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
If they do Something as Powerful as Making a Law to allow Steel Bands on the Roads with out and Interference from Big Trucks That would be Great. We must also take into Consideration the Other Stake Holders in Carnival. They would Cry Discrimination. It would be a Tough Law to Pass. Its Not Easy Cecil. The Big Trucks are like a Tsunami sweeping Our Beloved Pans off the Roads. ''Help!
What about Jouvert? Steelbands only on Jouvert morning? And after 7 on Tuesday?
Bede You know that Steel band is My Blood. I wish things would of remained as it was in Our Heyday. The Powers that be has let it Slip away. The Big Trucks and the Boom Boxes are like a Cancer Eating away at Our Steel band Culture on the Road and there is No Help from the Government and they are only ones that Can Change it. Hence the reason I always Say that Steel band on the Road on Carnival is Mortally Wounded. As Cecil Said All Stars does it and to a lesser extent Starlift. They are the only two who does it. They are The Last of the Mohicans.
Noel My Bro. With All Due Respect. The Carnival that I speak about are the Same Revellers That You Speak about. They Started the Carnival or Mardi Gras as it is also Called. The African started Mimicking them sometime afterwards. The had Brass Supplying their Music and they were on Trucks and also on the Road and that's a fact. This was in the late 18th Century. The Slaves Could not afford the Brass Instrument so they took to Dustbins, Posey and Many other Metallic Instrument which eventually evolved into the Creation of the Steel band.
Yes, that's what we were taught.
However historical research has revealed a slightly different story. I cannot elaborate on it here, but in a nutshell:
+ The African slaves brought with them an elaborate tradition of masks and masquerades. These were very oftem tied to religious celebrations and events, although some were secular.
+ Because their religious celebrations and observances were banned, they performed them, in hiding in a scaled down manner.
+ When the Planters started to allow them to have their own little carnival celebrations, they used these not only to mimick the whites' celebrations, but also as an outlet for their own masquerades that they had brought with them
+ these 'african' masquerade characters were the origins of much of what we call 'traditional mas'. It explains the Moko Jumbie, the blue devil, the djable malassie, the dragon mas, the pierrot grenade, etc -- none of which have antecedents in the Europen tradition, Interestingly too, some of these characters appear in the traditional folk celebrations of places that have no carnival tradition -- e.g. Barbados and Jamaica.
+ The instrument that the ex-slaves used was the drum. However, out of fear of the 'power' of the drum to rally black people (and other political reasons) the drum was banned (remember the history of the Canboulay riots?) Because of this banning the blacks 'invented' the tamboo bamboo to accompany them. they also used metallic things like those you suggest, old dustbins, etc.
+ The blacks chose these instruments not because 'they could not afford' brass bands. Of course they could not, but their choice of instrument was a logical progression, in terms of their situation. They were heavily into rhythms, coming from a 'drum' culture'. The amazing polyrhythms they were able to extract from the tamboo-bamboo attest to this. Also, as Rudder has pointed out, even in the modern steel band, the 'engineroom, is in the rhythm. section. (and think, even when we could afford to, many blacks opted not to use brass bands as their music of choice),
+ remember our soul, as black people in in rhythm. No black Caribbean (or anywhere) supporters of a football team would have 'You'll Never Walk Alone' as their theme song, rather, a simply one-line melody would suffice, sung to wicked drumming and iron e.g. 'QRC, we want a goal."
BEDE... I have just closed my "Archive", the INVADERS & TOKYO CLASH was actually in 1953, I was 7years old goin on 8 that very year, I could remember my Aunt who taught me how to read music, came home running, she played mas with Ciyt Syncopaters from Quarry Street, I was scared for her untill she told us what happened, so Lord Blakie composed and sung it the following year 1954, and the song eventually got Road March that year,
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.
This message from Sir David Simmons makes sense on the Year the Invaders/Tokyo Clash took place which was 1950 and why did Blakie took so long (3 Yrs) to Release his Calypso, because Blakie was INCARCERATED for 3 yrs.
Mr. Noël. With Respect to You Sir, You are Distorting the Truth to Verify Your Point. You are Way Off Course and Misleading. Believe what You want to Believe but in doing So Seek Truth. I have Nothing More to Say.
Mr Young, I am sorry that you think that I am 'distorting the truth'. I am speaking from the extended research I, and other persons , have done. However, i concede that research can lead to different conclusions based on different interpretations of the connections between facts.
It is a pity that you 'have nothing more to say' as I find that it is in discussions such as these that new light is thrown on the facts one has, thereby giving one a better and truer understanding of how those facts relate to each other. I was hoping that you would support your argument by bringing other facts to light or by giving a new spin on the facts I have stated.
I am seriously and painstakingly seeking the truth about my culture and my people. I have been an avid reader of this site as it has given me some new insights and interesting information to help in my continued study.
It's sad that we are having this conversation, it's even more sad to hear people in the Mecca say "that could never happen again, or dem days done" referring to steelband on the road.
They have taken carnival away from the steelband, the very thing that made our carnival different, stand out, unique, it was too primitive so we got modern, we are now like everybody else.
Pan on the Avenue, Pan in the Countryside and all the other pan shows is a poor substitute for Pan on the Road.
The Steelband, born in T&T, rich history, sad present, hopeless future.
Not hopeless Cecil. Don't give in yet.