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Brian Travers (1959–2021), UB40 founding member

by Kirk Fox

Brian Travers was a founding member, saxophonist, and contributing songwriter for the British reggae/pop band UB40.


Brian Travers and his school friends started the reggae influenced pop band UB40 in Birmingham, England, in the 1970s. They named the band after the unemployment benefit form 40. Travers played saxophone and was a co-songwriter for the band. UB40 found international success with their original song Rat in Mi Kitchen” along with cover versions of “Red Red Wine” and “I Got You Babe.” The band has sold over 100 million albums worldwide and continues to perform.

Notable quote

“Thank God for the dole (unemployment benefit). We got fed, it paid the rent and it enabled us to concentrate on developing our careers. We commandeered a cellar and started rehearsing every day, nine till five. “Our first experiences of playing an instrument started together, and we’d humiliate each other over mistakes. But we were very serious about our music.” – 2010 in the Telegraph


Tributes to Brian Travers

Full Obituary: BBC

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