My dear friends , I must have mentioned on occasion that as a youth I was a founding member of a combo called Silhouettes Combo of Marabella ,Trinidad.
Well , this is the story.
In the early 1960’s , as rock and roll music became the favored genre of youth worldwide, its influence was also reflected in Trinidad , in the birth of the combo bands.
At that time , the dance bands featured wind instruments – trumpets , saxophones etc.
The new combos however were patterned after guitar led rock groups like the Ventures , though they featured Trinidad’s Latin style rhythm section.
One of the earliest and most popular of the guitar combos was the Ansel Wyatt Combo from nearby Vistabella.
Inspired by Ansel’s group, my teenaged friends Lionel DeCoteau , Herbert Dunlop and I decided to form a band of our own.
So we started practicing on the front porch of my home in Marabella, with Lionel on lead guitar, Herbert on second guitar , and me , pulling on a box bass made from a plywood box , chord and broomstick.
There was another young band in a nearby town led by a mediocre bass player called Lloyd Matthews , and when we were approached for a merger,we agreed , since they had instruments including a bass guitar and so my attempt at becoming a bass player ended.
So the band emerged , featuring Lionel on lead , Herbert on second guitar , and Lloyd Matthews on bass.
Eventually, another rhythm guitar was added , played by a solid guitarist called Cleve Francis.
Lloyd was replaced on bass by Herbert and along with a rhythm section , which included yours truly,
This became the first real version of the Silhouettes Combo.
As time went by , there were changes to band personnel ; a young keyboard player called Hayes Durity joined the band and I left, as I got more involved with the steelbands and finally migrated.
Herbert also left , and had a lengthy career as a bass player with the popular Tradewinds Combo, one of the more established groups back then.
But the band continued , the one constant being lead guitarist Lionel DeCoteau, who by all measures had become a very good guitarist.
The version of the band featured here is the lineup from the late sixties , around the time I left the country.
At that time , the players were :
Lionel “Lio” DeCoteau – Captain, lead guitar and arranger
Derek Greaves -(A lifelong best friend) Manager and bass guitar
Hayes Durity – keyboards
Mel Fraser – rhythm guitar
Randolph “Sawah” Lee – drums
Leslie Seales – Congas
“Blade” Seales – timbales
Reginald “Nat” Fletcher – percussion
Sylvan “Tambo”Matthews – percussion