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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

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WOW! What recall of a piece of history involving Boysie Singh. Thank you Darway.

Teddy Pinheiro

Edward, I never hear nobody talk bout Mano Benjamin, as a Badjohn, only bout that incident with the Girls, etc

Aye I laughing here boy. That sounding like the story line for a movie or something.

It will be greatly appreciated if the "Pan Pioneers" that shared on this topic do the same on the topic "What about the Steelband Today" the future of the steelband could benefit from it. 

Cecil, You got to remember these Pan Pioneers that are commenting on these Topics are Old-time "Badjohns", they could tell you more about how to cut ah man Belly with ah Razor soak in Garlic so they will not "Bleed", lol

Aye Bede not all the people that are commenting are Ole -Time Badjohns like you say.Some of us are innocent witnesses of the time.With friends and family being part of the scene and who were fans of the different pan sides. Who when jumping up with their favourite band would get caught in the middle.Run,run,run The other side of the story was.Although the Steel Pan at the time had a very negative reputation there was great talent.Doh forget there was competition to be won so dem boy an dem had to learn dey songs.Pan had to be tune,polish and shine.So the same badjons would have a lot musically to tell. Hear nah,dem days Classical music was just as big as calypso.So there was plenty,plenty talent. Dey just use to exchange the pan sticks for the cutlass or the. Razor in garlic .Now and den.  I remember All Stars use to practice dey bomb tune with dey fingers so that nobody could hear what dey coming with. 

Ade, Just trying to raise ah little Ruffles hoping to draw some attentions to Cecil Hinkson Post "What about the Steelbands today?" This is what he said,"

In 1959 when Desperadoes played "Noah"s Ark" they had 1500 to 2000 masqueraders and their pans rolled on the ground. In 2014 with all the technology available they they have less than 100, the message in this picture is crystal clear, what they are doing today is not working. Despers was used as an example, this picture is the same for 99.9% of steelbands.

There is always a lot of talk about the history of the steelband, why is there NO dialogue about the present, why is it so easy to accept the attitude that nothing can be done?"

These are two different conversations, both very important.

The conversation about steelband clashes and the role played by the badjohns in the early days of the steelband is an important one. It will lead to discussions about the origins and the early development of the culture, that is not often aired.

The second conversation about the present situation is also important, I think, because it leads, as you suggest, to  discussion of the future of the steelband as an important feature of carnival and as a movement,

However, there is one organisation that links the two together. When you speak about 99.9% of the steelbands being much smaller and with a much smaller following, we have to discuss the remaining  0.1%. What makes this phenomenon different.? Here are a couple interesting facts.

1.   In the 50s and 60s, it was one of the very few 'major' bands who seemed to exist without any real 'badjohn' component. (Rather, they were popular with some of the more famous prostitutes of the day)

2. From day one, they were focussing on sweet music and some of our greatest calypsonians played with them

3.   In 2014, still playing sweet music they flooded the streets with a sailor mas that won them 'band of the Year'

The phenomenon? Trinidad All Stars!

Have they been showing us the way forward all this time? If this is possibly the case, should this 'way' not be examined and discussed?

Noel , our biggest mistake was not recognizing that the unique feature that made the Trinidad Carnival special was the steelband , not the calypso , and not even the spectacular costumes of the mas bands of yesteryear.

The costumes could be copied and made even better elsewhere, the music could be replaced by another uptempo music genre , samba for example.

But the Trinidad steelband was irreplaceable.


The steelband should have been the main focus of the Carnival , similar to the samba schools of Brazil, not just a sideshow.

I know that as a friend told me , that ship has sailed, but, consider where we would have been today had our approach been different.

Unfortunately , we've never been fully able to appreciate the artistic beauty of the "mobile' steelband.

Glenroy, I have a huge problem with "the ship has sailed" that's the kind of stupid talk we have coming from people who could get together and help find a way to make sure that the steelband remain in carnival.

I'm not blind to reality , Cecil , that doesn't make me stupid.

There is no will or desire to do the work and make the sacrifices necessary to create such a situation.

And wishing won't make it so.

We would need to have an thorough re-assessment of our way of doing things , including an objective examination of the impact , pro and con of the sacred cow , the panorama  on the development of the steelband today, and its role in carnival..

And make changes that few desire, especially those who are comfortable with the status quo.

I'll be very surprised if that ever happens..

Bede. I must say I have´nt been home now for some years.I have´nt seen carnival in ages. But from what I gather.And I could be wrong. Since ca.30 years or more the steel pan started to dissapear from the streets on carnival Monday and Tuesday,they left it up to the Brass bands. I know I was the brass band (Just Fab,Gemini Brass,Blue Ventures etc) Now it´s the DJ´s who are making the music on the street. Nevertheless,even though virtual when I read When Steel Talks and Pan Times there seem to be a lot happening also on a International basis. Ah mean Labour day is all about Pan. Or? Glenroy to say "The ship has sailed" I doh think is quite right.We still have plenty pan home.The thing would be the orgarnisation.Make it attractive for the players to stay on the street on carnival day. And Valentine Yeah time has changed but it seem like Steel pan "IN CARNIVAL" went back wards. All over the world have carnival.Brazil,Venedig or here in Germany it´s a costume party. But Pan. That´s T&T. I think it should find it´s way back on the streets. Let them try to "Drown out each other" .Naturaly without the fights.   One very important note:  I just hope that the people responsible dose not let it get out of the hands of T&T. With that I mean.It would be sad to wake up one day and hear that somebody discovers that Pan did not originate in T&T but some where in India or USA or something.


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