Q: I suppose that contributed to the song being so big at the time, that it broke the pattern of contemporary songs of being so simple and gimmick sounding.
A: I know, it was totally different, yeah. Totally different to what was going on. And even the flipside, 'I'll Follow You', that's the one I liked (chuckles). Up to now I still prefer that to 'No More Heartaches'. Because they liked both of them and there was like 'which one to choose for the flipside?', and I think 'No More Heartaches' won out after a while. But I still prefer 'I'll Follow You'.
Q: Why do you prefer that one, what's the reason?
A: (Laughs) I don't know. Maybe because it had something to do with somebody who I was kinda... you know?
Q: It was written about a certain girlfriend at the time...
A: (Chuckles) Yeah. As a matter of fact, those days, that's how you write something about what happen to you then, y'know.
Q: Your love life, yes.
A: Exactly, your love life you could say that it is. So 'I'll Follow You' was kinda more closer to me then than 'No More Heartaches'. 'Cause the song was saying 'searching so long, now that I've found you...', like you clinge to that person (chuckles).
Q: Communicating through a song, giving hints, like.
A: (Chuckles) Exactly, but 'I'll Follow You' was just telling the one that you're in love before that, you'll follow them wherever they'll go. And through that I let her know that I'd follow her anywhere she goes (laughs). You know what I mean?
Q: So, the conclusion: did it help?
A: (Laughs) Maybe it did.
A: Maybe it did, maybe it did, I'm not too sure. 'Cause all those years... I don't remember who the girl was (laughs).
A: Yeah. But I know it got us a lot of girls, but that's another story (chuckles).
A: But in those days, that's all you've got.
A: We didn't get a lot of shows yet. It's like after it hit, we were the group that everybody want to see, yunno. At that time you had the Carib Theatre, that was the big thing you had in those days. You had shows like Christmas morning.
Q: Easter too.
A: Yeah, that was another one.
Q: Exciting times.
A: Yeah, so eventually we did a lot of shows, a lot of live shows. And we even went down - we even worked on the North Coast. Yeah, a few clubs, we did a few gigs down there. It was fun and we appeared on the - then it was, as I say, it was the JBC that... yes, we appeared there. They had - I don't remember what it was called, I think it was 'Where Its At', something. It's a program where...?
Q: Right, the TV show.
A: Yes, it was. We appeared on that a couple of times too. And we were also invited at RJR, 'cause that was just the radio station, but JBC was the television station, which they could watch you and see, y'know. And also we did that when we came by (unaudible) (RJR show?), y'know. Not even send us (sighs)... you know? Get it higher up.
Q: Did you have to do it playback, or it was a live backing on the show, the TV program?
A: No, usually on these shows they used the tracks.
Q: Like ad-libbing.
A: Mime, you have to mime to it. Just what they do now, yes. They play the raw track and we sing and dance to it. Yeah, so there was no live band.
Q: Some nice outfits for the occassion I guess?
A: Oh yeah, we were really classic.
A: (Chuckles) We were really so classic, yeah. You had to dress up for the girls, 'cause... you know.
Q: Of course.
Q: Try to impress in every way.
A: Exactly. But that's what we got from it the most. We had the enjoyment, that's why I continued for a while, because we were enjoying it. But not that we were gettin' anything from it. And then we did a few more after that, like for Harry J we did 'Home Without You'. We did 'Why Pretend'. Um, I think 'Please'... I'm not sure if it was Harry J we did that for.
Q: 'Please (Stop Your Crying)', yes.
A: Yeah, I'm not sure if it was Harry J we did that for.
Q: Yes, it was.
A: I know I did 'Rough Road' for him.
Q: You cut 'Please' for Harry, it came out in '69 too on the Trojan label.
A: 'Please (Stop Your Crying)', yeah.
Q: And 'We've Got To Part' as well.
A: Yeah, and we had 'Rough Road' I think I did. I'm not sure if it was him I did that for.
Q: Yes, but that was later on, in the early seventies.
A: Later on, yes, yes. And 'Wrapped Up In Love'. I'd have to dig them out to find them (chuckles). Yes, some of the songs that I did. 'Cause I totally forget about some of the songs too. Because, as I said, discontentment after a while when nutten was happenin' really, financially. And that's why the group broke up really. Then we were only gettin' popular in a sense, but there was nutten really coming from it. And then we heard that it went big in England, and... As a matter of fact, when it went to number one on the chart in England, we were supposed to go to England with the group, yunno. And Harry J actually - I must give him credit, he actually start the bullet way with promotion, and that's the time the group really threw a spanner in the whole works and seh no, they won't do it with him again. And that's when the group broke up really, after that. And everybody decide to go their own way, which was kinda sad. I was just looking at it now and said 'Maybe if we would stick it out an' gone to England, somet'ing coulda happen'.
A: Yeah, something could've happened, I think that way. But I don't know, it wasn't meant to be.
Trevor Shields & The Fantels.
