The Man from Mars, Tony Matterhorn, got his moniker in an explosive way – literally – veteran Inner City Sound System selector, Mark Dragon has revealed.
In fact, the explosion did indeed involve the Matterhorn band of cigarettes and the selector’s penchant for smoking them, even those that did not belong to him, back in his youthful days.
Matterhorn, who used to live next door to the Inner City headquarters, was part of the sound system’s maintenance team, responsible for rolling up the box wires and other tasks, Mark recounted.
However, according to Mark, the now world-renowned Dancehall music selector, had always taken a keen interest whenever the sound was engaging in a clash, making recommendations to him about which songs to play, pointing out errors made by the opponents as well as going through records quickly and identifying songs to either use to attack or as counteractions.
In relaying the sequence of events which led to the selector getting the name during an episode of the Entertainment Report podcast, Mark said he made the Matterhorn brand of cigarettes his preferred choice, because “I always watched Captain Richie a smoke Matterhorn”. Tony then decided to follow suit.
“Di first time Matterhorn ask mi fi gi him a cigarette, mi seh ‘how old yuh is? Yuh old enough fi smoke?’ An him seh, ‘yeah man, mi a smoke long time man’. Mi gi him mi pack fi hold, an by di time him gimme it back about five, six gone outa it. Mi seh: ‘how yuh a move suh? A you name Matterhorn? Yuh name Tony Matterhorn’.
Mark said Matterhorn, whose real name is Dufton Taylor, told him that he liked the name as it reminded him of Tony Montana and so he told him he would start calling him Tony Matterhorn.
However, the name did not stick or take effect ‘officially’ until one fateful December morning, when Mark decided to play a prank on Matterhorn and his other colleagues, who were constantly raiding his cigarette boxes.
“Mi did have a kinda little mischievous attitude tuh enuh. One Decemba mi decide seh mi a guh load up some cigarette wid fire cracker and carry it come a di sound, becaw dem man deh pon di sound, as yuh pudding yuh box a Matterhorn, when yuh come back, it empty. Every man light up an no man naw ask yuh nuttn,” Mark said.
“Suh mi jus come in one December morning wid mi pack a cigarette and smoke one. Mi tell Richie seh; ‘watch wha a guh gwaan, a pure clappers inna dem yah enuh’. Mi teck out one an light it an walk guh outta door. When mi guh back in deh, di box light (no longer full). Everybaddy have a cigarette,” he continued.
“Mi stan up right a di front a di bar weh di sound string up, right a di headquarters; Matterhorn stan up right beside mi a talk to a girl, a puff enuh man. When di cigarette explode enuh man, him was so frighten di man slide an drop backway man. Mi seh ehh, a you name Matterhorn,” he said, as he and the host burst out in laughter. The name Tony Matterhorn had stuck.
In the meantime, Matterhorn has released a new song tiled Same OG From Mars, a follow-up to his 2006 track Man from Mars. He made the announcement a week ago on Instagram, and according to him, the track is perfect for “2021 meds and hold a vibes while ur driving or home chilling’.
As a Dancehall artiste, Matterhorn’ found success with his 2006 Dutty Wine single which spent 11 weeks at the top of the UK’s BBC 1Xtra Dancehall chart and peaked at number 35 on Billboard’s R&B Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart in the United States.
A follow-up single, Goodas Fi Dem on the Gully Slime riddim, was also a success.
His other songs include: On My Knees with Alaine, Turn It Around, Running Cow, Talk De Things, How We Grow, Gal Dem Wine, Wine Up For Me, Future Wine 2024, Never Stop and Survivor.