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Michael Rose Interview – Part 1

by | Sep 26, 2018 | Articles, Interview

Michael Rose NYC 2000 (Photo: David Corio)

“WATERHOUSE WAILING”

When: 2005

Where: Unknown

Reporter:  Peter I

Copyright:  2007 – Peter I

The news about a reunited Black Uhuru reached most of us with surprise a few years ago; the former antagonists Duckie Simpson and lead singer Michael Rose had settled their differences now once and for all and started work on new material for the first time in twenty-some years. Good news for some of us, while others couldn’t care less. What became of Uhuru during the early eighties was a mixed bag of production values and some still feel that the songs suffered badly because of this. Black Uhuru started out as one of the more interesting vocal groups in the late seventies, particularly due to Michael Rose’s fresh and energetic style, the now typical so-called ‘Waterhouse wailing’, a type of slur or slang which many Jamaican singers have picked up since. They cut a great album for the Prince Jammy camp, then the Island Records machinery took over, and the former spark of the group drowned in a lot of major company crap.

WATERHOUSE WAILING

For me, Michael Rose blossomed when he went back to where he started, from the mid eighties onward, as a solo singer; and he’s done pretty well as that. Rose showed some substance in a dancehall era which could leave a lot to be desired nowadays. It was to change within a couple of years after he had begun cutting singles for Sly & Robbie’s Taxi label, with people like the late Garnet Silk joining Rose by popularizing the cultural aspect of the music once more. My thanks to Michael and family, Ryan ‘Reggaesoul’ Bailey, Carlton Hines, Ryan Moore, David Corio, Laurent Pfeiffer and Donovan Phillips.

You were born in the heart of the ghetto, the Waterhouse area, right?
Yeah.

Where in Waterhouse to be more precise?
Um, I don’t know if you know Waterhouse very good, but it’s a place called – the road is called Montserrat Road, and that is off Denham Road, I don’t know if you know it that well (quite right I don’t)? Yeah, it’s between Bayfarm Road, Denham Road, yeah? That kind of a area.

And that’s an area where you had people like Sly (Dunbar) as neighbour?
Yes, Sly! Yes, Sly was there.

He lived in that area.
Yeah, it’s close by, like walking distance, y’know.

He was also a Waterhouse resident at the time. And you became friends from early on?
Who, Sly? Yeah, yeah. It’s like one big neighbourhood.

What you mostly read about when it comes to the Waterhouse area, it’s mainly a dangerous part of Kingston, one of the most violent. But when you grew up, I assume it was pretty different from what it became from the late seventies and onwards?
Well, in those days it was not so bad, wasn’t so bad. But as time goes on and I and I move on, you have new generations who come around who actually don’t decide to cope with life, the slow lifestyle, everybody want to get rich quick, y’know, the fast living. So you have more crime and everything.

Is it pretty much the same nowadays, or Waterhouse hasn’t changed much for the better?
Well, I wouldn’t say it changed, yunno, I wouldn’t say it changed. But it is like it’s hard, it is hard.

Michael Rose

Michael Rose

The opportunities for youths in that area, or most areas, I suppose it’s still ‘limited’ to say the least?
Well, the opportunity… I’ve seen more, if more developers could come by to develop in certain areas with them youth deh, so that them can achieve, but not by stealin’ or… From they sit down every day, some a them left high school them na have nutten fe do and, y’know, some turn to the gun, some just – they die in the street like that, some end up a prison. Whatever can be altered to help all these youths, y’know.

What is needed there the most right now, apart from the obvious answer, we both know what, I mean that doesn’t necessarily take them off the streets at night, right?
Right. Well, I feel more employment for them, for the youth them. Too much unemployment.

Your brothers had some sort of influence on you, musically, when you grew up, didn’t they?
Yea, because actually when I was growing up as a young person coming up, my brothers, they actually used to sing… my brother used to sing ‘Jailhouse Rock’, and when Christmas time come, they would sing Christmas carols and t’ing like those. But they used to record for this guy called Newton Simmons, he had the recording studio called SRS Studio.

