Eek-A-Mouse recalls the day cross-dressing gangster was killed
Monday, June 1, 1981, is a date that is tattooed in the memory of flamboyant reggae singer Eek-A-Mouse.
That was the day when 26-year-old notorious gangster Anthony 'General Starkey' Tingle was killed in Trench Town by the police after returning from a dance. Eek-A-Mouse was present and had a near-death experience.
Eek-A-Mouse remembers General Starkey as the cross-dressing gangster who "love fi drink 'red top', McEwan's Ale, 'cause dem time deh Junglist nuh too like drink Heineken 'cause it green". Noting that persons always query if he is gay, Eek-A-Mouse was adamant that "dem couldn't seh dat 'bout General Starkey, yuh nuh", not even "when Starkey inna him dress and long hair and lipstick ... when him was wanted. Anywhere I was, him show up and want me fi sing". He recalled that on the fateful day, he wore full black.
"After di session, dem tell me seh Starkey feel sick. Him did a throw up and him go inna di yard at 17 Love Street and go lie down. A deejay name Errol Shorter from Love Lane did have a toothache and Shorter guh sleep inna di room, and other man go lie down, too. My mother always seh anytime yuh see too much man a sleep inna house, don't go in deh. A mi mother save mi," Eek-A-Mouse said.
"Mi deh pon a chair a rest mi head and a next youth did deh pon di bench, but him seh him a go inna di room. Mi check mi Casio watch and then mi hear the gate push and see Skellie ... but him suppose to a watch di gate with a big M16," he said.
Skellie alerted him that police were on the road, and the 6' 6'' entertainer "crawled on [his] belly" to check it out and hastened to warn Starkey.
"General did have on him bathing trunks and him hair did inna Chiney bumps. Him seh, 'Weh dem deh?' And put him 9mm inna him waist. A walk we ah walk now fi try run way ... General Starkey to the right, me inna di middle and Skellie pon the left, but police circle di place. We ony hear 'brrrpppp'. The shot so close mi start touch mi body if me get shot. Starkey ... mi nuh see where him run."
Eek-A-Mouse said that he ended up in the yard surrounded by cops.
"A policeman push him gun inna mi forehead and mi bawl out, 'Boss nuh kill me! A me name Eek-A-Mouse!' Him seh 'Bwoy, a yuh a Eek-A-Mouse with the big song A Wha Do Dem? Wha' yuh a do yah? ... a criminal we a look fah. Stay yah so'."
Eek-A-Mouse stayed put, and when the gunshots died down, he saw the cops throwing dead bodies in a truck. The same truck that they later told him to climb up into.
"Dem kill General Starkey and him bredda, too. The truck that dem throw the dead bodies in lean on a 90-degree angle and mi see the blood a run out," he said.
The deceased were listed as General Starkey, his brother Michael McLeod, Barrington Fitzroy, Paul Johnson, Errol Shorter, Conrad Bryan, Leroy Reid and Michael Jackson.