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RE: OT: Babatunde Olatunji passes on

I was first introduced to Baba's work thru the Grateful Dead, and hearing
his music pushed my musical vocabulary further... For years I listened to
his work, and was while I was moved by his drumming, it was his voice that
kept me in awe... Many years later I showed up at my friend Muruga's house
and was more than pleasantly surprised to find Baba there... They were 
on a album together (which I highly recommend hearing if you haven't, 
Rhythm Vibrations is the title) and I had a wonderful opportunity to hang
out with him... As Rick has said he was, I also was impacted by Baba's 
I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to have been in his presence
(and carry his drums) and saddened that others will not have that chance...


>-- Original Message --
>From: "Rick Walker/Loop.pooL" <GLOBAL@cruzio.com>
>To: "LOOPERS DELIGHT" <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
>Subject: OT:   Babatunde Olatunji  passes on
>Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 16:52:13 -0700
>Reply-To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
>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
>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 drum
>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. 
>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
>George Bush's politics.     Baba scolded me and said, "No, no, captain,
>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