By Balford Henry—–
TWO of Jamaica’s leading music business veterans — producer/engineer Lloyd ‘King Jammy’ James and artist/road manager, Copeland Forbes — have been admitted to hospitals in Europe with heart-related problems.
It is unclear exactly what is the current situation with James, who has produced some of Jamaica’s biggest reggae/dancehall stars, including Black Uhuru. It has been confirmed that he suffered a heart problem while at the Garance Festival in France, where he had been slated to match dub plates with British producer/sound system operator, Neal ‘Mad Professor’ Fraser on July 26.
FORBES… closely connected with arrangements for the ‘Respect Jamaica 50’, a live concert series in London’s 02 Arena
It is understood that he suffered the heart attack on the previous night, was hospitalised and underwent surgery twice. It has also been stated that while his condition caused alarm, it was not life-threatening. He had to cancel his subsequent appearances in Europe.
But, we were able to speak with Forbes from his bed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in London on Sunday, as he was preparing for an angiogram.
An angiogram generally refers to an imaging to look at arteries in the body, to determine if there is narrowing in the arteries or other disease, which is often due to atherosclerosis. A decision is to be taken by the doctors after the result of the test is known.
Forbes left the island in a wheelchair on July 23 for London, where he has been closely connected with arrangements for the ‘Respect Jamaica 50’, a live concert series in London’s 02 Arena, featuring 50 artists, and produced and promoted by AEG.
This was after he had broken a leg at this year’s International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRWMA) in June in Chicago, where he was recognised among reggae’s Living Legends and Icons since the 1960s.
“It’s like a double dose,” Forbes told the Jamaica Observer, confirming that he was taken from the 02 Arena to the hospital on August 3, during the performance of Toots Hibbert.
“They told me at the hospital that everything is due to the music, and the doctors are insisting that I take a break,” Forbes said.
He confirmed that, as suspected prior to their departure for London at the end of July, the artists contracted for the 02 series resisted the offer to be streamed back to Jamaica live, as there was no contractual arrangement for video.
However, he said that there might have been some arrangement for Shaggy’s performance as production manager, Allen Spriggs, got his first indication of some agreement prior to the deejay’s appearance on August 3.
Forbes said that the artists were disappointed that they were not visited by any Jamaican dignitaries while at the 02, although High Commissioner Aloun Assamba had called on August 3 and promised to visit. It could not be confirmed if the High Commissioner fulfilled the promise.