Citation: Leslie “Doctor Fats” “Percy” Robinson
The skills of this member have been a pillar of strength for the band from its foundation. His ability to make things happen was so ingenious; it often got him into trouble. He would be the one to initiate the action. For example, he cleared a spot of land for the band to practice, this included cutting down a cocoa tree or two. In those days, the value for these trees would equate to having the finance to send a child to school for a year if not more. He was responsible for running electrical cables from the kitchen of his parents’ home without permission and connecting a light bulb to a tree, to provide light for practicing. The designer, the architect, the builder, from board stands to iron stands to mobile stands, whether with a hammer or the wielding torch, he always made sure there was enough for practice and play out.
Who remembers the first elevated drum stand on the road for Carnival in town? With board brakes going down Market hill with the drummer playing on top and other players and supporters holding it back to assist the brakes and avoid the stand rolling out of control down market hill. We all knew he had it, but it peaked in 1981 when the band represented Grenada in Varadero, Ochenta Y Uno in Cuba. A Caribbean and Central America International Music Festival. On the way up some of the band’s instruments got lost between Barbados and Jamaica, included amongst them was one side of bass. Well the biggest problem was to find a suitable drum and he did the rest. He actually made a pan in Cuba.
The eldest of five brothers to have played pan for the Commancheros over the years, everyone wanted to be as good as he was as a player. He was undoubtedly the best ever to play for the band in that section. He later proved this, having to ‘take over’ and play a song which he did not practice for a while having been disciplined for missing practice. Up to this day he maintains that action was unjustified and instigated with Malice.
In 1976 when making our record in Trinidad, the bass line for one particular track was giving us real trouble and costing us time and money in the studio, although that was the track he was disciplined for not practicing, he could not stand by and see that track not included on the record. At about 3:30 AM, he took the bass stick and said let’s go. I invite you to listen to the track “Light Calvary Overture” on Commancheros 1976 record, “Variations In Tempo”. Pay particular attention to the bass line.
Having migrated, today he is an active member of CNYSO and is still a very resource person to the organization.
Tonight, we honor and show appreciation to Mr. Leslie “ Fats, Percy” Robinson, a foundation member and builder of our band.