Roger Mansour, formally of The Vagrants
As a youngster I was raised on the island of Haiti, where I learned to play congas and other percussion instruments. When my family moved to New York in 1964, I joined local rock groups such as the Forest Hills Playboys. In high school I met the future members of Vagrants, and we formed a band copying the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Animals, and many other English bands. The late, great Felix Pappalardi, who produced Cream and formed Mountain with our guitarist, Leslie West, also produced us.
I went on to do an album with a group on RCA called the Third World, who were managed by Mike Jeffries, of Jimi Hendrix fame. I played a concert with Jimi and filled in for Mitch Mitchell in Tampa Gardens, Florida. It was Jimi’s last American concert before he passed away in England. During the early ’70s I joined a trio from Michigan called Squeez, and we toured the Midwest, playing local clubs. Ashley Pandel, Alice Cooper’s road manager, handled us for a while, but the group broke up and never recorded. I moved to Chicago around 1977, got a job with JC Penny, and started promoting reggae music part-time. I also managed Junior Braithwaite, who was one of the original Wailers with Bob Marley. When Bob Marley played the Uptown Theater in 1978, I met his drummer, Carlton Barrett, and took him to Ludwig drums, where I introduced him to Bill Ludwig III and helped get him sponsorship with the company.
In 1997 I left the States and moved back to Haiti, where today I am a missionary. I am also currently associated with Drummers For Jesus with Ronald Bruner Sr., who runs the L.A. branch.
Thanks for reading, and I would love to hear from you.