A: Yes, so after a time, after that happened now then I decide to go solo. But then there were other little groups there who wanted me to be a part of them. There was this group named The Fantels.
Q: Oh yes, yes.
A: Yeah, I did a stint with them too. Even one time we wanted to call ourselves 'The Beltones', yunno (chuckles).
A: Yea, we were kinda 'in-between', so we wondered if we should use the name 'Beltones'. 'Cause even on the internet I saw where someone had it as 'Beltones', I had to write them a letter saying no, it wasn't really Beltones. Really, it was Fantels.
Q: And this was like the mid seventies?
A: Yes. And there was even a time when Keble... his group was kinda, y'know what I mean, not going the way he wanted it and he kinda broke off. And Keble, myself and another guy called Bobby Dockeray got together.
from left to right: Trevor Shields, Keble Drummond, Bobby Dockeray
Q: Yes, yes. You had, mainly from the Cables, like a combination group called True Experience?
A: True Experience, yes. We formed a group and called ourselves True Experience, ca' we want to break away from the Cables and Beltones. And we did quite well but not as we had hoped it to be. Yeah. So there you go; Beltones, True Experience, Fantels.
Q: Who sang in the Fantels, can you recall them?
A: The names of the other guys?
A: Ah, let me see. There was Junior Lewinson, the other guy... Brown was his last name, well, we called him 'Dad' Brown but actually I try to find his right name (possibly the same man who cut 'Stand & Look' for Fatman circa '77, to be found on the 'Trojan 12" Box Set'). But affectionally everybody call him Dad Brown. I forget his real, his first name.
Q: I'm not sure but I believe he had a stint in Earth & Stone, if you remember them, recorded for Channel One?
A: I'm not sure, it could be. 'Cause in those times people move from group to group, y'know (chuckles). But anyway...
Q: I think the Fantels recorded for Joe Gibbs like 'Hooligan'.
A: 'Hooligan', exactly! So, yes... I know.
A: And then they invite me to jam with them, and we just... yeah.
Q: They had 'Where You Gonna Run (When Jah Jah Come)' too, a minor hit I believe.
A: Exactly (chuckles). That's true. And with the Fantels we kinda worked together too, mostly we didn't do any recordings when I was with them, we do mostly live shows. Yeah, mostly shows. We were planning to record, but then again we were getting shows to do so we were kinda stuck with the Fab Five.
Q: Fabulous Five with Grub Cooper and so on.
A: Exactly, so we used to like work with them, like when they're doing a tour locally.
The Fantels rehearsing.
Q: Package stuff.
A: A package, like. They had another junior band called the Unique Vision.
Q: Ah... yes! The blind guys?
A: Yeah, blind guys. So we used to be with Unique Vision most of the time, anywhere they're going we would be, like, part of the package. 'Cause those groups were managed by Fab Five. So we kinda link with them and we do shows together, all over the place.
Q: But you never sang lead for the Fantels, did you? You have a more 'smooth' type of singing. I, for some reason, cannot imagine you leading a roots harmony group?
A: No, no. When they invited me, yeah, I was the lead singer. Yes.
Q: So you sang on 'Hooligan'?
A: No, no, no. Those songs were recorded before, before I joined them.
Q: Aha, OK.
A: But like performance-wise, and stage-wise, yeah, I was the one to do the lead. 'Cause we hardly ever did like those songs that they record before I went in. Yeah, we decide to go in a different direction, we'd do mostly cover songs.
The Fantels (Tastee Concert, Kingston JA)
Q: I see. Because those tracks, 'Where You Gonna Run' and 'Hooligan', that is more culture, in a rootsy vein.
A: Exactly, we kinda stepped away from those kind of songs. We were trying to do, like, I guess when they broke up too... you know, as I say, groups break up for different reasons and you want to get away from what you recorded. So sometimes you want to forget certain things. And I guess that's what happened too when they broke up, with the first lead singer... I don't remember what his name was. I think they were three of them, originally. I'm not sure. I don't remember what the next one was called, I think he migrated and then that's when they decide to split. We met and they'd want me to be a part of them, and that's the story there.
Q: Back to the Beltones again. I suppose you didn't get much more than peanuts in terms of compensation, as was common. But how did you support yourself?
A: Oh, well, me personally, and all three of us in the Beltones, we all were workin'. Yeah, I was working with the government. So I had a job, I had a full-time job.
Q: You're educated at KC (Kingston College)?
A: No, I actually went to Trench Town Comprehensive High. Yeah, and when I left there I went straight to the government.
Q: Working with accounting, economics, or?
A: No, I was in the justice department really. I worked in the courts, yeah. I worked in the courts for eighteen years.
A: As a matter of fact, I worked in the appeal court section until I came to Canada here. Well, basically when you start there it's like you learn there and then we went on courses too because you'd have to learn certain things.
|Page: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ||
|[ Previous ] [ Next ]|
|Article: Peter I|
(Please do not reproduce without permission)