Sandpebbles drummer passes on

Musician Andy Weekes might not have been a household name in Barbados, but he did make it bold that he was a proud Barbadian even up to the time of his passing Monday in Germany where he resided.

The 70-year-old’s name will go down in history as the voice behind the song I Am A Proud Barbadian performed by the popular late 1960s/early 1970s group The Sandpebbles.

According to reports, Weekes, a drummer and singer, was battling poor health and accepted that his days on earth were numbered. He added he was happy to be part of The Sandpebbles experience which saw them touring extensively regionally and internationally.

Norman Barrow, bassist and leader of The Sandpebbles, said he was in communication with him days before his death.

He added he kept in contact with Weekes after the group’s 50th anniversary reunion celebrations in Barbados, but had not been in touch since last Christmas until recently when he found out he had taken a turn for the worse.

“He had made up his mind . . . and he knew that he was going to die. He told me that he appreciated playing with The Sandpebbles,” said Barrow.

He said Weekes, a son of the late Sir Everton Weekes, one of cricket’s 3Ws, became part of the group when the band was going through a transition after returning from overseas tours.

“He was a very good drummer and a good person and like every situation, we had our differences. We accomplished a lot and made our mark on the Barbadian [music scene] and were one of the founders of the music industry in Barbados,” said Barrow.

Weekes and The Sandpebbles, comprising with John and Roger Gibbs and Barrow, were on stage for Barbados’ 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations for the first time in 41 years as a band.

He left these shores in 1980 for Germany. (JS)


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