Q: 'Sir Coxson Downbeat'.
A: Yeah, I think it was Coxson and The Sebastian.
Q: Right, 'Tom The Great Sebastian' I think it is.
A: Yeah, it was something like that... yeah, right. It was Tom first, yeah, and Coxsone Downbeat and Duke Reid. Then in Spanish Town you had like Stereo, Wasp. 'The Wasp' was one of the early sound in Spanish Town, who were also a very competitive sound. They would draw a lot of people.
Q: What drew you into art at the time? You must've discovered quite early on that you had some form of, well, 'particular feel' or special ability to draw pretty well, where it turned out be exceptional later on.
A: We used to have - whe we cook our food we used to have a charcoals, y'know, of wood, and I just cut through the (inaudible) and pick out all these charcoals and I just draw all over, drew on the wall, I draw everywhere. I kept drawin', drawin' and drawin', and eventually I started doing it in my schoolbook. And then the teacher saw it and said "Oh, can you decorate the blackboard?" I said OK. So I draw on the blackboard. This is around Christmas time and all the teachers wanted to have the classrooms decorated on the blackboards, and I started doing one after the other. I remember about 1966 (actually it occurred 1963) when I was fifteen or so and President Kennedy got shot and I remember I was by that time doing sculptures from soap, and then I made a sculpture of the president. And drawing by that time all of the politicians that just recently got elected in Jamaica, and they came up pretty nice, I remember. In my classroom I remember I put drawings along the whole wall of the classroom and a lot of paintings also, and when one of the teachers came walking and saw it, he came up to me and asked "Would you like to go to the art school?" So I was very excited, and he said "I could get you a scholarship". So, for a time I had totally forgotten about it and one day he came and told me I got the scholarship to the art school, by the time I was seventeen. I also had a penfriend, a penpal from Vienna, and she sent me a photograph, small photograph - about two-inch squared, and I drew. I made a drawing of it and blew it up really big - it came out really nice, was surprised about it. By the time I won the international scholarship to study in America, I was competing with the top artists on the island.
Q: So you qualified as a designer later on?
A: Actually I specialized in scultpture, I trained as a sculptor. That's what I did at art school when I won the scholarship. My main education was in the fine arts.
Q: As for getting seriously into the music now, when did you form the Now Generation with Geoffrey Chung, Val Douglas and those guys, or were you a part of the band before they joined?
A: OK, well, Val Douglas and Geoffrey Chung they came in the band afterwards, I set up this band in 1967. As soon as I got into art school, I started setting it up and the original players was a guy called Chenley Duffus, was the singer, Cornell Campbell, the other singer, yeah? And we had a drummer, our drummer was 'Tin Leg'.
Q: Right, Lloyd Adams.
A: Lloyd Adams, right. He used to be at Randy's studio. Glen Karbitt on keys, played the keyboards, played on nearly all the songs, like how Jackie Mittoo did back then. Let's see, I was the bass player at that time. On lead guitar we had Evar Murphy and he was like a session player at the time.
Q: Would that be 'Devon' Murphy?
A: Evar, Evar Murphy. He is one who's been kinda cut out of recognition of reggae history, but he was like a much better player than Ronnie Bop was - you know who Ronnie Bop was?
Q: Sure, well known session guitarist from that time.
A: Evar Murphy, but he died also, years after. But Stewy and Dougie, on the lead guitar also.
Q: How come you chose to play the bass?
A: Because I was playing guitar and when I hear Evar play I said "No way!" (laughs). "Forget it, man! Forget it, I better just play bass", because we needed a bass player also. You see, I also play drums, sometimes I will be playing drums when we had to fire the drummer. 'Cos after a while the band evolved, the band changed from Now Generation, then we set up Big Relation, and we got Jo Jo Bennett to do trumpet, Horsemouth (Wallace) on drums, and I used the overall instruments, y'know, different types. You know, this was the original band that played various clubs, different venues all over Kingston. We rise up really, really fast. It was amazing how fast it really went. 'Cos speaking of Val Douglas - I spoke to him yesterday (chuckles), we have a thing to do together... But those guys came after, Geoffrey Chung, the Chung brothers - Mikey Chung, all those guys came after we set up that band.