Following the recent death of Gerry Anderson, a partner in the Hawkeye record shop, in the north-west London borough of Brent, a community event in the area set for this Friday is to be dedicated to the life of the veteran retailer.
Anderson and his business partner, Roy 'Hawkeye' Forbes-Allen, opened the record shop in Craven Park Road in 1977.
Had Anderson lived till December, he would have clocked 45 years of managing the shop in Harlesden, which is one of the only two record shops still operating in what's dubbed the reggae capital of Britain
BBM/BMC (BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress) is organising a free community event on Friday November 25 entitled Brent Black Music History Walk, Talk & Song. The part-Love Where You Live funded event marks African History Month and Lovers Rock @ 50. It starts with a walk from a meeting point at the Willesden bus garage from 4pm, where buildings along the route into Harlesden will be identified by Brent-based historical musicologist and BBM/BMC founder Kwaku.
Also, in the attendance to add to the historical knowledge will be reggae singer and historian Sparky Rugged and former artist manager and owner of several community radio stations Ronald Amanze.
“The idea for the Brent Black Music History Walk was suggested to me by a dear old man who was very much interested in history, when he attended the launch of BTWSC's Heritage Lottery Funded 'Brent Black Music History Project' DVD and book at Willesden Library in 2007,” says Kwaku.
“It's taken me this long to put his suggestion into action. If we have a great response from the brave souls we're expecting to join us on a mild autumn afternoon, then we'll certainly slot a repeat next summer to mark British Black Music Month.” The walk will end by The Reggae Tree, which is opposite the Hawkeye record shop.
A family-friendly evening session will take place at nearby Tavistock Hall 6.30-9.00pm. This will feature talks and audio-visual presentations by Kwaku and special guests, and performances by Sparky Rugged and Music4Causes ft Kimba. Forbes-Allen will make a donation in Anderson’s name to the deceased’s favourite charity, the Sickle Cell Society.
The evening will include is a Talent Spotlight open mic session, where singers can showcase their talent. There will also be African Caribbean food on sale, and stalls are available either for promoting or selling. In 2018, Anderson and Forbes-Allen were awarded an International Reggae Day Trailblazers Award for their contribution to the development of reggae music in Britain, through their retailing and record releases.