Old school: Clarence ‘Tootsie’ Bean centre with drum, with his The Lance Hayward Quartette from left, Maxwell ‘Max’ Smith (bass), Lance Hayward (piano), Clarence ‘Tootsie’ Bean and Milt Robinson (guitar). *Photo supplied
Old school: Clarence ‘Tootsie’ Bean centre with drum, with his The Lance Hayward Quartette from left, Maxwell ‘Max’ Smith (bass), Lance Hayward (piano), Clarence ‘Tootsie’ Bean and Milt Robinson (guitar). *Photo supplied
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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7: It’s a good job Dale Butler plans to put on future concerts starring Bermuda’s musical legends as his upcoming show was an instant sell-out.

The sounds of old Bermuda will fill up the Leopard’s Club next Sunday at 4pm as music lovers pile in to enjoy, once again, the likes of saxophonist John Bethel, drummer Clarence ‘Tootsie’ Bean, singer and guitarist Eugene ‘Stacker’ Joell, bass player Tiny Burgess and pianist Dennis Fox.

And while the concert, Legends of The Rock, will not only fill the room with nostalgia, it aims to pave the way for a new generation of Bermudian musicians.

Butler, Former Minister of Culture, has long been a champion of Bermuda’s artists — he has written two major books charting the history of music “on the rock”, made several documentaries and offered support through the Bermuda Federation of Musicians and Variety Artists as well as the Vernon ‘Ghandi’ Burgess Scholarship. Indeed, the funds raised through this concert will go to both causes and it is hoped he will raise around $1,500 through ticket sales ($30 each), sponsorship and donations.

 “I know the plight of many of these musicians,” says Butler of Atlantic Publishing House. “Now-a-days they play for free and volunteer. The musicians did get a small stipend for this concert but we only got a few sponsors (Bermuda Department of Tourism, BF&M and Elbow Beach Hotel).”

Fundraising wasn’t the only reason to bring the legends back together on the stage.

Butler was inspired to do a show during an interview with sax player John Bethel, who he considers one of the island’s best musicians.

“I was doing a video interview with John Bethel on his life,” he recalls.

“It suddenly hit me that a lot of Bermudians might not know him after his early years, especially during his middle years because he was out of here travelling, raising a family, playing in New York...

“I said to him we needed to provide an opportunity to demonstrate what he has done overseas.

“He thought I was joking. I said I’ll show you how serious I am — I asked him to give me the names of the people he wanted to play with and I called them right there in the middle of the interview with the camera still rolling.

“They all said yes without even knowing a date or a time. I then took them all to dinner at my expense.”

Butler hopes to organize three smaller concerts next year at Shine’s House of Music followed by one bigger show.

He also hopes that a solid band will be born out of these concerts called The Legends and that the concert could become an annual event.

Premier Paula Cox is scheduled to attend the opening event along with other dignitaries.

On Sunday, the main band will support a number special guests including Max Maybury, Earl Darrell, Miles Manders, Wanda Raynor and Stefan Ahknaton.

Lovette Smith was due to perform but had to pull out.

Guests are asked to bring any old jazz CDs they no longer listen to so they can be sold to help raise funds. Discounted copies of Dale Butler’s books will also be for sale.