Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
From the album, "Lord Kitchener Classics Vol. 2 - Kitchener Forever", this is Kitch's description of Carnival 1979 when the steelbands went on strike and there was no pan on the road.
Many believe that this incident opened the door for DJ music to take over the streets of T&T at Carnival, from the steelbands.
To me, however it's much more complicated than that.
The decline of the steelbands' power on the road at Carnival actually began in about the mid nineteen sixties.
As the popularity of the Panorama competition increased, many bands began to focus more on the competition, and less on other music for the Carnival, and for the road.
At a time when masqueraders were beginning to demand a more professional musical presentation on the road, the steelbands were falling short.
Musical repertoires were limited for most bands, and there were complaints that many bands only had "one tune".
That may have been an exaggeration, but that began to be the perception.
(Now, before you all disagree, remember I'm reporting what I personally experienced)
Few bands approached playing music for their supporters and masqueraders on the road as a job, since by and large, most panists received little if any payment.
And there was also the "sagaboy" panman.
We all knew him.
He may have been around to play on the road at J'ouvert, and maybe a couple hours Tuesday, but for the most part his rack was empty.
He was more interested in hugging his girl friends than wrapping his fingers around his pan sticks.
There were quite a few of them and by late evening there would be enough empty racks to make a difference.
So the decline of the pan on the road at Carnival wasn't an accident.
The door had been ajar before the strike.
And when the strike, occurred , the opportunity was there, and the DJs took full advantage.