Friday, May 13, 2011

lloyd knibb RIP

in my early club going days i was a ska disciple and to my good fortune, when i reached legal age, there was a bevy of boss shows in vancouver to peep, one of which was the legendary skavoovee tour of 1993. hosted at the fabulous commodore ballroom, it showcased not only the pioneers of the genre, the skatalites, but the special beat (featuring memebers of the specials and the english beat), the selecter, and US band, the toasters. basically, i was in ska heaven. dressed up in a rude boy fashion, i wandered the streets prior to the gig in hopes of some action. bussed in the from the suburbs, i was alone, young, and impressionable. nobody from my hood seemed to share my passion and i'd yet to make close friends on the scene. well, much to my excitement, i noticed skatalite drummer lloyd knibb walking aimlessly down the north side of granville, lost in the night amidst pizza joints and used CD shops. i'd recognized him from the attached video clip, the skatalites live at the church house inn, a fantastic VHS tape i'd copped in L.A. at rhino records a year or two prior. with nothing to loose, i approached knibb, told him i was a fan and fellow drummer and asked if he wanted to check out a jamaican restaurant not far from the venue on nelson street. he gladly accepted my invite and within a few minutes we were sitting down at the sorely missed p. gee's perusing the menu. knibb was a kind man and told me stories of days gone by. soon, the rest of the skatalites posse including tommy mccook and roland alphonso had entered the restaurant, likely being tipped to the spot via the concert promoters. knibb made a point of introducing me to the rest of the band, telling them that i'd directed him here. i ate my first bowl of oxtail soup that night and one of p. gee's delicious handmade patties. as we finished our meal, i reached for my wallet, but knibb insisted that he'd grab the bill... i was dumbfounded. not only was i about to catch the founding fathers of modern day jamaican music in live action, but i was able to break bread, learn some history, and share culture w/ the creator of the ska beat. needless to say, it's a day i will never forget and a supreme inspiration. rest in peace mr. knibb. your original freedom sound will last forever... eternal love and respect!!!

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