Where?
In Waterhouse. Yeah.

What sort of studio was that, just a little two-track?
Yeah, it was just a lickle two-track (chuckles). Sly them usually go by ’cause, like, everybody who knew music always know Sly ’cause it’s just one lickle circuit, y’know. You understan’. So whatever Sly could’ve done we could’ve done it, ’cause we both knew each other.

I wouldn’t say I’ve heard about that studio before, it was basically a demo studio or rehearsal space?
No, no. This guy, he used to work at the airport, Norman Manley Airport in Kingston there, and he had a studio at home. So when he’s not working, sometimes he’d be there recording in the evening. You’d have like Snacky and quite a few of them from university who don’t be violent, some people would sing, y’know, Sly would come and play drum. Newton, the guy who owns this studio, he would play a lickle guitar, and so on, and they would let Ansel Collins come and do some overdub on keyboard. And they had a song out of this studio called ‘Woman A Ginal Fe True’, I don’t know if you even remember that song (sings the chorus): ‘Woman a ginal fe true, they take away your money and your love, then they leave you for another man…’?

No.
Actually that song was recorded by this singer, was Andel Fordie. He actually work for a newspaper, a magazine out of New York right now. Yeah.

So you sang like harmony on that song?
No, actually y’know I was on the flipside of the record, and them time deh I was a deejay!

Q: (Chuckles)
(Laughs) It sound strange, but like inna the early days we used to, like, play jus’ one lickle sound system them inna the ghetto, and you used to have a lickle man named Mr Sampson who used to live next door to me who used to have a lickle sound, and we used to play the sound and fool around the mic, y’know.

What was the name of the sound?
Sammy Hi-Fi.

OK, Sammy Hi-Fi, just a small small local sound?
Yeah, he used to just… a man who used to love records, play music on weekends, from Friday evening he would play, sometimes on Wednesday. But them time deh, you know how it go, all your parents is tellin’ you seh,’ bwoy, do you homework, stay in, don’t go out’, so…

(Chuckles)
You know? So, inna them days deh, that’s the only way to get a chance fe deal with music, y’know. There was another lickle sound named Danny Little Disco, yeah, he was at the end of Montserrat Road or Barbados Road. Yeah, he was a good influence with music too, ca’ them man deh used to play record all the time, every day coming from work he used to play, ca’ he used to love music. I used to go by them place listening, y’know. Yeah man.

‘Danny Little Disco’?
Yeah, Danny’s Lickle Disco. And sometime on weekends now they used to play out, people used to engage them, y’know, like people keeping parties, they used to hire out the sound an’ t’ings like that. They used to play like Duhaney Park, that’s where Junior Delgado is from, and they used to play Pembroke Hall where Tony Rebel is now. Yeah, them days deh used to be nice, beca’ them time deh me young an’ them time deh a pure soul people, afro an’ bellfoot pants an’ it jus’ a different… you know?

Other vibes, different era.
Yeah, you know wha’ me a talk ’bout, ca’ inna them days deh, if you know wha’ appen before inna the seventies…

Soul music carried the swing, like you said, the ‘fro, high heeled boots and all this.
Yeah, yeah, and more party, like, people go to a party an’ them enjoy themselves, y’know. Yeah man, I used to wear bellfoot pants them time deh we have, you know the big foot pants them? Yeah, and the high heel boot an’ all them t’ing deh. Mmm.

So your start was more in the deejay field.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Actually when my brother died now, that time we start penetrate the singin’.

What happened to him?
He had an accident an’ die.

Car accident?
Yeah.

Then what happened next? I think I heard something about you being a part of either the Falcons or a group called Happiness Unlimited?
Happiness Unlimited. The t’ing was there now, after I used to record like… not really recording as such, but like talent shows usually. They used to have this place named Bohemia, a man named Sir Hilton by Half Way Tree there, I used to go to that club. You have Jackie Brown, you had Keith Poppins, and quite a lot of big artists, y’know, inna them time deh. You used to have this brethren whe sing ‘Miss Wire Waist’, them man deh a the bigger man too (singin’ the chorus), you remember those songs?

