Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Tony Rebel’s favourite Salute moments

Published:Sunday | January 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM
File Jimmy Cliff performing at Rebel Salute, in St Elizabeth, on January 15, 2005.
File Buju Banton performing at a previous staging of Rebel Salute.
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From 24 stagings of his birthday celebration at four venues in three parishes, deejay Tony Rebel has had some standout moments.

1994: "When me and Garnet Silk went to Mandeville and rain fall and we went around to Fayor's. When we got there, we saw Elise Kelly going in, and when we went in it was full.

2000: When we moved from Brooks Park to Port Kaiser, St Elizabeth.

2004: "Junior Byles performing, as a man reportedly with mental health issues and who had not performed in Jamaica for many years."

The Gleaner reported:

"Junior Byles went onstage at Port Kaiser in St Elizabeth at a few minutes before 3 a.m., on Sunday after an appropriately regal introduction from MC Elise Kelly, as the rhythm of Beat Down Babylon rolled over the venue. Wearing the colours of his Rastafarian faith across his chest, bandolier style, and carrying a staff, Byles looked at the audience then sank to his knees and stared at the microphone in his hand.

And the audience waited.

He took a draw, not of the 'high grade', but a cigarette, still on his knees.

And the audience waited.

The harmony vocalists sang the refrain "Curly locks...", while the saxophonist ran through the notes and added flair to the music, as Byles remained on his knees, seemingly transfixed.

And still the audience waited.

Then about three minutes after he went onstage, the drums rolled, the beat changed, and Junior Byles began to sing. It was Curly Locks, and the audience roared.

2005: "Jimmy Cliff performing for two hours."

2006: "Burning Spear."

2007: "Buju Banton's performance, including Driver."

Having performed and worked on the organisation of Rebel Salute for 24 years, as he will for the 25th staging, Tony Rebel said: "I would love to go and enjoy the show, just walk around, look at the beautiful ladies who parade there year to year, visit the Herb Kerb, look at the craft, sample the food."