Trench Town Christmas
By: Brian Jahn
12/25/95 – A very beautiful Christmas day ! I treated myself by sleeping in until almost one o’clock. I burned a few spliffs then walked into New Kingston. I met up with Tex and the crew and we hung out at Pedro’s for a while and drank a few beers. Tex had the Japanese posse with him today. I met the Japanese photographer Tatsu, apparently he knew who I was and admired my work. He seemed like a cool guy, we shared a lot of the same photographic views. It was good to talk to someone for a change who knew what I was trying to do and understood it. He was familiar with of my work and said some of it reminded him of Robert Frank, it was a great compliment indeed. He said we probably have the same style of shooting, for some reason I agreed even though I have not seen any of his photos. I wanted to talk more but had to head downtown, we said we would try to hook up at his hotel before he left. I called his hotel later and he had left already so will try to track him down while he is in NYC.
I hung out in New Kingston for several hours, was pretty quiet, not much traffic. Drank several Red Stripes and burned a few more spliffs then decided to head down to Trench Town. I tried two taxis but none wanted to drive me down to Trench Town (a common problem) finally Tony said he would drive me, he didn’t really know where I was going, Fuzzy said he would tag along as well. Once Tony saw where Fuzzy and I going he blurts out “I’m not going down to Rema!” and I said “No were going to Trench Town”. It turns out Fuzzy was OK (politically) there so all was cool, I didn’t want to bring him and have problems. I introduced him to some of the bredrin there and was all good, he said now he can bring some Japanese down there for a tour. We hung out about three hours or so and I walked around taking photos, got some of the kids and their gifts. It turns out the dance for the night was postponed until Wednesday night, is just as well I thought, I’m tired and am not feeling like hanging out all night drinking. I hailed a cab to take me back to Halfway Tree, charged me $J150, a good price. As it urns out this Rasta cab driver grew up a few doors down from Rita Marley and he also knew quite a few of the Trench Town artists from way back. I got the drivers number (Jah Earl has been my driver from that day on) so I just relaxed for a quiet, but hot Christmas evening.