First Light Memories...
What a fabulous evening! It was magical to watch your rehearsal and to see you put it all together on Saturday night.
I was jonesed to see you guys cut three songs, but I should not complain.
P.S. Looking forward to your August 2nd date for Krusty's.
On the occasion of First Light's 10 year reunion, I just wanted to take a moment and let you know how much your music has meant to me, over these last 20 + years. Circa Winter 1986, a friend of mine asked me to go and see this "awesome reggae band" @ the Phantasy Theater in Lakewood. I knew what reggae music was, primarily from hearing Bob Marley "Jamming", yet had never heard it performed live. That was an incredible night for me and the genesis of my love for live reggae music and the style in which you convey it. I remember you working the bongo's and jammin' guitar with your dreads flying all over, Gino wearing a tee shirt that said "Reggaecise", Chopper had his shades on playing incredible bass lines, Ed with a smoke in mouth on the keyboards, Rob on the conga's, and a very hip addition to the sound, Charlie ( I think was his name? ) on the sax. It was like going on vacation for a few hours, in fact it's pretty much always like that for me, when I get the chance to hear you play live. From there, I followed you guys around through the years, Peabody's Cafe & Downunder, Ray's in Kent, Rock & Reggae Fest in Hunstburg, all the old places and then your final gig @ The Odeon. ALWAYS, a great time & good food for the soul.
Some other great memories; a few years back my Daughter followed me along to a PLUS Band show behind the Rock Hall and got into it, so much so that she repeatedly asked me to "play that song about the children dad" (referring to "Children Unite" ) anytime we went for a car ride! The first time I met you ( @ The LaSalle Theater) you were walking up the aisle and just said "hey, thanks for coming" and shook my hand. I thought that was really cool of you to take the second and do that. Course you've always been that way Carlos. Still my favorite memory was turning my best friend, Tim Morison ( he comes to a bunch of your shows and always talks with you on break ), on to your music. We caught your PLUS Band gig @ The Beachland, must have been 4 years ago or so and Tim just dove into the pool head first. He TOTALLY dug your sound and has been WAY into your music since. The next time we saw you & the Plus Band, over @ A.J. Rocco's, Tim wanted to meet you; of course we had our share of tequila's & cerveza's that night and he was a bit apprehensive at first. I said "dude, he's super cool, let's go say hello". We came over, of course you were very cordial and then Tim said to you something to you that we have tossed back and forth every time we're planning on coming to see one of your gig's; he goes "Carlos, you're an inspiration, an inspiration to me every day", albeit slightly slurred on the "inssssssspiration" part of it. We've laughed about that moment a lot, but the truth of it is that he nailed it. You really are an inspiration to so many, with your style of music and the positive vibes that you bring with it, every time. When you play, it not just music, it's the whole experience of being there; how alive it feels to be there and listen and feel the positive flow of energy. We're all fortunate to have the chance to hear you play and share in the positivity that is inherent in the music that you make. All of you, both the members of First Light and The PLUS Band, truly make living life here in Cleveland, that much better.
The attached photo is from a First Light gig 9/30/87 @ the "Chicken Out" @ Nautica, west bank of the Flats. I blanked out my face in an attempt to hid my late 80's dorkyness.........real good shot of you guys, another great memory, beautiful day, sunny & real nice out. Enjoy!
With sincere thanks,
Don't even know where to start, Had to be a good 15 or so years ago, I moved back from going to school in Florida, When my good friend Darren said "I have to take you to see this band, 'First Light', UNREAL".
After a good year or so of having the very distinct pleasure of being a 'roadie' for these guys, watching people in Boston, New York, D.C., Cinci, Ann Harbor, Kent, just come out in droves to see these guys perform was mind blowing. As you watched people from all walks of life, young, old, black or white, sing word for word as Carlos belted out each song was truly magical. You felt like you were part of history, loading it in, loading it out, day after day. I got to tell, to this day, I have MUCH LOVE, for each and every one of you guys, Carlos, Gino, Rod, Eddie, Chopper and Bob, and God rest his soul Larry D. Although I can't post any 'stories' on this sight, many of which, illegal (haha), one story that me and Darren still talk about is the time at Ann Harbor, we snuck in the bottle of Jeager, proceeded to inhale it on a break, found ourselves passed out the next morning, in my car, wearing Choppers Sony t-shirt on, and wearing most of the bottle on the logo!!! Sorry Chop. Can't wait to come see all of you guys, it will truly bring a tear to my eye, and if you need a hand with the equipment, you know I got your back.
