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Roy Ellis AKA Mr Symarip

Hi Symond,Here we go with the answer to your questions!! For pictures, I`ve to look,  By moving from place to place it seem to lost lots of them.My bestRoy Elis

where were you born ( I was born in Kinghton Jamaica 27 April, age I never tell,  it`s not important for me,is how you feel It`s just another number.

when did you first get into music? (As you all know, most black singers started their singing career in the churches,and so did I

I really started my music career in London in 1962, As a young man with full blooded music in me, not only I wanted to sing, but also wanted to play an instrumant too.                             So  I took up the Trombone,at the sametime getting a few lesson from one of the masters Rico Rodriguez, In this time he just got to England,                                         And from there on I choose music as my career, singing and playing, and so it all started to where I am today.

how was life in jamaica, what studio’s did you work at, orange street, studio 1 etc. what musicians and people did you know and work with

actually I haven`t done any recording in Jamaica, As I said it all started in England,But as singing and playing in a band called The Bees in 1964.                                                                              

 We got the luck to be discovered by the one and only late Laurel Aitken who had us as his backing band,and also as our producer, and a promoter.                      we were touring the UK with him.

Then we got the chance to backed Prince Buster,The Ethiopians, Maytals, Earol Dickson,The Pioneers,Millie Small, Owen Gray, Jackie Edwards,                   Desmond Dekker, Then in 1967 we met Eddy Grant he wrote our first two hits Train tour to rainbow city, and All change on he Bakerloo line.

   Then in 1969 I wrote Skinhead Moonstomp and Skinhead Girl, and also we recorded the Skinhead Moonstomp album that went to way up in the hit chart. then it all started

from there.

when and why did you come to the uk ( I came to UK between 1959-1960 as a teenage school boy.

how did you find life different in the uk, was it what you expected on arrival, did you come with family and friends.

I came to Uk  alone, My mother was here long before me,in this time the Uk wasn`t a nice place for black people,It was too much discrimination giong on then, and it still is!! 

for me it was very very hard as a teenager,no one to play with or to talk to me, but I was mentally strong, so I try to over come the problem  by try to did you get involved in the mod scene, and how come you moved onto the skinheads. what was the difference in the two scenes.

Well been intergrate in the school, and learning to be a cook, I got into the mods scene with the other english teenagers who were already in it, So at last they accept me,   But why did they accept me? because  I was a very good Amature boxer from Jamaica, And that`s how I got in to the mods and skinheads scene on till this day.

Someone is got to build the bridges so that we all can cross over doesn`t matter what colour we are.

whats the story with symarip, who were the guys, do you ever see them, why did you write the skinhead moonstomp album, with many songs referencing skinheads

Well  I was the only one the band as a black skinhead who believed in the scene at that time,and after Prince Buster tour we made meny fans and Laurel Aitkens gave
me the idea by saying why don`t you write something about the skinheads, then come Skinhead Moonstomp etc.

Well The Bees,The Pyramids,The Symarip, The Seven Letters were the same people,and  we allcame from Jamaica, some have been to school here in Uk, and some have been to school in Jamaica,The band broke up in 1988.and I went on my own to do solo as Roy Ellis aka Mr.Symarip and it`s been going well for me since, as solo singer and I`ve been traveling all over the world,t hey got very jealous, so right  now we don`t speak to each other,It`s pitty thow, But that`s how it is with some people.

what significance has brighton to your life

Great remembrance as a teenager, every friday night riding down to Brighton beach on scooters with the other boys, kicking  Rockers asses,  dancing, drinking a little etc.  You know what teenagers do. Its such a pleasure to be invited back to Brighton to play for the Skinheads in june 2012, i hope to see some old friends there and meet all the new boys and girls

how is your carreer these days. (Well I can`t complain, since I`m back in 2005 a lot of great things been happening for me,I`ve been traveling the world knowing the drifferent Countrys, meeting different people, making new friends and new fans, I got the chance to put out two albums, three singles, coming out in April my new single with my new video, a lots concerts, lots of media connections etc. It`s been all good for me could be better, but I`m happy with what I`ve got.

what has been the highlight of your musical life. (Well my highlights are all my hit records, Playing Wembley Stadium 1970, Been in a film with Sydney Poitier,
Travel the world etc. there are so much more, but it goes on to long 🙂why did you go to switzerland.

In 1970,after the Wembley Stadium concert, our agent sent us to mittle Europe to Pioneer the reggae music,no one knew what reggae was then,So by touring around I`ve met a lovely lady in Switzerland in 1980, and she became my second wife in 1988,  that`s why I stayed in Switzerland (The end !! 

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