Right, Carl Malcolm.
Yeah. And couple time is like I used to go to some audition, and one a the time I won a talent show and that’s how Niney did discover me, and that’s how we started the first recording, yeah?

Which one was that, was it ‘Dinner’ or any of the other tracks you cut for Niney at the time?
‘Guess Who’s Coming For Dinner’.

OK, that’s the first.
‘Freedom’, ‘Some Love Between Us’, and ‘Clap the Barber’, we record them songs, yunno.

What about Happiness Unlimited, did they…
Hol’ on now, then after that now we did do… Happiness Unlimited I think it drop in jus’ before the recordings. Yeah. Happiness Unlimited, we know a brethren Tokey Taylor then, and them did invite me to come do a audition with the band. Them time deh the band used to rehearse at the Hummingbird Restaurant at Half Way Tree Road, yeah? And started to do some, like, performances an’ t’ing, like dinner music and so on, that stuff. They had Sharon, Sharon she used to be singer, like the lead singer for the band them time.

Niney

Niney

Who, Sharon Forrester?
No, not Sharon Forrester. But I haven’t seen that girl in a long time, must be thirty odd years. I used to sing harmony.

Who else played in that band?
Ahhh…

Who was bandleader?
The bandleader was Garth Bright. You used to have a youth name Fish, can’t remember his right name but Fish used to play keyboard, Garth Bright used to play the bass, then you used to have… it was a couple a them guys, drums and guitar.

I think I’ve seen somewhere that Third World’s drummer, Willie (Stewart), he used to play in that band.
Yeah, Willie! Willie used to play drums inna the band, yeah? And, me nuh know, but for some reason we get the contrac’. We play the North Coast and then, like, I did a year an’ six months down there, and then a man smoke weed an’ then the man want me to talk who the man was, I didn’t talk, an’ then I was fired from the band. Anyhow, me never take it as bad, I come forward, go check Sly and see wha’ gwaan an’ Sly seh, “Write some tune an’ get some tune together”. By this time now, Sly did get busy with Peter Tosh (or ‘Touch’) and they went on tour, then after I came up an’ link up with Duckie (Simpson) them from, yeah, when I left the country, link up with Duckie an’ so on, and so on, and record the ‘Love Crisis’ album for Prince Jammy, y’know. Then Sly them come back from the tour and we record the ‘Showcase’ album. Between that we did record two songs, couple songs for Dennis Brown, the ‘Rent Man’, ‘Wood For My Fire’, and so on.

OK. Listen to this track (playing ‘Clap the Barber’ off the Heartbeat Niney-anthology ‘Truths & Rights – Observer Style’, issued circa 1992).
Mmm.

Been some time you last heard that one, eh? Which one was it?
Yeah man, that’s ‘Clap the Barber’!

(Chuckles)
(Laughs) Yeah.

How come you wrote that tune? Was it a suggestion from Niney, like, to become a response to David Jahson’s ‘Natty Chase The Barber’ at the time (a big hit in ’76)?
Yeah, yeah. Well, inna them time deh there was a lot of fight, you know inna them time deh you jus’ start Rass an’ your parents would handle it seh, bwoy, y’know ‘You better comb that hair or we gonna take you to the barber shop’ (chuckles), an’ all these t’ings. So there was a whole heap a fight when you start see Rastafari an’ take onto this way of life, wherein you start praise Jah. You have different heavens, y’know, and start stick to certain kinda living. And because of our parents now who actually didn’t brought up that way, so them never have that understandin’, so it hard for them fe really accep’ it.

They were devout Christians I suppose?
No, them wasn’t Christian… yeah, them waan you more go to church an’ (chuckles) them t’ing deh an’… you know? So it’s like when we start seh ‘Rasta’ now an’ seh ‘Africa’ an’ them t’ing deh, them couldn’t see through that. So there was a big fight and when you’re coming up as all a Rasta youth inna them time deh, but it’s like at the same time we never used to dis we parents still, we used to jus’, whatever, hide from them or… you know? (Chuckles) Run away from home an’… you understan’?

