R. (Bob) Crumb – cartoonist and fellow crate digger extraordinaire
*(mere coincidence that I am a Bob as well. Known as Bobby to my family and friends in Montana. Son of a Bob, grandson of a Bob. I became Robert when I moved to Utah in 1986)
Today at 4 PM on Smile Jamaica: 90.9FM KRCL or live stream
Happy Birthday Bob Dylan: covers and woozy Reggae originals by Bob in livication for his birthday. Brilliant Roots updates of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and “Man in Me”
Dub Album of the Week: Dennis Bovell’s 4th Street Orchestra – Scientific Higher Ranking Dubb ’77; UK dubwize
Wailers Family Tree: Bob’s last live show in Pittsburgh, Jah-sylvania (9/23/80); rarities from dubble disk upgrade of Peter Tosh’s Equal Rights ’77. Bunny Wailer – Rootsman Skanking ’86. Bob cover disk
Vinyl is Vital: Half way through. I give you one extra in every Vinyl set. Female dub poetry, herb tune, Sunsplash Live
Mutant Dub Files: Last half hour acoustic levitation inna Irie meditation! Heavy bass downtro, lounge, echo, dub step
Plus music from the sistren, 10″ extended mix vinyl, Seven Leaf tributes.
Been really homebound at the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives. Allergies for sure-ty. Cold wet weekend made me an invalid. Dayquil, Nyquil. No dice.
Called my beloved mother, Jeannette, wished her a happy Mother’s Day in a Jah-tana blizzard. Chatted up my best pal Tristin. And watched my beloved Giants spank the hated Dodgers in extra innings.
Being homeward bound made me plow into the treasures of the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive.
So I am a Librarian by trade. And like Sanitation Engineers mop floors, Librarians are Information Engineers. We organize information into searchable format.
I am in the perpetual state of cataloging and creating discographies of my collection by format. Right now I am in the mood for the most esoteric of my Reggae formats* (10″ vinyl extended mix single.)
*other than my treasured Bob Marley 8 Tracks
I have an Excel database that tracks A side: Artist, Song; B side: Artist,Song; Record Label; Producer; Year (very hard sometimes to find); Reggae Band laying down the riddims. Other metadata like: herb tune, Marley tribute, soul cover, etc. Then I give each side a grade.
Here is what I cataloged and listened to on my Hi-Fi. Vinyl Sabbath (May 11, 2014: Mother’s Day and 33 Years of Bob Marley’s tragic passing)
10″ vinyl: Dirty Dub Dozen
*b & w = backed with or the B side
Boney ‘L’ & Vibronics – Babylon Children b/w* Vibronics – The Return (Jah Tubbys); A side is female roots on a good militant steppers riddim. Militant Steppers is the martial Euro dubble time stiff drum and spongy echo. B side is cool instrumental by the Dub group Vibronics.
Dennis Brown – Tenement Yard b/w Open the Gates. Part of a latter-day reissue series of vinyl classics from Niney’s Observer label. Revive/Reissue Label: Observer Gold. Dennis at his roots best. Sufferers A side with Rasta imagery B side
Johnny Clarke – Dreader Dread + Clint Eastwood – Dread Lion b/w Horace Andy – Guiding Star + Tappa Zukie – Jah Is I Guiding Star (Attack Gold); cut ‘n’ mix using Bunny Lee’s production of King Tubby mixing the flying cymbal attack of the Aggrovators. Version rides recycling hard riddims. Both jams are high impact examples of early 70s Rasta commercial roots.
The Congos – Some are Having Fun b/w Mad Professor & the Robotics feat. Michael Walters – Jungle Vibrations (Ariwa) 2002. Gorgeous A side featuring the falsetto of Cedric Myton. B is a great ricochet echo mostly instrumental jam with that trademark Mad Professor sound
Mikey Dread – Heavyweight Style b/w Rub-a-Dub (Dread the Controls) ’82 picture sleeve. Spongy riddims featuring the singjay. Studio craft with false starts, trombone melodies and sticky downbeat. Mikey’s cartoon vox celebrates the tough riddims. B side is a notch better. “Music is my butter, music is my bread.” Rub a Dub: the excuse needed to grab your gal and wind up her waist on the dance floor. Deliberate one drop, more measured, where the twisty groove pumps bass at your groin.
