Lloyd Parks brings Gold home

Observer senior writer

Sunday, November 25, 2018

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Since the rocksteady revival of the 1990s, Lloyd Parks and his We The People Band have held the fort as backing unit for shows like Heineken Startime, Stars R Us and Reggae Sumfest. On January 5 the jocular bass guitarist doubles as promoter for Genuine Gold Presents, at Mas Camp in St Andrew.

The show, which celebrates the band's 44th anniversary, is the first Genuine Gold event in Jamaica. Parks and promoter Sydney Roberts stage a similar event annually in Coral Springs, South Florida.

Parks, 69, is quick to point out that while there are a number of veteran artistes in the line-up, it is not a vintage show.

“I think of it more as a reggae classic. When you sey vintage I think it limits the scope of the show,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Luciano is one of the acts confirmed for Genuine Gold. Big Youth, who performed on the Cutler Ridge show in October, is also on the card alongside his contemporaries The Mighty Diamonds and Tinga Stewart, dancehall stalwarts Half Pint, Pinchers and Little John, and singer Gem Myers.

Having been in the music business for over 50 years, Parks said the administrative side of things is nothing new to him. He does concede that putting a show together is challenging but his reputation as a professional does help.

“Sponsors go with bands they can work with. Mi very knowledgeable about di business an' at di end of di day, artistes love to work with us,” he said.

Parks has been We The People's mainstay since 1975. At the time there was a band glut in Jamaica and he was also involved with The Professionals, house band at producer Joe Gibbs' studio.

Prior to forming We The People, Parks also played in the RHT Invincibles and Skin, Flesh and Bones bands, alongside keyboardist Ansell Collins and drummer Sly Dunbar. He was an early member of The Revolutionaries, which became world-famous as the house band at Channel One, Gibbs' arch-rival studio during the 1970s.

We The People is best known as backing band for Dennis Brown, who was also Gibbs' flagship artiste. Parks played on many of Brown's biggest hit songs including Should I, Love Has Found Its Way and Stay At Home.

Parks has had his share of success as a singer with Slaving, Officially and Reservations For Two. He was part of the revived Techniques trio which performed regularly on the oldies circuit during the 1990s.

With a number of artistes from the rocksteady and roots-reggae eras either dead or past their best, Parks believes it is only appropriate for top acts from the 1980s and 1990s to step forward and share the stage with current stars.

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