Pa Steve Rhodes at Hip Hop World awards 2008.... one of the last events he attended before he passed on...


I Have just confirmed again, that another cherished musician has passed on.


Elder Steve Rhodes, a first-class musicologist, jazz musician, broadcaster and performer died yesterday in a London hospital after a surgery. The late musician was reportedly with his daughters when he breathed  his last.

His death brings to four, the number of great talents the industry has lost in the past week.

A father-figure to many if today’s musicians, Rhodes was a thorough gentleman and slefless being who put others first before him and displayed an unrivalled passion for the development of the arts in Nigeria.


He was 82.




Plenty reactions have trailed news of his death, and here i serve you the first part of my COMMENTS FROM those who knew him and will sorely miss him



 phote courtesy The Sun


Ali Baba: Pa Steve Rhodes, very thorough, very professional, wise, humble… National icon, music fountain, father, mentor, elder statesman


Tosyn Bucknor (daughter of Segun Bucknor): I’m still mourning elder Steve Rhodes. I am so unbelievably sad…


Audu Maikori: Man, what’s happening to the industry? I never met him personally, but I saw his performances. I thought he was a gentleman, one of the last of a generation of musicians who did music for the love, for the passion. I think that’s a quality that’s missing in the industry right now. He was very well respected, I think it’s a major loss for the music industry…



WUNMI OBE:  I’ve been priviledged to know Uncle Steve Rhodes right from the age of 7. it was my sister and I who welcomed he and his family back to Nigeria finally with a bouquet of flowers each on the tarmac as they alighted from the aircraft. Tunde (my husband) and i worked with him for the first time in 1994 wen he coordinated and directed a 10th year memorial concert for my late dad. he had always been a highly principled , efficient, disciplined, no-nonsense professional. He was a strong, uncompromising individual who stayed true to his calling till the very end. These are the very qualities we shall all miss in him….




Tunde Obe; Wunmi and I have known the legendary Steve Rhodes long before we finally met him. The Steve Rhodes voices was one of the most popular groups of the late 70s, 80s through to the 90s. We got to meet and work with the great man in 1994. A concert was being put together to mark the 10th year anniversary of chief Olu Aboderin and Wunmi and I were on the bill to perform. Elder steve Rhodes was the director. Not only did he come to watch our rehearsals (then at jazz ville), he also insisted on perfection, which is almost non existent today. How many of today’s stage directors would go and watch each and every act billed to perform at an event so as to be able to draw up a proper programme of events?  He took things very seriously and could sometimes come across as stern. But just when you start getting uncomfortable around him, he lets you into his softer side. He had a brilliant sense of humour. The industry has indeed lost a consummate professional






Dare Art Alade: He was like a father to many of us…. He was a strict disciplinarian… he doesn’t take nonsense. He was also close to my father…his death is a rude shock to me. Uncle Rhodes was a man of his and our generation. Upright, overtly talented musically and a pioneer. Nigerians never celebrated him just like many others before him.



Edi Lawani: I called him Uncle Steve. He was a teacher to a lot of us. I got close to him in the last 10 years, when I worked on projects he was involved in. He was an unrepentant perfectionist. He was incurably positive about the prospects and potentials of arts in Nigeria. A self-effacing team player, he was impatient with incompetence and mediocrity. He had huge dreams which fate has denied fruition. When I approached him with the idea of doing a bio-documentary on him, he suggested endeavours that were to benefit the media industry instead of his ‘ego’. Severally disappointed and Let down, he always kept his focus on the big picture.



Gbenga Adeyinka: He was a fantastic man. I interviewed Opa Williams last year. He said there were only 18 people in the hall, and the man told him he would play for all of them… when I started one of the people that encouraged me to go on was pa Steve Rhodes…. He told me, a lot of people would like to discourage you. But just go on…. He was a generally nice man…. Just like Okosuns, he would come for every of my show…. Pay for himself and his family…..


TY BELLO: I have photographed him severally, interviewed him… I am working on a book… i know him very well.. he was one of my father’s mentors… same with Sonny Okosuns… their deaths are sad and unfortunate. A lot of young upcoming acts never even met him, they don’t even know the story…. he told me of how he started at WNTV…. all the excitement… we didn’t get to learn from their experience….we’re living now and making the same mistakes… did you know he managed Fela Kuti during Koola Lobitos… he had another girl-group he was managing….


Ayo Animashaun: We need to celebrate his life. He lived a very decent life, and was an inspiration to many of us. I remember that he attended Hip hop world awards this year and we felt very humbled to have him identify with us.


Azeezat : I’ve known him since the early 80s. He’s very thorough when it comes to music; especially classical music. We will miss his wealth of experience the most


Weird MC: I met him a couple of times, he saw my performance for governor Fashola at the MUSON centre last year. He was very much about the preservation of the quality of music. A true practitioner, he was so full of encouraging words. I’m deeply shocked. My condolence to his family and the whole music industry. …



3 Responses to “YET ANOTHER DEATH…”

  1. He was everything.
    He was d best grand dad anyone could have. I never met my grand dad so he became mine.
    I was told not to cry but to celebrate his life but it was kinda hard not to.
    I know he has gone to a better place.
    and i would forever miss him
    Love you Grand dad!!
    Auf Wiedersehen!!!!

  2. I am beginning to come to terms with the unexpected way death deals it`s blow..
    I still cant believe it!

    My pain comes from coming to grabs with the fact that Sonny Okosuns could have been saved
    or at least,kept alive to see many days more.

    In his hey days,when his freedom songs were the anthems in the streets of Africa,he was given red carpet treatment at state functions.It all culminated in the honour of MON.

    What value does the MON hold? Is it just meant to boost the ego of the recipient among his peers,family and friends?

    Many more have gone like this!

    I use this opportunity to implore that we keep praying for another media giant who`s also facing the same health problem: UNCLE YINKA CRAIG…let`s keep praying and hope Nigerians
    with the heart who are in government would listen and do something.

  3. wetin dey happen?

    Oh God help us…Pa Steve Rhodes? Sammy Needle?

    Pa Steve Rhodes gave me my first paid concert @ Alliance Francaise
    and encouraged me in many ways than one..

    may your souls rest in peace uncle steve..

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