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Señor Gomez, how you do that?

Señor Gomez Speaks on Mas'

Mr. and Mrs. Gomez
Mr. and Mrs. Gomez

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Staff Article
Interview Recorded: May 15, 2005
Posted: June 12, 2005

I used to play pan too

I used to do a lot of work for steelband. I used to play pan too. But we did not have so many pan notes in those days. Pan used to be a little five notes or ten notes, not like how it is with the set of notes now. I made some mas' for Desperadoes when they played 'Animal Kingdom'. I played for Silver Stars, and Dixie Land.

I did some work for Silver Stars. I think they played the 'Seven Faces of Conquest'. I did all the floats, all the thrones. Made some good money with them too. From there, after I played all these nice mas' and thing ... well of course the year with Cito and them and the riot with San Juan All Stars ... people do not talk, but the first band that San Juan All Stars pull down was 'Facinators'. We were just by Royal Theatre, and as we were coming, we went over at the side, and they put the Pyramid of Egypt, which a fella named Chokey played. I always told Cito I beat him with an unfinished mas', because his sister was to make two lions for me. Every time I went she told me to come back, when I went Carnival Thursday still nothing. So I beat them with an unfinished mas'.

After playing all these different nice pieces, I worked for plenty people. I remember a year when they said a King must have a Queen. A fella named Kenneth took over from the Demon Band from the man down here, Warner, and he was living in the plannings; he was a popular fella. My wife had to play a Queen, I think it was the only year that it happened when they said a King must have a Queen. I also remember, playing mas' going down to the Oval. The first competition I could remember, Chapman the shoemaker shop that was behind St. Joseph Road. So there used to be the first competition, then we would go to the second competition by the police station on Besson Street, then we would go on the greens right here on Piccadilly Street, then we would go to a little park in Belmont and then we would go to the Savannah. So you see, that was the route we used to take.

But, I could remember one year in the Oval, I think that was the year when we played 'Signs of the Zodiac'. We had a scorpion in the bag about fifteen feet long, a fella who was from Cito side made it, and they came from Barataria. Big John was really the man in Cito's band; he was a seaman too. The thing used to make in Cito yard, and anything make in your yard, you are honoured going down the line. But all in all, it used to be love, it used to be harmony, it wasn't any wrangling. I could remember in Facinators's time, whatever the band wins, the prizes used to go by a fella whose name I cannot remember right now, and we would have all these things an evening. If we win like teacups and saucers, they will say, "You, look a teacup and saucer," and so on, and we would eat and drink in front of the place on St. Joseph road. Sometimes you get a saucer and you would be happy.

For instance, one year we played 'Disney Land'. I had two Donald Ducks. The same Nobel who gave trouble, they used to go around to see how you were making the mas', but they only saw my thing in paper. They started to introduce registration and he did not give me any. I used velvet for the body on Donald Duck, nice swans down. They said, "Boy Victor, who are those two fellas." He said, "Me eh know, them two fellas come to meet the band." They said, "No boy, is Senor and his partner." Then they started to argue with Nobel. We went on to the competition, when we went to the Savannah, they came to me and said, "But it is the best mas' in the band." It was nice and to me it was one of the most colourful mas' that we brought out.


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