OK, so you were like a renegade kid there for some time?
Yeah, them kinda vibes deh. Yeah man, for real, y’know.

But you ‘solved’ that conflict with your folks later on, your parents accepted this after a while?
Yeah, them accept it now because they saw actually that the life we would a deal with, we never there try fe come rob people or try to steal anyt’ing from anybody, y’know, an’ them kinda t’ing deh. The way our life how we would a deal with, we never a deal with no life whe it’s like, bwoy, to let them down, you understan’. Ca’ when a man go to prison you would’ve let dung your family, ca’ them no like that.

Of course.
You know.

What inspired that song, ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner’, what’s the background to this classic again?
Is the same Sidney Poitier t’ing, yunno. Yeah?

Ah, the movie, right.
Yeah, the movie with Sidney Poitier inspired it. And inna them times deh, the fight from the parents them, ca’ a Rastaman would hold a queen, hold a nice girl an’ go to Excelsior (High School) an’ them t’ing deh, the mother them an’ the father them would a seh, bwoy, y’know, them no waan no Rasta inna them family an’ rae, rae, rae. You know, it would be a big task, and then girlfriend would answer seh, bwoy, she have a mind of her own an’ nobody can tell her who to meet, you understan’. And true, like, the Rastaman would answer, bwoy, him na eat no pork an’ them t’ing deh, a different whole t’ing. So, most of the young daughter them whe a come up an’ did love we in them time deh, y’know, everyone a them want fe deal with a Ras, you see, ca’ them usually like the way how I stay. It na hurt no one, ca’ the Rastaman is a peaceful man, yunno.

The records you cut for Niney, did he go behind them at all, really pushed for it, apart from ‘Dinner’ which became pretty well-received in England I think.
Who, Niney?

Yes, I remember now that I spotted an ad for it in a UK publication, I think it was Black Music, on the Oval Records imprint, so he did try. But they did not do much for you in Jamaica?
No, them tune deh never really take off a Jamaica, them did more play an’ buss a Englan’.

What about the ‘Born Free’ track for Jammys at that time, you remember that one (actually produced by Fatman and released through Yabby You)?
Yeah.

But Yabby You put it out.
Right.

Who was behind the production for that one?
The tune was Yabby You tune, yunno. But then now I think Jammys did get a cut of it, and Jammys did put it ‘pon fe him album, y’know.

Was that a solo cut or done with the other Uhuru guys, but like only credited to your name?
You know seh me no remember how that tune… I think it did done firs’, I think it was a solo, don’t it? And then when it came out on Jammy album we re-record it, right. It was a solo, don’t it?

Probably was.
Yeah, Yabby You version was a solo and I think the Jammys cut was Black Uhuru, for we do redone it. Yeah.

I can give it a play for you, hold on (playing ‘Born Free’ off the excellent Yabby You-anthology ‘Jesus Dread’).
Mmm.

You recall cutting this, and it was for Yabby?
Yeah, yeah. I think that’s Duckie them singin’ harmony there, yunno, so I think it’s the same cut.

OK, so it’s actually Black Uhuru then.
Yeah. Did it say Black Uhuru?

I think it was credited to Michael Rose only, yes it is.
Oh, OK.

Duckie Simpson

Duckie Simpson

So the single was most likely bearing your name only, I’ve never seen it myself, but apparently it came out as…
As Michael Rose, right.

But you suggest Duckie is in the background there?
Yeah… I waan… I don’t know, I cyaan remember. I’m gonna ask Yabby, yunno, ’cause I’m gonna see him, Yabby? ‘Cause he’s on tour right now, yunno.

Where?
Um, I think a Montpellier them a go play. It’s a big festival in Montpellier (the JA Sound fest), I think Steel Pulse is on the bill there too an’ Toots an’ all a them people.

Good. Probably the year after or even ’78, thereabouts, you did a cut of Marley’s ‘Sun Is Shining’ for…
Sly.

