33rd day, Antwerp, Belgium, Sunday, 17th of november 1996, Hof Ter Lo
We’re still in Amsterdam. The breakfast room is slowly filling with Skasplashers. We have no hurry, it’s not a long drive today and we’re leaving for the last show of the tour. I’m sitting there with Yacha, who was sleeping in the same room with Will and me, but on the floor. He shows me his coin from Ethiopia from the era of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I. He’s rubbing the coin into my diary.
On the other side of the paper it looks like this:
He’s writing: “Paris – S’Brieuc – Amsterdam, Travel is Roots of our Music” the rest is cyrillic.
Before we’re leaving Jeff Lucas shows me the new (and last) graffiti on the blue van, this time it’s with spray. I’m only wondering, why the first real graffiti is made at the second last day of the tour.
Still in Amsterdam I shoot this picture for Jeremy. Too cool!
Antwerp is a sad spectacle. No DJ needed because there is no equipment to DJing. This will be the last show and I’m sure, there won’t be a tour like this again. But we all enjoy this last night in the backstage very much. There are visitors invited. Duncan’s girlfriend is there and the other partner of the management with his son (I’m sorry, but I don’t know his name).
Plenty of time in the backstage in Antwerp. Refreshing before going back home.
Laurel Aitken sent me back to the van, because his Pork Pie hat is still there. On the way back I shoot myself with his hat on.
Then I’m alone with Laurel Aitken in one of the backstage rooms. Laurel tells me about his Rude Boy Dream. He sings a few lines. He re-start four times and is changing the age of the rude boy each time. I can’t remember the real line, because I found out, that this line is not in the real tune. But the tune he’s singing in the backstage was about a rude boy who lost his parents at age nine, then at age fourteen, then at age seven and so on… Laurel tells me about his plans of doing a reggae record with Mad Professor and Dennis Bovell. But that will never happen. Meanwhile Laurel isn’t talking to me as a DJ but as a friend. He asks me to keep the contact. We’re talking about “Whichdoctor from Amsterdam” and “Ringo The Gringo“. Laurel can’t remember Ringo The Gringo, so I whistle the melody to Laurel. Now he’s wondering and says “You’re a musician!” I tell him about good old plans of our band to play his songs with the original in the front. He agrees immediately. The he piss into the lavatory. I’m laughing and call him: “You’re a Rude Boy”. He laughs as well.
The he asks me to take some pictures of him, with his camera. He wants to use them for his next album (he didn’t use these pictures, on the front, but on his next album I was thanked in the liner notes, it’s this album, if you ever see it can you send me a copy of the booklet, I don’t have a copy). After taking some nice posing by the godfather with his camera, I ask him to shoot some more, with my camera.
The real late and great Godfather Of Skinhead, Mr. Laurel Aitken.
And Mr. Cleanhead with the green glasses from Challans.
Then I take some pictures of almost all the members. But remember, I had no digital camera at that time and each picture was expensive and I didn’t had a lot of films with me, so there was: One chance – one picture! Let’s start with Cutty Williams.
This picture is a real favorite of mine. That Jazzy John Coltrane groove.
But the real master of all the pictures from that Skasplash 1996 tour is entitled “SUGAR SUGAR”. Laurel Aitken who made that tune “Sugar Sugar” famous and Doreen Shaffer who wrote that tune together on this sugar sweet picture.
I didn’t write anything into my diary that night. I asked the last Skasplashers for signatures into my diary. But as you surely can overstand, these signatures are personal and will stay in my diary. I enjoyed this last show to dance as much as possible. I get my payment for the tour, not money, but a few t-shirts and pullovers. That was the deal.
I hope you liked this day-by-day diary 20 years after the real tour. Stay tuned, love each other and come back tomorrow for the very last pictures and the last words to say goodbye. And my travel back home.
Overview Antwerp, Hof Ter Lo
- audience: approx. 300 (capacity approx. 1000)
- catering: enough, but not really the right food, no bananas
- backstage: big, four rooms, the last chance for pictures and interviews
- diner: restaurant in the club, not that good
- DJ-set: no DJ
- HOR: nice final
- Laurel Aitken: final
- Skatalites: You’re wondering now
- hotel: checked-in after show
- room mate: Will Clark
- I’m leaving the crew here, to place for me in London, I’m sad, disappointed and a bit angry about that
Website today: trixonline.be
It seems to be the same place, but it changed it’s name. “Borgerhout Hof Ter Lo” is still just beside the TRIX. So TRIX is the new Hof Ter Lo …
Tomorrow will be the return to Switzerland for me. The Skasplash tour will finishing in London. I have no nothing about that show. If you have something, please let me know. In London, Laurel Aitken & The Skatalites went into a studio to record an album. So come back tomorrow for my last pictures of The Skasplash tour 1996.