The search for Norris Regal – pt.II

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Of course, it would have been too easy: trying to contact the mastermind behind Regal Music Center led to a dead end, and “my” Regal had nothing to do with “this” Regal. Back to square one, and on to the next thing I knew about this record: its label, Sirron Music.

What could “Sirron” mean? I didn’t recall ever hearing of any other tune coming out on it, so it didn’t take a specifically seasoned detective to assume that Struggle was a self-production, by owner of said Sirron imprint. Easy, logical.

Could it be a Sir Ron, perhaps? You know, I was imagining a sound system owner in the great tradition of all the “Sirs” in the UK -such as Sir Coxsone, or Sir Fanso The Tropical Downbeat, at the turntables of whom a youthful Fatman once got his start.

Anyway, call me lazy, but I wasn’t ready, at all, to try and remember, nor track down, all the sounds that bore the honorific title in the UK–I might still be looking today.

These initial possibilities soon abandoned, I turned to the almost inevitable Youtube videos in hopes to find any name associated to this 12″. My only prayers were the usual “please, please, please, make it that it’s not all ‘John Smithes’ on there, and that any ‘uncommon-enough-to-be-searchable name is readable, or that the spinning record pauses at some point, for a long enough time.” Thank God, this video by a certain “Rocksteadymartini” showed just a photo of the record.

Under the singer’s name, what looked like a producer’s name appeared. “N.McKenzie.” Norris McKenzie, I imagined. That was it. Not much, but now at least, I had a name.

The real fun could begin.

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 1.26.25 PMAfter a quick Google search, that assured me there was only one Norris McKenzie in the UK -without giving me any contact info, thanks for nothing!- the second page of searches led me to a potentially interesting link: over at the Anglo-Carribean Domino League, the Assistant Chair’s name was Norris McKenzie. On his photo on the site, the smiling gentleman in a tie looked like he was in the right age range -somebody who could have very much sang a tune in 1983.

Why not? It’s at this point usually that any tip is worth pursuing, and, after all, nothing would ever beat the awkardness of getting hung up on by Zen Bow’s ex-wife. And so I clicked the “Contact Us” form, heart beating, with this nervous feeling of anticipation -wondering where to start not to sound like some crazily random French person. Which you kind of are to launch into reissuing 30-year old obscure 12″s anyway. But, oh well. I started typing:

It might sound strange, but my name is Seb Carayol, and I’m trying to reach Mr. Norris McKenzie (Asst. Chair) regarding his possible involvement in the music scene in the mid-’80s I believe -the only way I found to reach out was through your club…

Etc, etc, and so forth. Let’s see how that goes…

(Continued on pt. III)

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