He was a drummer and songwriter, who liked to be nicknamed “Field Marshal”, born in Kingston, Jamaica who was the brother of the bass player Aston “Family Man” Barrett.
When he was in his teenage years he would play “drums” on an upturned pan and his brother would play his first bass, which was homemade from an upturned pan and a fishing line tied to a stick. They joined up with a friend who played sax and they would entertain passers by and eventually attract an audience.
He and his brother became a member of the session band The Hippy Boys with Max Romeo as the vocalist and they would perform at various nightclubs in Kingston, play at sessions with Bunny Lee and The Aggrovators and appear on albums such as Reggae With the Hippy Boys by Lloyd Chalmers. He and his brother then became part of the studio band The Upsetters who had a 1969 hit with “Return of Django” and often accompanied the band The Wailers during the 1960s and ‘70s.
He and his brother then formed and essentially led The Wailers Band who backed Bob Marley from the time he went solo in 1973/4 and he became known for his creation of the “one drop rhythm” style of drumming that became his trademark sound on hits such as “Buffalo Soldier”, “Could You Be Loved”, “Get Up, Stand Up”, “One Love” and many more.
As a songwriter he co-wrote songs such as “The Belly Full” and “Talkin’ Blues” which were recorded for Bob Marley’s 1974 album Natty Dread. Appearing on all of of the Bob Marley & The Wailers albums, he remained with The Wailers until the death of Bob Marley in 1981.
On Good Friday in 1987 he was shot and killed at his home with his wife, her lover and two other men arrested. His wife and one of the other men, Glenroy Carter, were convicted of conspiracy but freed from jail after a year on a legal technicality.
Here he is on drums on “Heathen”…