Yes, possibly, but it came out on Jo Jo’s Hitbound/Channel One label. It is out there since about 1989 on Heartbeat, the ‘Hitbound – The Revolutionary Sound of Channel One’ compilation.
Oh, and wha’ it say, Michael Rose?

No, Black Uhuru.
OK.

Let me give it a spin for you (picking this early Uhuru track off the Heartbeat LP).
Yeah man.

Where were we, this was done for the Hookims anyhow.
Yes, Channel One. Channel One days, yeah a them times deh now…

How you got there in the first place, it was Sly who brought you there? Would be obvious since he was a regular in the Revolutionaries band.
Yeah, Sly. Me did know Sly, yeah, and then now I used to go check Sly in the yard like every morning an’ every day an’ go a studio, sometime we go Joe Gibbs, sometime we go Channel One, sometime we go downtown Randy’s, yunno. Them time deh we used to have a driver, a taxi driver named Shorty, him, an’ Shorty used to be the driver, man. But every morning we used to catch Sly in him yard before him leave. Yeah, a so the studio t’ing gwaan, get used to the studio vibes. And then at the same time we a gwaan write some tune an’ so on, an’ so on, an’ so on, y’know, ’til one day seh now Sly seh, bwoy, mus’ come an’ record at the studio an’ carry Duckie with me, and so on. You know, we start record a couple tunes, ‘General’ an’ them tune deh.

But before that, what about this song ‘Observe Life’ on a JA Upsetter?
Oh yeah, well, ‘Observe Life’ was solo, that was solo. Yeah. That was solo, yunno, for Lee Perry.

It also came out on Dickie Wong’s Tit For Tat label. Another version of the same song.
Oh! ‘Observe Life’ come out ‘pon Tit For Tat label…?

Right, Dickie Wong.
Yeah.

How come?
Don’t know, yunno. Look like we did record it fe Sly, I don’t know…

You used to perform on and off at the Tit For Tat nightclub at the time?
Oh yeah. Well, hear how that go now, actually ‘pon Friday night time we would get a chance fe usually go up by Tit For Tat an’ check Sly an’ more time when them a finish off a night time me a sing a one tune! You know?

Ranchie McLean

Ranchie McLean

Right, you got a guest slot on occasion when the Skin Flesh & Bones played?
Yeah, Skin Flesh & Bone. Them times deh Lloyd Parks used to play bass, yeah, and Ranchie (McLean) used to play guitar. You know Ranchie?

Yes, yes, excellent guitar and bass player.
Yeah, Ranchie used to play guitar. And you used to have a disabled brethren who used to play keyboard, a that him play now. Yeah. Alright, so after ‘Observe Life’ now, that was with Sly, ‘Archie Bella’, that was with Sly…

Yes, and one titled ‘Key of Keys’ on the Key label, even.
Oh, yea. Yeah, Key label, that was me and a friend.

Someone called ‘S. Roach’.
S. Roach, Sol Roach. Yeah. But him live Miami now, we used to call him ‘Twet’ as a petname. Yeah, inna them time, but he lives in Florida now. He had somet’ing to do with that ‘Liquidator’ song, you remember that ‘Liquidator’ song?

Right, Harry J.
Yeah, and it went big time. Yes, this guy Roach did have somet’ing to do with it.

He played on it?
I don’t remember how it go, yunno, he has somet’ing to do with this song, somet’ing. But you know, inna them time deh, sometime a man record a song and the song get ‘way and somebody else maybe do somet’ing an’ the song get ‘way with THEM, so actually the man who put the song together or whatever, he doesn’t get nutten. You know what I’m saying?

Yep.
So, it’s jus’ one a them t’ing deh, y’know, but was unfair still, innit.

