Lynval Golding, the guitarist and prime mover behind The Specials reunion which kicks off again this May, has been busy collaborating with Paul 'Willo' Williams author of the definitive history of the band 'You're Wondering Now -- The Specials from Conception to Reunion' on his autobiography "Back In Time". Read an interview I did with Williams about Golding's book back in 2011 here.
The book will touch on Golding's experiences with The Specials and relate the inside story on the band's improbable reunion in 2008 and the effect and impact that has had on him, his family, his band mates and fans of the band around the world. It will also explore more personal issues related to his experiences as an child immigrant moving from Jamaica to a pre-multicultural Britain.
Williams has just released an excerpt from the unpublished book on Facebook which describes Golding's gut wrenching memory of leaving Jamaica as a young boy for England without his mother.
"On the day, there was me, my sister ,my auntie, my two cousins Alvin and Sandra and as we walked up the gangplank I was the last one of us to board but I knew something wasn’t quite right. My mother. I couldn’t see her. I suddenly went through a strange mode. Imagine the sort of scene where a very young child would be clinging onto his mother’s skirt, not wanting her to leave, a separation anxiety, well, that’s what I did. It was a total bombshell, I simply thought mum was coming with us. I was so upset, I had just got back to being with her after her time away and i was so distressed. I recall my auntie shouting “Come on Lynval!” as she made her way to the top the gangplank to get on the ship. I just stopped in my tracks, looking at her, then back at my mum, totally torn between the two. I shouted to my mother to hurry up and come with us. I was in floods of tears as was my mum. It was a horrible heart trending moment. My auntie screamed at me to get on board but I had now decided I wasn’t going! I didn’t want to be without mum! Again, the chaos continued when my auntie yelled at me to get on board, and I told her I wasn’t going but realistically There was no option for me, I was to go no matter what but I still tried to get to mum, then the truth hit home like a hammer blow when mum, through her tears, just said “I’m not going with you.” And I was dumbstruck and I was crying so badly. I screamed again “ I don’t wanna go !” but my mum, in a soft way to try and placate me, said “ You’ve got to go now". That was it. My auntie came and grabbed me to get me on the ship but I was devastated. Like my heart had been ripped out. As the ship pulled out of dock, there were people waving and cheering and all I could see was my mum. She was waving and crying. I could hardly raise a hand to wave back I felt so weak. My auntie said “Lynval-Come on you’re 11 years old, act your age!” But being eleven years old, I was still a child, I wanted my mum like any other normal eleven year old would, being that age meant nothing to me. I was grieving like someone had died. I recall that on the way to England, we would stop at various ports, people would get off the ship, stretch their legs and have a walk around the towns, do a little shopping and buy some souvenirs, but I wouldn’t get off. I was too scared to get off. I was just too traumatised. I had been scared to get on that ship and I was scared to get off it. My auntie and the others with us couldn’t understand my predicament, they didn’t have a clue how I was feeling. They simply thought well, y’ know, “you’re just a kid, what do you really know?, you’ll be fine,” a REAL sort of blasé attitude towards me but they didn’t realise then what sort of trauma I was in, that’s kids can be devastated and emotionally wrecked, as I was and I remained that way for a very long time..."Golding recorded "My Tears Come Falling Down Like Rain" off the "Guilty 'Til Proved Innocent" LP with a pre-reunion version of the band that alludes to this story.