In 1976, Bob Marley was scheduled to play a free concert in Kingston, called Smile Jamaica. He received death threats warning him not to play this highly political event. In the weeks leading up to the concert his home was placed under 24 hour guard.
Two days before the concert a carload of gunmen burst through the conveniently unguarded gates, shot Marley’s wife Rita in the head and shot his manager Don Taylor several times. Miraculously, Marley was only grazed in the arm and chest. He played the gig anyway. Immediately afterward fled his home, spending 14 months in exile.
Also in 1976: The beatles turned down 230 million dollars to play a charity event, and Oblidi Oblida was released as a single.
Peter Tosh’s fierce criticisms of Jamaica’s rulers during the ’78 One Love Peace Concert led to him being beaten nearly to death in a jail cell. Burning Spear, Max Romeo, Big Youth, Lee Perry and the Upsetters, Linton Kwesi Johnson and countless others fought against class politics, discrimination, racism, capitalism, colonialism, violence and corruption.
Also in 1978: In an interview with ‘Gig’ magazine, world renown session drummer Bernard Purdie revealed that he played on at least 21 tracks on the Beatles first three albums, adding that he was paid by Brian Epstein to keep his mouth shut in the amount of “five figures.” (He also claims that guitar overdubs were made on several additional track by session musicians and that Ringo was never allowed to play on any recordings.)
Fast forward to 2009, not since UB40 has reggae been dealt such an insulting and disrespectful blow. Reggae music, once feared by the authorities and celebrated by rebels, has been infiltrated by beatlemart! Once proud, outspoken artists like Steel Pulse and legends like U Roy have somehow been hornswagled into dumbing down, rolling over, and playing on the latest beatle abortion entitled Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band. What kind of politricks used to snare these artists is unimaginable.
The music of the FF is desperate for any kind of improvement, that much is obvious. After more than thirty years of being force-fed leftover beatle droppings, the public is slowly becoming aware there is an alternative to this prepackaged, refried, regurgitated crap masquerading as music.
But, reggae? First of all, the fabby’s have already tried it. The groundbreaking musical pioneers they were, as soon as the first strains of this new music drifted across the ocean, they decided to steal it. Does anybody remember how the beatles broke yet another world record by writing the worst reggae song in history, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da? It remains one of the few songs that still induces instantaneous projectile vomiting when played to an unsuspecting listener. Lennon once referred to it as Paul’s Granny Shit. Large up, Lennon. Reespek!
The moptops had no business playing this music. Can you imagine these polite little English lads, after being knighted and having tea with the queen, going into the studio and recording Linton Kwesi Johnson’s, Inglan is a Bitch? In the same way, reggae should stay as far away from the beatles as it can. Does beatlemart have to ruin everything with it’s quest to ‘blandify’ the universe for the sake of selling the same terrible songs to the same morons who already own fifteen versions of each? Let the oppressed go free!
Oh well, at least recording an album of beatles music in reggae is an incredibly original idea. Oh wait…
Becaas learn dis man, dis sociaty yu ave three class a people in dis sociaty. Yu have de upper miggle class, yu have de miggle miggle class, and de lowa miggle class. I an I who is de poor and de underprivilege an de sufferer in de getto happen to be in de lowa miggle class…who control de Jesas an dem big bank account in Switzalan an dem ting dere. Dem guys juss say well we cyaan mek dem ting dere happen inno! Is few lickle big guys taak dem ting dere inno de de poor suffa at all time. Rite now me cyaan even get soap a shap a raasta cassle thru dem big blood baat guys dere.
Excerpt from Live at the One Love Peace Concert.
Standard English Translation:
Because learn this man, in this society there are three classes of people. You have the upper middle class, you have the middle middle class and the low middle class. You and I who are the poor, underprivileged and the sufferer in the ghetto happen to be in the lower middle class. There are some bug guys who control the money and those big bank accounts in Switzerland and other such things. Those guys just decide they cannot make those things happen [progress for the masses]. A few big guys talk about those things there, but it is the poor that suffer all the time. Right now, I can’t even get soap in the shop, a Rasta Castle (rass cloth), because of those big blood bath guys.
Sounds a lot like the fine folks at beatlemart. Coincidence, or prophesy?