Yes. You did ‘Running Around’ for him as well.
‘Running Around’? (Sings) ‘Running, running ’round…’. Oh yeah, we used to do somet’ing together, y’know, a that me try fe show you how t’ings work. It look like me a do it for him, but it never so it should’ve been, but me and him used to do it. You understan’ me? But inna them days deh a so people do t’ings, y’know, them do it fe them way an’ them lock you out, you understan’. But I guess it’s the beginning of somet’ing, y’know what I’m saying? A me an’ him a do it together, you understan’, but then now when the credit a go dung him no put me name on that, him do it like me do the song for him. Yeah. I waan tell you, when we actually put that label together, there was a man called Sol Roach – Sol ‘Rooch’, it’s not ‘Roach’, it’s Saul Rooch, he was a white man. Ya hear me, them did come from somewhe, I don’t remember whe them come from but them did a invest in some – they used to sell denim, all kinda different… they was in a clothesline t’ing, in denim, y’know wha’ I’m saying? But the man did rich an’ the man did give him, my brethren, some money so me an’ him could get the product together. Beca’ we used to go an’ help the man sell the denim. But while we deh-deh we a tell him seh, bwoy, a no really the denim we waan sell, a some record we want (laughs)! So him give we some money an’ me we do some recording, but at the same time we help him sell the denim and help him get a whole heap a sales! That’s how life is, man. I dunno where that man is, but that man was a good man, his name is Sol Rooch.

He had three different outlets for that song, the Key, Harmony and Quarter Mile labels respectively.
Yeah, and we release another song, ‘We Shall Overcome’.

Right, on the Key label.
Right, on the Key label again. Yeah man.

Michael Rose NYC 1994 (Photo: David Corio)

Michael Rose, Times Square NYC 1994 (Photo: David Corio) | davidcorio.com

You hung out with Dennis Brown a lot in those days, didn’t you?
Yeah. Inna the seventies now, yeah, inna the same time when me used to do the talent show an’ t’ing, we used to go downtown an’ them time deh we used to go Georgie, so Georgie School now was North Street. So when we go downtown a evening time we used to go ‘Big Yard’, an’ that’s how me link up with Dennis Brown them an’ so on, an’ used to have all Roman Stewart, yeah, from the early times. You know, Big Youth, Sticky, Cry Cry (aka Prince Far I), all a them man deh me used to see in them time deh. Keith Poppin, Snappin’, ‘Easy Snappin” (sings) ‘Eeeasy snappin’…’ – you remember that song?

Randy's

Randy’s

Yes, Theophilus Beckford.
Yeah, them man deh was big man for me still, ca’ me did young them time deh, y’know. But these were the people whe me used to see inna the business them time deh an’ look up to, Jah Youth, yeah, Cry Cry, Gregory Isaac, yeah? Them time deh Gregory have (sings) ‘Now that my looove is overdue…’ (chuckles). The whole downtown, the North Parade t’ing, was jus’ a vibes, yunno. Randy’s was, y’know, we used to record at Randy’s studio too, a deh so we record ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner’, and it was the Soul Syndicate band.

I did hear from someone who said something about the Idler’s Corner there…
Yeah, ‘Idler’s Rest’ (chuckles).

The artists painted or drew their names on a wall there at the time, grafitti style.
Yeah man, everybody used to… don’t it, don’t it.

That would be a sight to see, wonder if it’s still there?
Bwoy, I don’t even know, yunno. When I go back a Jamaica I have to drive down deh an’ go look.

(Chuckles)
(Laughs) Ca’ everyt’ing change up. You used to have Dirty Harry (imitates the saxophone), you remember? Dirty Harry used to deh-deh too, Freddie McKay, we used to see Ken Boothe now and then, you understan’, Heptones used to deh-deh same way too, Leroy Heptone, the whole Heptones – the group. Ca’ them used to live up a Duhaney Park, up a New Havens one a the time, the last half. And then now Junior Delgado, the whole a me an’ Junior Delgado an’ Dennis Brown, the whole a we used to spar them time deh we young, yeah? Yeah, them time deh Gregory Isaac used to say, ‘Bwoy, the Ital dread from Western Kingston’, a so him used to call Junior Delgado, Jux yunno.

