Lyndon Mervyn Spencer, known to many as “Papa Chunks” was born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 19th, 1970 to Evans and Vilma Spencer. The nick name Papa Chunks was giving to him in 1996 by band members after his co arrangement of the roaring lion’s classic tune “Papa Chunks”, which was well orchestrated, resulting in a total endorsement by band members and the pan community in Brooklyn. Lyndon attended Abraham Lincoln High School, and then went on to the University of Phoenix, were he obtained a Bachelors degree in Business Management.
Lyndon started playing the steel drum at the age of twelve (12), after his father introduced him to the music of WITCO Desperados Steel Orchestra. Putting things in motion, Lyndon’s cousin in Toronto Canada, made him his first Spider Web soprano steel pan. When Lyndon’s father saw his passion for the instrument and his tenacity to go further with the steel pan, he allowed him to take part in the New York panorama in 1985, playing with New York Golden Stars Steel Orchestra. Although, Lyndon was exceedingly happy with the opportunity to take part in the New York Panorama, his ultimate dream was to play in the Mecca, Trinidad & Tobago and, to a lesser extent his father’s band Witco Desperadoes. His first experience of hearing Desperados live occurred in 1982, when Lyndon attended his first panorama in Trinidad. After hearing the arrangement of the late Clive Bradley, Lyndon’s heart became torn in two. The music took over his mind and from that day, Lyndon just did not want to play the steel drum, he also wanted to arrange music just like Clive Bradley.
In 1987 a great opportunity came about, when Clive Bradley returned to Metro Steel Orchestra to arrange the bands panorama tune. When Lyndon became aware of this, he asked his father could he join Metro. The first day Lyndon walked into the pan yard he felt at home with members greeting him like, Colors, Garvin, Trevor, Clement, Big Tony and Junior. Moreover, when he saw Clive, the first thing he told him was, “I want to do what you do”. Clive smiled and said, “If you want to learn how to arrange music, I will teach you, just remember there is only one Clive Bradley,” and smiled at Lyndon again. The late Bradley took Lyndon under his tutoring and mentoring from that day and up to two months before his untimely passing on November 26, 2005. Lyndon also received music pointers from Denzel Botus and the late Mikey Enoch.
After Clive Bradley arranged three (3), consecutive winning panorama songs for Metro, the following year he could not work with the band. At that time Lyndon was doing stage side music for Metro however, the band felt he was not ready to take over as the bands panorama arranger. As a result, the band hired the late Eddie Quarless. The good thing, Lyndon was allowed for the first time to get his music heard on a panorama stage calibrating with Eddie. In 1995 the calibration continued with Lyndon, Eddie and Collins. The time came in 1996 when Metro felt Lyndon was ready to arrange a panorama tune. Lyndon and his good friend Collins Jackman joined forces and did a vibrant rendition of Mind your Business.
Lyndon has arranged panorama pieces for a few Steel bands in the New York City area which include Metro, Mystery band, and New York Nu-Tones. He has done stage side arrangements for Starlift (Trinidad), Cordettes (Trinidad), Road Block (Trinidad) Metro (USA), NY NU-Tones (USA) and Mystery Band (USA). Lyndon has also played with many bands since then. His dream came true in 1990, when he was picked for panorama playing a tenor pan with Witco Desperadoes. He also played with other bands in Trinidad namely, Carib Tokyo, Nu-Tones, Crescendoes Musicale and Sangre Grande Cordettes. In the United States Lyndon has played with Golden Stars, Metro, Sonatas, Moods, Mystery Band, Despers USA, Pantonic, NY Nu-Tones and D’Radoes. An unknown fact, Lyndon had aspirations to learn how to make steel drums as well. However, his dream was short lived, when his first attempt to sink a drum did not turn out to well.
|Source: Lyndon Spencer|