Arrow’s passing rocks music worldSOCA ARTIST Alphonsus "Arrow" Cassell
By YVETTE BEST | Wed, September 15, 2010 - 9:02 AM
UPDATE – THE MUSIC WORLD was rocked by news of volcanic proportions from Montserrat this morning.
Alphonsus The Mighty Arrow Cassel, 60, of Hot Hot Hot fame died at his home following a year-long battle with cerebral cancer. The calypso world was immediately plunged into mourning as word of his passing shot across the region.
There was a large outpouring of condolences and reactions as people involved in the cultural industries and friends remembered the icon.
Denis Cadogan got his feet wet in the promotion business with a show featuring Arrow, Sparrow and Machel Montano at the Pepperpot in 1981. He and Arrow maintained a close friendship and spoke every week.
Cadogan told the DAILY NATION he, John Reid and Chris Grosvenor visited Arrow in Montserrat about three weeks ago.
“Although you were expecting it, and you knew it was coming, yuh still didn’t want it to come, yuh know . . . When I saw him, ’cause I knew him very well, I didn’t know it was him. I had to sit in a chair and water start to settle in my eyes. Although you knew he wasn’t doing well, I didn’t expect him to be looking like that,” Cadogan recalled, adding that Arrow did a “very good job for calypso music and the Caribbean as a whole”.
As Arrow’s friend, Cadagon liaised with promoters and ensured that the record shops were supplied with his music. He also toured with Arrow to Morocco, where the singer performed for and was the guest of King Hussein.
Trumpeter Ricky Brathwaite, who toured with Arrow for about five years, and was also on that trip, said he was saddened by the news.
“That was one of my most memorable moments, playing with Arrow. I knew that it was close, so it’s a shock to me . . . . But I’m sad to hear because I’m getting ready to come back out, and maybe Arrow is one of the artistes I would have toured with again. I played on most of his big hits, including Hot Hot Hot. So it is sad,” Brathwaite said on a programme hosted by Denis Johnson of Starcom Network.
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