With thanks and praises,
Doug Fulton - Crowd Control 2
What up Los?
Where do I begin! The first light family, the first light posse, whatever you choose to call it! I feel like I grew up w/you guys. We used to go to Peabody’s Café in Cleve., Hts. On College i.d. night and it was the bomb. I think that place packed something like 100+ peop’s tops, and sometimes, well pretty much all of the time, you couldn’t even move by the time first light took the stage. Peabody’s had that huge mirror hangin above, so that you could look down and see the band, that was nice, thank god that thing never fell down…whew! Growing up in Cleveland and going to college in Kent was nice, cuz you guys would play at Mother’s Junction (Owner-Charlie Ray Thomas) in Kent as well as all over in Cleve.,as well as Ital and Satta. At the time, Mother’s sold $1.50 draft beers in mason jars, that sh*t was the bomb!!! My buddy and I would stand in the Corner at Mother’s off to the side getting niced up the entire show. Gino, Chopper and Bob would let me hang out in the back room and get niced up w/everybody, I would crack a couple of jokes and talk smack w/the band. Nobody was stuck up or anything like that, it was all love, and some ball bustin…Gino said to me one time, “Geno, I’m gonna dedicate a song to you”, Chop started laughing, and when you guys took the stage, the song that Gino dedicated to me was, “Slap you in the Face” I never laughed so hard, in fact, you guys were laughing while singing it, I still laugh about to this very day. Boy, do I miss the first light days!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait for the re-up!!!!!!!! I also remember seeing you guys at a private party in Akron, somehow I got in there too. I didn’t know anyone there, and I really didn’t care, it was all about the muzak, you and I were talking about something, and you said to me, “I got some new tunes I been workin on, do you wanna take a listen.” I must’ve spent an ½-hr. 45min. sitting in your van listening to new first light music…That meant a lot to me, because that made me feel as though you trusted my ear, as far as reggae, and what the people like. Bottom line is, good dudes, good music. One Love! Peace Out!
I have three stories about the strong impact First Light made on me growing up in northeastern Ohio that stuck with me forever.....it was 1987-88-ish and by an amazing stroke of luck First Light played our high school theater. by then music engrossed me and reggae was the promised land. one moment i'm standing there and realize quite strongly that this slow rolling drumming is building & has gotten really heady. there's a higher energy to what i'm hearing and i'm engrossed in a meditative sort of way. it keeps rolling along and boom, unfolds beautifully into pink floyd's time. whoa, fully blown away. supremely well done. it was the first experience i had with well-played soul music making powerful magic & taking me somewhere else. i've heard a lot of amazing music throughout the past 2+ decades, including floyd, and i still tell the story about the night in high school when this reggae band from cleveland took me to other worlds. our whole school was hugely appreciative and were big fans. the best graduation party during my era, bar none, was the one where First Light played the back yard.....i picked up a Reggae Meltdown t-shirt at that first show. i was a competitive swimmer and for the next 6-8 years, on the day of my big event at the championship meet, i'd wear the Meltdown. super powers. i literally wore that shirt thin. maybe to this day my favorite t shirt ever.....but what i didn't pick up was the Meltdown cd. i bought the shirt and felt adding the cd was extravagant. i spent the next year or two with Meltdown on my list of cds to buy when found at cheapest price. i left Ohio for college and never heard much from First Light outside of Ohio. i would ask around but not much at all. i couldn't find the cd anywhere. (nor could i find any I-Tal, which i also wanted). as each year passed i'd get more anxious to find anything about First Light. i have a few songs on mix tapes that i still listen to and tonight i drove home with First Light jamming. i decided to give the google a try and see if i could connect to anything about First Light. so here i sit today in January 2008. it's been 20+ years after i first heard the Light, and i finally have completed the quest. i just ordered Meltdown & Groove Telepathy. thus ends the longest search for a specific cd of my lifetime.
