that will affect the people of this
> country and the world. I pray that he can become a great leader."
> His response completely changed me.    Before this point, I had feared 
> resented and hated the people in power who abuse their power.  I suddenly
> realized that
> you praying for them to do the right things represented a paradigm shift
> the way I looked at politics and change.  Baba showed me that the way you
> comport yourself in your life has everything to do with the ability of
> things to change for the positive.
> If what the Dalai Lama says is true (and I believe it is), that there is
> us and then, but that there is only US",  then it means our work is cut
> for us in this lifetime for, as Michael Franti of Spearhead says,
> Peace amongst human beings on this planet will take many generations to
> accomplish.............consequently we need to dedicate our selves to a
> lifetime of
> work in an attempt to create the world that some day, long after we are
> gone, will make the world a better place...............the place that we
> wish was here today."
> God bless you Baba...................Thank you for everything, old
> man......I love you.
> Rick Walker