Q: Right. The Cables formed as early as 1962, with you and Vincent Stoddart as a duo, wasn't it a duo from the start?
A: No, it was me and Vincent Stoddart and Elbert Stewart from the beginning.
Q: Then you went to Lindon Pottinger at High Note in about 1966 - what happened to those recordings, this was prior to your Studio One stuff.
A: No, High Note was... that was the first recording we did, the music 'You Lied'. Not Mrs Pottinger, y'know, I think she's High Note, or her husband.
Q: I think she took over the company in the later part of the sixties.
A: She took over. The only time I took her was when I did some producing for myself, and I gave her a few music to release for me. It was produced by me, but she was just distributing on her label.
Q: So Mr Pottinger produced and released your first songs, I don't think she produced around '66.
A: She was doing some producing - no, in '66 it was Mr Pottinger. I think it was in the mid or early seventies the song that - I gave her a music to distribute for me on her label. But '66 was the first music there with Mr Pottinger, 'You Lied'. You know, that was the first music. Oh yes, I have that record, my first 45 I did. Yeah, I have it. And you know somet'ing? It was twenty pound for a song them days. My first song I did and I didn't get a dime, 'cos Bobby was there an' he collect our money and we didn't know about it. Because that band was Bobby's and, yeah, Bobby Aitken took our twenty pounds and we didn't get a dime. And there was a third song released and I heard it being played and went to get my money and said "OK, for the other ones I didn't get any money but...". And he said, "What?! From the day we finished recording we paid back the money!" I jus' "OK, alright". We never got any. That's how we start gettin' ripped (chuckles).
A: But anyhow, with my group we keep rehearsing, keep rehearsing until we get down to Mr Dodd and we come up with only two songs, because they always like to abort you. You're singin' and they put you down and not taking you, and then you realise you always have to try and study the things that's going on. You know, you hear what other artists they're going through and stuff like that, you try not to get into that situation.
Q: What were you being told?
A: Well, the stories are like 'Oh, you're not getting money', and stuff like that. There's always setbacks. And he hid our music. When we go to Coxson for money he... And them always have a crowd, there's too much guys so you end up not getting money. He beat a lot of guys too! I tried not to come on too strong, but when we got conscious to get our royalty and stuff, the first offer we got, we got robbed. Because many music was a hit and we have an idea of how it sold 'cause, again, Earl Morgan was working in the place and (inaudible)... Those records they were selling so we had an idea of how it went, how many records were pressed. Because, I know I was robbed. But y'know, you can just go by telling him 'Oh, I know how much because somebody told me so and so...', but it doesn't make much difference. We got payment about two times, which in them days was a lot of money. It look like a lot but it wasn't, he sold like some 20 000 records - that's five cents a copy. But you get some money. Foreign royalties, no, we never see any of that. Never see foreign royalties.
Q: Were you even aware that he had much foreign business, like the main markets through Toronto, London and New York for example?
A: He never told us that, but after a while we figured out that it was selling in all foreign, because we get the feedback after a while what was going on. They tried to make it look like it was only a few records for export, but after a while we got feedback and stuff, what's going on. But still it never work out that we are gettin' the money because after a while he's telling you 'Oh, Jackson, come back soon, you have to come back soon', or whatever. I never liked to be in that situation, to ask Downbeat for money. I tried to maintain a good relationship with him. As a man he was very determined, but to get what you were owed, it never work. It never worked. You know, I was independent still, doing my own race, y'know, trying to get a job, trying to get ends meet, support my family. You know, that's how it goes. I think 'Baby Why' has been around now for some thirty-five years and, trust me, for some thirty years now I haven't seen no money for it. Even though it was on LP, CD, and all a them stuff - 7" record, we no get no money for them. At one time I told him, when Stewy (Elbert Stewart) was in Jamaica deh, and I told him that OK, well, other circumstances, y'know, things are tough in Jamaica too, you could get Stewy a money, and stuff like that. But he never give Stewy any portion of money. But he think that a 500 dollars them time he give to Stewy, y'know, he would get away with that. He take up a 500 dollars and give them to Stewy and think that's a lot, but when it comes to our money, he say "Oh, I give Stewy some money, I jus' gave him some 200 dollars", and stuff like that. When Heartbeat had the CD out and stuff like that, he always tell me "Oh, it sell well, man! It sell really well". So I say OK, fine. But for all these years Heartbeat hasn't given me any money (the CD issue of 'What Kind of World' came out in 1991). So he tell me to get a statement through him for what's selling from Heartbeat, and he tell me to call Heartbeat. So when I ask them about it them said no, they're not getting any money and stuff like that. That's just how it goes, but that don't make me worse. You know, it's life, because so many people sometimes their hearts goes out when they're not in the spotlight anymore. They were popular and stuff like that, some made money, some others made more money than the rest of them, but then they never set their lives different, like they were hoping that they would make this thing big. Which is like saying their losses - they lose, they gamble, maybe two million to one (chuckles). Or so you make a way out, but you never. But like I mentioned, I'm alright.