THE AUDIENCE in the ballroom of the Hilton Kingston Hotel, stood in honour of the Burning Spear as he spoke on Thursday evening.
“Tony has been knocking at the Burning door for many years. And I always say when the time is right the door will open. We think the time is right to open the door to let Tony in … I know it will be an outstanding performance,” Burning Spear said, referring to Tru-Juice Rebel Salute 2006, slated for Saturday, January 14, at the Port Kaiser Sports Club in St. Elizabeth.
Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore and Richie Daley of Third World were also present at the function to outline plans for the 13th staging of the one-night festival, that band and Inner Circle slated to perform.
Tony Rebel, organiser of Rebel Salute, broke into song at times as he ran down the line-up, his voice going high for “row fisher man row” for The Congos. “For the first time we will have Gregory Isaacs,” he said. “When last have you heard the Tamlins sing? Tamlins a good group,” he said.
Also on the roster of performers are Luciano, Cocoa Tea, Gyptian, Queen Ifrica, Junior Kelly, Turbulence, Richie Stephens, Assassin, Warrior King, Gentleman, Natural Black, Richie Spice, Hero, Jah Mason, Michigan and Smiley, Noddy Virtue, Anthony Cruz, Tarrus Riley, Charlie Chaplin, Jahmel, Flourgon and Chezideck. There was laughter when Tony Rebel said “I Patrick Barrett, I am going to insist that Tony Rebel go on stage and do even three songs for you”.
Starting time is 8 p.m.
Senior Superintendent Elan Powell of the Police Traffic Department said “over the years we have realised that persons attending this show have had significant problems entering and leaving the venue… We are not making any promises, but we are pledging to make it better this year than it ever was,” he said.
“Last year we had only 12 persons from the traffic division there. This year we will be taking people from Kingston and we will be multiplying 12 by many,” he said, to laughter. Powell said Rebel has taken advice and acquired two and a half acres for additional parking. “Absolutely no parking will be allowed on the roadways,” he said.
“We are instituting a one-way system on entry and it will be reversed on the way out. People used to having their own way will have to abide by our instructions. We will be having wreckers on spot,” Powell said.
There were greetings from Senator Delano Franklyn, as well as endorsements from Kim Lee of Tru-Juice and Grant Mercer of Cable and Wireless. Kirk Reid of Nestle Jamaica, in extolling the virtues of Supligen Malt and Rebel Salute, said “both products are carefully crafted to make you complete”.
There were brief performances by Tarrus Riley, Nadine Sutherland, Noddy Virtue, Jahmel, Queen Ifrica and Empress Etana. Guest speaker Beverly Lopez, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), addressed the importance of role models, corporate sponsorship and opportunities available within the music industry. “I encourage all Jamaican artistes to reflect on the lyrics they write and sing,” she said.
The first Tru-Juice Rebel Salute magazine was also presented on Thursday evening. “One of the ways we thought we could give back to the south coast is to develop a magazine that could be a south coast guide – where to go, where to stay, where to eat, where the roads are, where to turn, where not to turn…,” Tony Rebel said. It is currently available at Cooyah stores, Fontana pharmacies and Haughton Pharmacy.
“Rebel Salute to me is a statement. It is more than a business,” Tony Rebel said.
–Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer, Jamaica Gleaner