Lloyd Knibb of The Skatalites Has Passed Away

Llyod Knibb© Brian Jahn

Reports started being posted to Facebook suddenly late Thursday night that Lloyd Knibb, drummer of The Skatalites had passed away. Ken Stewart, manager for band confirmed the stories himself by posting the following to his page:

I am sorry some of you are finding this out before I could post it but at 6:40 PM I noticed Lloyd was not btreathing. He was sleeping peacefully moments before with all of us here. He got his wish to come home but it seems it took all he had to do it . We will keep you informed about arrangements. Long Love The King.

One day before, 8AM Wednesday morning, Ken had taken to his page saying that Lloyd had taken very ill and was flying back to Jamaica to be with friends and family. They were on their way together but were held up for 4 1/2 hours in the Miami airport finally reaching Kingston at midnight. It seemed to come out of the blue that he was even sick. They had shows scheduled for late this month and into June. It sounded like from the posts to be serious but not life threathening, that he was going home to rest. It turns out he was just able to make it back home in time to pass peacefully in his own bed one day later.

Ken also mentioned in a post that they had a visit from “Lloyd Brevett who he received very well and even got a bit teary-eyed. Love to all” meaning that the Drum and Bass duo that created the sound and went on to perform on thousands of recordings were able to in the last hours finally come back together one more time since they separated many years ago.

Lloyd Knibbs was 80 years old and was able to make it back home to be with close friends and family. That’s all anyone can ask for in the end. Every Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae drummer that came after him (which is all of them!) owes him a debt of gratitude for his contributions to the music and popular culture of Jamaica. He may be gone but will surely never be forgotten and has inspired countless musicians after him.

PICTURE INFO: Brian Jahn of the Jamaican music and culture photo blog Blessings all over, seen … took this picture of Lloyd Knibbs back in 2006. He had dropped by Don One Studio in Brooklyn during the recording of Kevin Batchlor’s solo album capturing a great picture of the skins meastro rocking a large drum kit.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.