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Jason Griffith: Voyage of the Sailor Mas'

Headpiece - Crown
Headpiece - Crown

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Retrospect to Belmont Heroes

Staff Article
Interview Recorded: April 10, 2005
Posted: April 15, 2005

Everything that I own today is by cutting hair from thirty-six cents and forty-eight cents. That was in the late forties. The government used to control (that is the government that carried the price of a haircut to seventy-five cents), but now you can do your own thing. With barbers now, if you get a place in town, the rent alone - you understand what I mean. But in those early days, like in the forties, the population wasn't as it is now and you didn't have all these people, but the barber was still making a living.

In a sense, I have retired for a long time. For all the people with their hair curled up, I really don't know how the barbers are making out, because in those days they had the 'Afro' people coming in every month or six weeks. But still you have your regular customers, and I believe this is what is happening now. You could have curly hair and all kind of hair, but you must have work.

Fancy Sailor and Fancy See Bees are two different things. The See Bees could be in anything, but they don't carry headpieces. Now that is another thing. On a Monday, currently you will get jerseys from the sponsors. In the early days, and I would play a See Bee Monday and leave the Sailor Mas' for Tuesday, because everybody want to be in the white. So a See Bee on Monday, you get a jersey and you get a cap. So it was different to the sailor. I don't know if you heard it, but we were on a programme sometime last year and on that programme I told them about it. I said, when you all came with big mas', that caused me to go back with my big sticks. You see, when you have these big headpieces, you can't dance. The people I had with me could dance. But when you meet now, you only passing, no fun. So I told them about it on the programme. I said, "Cito, you and Senor caused me to go back with my big sticks." Cito is my friend. Cito never let a year pass without coming to see what was happening, and strange enough we born in the same month.

We have wire bending in the mas', especially when the band was big. But this is the first time that a sailor band came out with copper. A year we played in "Retrospect to Belmont Heroes", with Harold Saldenah, Ken Morris, Horrace Lovelace and other people, well Ken's son had a section here. In those days Ken had finished with this band and he was helping Minshall, and that year he played with me because his son was doing the copper.


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