Glendon Morris Speaks

Belmont Original Fancy Sailors - Savannah 1987 - B.O.S.S. Production
Belmont Original Fancy Sailors - Savannah 1987 - B.O.S.S. Production

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Belmont Original Stylish Sailors (B.O.S.S.) Reporters
Interview Recorded: April 25, 2005
Posted: May 15, 2005

I took over the band and became everything: President, Bandleader, and Treasurer. Actually, it was a kind of patriotic thing because a lot of the guys felt badly about bringing their own mas. I was the last section leader that came into the band. When we went to the meeting, Peter Reynold, who was the interim Chaiman, said very quickly; "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have to find a Chairman for this band. I nominate Glendon Morris. There are no more nominations? Ok, Glendon take the Chair..." It took about a minute and a half. I took it and was not afraid because of all the experiences I had. The name of the band was 'Belmont Original Stylish Sailors'; it was the first band and we kept that name. We had a DJ from San Fernando and he was kind enough to play for us without thinking about where the money was going to come from.

Just imagine the stress that was on me while playing mas in the band and wondering where the hell I was going to get money to pay this band. It wasn't easy. We had already collected about half the money in band fees and we needed another eight thousand dollars. He charged us sixteen thousand dollars. A guy and myself who bring the largest section in our band, sat down on the step and he said, "Glendon what are we going to do about this money?" and I said, "we are going to have to borrow it." We borrowed the money and paid it back with interest. The following year we borrowed less and less until we broke even, now we do not have a problem.

No one in particular owns the band, it is owned by shareholders. The money goes into the bank and nobody can touch it individually. We have to sit at meetings and decide how we are going to spend the money. This way we were able to avoid the other smaller bands from being fooled very easily. I have seen many small bands try to do it alone and they mismanaged the money. Just about two years ago, our money was growing and we decided to pay dividends, to start over fresh and carry the shares a little higher. I was able to take my shares and pay off for this land. It is to our own benefit because we are bringing the mas. Every year about fifty thousand dollars in prize money comes into the coffers. We are able to pay for the music and still have something to put into the bank. It is run democratically. We had one or two guys who were a little devious and we had to get rid of them. Of course you will find that in any organization. Most of the guys do have a little integrity though. We make sure that no one can draw out money with only one signature; they must seek the advice of the executive committee. All the same, it is nice and we do enjoy it.

Fifty percent of the cost of bringing out a band is music and that is because of what is happening now. The bigger fish is eating the smaller fish, and everybody has a price, and their price is always Big Band price. For example, Barbarrosa just folded the other day because his band was getting smaller and he couldn't afford to balance the heavy music expenses. He brought out a section this year in 'Trini Revelers' and I think that's it with him, he is packing up to go away. As I had mentioned earlier, our biggest problem was where we were going to get the money to pay for the music. The little band fees that we charged, [they] couldn't afford to pay; so could you imagine two hundred people paying sixty dollars for band fee. That is not going to pay sixteen thousand dollars. The last DJ that we had, his price was thirty five thousand dollars, and our band is the same two hundred people. We had to let him go and get somebody cheaper because we were actually playing mas for him.


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