A : He promised to take us to meet with Victor Olaiya who was a very popular highlife musician that time. And we were first auditioned at Western Hotel that had a nite club at Apongbon. At that time, the Daily Express newspaper was adjacent to the hotel. Our performance at the Nite club was superb and from there we were taken again to Victor Olaiya's nite club to perform which was also successful because we stole the show there too. From there, we moved to Bobby Benson's nite club at Kabam bamboo along Ikorodu road, and we played with Bobby Benson's Kabam Bamboo Resident Band on a Saturday night. We were given one whole hour to perform, and our performances were very successful there too. At Bobby's place, I was given about fifteen minutes to do my solo floor show which i danced to the music of James Brown. I performed so well to the extent that the audience was asking for more. This was how Alhaji got very interested with the group and he bought us musical instruments to go on tour to the Northern part of Nigeria. We were in Zaria doing shows when we heard that President Busian government in Ghana was repatriating all foreigners from the country, and Nigerians were among them. Before the civilian regime of President Busia in Ghana, there had been the military regime of Major General Ankara and the civilian regime of President Kwamme Nkuruma. So, in Zaria, we started thinking of what to do being foreigners in Nigeria too. We decided to change the name of the group from the TRIFIX to the BIG BEAT FROM GHANA.
Q : Meaning the group TRIFIX metamorphosed to the BIG BEAT FROM GHANA?
A : We made them assume that we were among the repatriated Nigerians from Ghana. So, the BIG BEAT FROM GHANA started touring the North. We performed in Zaria, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Maiduguri and so many other beautiful places in the North. And at that time, there was no state called Abuja. After our successful tour in the North, we came back to Lagos where Alhaji Shehu Zaria again got us a flat to stay in, and we started doing shows in all the Nite clubs of Lagos. One day, Fela Anikulapo Kuti had just come back from America and our band was to rehearse at KAKADU night club owned by him. I had gone there with the technicians to balance the musical equipments when we saw him in the club.
Q : When did KAKADU Nite club become AFROSPOT nite club? And where was it situated that time?
Q : How many albums did you record with the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti? And what were your experiences with him like?
A : We recorded about twenty singles at EMI 36 Tracks Studio Abbey Road in London. EMI had 3, 6, 8, 12, 24 and 36 Tracks Studios, and Fela and African 70 Band had all our recordings in the 36 Tracks Studio of EMI. Firstly, we recorded Fela and the African 70 songs before a live studio audience.
Join us in the concluding part of the interview.