Sly Dunbar loved his ‘Christmas’ suit
As a child, the festive season for celebrated drummer Sly Dunbar was really the happiest time of the year.
It meant going shopping for new shoes and buying cloth to take to the tailor to make a brand new 'Christmas' suit. Then, come Christmas morning, he would be dressed to the nines and his mother would give him money to attend the Christmas morning concert at the cinema..
"I use to really look out for Christmas as a child because of the new toys. But Christmas is the new suit and the new shoes," one half of the legendary 'Riddim Twins' Sly and Robbie, told THE STAR.
"I would put on my new jacket and pants and then I would be off to the stage show. I was about 10 or 11 at that time. There were shows at Carib theatre in Cross Roads and also at State and Regal, and I loved the music from then so I was really into that. Everybody was dressed up and happy. And even those who couldn't afford new things always had a smile," he recalled.
With adulthood, however, came the loss of innocence, and Sly's view on the season is now jaded. For him, there is just too much unnecessary spending at this time of the year, and he believes that the caring and sharing at Christmas should be a year-round activity. And, there are no longer any Christmas morning concerts for him to enjoy.
"Now, I don't prepare for it at all. You grow up and get smart and realise what all this celebration is really about," he said. "Of course I will do the gift-buying, and make everybody happy, and there is the pepper lights and the big cooking in the house, but if I don't get any gifts for Christmas, I am cool. Of course, if somebody gives me a gift, I appreciate it," he said.
The Taxi label producer, however, has paid tribute to the season, musically, with the release of the 1991 album, Sly & Robbie present Taxi Christmas. Singers Beres Hammond, The Tamlins and Junior Trinity Brammer can be heard on traditional Christmas songs, while a special Taxi XMas medley is performed by the Taxi Gang, Red Dragon, Nadine Sutherland, Beres, Karen Smith and Viking.