ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Along with his 3-foot wallet chain and pork pie hat, a local rude boy’s slip-on checkerboard Vans have sat idle in his wardrobe for a number of years now – waiting for Ska music’s next inevitable revival.

It was 1999 and Western society was teetering on the edge of collapse.

The threat of communism was replaced by Y2K and the perennial evil of terrorism hadn’t yet changed the way we lived.

It was an environment that gave birth to the third wave a ska, which had its rise in 1950’s Jamaica followed by a second almost a decade and a half later in the United Kingdom.

But it wasn’t until US bands such as Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Smash Mouth brought it the movement into the living rooms and concert halls around the world in the 1990’s.

One local fan of the movement, who cast the gloomy shackles of grunge music to the wayside, is Peter McCauley.

Now a 40-year-old senior product manager at The Good Guys South Betoota, Peter spoke to The Advocate about his halcyon days bobbing his head to the groove and crumping his can to the beat.

“I’ve still got all the stuff, all the fashions that went with the movement and all the CDs,” he said.

“My checkerboard Vans and wallet chain. The Hawaiian shirts, so many of them. A few trilbys and a pork pie hat. Oh God, I remember having these thick-rimmed glasses that I didn’t even need. Plus a few pairs of SMP three-quarter-length cargo pants. Those were the days, now I might as well be walkin’ on the sun.”

When asked by our reporter why he still hangs onto these things, whether they be for a sense of nostalgia or otherwise, McCauley said he didn’t throw anything out because he’s waiting for Ska music to come back into vogue.

“Ska will rise again. Trust me. And when that day comes, I’ll have all four windows down in my wife’s Volvo softroader and the Ska will be blaring as the warm desert winds make what’s left of my hair dance gently,” he said.

“But until then, I can’t wear this stuff. It’s too ridiculous and my boss would probably tell me to go home and get changed. Other than that, sometimes I go to the pub dressed in my old rude boy get-up. I reckon the next revival is about a year or two off.”

More to come.


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