Category Archives: diary

October 21, 1997, France, Tourcoing, Le Grand Mix

Sixth day of the Ball Of Fire 1997 tour

At the breakfast I was talking with Lester Sterling about Peter Tosh. Lester told me, that Peter Tosh used to call him “Mr. Sterling”. Later, when Tosh was famous, Lesters brother Keith Sterling was in the Tosh band, so they met again. Tosh didn’t recognized Lester, so Keith introduced him to Tosh. And Tosh said: “Hello Lester”. That’s how things are chaning.

Continue reading October 21, 1997, France, Tourcoing, Le Grand Mix

October 19, 1997, France, Plouneour Trez, Les Hesperides

Fourth day of the Ball Of Fire 1997 tour

The breakfast in Rennes was as small as all the other ones so far on this tour. Brevett is a lot talking in monologues. The feeling in the crew is not that easy as it should be. It’s too much moaning about this and that. I don’t know who is talking shit, but nobody is on the same line. The way to this wonderful place was all through the nice Bretagne.

Continue reading October 19, 1997, France, Plouneour Trez, Les Hesperides

October 18, 1997, France, Rennes – day-off

Third day of the Ball Of Fire 1997 tour

Already a day-off.

The drive today wasn’t too far:

So there was plenty of time to walk through the city. But it was weird. I almost get lost, because I had no address with me. I had no idea, in which hotel we were settled. But with good luck I refound the hotel. In the evening there was a very strange thing happening. I saw as many birds as I never have seen before and ever since. Thousands of thousands of birds, all over the place. On the roof tops it was black and the trees, they were almost breaking under the weight of all those birds. I felt like in Alfred Hitchcocks Birds movie. And it was terribly loud. Do you remember these sounds in the movie? Scary!

October 16, 1997, France, Bordeaux – La Lune Dans Le Caniveaux

Beginning of the Ball Of Fire tour 1997

I have no particular pictures of this date in Bordeaux. In my diary I have found the following about that day.

It is Thursday, 16th of October 1997 (exactly 20 years ago), 2.45 PM, I am at the Montparnasse train station in Paris. I should sit in the train to Bordeaux now, but I was running to the wrong train. I wasn’t easy, because I only had little time for changing. And there were two trains called BORDEAUX. One “promené” the other “depart”. This two french words upsetted me a little. That’s why I run to the train FROM Bordeaux instead of the train TO Bordeaux. I lost 90 minutes.

Everywhere is highliy armed police in the station. It looks, like a war is coming up. I don’t remember, what crisis it was, 20 years ago… but the picture today can’t be very different from that.

Finally I can take the TGV to Bordeaux. I’m travelling since 5.40 AM. At 6.57 PM I will arrive in Bordeaux.

It’s already Friday, 17th of October, 3.21 AM when I wrote the next thing inside my diary. I’m in the Hotel with Bill Smith. Bill told me, that Delta overload the airplane, therefore they had to flight to Amsterdam, where every flight was full-up. The Skatalites arrived Paris at 2 PM instead of 8 AM. Barney, the driver, was waiting in Paris with the van and had to drive around the airport all the time. 6 hours!!!

At the club there was the same crew as last year (see Skasplash 1996). The same cook with his ital food. The merchandise box was very messed up and I had to clean it up. Shay helped me to put the things in a good order again. There was a lot of merchandise, many different CDs (most of the Groover label), Stickers, Buttons, T-Shirts (including working shirt and hooded tops), caps and prices. The people entered and asked already for things, but I wasn’t ready yet. Brevett came for his own with his US-release of African Roots. But Shay told him, that it isn’t allowed to sell this version in Europe, because Brevett sold the licence already for Europe to Ossi’s Groover records.

The warm-up band played their first tune, when they had technical problems. After that they played a mixture of Dub and Rocksteady.

While the Skatalites played their first show of this tour, I was selling some T-shirts, stickers and batches. The air was full of smoke. They played Swing Easy and Ball Of Fire for the first time (I mean, it was the first time for me!).

Two weeks ago Lester Sterling was in the hospital. Will Clark played an extremly great show tonight. And Lloyd Brevett is moaning all the time about me, because I haven’t sell any of his CDs. He needs the pocket money for smoking stuff.

Flipside of the Ball Of Fire 1997 tour pass
Ball Of Fire tour pass front with the picture scanned from my album
T-shirt of the Ball Of Fire Tour 1997

The trip to Apremont and the Grand Duc is always a little adventure, because it’s far from any highway…

Second day: driving from Bordeaux to Apremont:

Day 7, Friday, august 21, 1992, day-off for The Skatalites | Linton Kwesi Johnson, Rolando Alphonso, Tommy McCook, Saint-Nazaire, France, Lloyd Brevett, Dennis Bovell

This is the day in 1992, when The Skatalites and I arrived in Saint-Nazaire and met for the first time

My bicycle ride today was about 160 km from Saint-Georges-des-Gardes to Beaupréau and Vallet and Vertou to arrive on time in Saint-Nazaire.

The Skatalites took another 500 km to arrive in Saint-Nazaire as well.

Continue reading Day 7, Friday, august 21, 1992, day-off for The Skatalites | Linton Kwesi Johnson, Rolando Alphonso, Tommy McCook, Saint-Nazaire, France, Lloyd Brevett, Dennis Bovell