Garry Lowe, bassist for legendary band Big Sugar, passed away Saturday, July 7, at the age of 65. He’d fought cancer for two years, privately, according to the band.
Garry Lowe is calling all the youth! Z98.9 Red Deer 30th Bday Party. Nov 10th
Big Sugar and The Trews
W/ special guests Iron Buffalo. pic.twitter.com/6ZdawDI2bP
— Big Sugar (@Big_Sugar_Music) November 10, 2017
“We lost our dear brother and sweet friend Garry this morning,” said Big Sugar singer Gordie Johnson. “He was my greatest musical collaborator, our wisest elder. We were blessed to be on life’s journey together. We were blessed to know him and share his music. Please remember Garry Lowe in all your thoughts and prayers.”
Lowe, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, moved to Canada in 1976. He quickly became a respected and sought-after bassist in the city’s reggae scene, often playing with bands at the Bamboo Club on Queen. Lowe was a founding member of Culture Shock, one of Toronto’s most popular reggae bands. He made fast friends with Johnson, himself a bassist and huge reggae fan. By 1994, Lowe had joined Big Sugar and is featured on some of the band’s biggest and best loved songs.
Lowe was a featured player on nine of Big Sugar’s albums, from 1992’s self-titled release through 2003’s Hit & Run.
When Big Sugar went on hiatus in 2003, Lowe formed the Truth and Rights Revue with fellow Big Sugar member Mojah, a band that played together for a short time and released one album.
Among his final performances, Lowe played alongside his friends in Big Sugar and Alex Lifeson of Rush at the Danforth Music Hall in December.
We had a blast playing with Alex Lifeson at Danforth Music Hall… pic.twitter.com/oTWa83TM7G
— Big Sugar (@Big_Sugar_Music) December 5, 2017
Tributes began pouring in Saturday morning as the news spread of Lowe’s death.
Woke up this morning to the sad news that Garry Lowe has passed into the next…beautiful soul, beautiful music RIP. I met a woman the other day who sings for a livin’ and she told me ‘no… https://t.co/b4kSTkQVa8
— The Trews (@thetrews) July 7, 2018
We just learned of the passing of musician Garry Lowe of @Big_Sugar_Music.
The big man on the bass.
Our condolences go out to all of Garry’s family, friends and fans everywhere.
May you Rest In Peace Garry. pic.twitter.com/yfUnFnIIJ4
— THE ROCK SOURCE (@RockSourceMag) July 7, 2018
— Lowest Of The Low (@LowestOfTheLow) July 8, 2018
Garry Lowe was a fantastic bass player and was always a very affable dude. Condolences to his family and to the guys in Big Sugar @Big_Sugar_Music
RIP Garry Lowe
— Danko Jones (@dankojones) July 7, 2018
— The Miss Emily (@TheMissEmily) July 7, 2018
The band’s official statement ends with this:
“Rally around the Lion.”