Reggae and his Reggie band

I used to sing and play lead moon-whistle with a novelty orchestra which had somehow come to the understanding that when the drummer cried, “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Reggie Perrin!”, we would manoeuvre clumsily into a decrepit Jamaican shuffle of a type which would probably not have won the favour of Mr Marley. That was until one night, when a guest pianist of pharmaceutical bent heard the shout, removed his clothes, folded them neatly on the podium, and walked off, never to be seen again.

This reggae/Reggie belapropism is also used to kick off a reggae novel by Horane Smith:

My mother named me Reggie Gould. From I was as young as four years old, she saw my gift of music. One day, she felt I would become a great singer of reggae, Jamaica’s indigenous music that has taken the world with vibrations worthy of notice. My mother started to call me “Reggae” instead of Reggie, and my father said jokingly, “if you don’t get de gold record, you will get de silver”

Career advisers – curse them! – will tell you that it is a bad idea to base your curriculum vitae around parental witticisms, however accomplished, but poor little Reggie is powerless because, as he tells us:

From that day onwards, the name Reggae Silver has stuck to me like glue.

I left Jamaica for the Big Apple, New York – to study electronic engineering and to fulfill my parents’ wish, to be one of, if not, the best reggae star to come out of the rock. While I was growing up, I tried to avoid even killing an ant, yet in my second year of university, I found myself in jail for armed robbery and attempted murder…

“These bars naw (not) go hold mi,” was all I could tell myself each night when the doors of my cell slammed shut and reverberated against my ear. I will not attempt a jailbreak, I vowed to use determination to walk out that cell and into a recording studio, to sing my troubles away.

This is my story – a story you won’t stop reading until it says “The End”

My aunt tells me that her copy does not (naw) actually say “The End” at the end, suggesting that Mr Smith is not a serial killer.

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  1. Trevor,

    Thanks for spreading the good vibes about Reggae Silver – the greatest reggae story evr told.
    Wake de town an’ tell de people – Reggae Silver is coming to town – in your bookstores, also on
    One love.

  2. My aunt tells me she’s read it, and if it’s good enough for her it’s good enough for the rest of humankind.

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