with so much Light energy flowing, you asked me to share any stories, so there you go. I love First Light & it played a huge role in my life. it's always stood out as something quality & serious- the whole First Light vibe with way more going on than national recognition suggests. way to go Ohio. give thanks & praises.
much peace & love,
founder, RNC Philanthropy
Even in Steamboat they know you...
So, I'm at this party, and there's reggae music playing, and the hostess and I are awkwardly trying to get to know each other better because our husbands work together, and the conversation goes something like this ...
Her: Actually, I grew up in.
Me: Really? I lived infor a few years, a long time ago.
Me: I was married to a guy in a reggae band based there.
Her: Was it First Light? I used to go see them all the time at Peabody's.
Needless to say, we bonded. She was floored to discover that I'm not as "conservative" as she thought I was.
Hope you are well. And that the new year brings you all good things.
Shawn in Colorado
My friends and I use to check out Ital and First Light at the Baker Center Front Room back in the day.
When First Light would come we would spend that day on the wall outside of the Front Room and pound pitchers of beer all day and get ready to skank at night. Carlos and the gang use to jam to the classics:
Dock of the Bay
And the cover of Pink Floyd's Time was excellent!
And during Springfest, the day after Ital and First Light use to play at
Carlos has been playing music and I have been listening to his music the most of my adult life. His music is played every where I go. When I see and hear him perform, it takes me back to the wonderful times and the friends I made at OU and that will stay with me forever. Carlos, you are the Reggae Master!
You keep jammin and we will keep smilin!
I just wanted to tell
you how much you, First Light and the PLUS Band has meant to me.
I truly cannot put into words how much I have enjoyed seeing you
perform throughout the last 15 years. Can you believe it has been
that long??? You are so charismatic and fun to see. You
always have so much energy and easily draw in the crowd. Besides
the fact you are one of the nicest men I have ever met your music is
incredible. My husband told me he thinks your voice is better
than Bob Marley's. I would have to agree. I started seeing
you in High School (Junior year when I moved to
I remember the first time we talked at Chelsie's. I always thought it was so special that you talked with your fans during the entire break at every show. No lead singers I have seen do that. I can tell you genuinely care about your fans.
Remember when I had you
play at my sorority date party? What a night! I think we
all had a bit too much to drink. Or the time I brought my family
to meet you at shooters and how my brother was just infatuated with
you. How about the time recently when I came from
Having you and the PLUS band at my wedding was truly the highlight of the night (and one of the most special memories in my life). I cannot tell you how many people complimented me on what a great band we had. Thank you Carlos for being you and please always know I will NEVER forget you. You will always have a special place in my heart. . . I genuinely mean that!
With Love, Catherine
I forget what year, but
you were playing at The Farm for
Peace and Love, Kabir
(p.s. tune in to Ishence on WCSB 89.3 every Tues 5:30-7pm)
PARTICULAR SHOW AT THE PHANTASY NIGHT CLUB IN
TOM & DREW.
I first heard First Light at the Frontier Room in the Ohio University Student Union in 1987-88. Prior to this I had very little experience with roots music and my time with First Light (I probably saw them a dozen times there) changed my life. I went on to have a life long love of reggae (specifically roots) that has taken me to Jamaica several time. Additionally, I wrote my musicology doctoral dissertation at the University of Kansas on Bob Marley's music. I have since published two books on Bob and an encyclopedia of Caribbean popular music that has a heavy emphasis on Jamaican styles. I owe a great debt to Carlos and the boys for having gotten me started on this journey. At their Front Room shows I also met many great people who I remain in contact with 20 years later. One Love First Light!
David V. Moskowitz, Ph. D.
University of South Dakota