And this was a time when you helped each other if times were hard…
Yeah man, them times deh, bwoy, was a great joy an’ more happiness, people never used to selfish, y’know, people like all Owen Gray an’ all them man deh, you understan’. And Prince Buster used to have him record shop up a top deh so, up a Orange Street. Yeah, was a nice vibes, an’ Niney an’ Bunny Lee deh ’round deh so, an’ Bunny Lee used to – everybody did nice, yunno.

King Tubby (Photo: John Williams)

King Tubby (Photo: John Williams)

Everybody sat waiting almost at the same place, waiting to get the chance for recording, and…
Everybody was waiting for a chance and a man like Bunny Lee aaaalways a tell me seh me a go mek it, and when me inna the studio an’ record dung a Tubbys an’ me sing this (giving me a sample of his trademark slur) ‘ting ding ding nani ning ning woy’. And the sound an’ everyt’ing, Tubbys used to laugh off a we an’ say a whe we a go with that, we na go mek it! And Jammys used to stand an’ listen to him (chuckles), y’know what I’m saying? Yeah man. Bwoy, them days deh gone for good, y’know, it’s just like if me a tell you now, you see it’s like that joy whe we used to have deh downtown an’ everybody help everybody, that’s how Waterhouse used to be long time ago, an’ it change now. A pure gun an’ pure t’ing an’… you know?

You had the obvious competition in those days as well, but if one did make some good money that day he could share some of what he made with those sitting there who didn’t, buying some food or beer for the rest.
Inna them times deh? Man still give we t’ings, yunno, even now inna Jamaica. But you see, through the inner city thing get dangerous through the gun an’ them t’ing deh, beca’ you no know the place infected with drugs an’ the place jus’ get dangerous.

Right, sticky situation.
You know, them times deh the place never did so… it was bad but not so bad, you understan’, but you still did have a great joy them times deh. Them time deh all Beres, Beres used to sing pure ballad them time deh. You no remember man Beres Hammond?

Sure. Beres was more a soul singer than anything, even now perhaps.
Freddie McKay, Freddie McGregor used to sing with one a them band deh too, from long time. I wonder who me a left out? You used to have a youth named Dave Robinson.

Dave was the one I spoke to.
Dave Robinson?

Yes, he’s in New York now.
Yes! Yes, da youth deh was a very very nice youth, brethren man, very nice brethren.

Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson

And close to Dennis Brown.
Close to Dennis Brooown! An’ him know Jux good too an’ talk ’bout Jux too, don’t it? And who else him talk ’bout, Romey? Roman Stewart.

Right.
A: Yeah man.

Roman Stewart who passed away last year.
Yeah, Roman Stewart passed away last year, bwoy, me a tell you big man. Peter, you glad fe know them days.

Those were the days as they say.
Yesss! Yeah, and Dave jus’ go a foreign an’ Dave no sing again.

He’s trying to do some new recordings now.
Him a try a comeback?

Yes.
Bwoy, me would a love fe find him, yunno. And you used to have a brethren deh name Joney from dung a Big Yard, the whole a them man deh used to deh round Dennis Brown, yeah man, Joney. But Dave is a brethren whe… is a very humble brethren an’ him jus’ keep ‘way from the music an’ I don’t know why, yunno, if he jus’ get hurt by the system, I don’t know. Somet’ing, y’know, but him would jus’ disappear and it never feel good.

If you never really get a ‘steady foot’ within the business, that breakthrough everybody’s longing for…
If you don’t get a break, don’t it?

Then what’s left?
You get frustrated.

Yes.
A true, man.

Many passed through over the years, some real talented people too, but they never seemed to get what they deserved. Such is life, but you had several good groups in Waterhouse too, like Well Pleased & Satisfied, remember them?
Yes, Pete.

And David Jahson who did ‘Natty Chase The Barber’, also a Waterhouse resident at the time.
He is my friend!

Really?
Yeah! Him come from Waterhouse, don’t it? Yeeeah, him live a England. Yeah man, him a me friend, man. All him, him is another humble man too. Them man deh a some very very humble, I think them used to record for Earl’s Disco?

That’s correct.
Riiight.

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