Tributes to reggae music legend who battled racism in Birmingham
Steel Pulse drummer Steve ‘Grizzly’ Nisbett has died aged 69
Tributes have been paid to a Perry Barr pioneer who helped pave the way for racial equality.
Steve ‘Grizzly’ Nisbett fought racism head-on in the 1970s through his love of reggae music and founded the brash and brilliant Birmingham band, Steel Pulse.
The drummer was born in Nevis, a tiny island in the Caribbean before migrating to Saltley in 1957. A keen dog-lover, Grizzly latterly lived in Pendragon Road, Perry Barr.
On Thursday, January 18, though, Steel Pulse announced the death of their former band member, aged 69.
A statement read: “It is with a heavy heart that we must pass the sad news that today, our brother, our friend, our time keeper for so many years, original founding member of Steel Pulse, Steve “Grizzly” Nisbett has passed away suddenly and unexpected.
“As we the Steel Pulse family far and wide have lost someone so close to us, we will still take the stage in a few hours on the Jam Cruise, knowing that the joy that Grizz had bringing the Steel Pulse music and message to our beloved fans around the world, will continue on today, and his spirit, love, and love for you all will ring out across the seas, touching your heart and ours.
“Bless Grizzly, Rest In Power!”
In 1978, Grizz and the rest of Steel Pulse dressed up as the Klu Klux Klan and called out The National Front in front of millions.
The performance on the BBC meant a generation of black and mixed race youngsters in Britain knew they had someone fighting for them following years of racial hatred.
Steel Pulse released their first album, Handsworth Revolution, in 1978 with Grizzly, known as the old man of the group, retiring from the band in 2001 due to health concerns.
Article by Ashley Preece
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