Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
Do we have anybody on this Site that can relate to the Steelband Clash with Invaders and Tokyo (I think it was 1950) EG: like where you were at the time, what you saw? or what you hear from your Parents or your friends, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeyvpBznVnA
George Goddard's Forty Years in the Steelbands, 1939-1979, Karia Press, 1991, has some of the details of the 1950 clash with direct quotes from the Trinidad Guardian on Carnival Tuesday, February 21, 1950. "...Most of the victims were members of the Invaders band who were chased for several yards and assaulted as they showed no inclination to become involved in any struggle..."
For pannists and pan lovers residing in the Maryland DC area, more details about steelband clashes, etc. are available from sources such as the Trinidad Guardian and the Port of Spain Gazette at the Library of Congress.
You are right about Art De Couteau arranging for All Aces. I remember going by his shoe maker shop which was at the corner of Walcott Lane and Hermitage Road. He talked about the "Teddy Boys" mas depiction that All Aces was playing.
I am not sure about your Highlanders on Charlotte Street statement though.
But here is something that I distinctly remember from the San Juan All Stars/Despers clash. Right behind Despers there was a truck with some white men in dresses and padded bottoms and breasts. They were dancing on the truck. When the fight start, I don't know where them white fellas disappear. The last thing that I saw before jumping one set of fences and ending up with a group of people in a doctor's yard with an Alsatian dog, was a big man from Despers, beating a San Juan All Stars man with his own helmet, as he crept between the bases (man wasn't running with any bases in those days).
Great memories , Bob Diaz . Your dad Cyril Diaz was a legendary musician back then and should be remembered as one of our cultural heroes.
One of these days I'll try to get Clarence Curvan or Roy Cape to tell the story of how their band shut down Tokyo steelband on carnival day in 1962 with their popular bomb , "Minuet in G",
In those days steelbands and brass bands also challenged each other musically on the road.
And BTW , not all steelband "clashes" were violent back then either ; many times steelbands met in peaceful musical "clashes" where they tried to outplay each other , either by volume or by sweetness , without any hint of violence.
A message from Sir David Simmons
Dear All - I just revisited Lord Blakie's interview with Alvin Daniell on a Calypso Showcase DVD. Blakie explains that in 1950 he was a member of Tokyo steelband (then known as Destination Tokyo). He was playing a Sledgeman mas. He says that Steelband Clash is an accurate record of what happened. Invaders were coming up Park Street and Tokyo were coming down beating very slow." He says "bottles start to come from Invaders into Tokyo and Tokyo "keep throwing bottles into Invaders." He ran and ended up on a lady's bed but a bottle hit him on his head. So never him again to jump in a Steelband in Port of Spain. Blakie explained also that the hiatus between the incident and his making the calypso in 1954 was because he got three years in the Youth Training Centre . He released the record on his release from YTC.
The best News from Sir David Simmons, this clears up bout what year Invaders/Tokyo Clash occurred (1950) and clears up "Why Blakie took so long to make the Calypso (He was incarcerated) This makes sense.
Bede, in those days any time yuh miss ah man yuh know he gone up the "river"
Cecil, is forget I forget that Blakie used to be locked up. One Sunday Morning I was Gambling on ST Paul Street in ah Chinee man Shop name "Wilson", it was Me, Blakie, Wilson and a few more fellas playing Poker, well Boi Ah Win the Chinee man and Blakie, the next thing you know, Blakie say "Ah Teffing", the man want to fight Oui, I pick up meh money and that was the last time I ever Gamble with Blakie. (he cyah stand he losses)
Hey Glenroy, In 1962 the streets of the city belonged to the Dutchy Brothers with their monster hit Caremelos, a tune wuich ruled the airwaves the year before. I did hear a steelband play Minuet in G with the same arrangement as on the record which was recorded in September 1962. You may have your date wrong. Dutchys won Best Road Band that same year.
You're right about the date , Teddy . It was 1963 , not 62.
Clarence Curvan's "Greatest Sound Around " album was released late in 62 , and "Minuet in G" was probably the biggest hit on that outstanding album.
This one's for you Teddy.......
Something positive from all this,whether if accuracy is questioned more important is that we can revisit those times with all the inputs jogging our memory, we must however give credit to WST for the opportunity and encourage others to join maybe we could be the next facebook our topics could prove to be as interesting especially to fellow west Indians and the uninformed youths...Lets keep it up fellas and you Ladies are welcome to put a feminine touch to the history of which we are so proud!!
Yeah man some of those days were violent days but it´s the history of the people of T&T their Steel Pan it´s players and an it´s development. I am so proud to be of a part off the rivalry of those days. Those days when even after carnival if you doh live NelsonStr. or George Str. or Over the bridge. Well East POS. Doh go over dey. The market was the border for strangers. Ah girl friend in in East Dry River? Forget it. That came later.
Here is Norman Darway’s recollection of the riot:
One of the riots that take place was on January 02nd 1950 and "Invaders" came from the court house and two of the "Invaders" men went up Park street, but "Tokyo" men lay wait, get dis tip of, come down in bathing trunks half naked an' attack these men and these men started to fight their way out, while some of the "Invaders" men who was in de area heard about it and rush to their assistance and start running "Tokyo" men down Charlotte street, across Duke street and back behind the bridge. Some of the bands complain about what would take place because carnival was jus two weeks away. Then "Casablanca" and "Tokyo" had deh plans for "Invaders". "Invaders" came through Park street for the carnival Tuesday and they turn into Charlotte street an' when they turn into Charlotte street, they saw Tokyo in front of them, who block the road an' stop beating, while "Casablanca" was at Observatory street an' "Casablanca" move down behind Invaders, so Invaders get sandwich right in de thing, they call it the great ambush. So "Invaders" had to fight dey way through these two bands and come back home. But while in de yard, they were thinking about what they would do, whether they should go back into town or not and in come the great Boysie Singh. Boysie Sing come in de yard and tell them, 'what happening?, we going to town' and he distributed weapons and march them to town with de hench men an' when "Tokyo" see "Invaders" flag coming, they decide to come to it, but when they see Boysie Singh, they turn back and Invaders run them straight behind de bridge and they had to scatter. From then on they realize that Boysie Singh was part of "Invaders" too, so they eh taking dat chance.