By Cecily Asson (T&T Mirror)
EIGHT-TIME Road March/six-time International Soca Monarch champ SuperBlue (Austin Lyons), who has reportedly fallen on hard times, has refused to deny or confirm among many fast-flying rumours making the rounds that he is cleaning toilets for $3 and washing cars for $10 in St. James in order to survive!
Instead, in a face-to-face interview with TnT Mirror on Wednesday afternoon, SuperBlue said he preferred to let his detractors talk, while he quietly works hard in the background at re-igniting a career that once had his name on the lips of all soca-loving people of the Caribbean.
The lyrical bard, a definite shadow of his former self but still with a warrior spirit that leapfrogged him to the top of his game did, however, admit to Mirror that he has problems, none of which he wanted to publicly identify. He openly admitted: “I need all the help I can get.”
SuperBlue said he was aware of the buzz in town, all because of the absence of his high-energy glitzy performances from the soca stage for the past few years.
For thousands of SuperBlue fans, after all the glitz and glamour, the money, the cars and all the other trappings associated with success, it’s the general feeling that the mega soca star has hit an all-time low.
He has been labelled as “a St. James hustler”.
The allegation was publicly made last week, by his former lover and mother of one of his many children (Fay-Ann Lyons), Lynette Steele.
Steele, in a Sunday Mirror exclusive last week and in radio pronouncements, alluded to his demise by referring to his successes and questioning the disappearance of his money.
A reluctant SuperBlue, when told of what was being said about him, responded: “I will let them talk. People are saying all kinds of things; I hear I washing toilet for $3, I hear I washing cars ...
“I have problems, but I’m taking them one day at a time.”
Although completely off the charts, SuperBlue has still managed to command the respect of quite a few in the entertainment industry.
Many have expressed concern about him, and there has been a clarion call for someone to take him out his dilemma.
Mirror finally caught up with SuperBlue outside Smokey and Bunty, Western Main Road, St. James, but not before futile attempts had been made to talk with him at a St. James flat, where he reportedly shares a room with some friends, and at several of his other favourite liming spots.
Mirror also learnt that Blues no longer shared a house with wife, Karen Lyons, and that the woman who he married a few years ago, and from whom he has been estranged “for some time now”, lived not too far from where he rests his head at nights.
When spotted, he had just alighted from a taxi, and had gone straight into a casino to try his luck with the machines.
It caused one of the regulars liming outside the St. James bar to remark: “Look at him now; he no longer owns a car.
“He’s a man who won so many cars; he once owned a Lexus, he owned a record store in Miami, lived a luxurious life ...
“His music was played in the movie, Side Street.”
The former King of Soca was putting in tokens in the slot machine when Mirror approached him for an interview.
He agreed to the interview, but not before collecting his drink from the bar.
It was then over to Smokey and Bunty, where he joined long-standing friend, Sydney Nanton who, only minutes before, pledged any kind of support to see his all-time favourite artiste “rise from the ashes”.
Dressed in light blue plaid shirt and unusual black pants, blue surf sandals, a pair of sun shades pulled over his head, but minus his trademark blue head tie, a forlorn SuperBlue apologised for wearing black.
“It’s not like me ...,” he mumbled.
“Look, I don’t even have on my head tie.”
SuperBlue mumbled a lot, some words were audible ... some were not.
He spoke of the dizzying heights to which the music took him; he also spoke of the power of it.
“Even my mother worried about what the music did to me,” he smiled, as he lovingly remembered the woman who gave him life.
He remembered the many opportunities the music had given to him.
“The places I travelled, the people I met, and life has been good to me ...,” he commented with a far away look.
SuperBlue is confident that the time will come when he will do it again.
“When you are on top, there are people waiting to pull you down,” he groaned.
When asked why has there not been any recorded work from him for the past three years, he begged: “I’m working quietly; let there be an element of surprise.”
Asked about his family life, he quickly jumped off his chair saying: “Nah, nah, I’m not going there.”
Mirror contacted wife, Karen, at her St. James home.
Mrs. Lyons snapped: “I have absolutely nothing to say.
“I am on my way out the door.”
Meantime, friend Nanton strongly defended SuperBlue: “He’s not as bad as people think.
“Many of his friends here know he needs help in many ways. I can tell you, he doesn’t have to ask for anything.
“People willingly give to him. Even if he asks, he ends up getting more than he asked for.”
Another unidentified bar patron chipped in: “If he asks for one cigarette, he gets a pack; we buy drinks for him.”
The talented Point Fortin artiste, whose professional career kicked off in the 1980s, is the one reputed to have changed the face of soca music in TnT with his infectious rhythms and sweet hooklines.
He was also the author of “jump and wave”, which many artistes have now adopted.
SuperBlue told Mirror he now produces The SuperBlue Road Show every Friday night at Caribbean Corner, a St. James restaurant.