Jamaica, Summer 1983
Jean-Michel, a New York graffiti artist named Toxic, and I left for a trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica, in the summer of 1983. There were some really wonderful times during our stay, like the trip to Blue Mountain where we were taken to the farming fields and had a fantastic lunch of salt-fish in a little shack were a jukebox played local favorites. Jean-Michel kept putting coins in it, and we watched as several youngsters entertained us.
Shortly into the trip, we ran out of money. We would take turns going to a local smorgasbord in the evenings, getting as much food as each of us could carrytwo or three plates of seafood, fresh fruits, and breadsand then racing back to the hotel room to share the bounty. Jean-Michel had called his gallery at that time and asked for a loan, but the answer was a definitive "no" and we remained broke in Jamaica. I ended up selling my Sony tape recorder and my Minolta camera for about one hundred Jamaican dollars and split it with Jean-Michel and Toxic. Much to my regret, the photographs of our trip remained in the camera never to be seen again.
When we got back to New York, Toxic and I waited from the other side of the customs line while Jean-Michel was detained. As I was inquiring about what was going on, I heard the customs agent lecturing Jean-Michel about his grungy looking appearance. The agents last comment was: "get a job if you're going to come to this country!"