Gregory Isaacs – Cool Down the Pace b/w The Stranger (Island) ’82 picture sleeve. Mixed by Groucho Smykle who updated Black Uhuru’s contemporary sound. These are inverted tracks where it is mostly dub riddim where Gregory meanders in and warbles over an early 80s digital drum sound.
Carlton Jackson – Only Jah Will Do b/w Jonny (sic) Osburne (sic) – The Love of Music (Ital International) ’82. Wow what a great roots record. A side is sublime Rasta celebration. While Johnny or Jonny celebrates the philosophy of celebrating Reggae music
Jah Mason & Robbie Valentine – Ganja afe Free b/w Mike Anthony – Culture Calling (Sip a Cup); 2005 Militant Steppers powerhouse produced by Gussie P with riddims by Mafia & Fluxy. A side is a combination style herb tune. B side is a great roots and contemporary dub jam.
Keith & Tex + Scotty – Tonight + Children Children b/w Pablo & Fay – Bedroom Mazurka (Trojan) UK reissue of some classic Derrick Harriott productions. A side is the great slinky riddim moving into Scotty toasting a nursery rhyme. B side is Pablo’s melodica dreamscape over Fay’s come hither seduction. Jamaican novelty update.
King General – They Say b/w Centry – King of Kings (Lovedub Music) 2006 Conscious Sounds Bush Chemists militant steppers mutant dub mashup. A side is a great high voiced singjay herb tune, “They say Sensimilla can’t smoke”. B side is a different riddim instrumental. I used this one to test out my new stereo setup since I had to upgrade my TV/entertainment center over the weekend.
Barrington Levy – Mr. Money Man b/w Super Chick Me a Champion (Hit Bound) ’83. Trademark Barry warble over a subtle rub a dub groover. Very atmospheric protesting against the banksters vexing the working poor way back when. B Side is female sing jay. Very off key on the singing while stepping it lively on the deejay toast ‘n’ boast. Psychedelic extended mix once Chick steps aside.
Derrick Morgan – Conquering Ruler (2002 Re-Visit) b/w Martin Campbell – Old Time Dance (Channel One UK). Featuring the Hi-Tech Roots Radics. A is a Rock Steady classic update. B side is better as a celebration of Reggae inna dancehall style. 3 versions per side: vox, vocal/dub, dub. Bonus beats are always a treat!
Good day to celebrate His Imperial Majesty with roots ‘n’ dubbers paying tribute!
Surgery of that magnitude would have made Bob’s phenomenally successful “Babylon By Bus” tours promoting Exodus and Kaya impossible. Bob was conquering Europe, Japan and America during those crucial years. 100,000 in Milan, Jah-taly.
And to validate his rebel spirit, Bob was the musical act to celebrate the liberation of African Zimbabwe ousting white minority Rhodesia. Bob Marley the Real Revolutionary.
By Survival and his last album, Uprising.Bob was starting to gain the support of the last holdouts to his musical charisma. That would be the important American black music consumer coming out of the decadence of Disco.
Kevin MacDonald’s superb biography of Bob’s life Marley went as far to suggest that doctors would have preferred to have Bob’s leg disarticulated entirely.
Disarticulation is the clinical term for radical amputation.
In the wake of Bob’s passing, at least a score of his bredrin & sistren took to the recording studios to rush tribute songs to the airwaves.
Over the decades, I have devoted Smile Jamaica editions to his legacy entitled Memorial Roots: Livicated to the life works of Bob Marley.
Livicated never dead-icated. One of the Nazirite vows is to not be around death or houses of death. As The Wailers, Peter Tosh and Bunny have sang: No Funeral. No Burial.
Yet, for me, the tragedy becomes the mechanism to recognize the dramatic legacy of Bob who died as he was just about to shoot off into superstardom. With MTV, the breakdown of barriers to black music sold to white kids, his exotic charisma, Bob Marley would have had an 80s musical discography to rival Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, U2 and Madonna.
Imagine Bob Marley at the vanguard against Reaganism and Thatcherism in the 80s. How he would have celebrated the end of the Cold War, the liberation of South Africa. So for me I can’t resist the tragic irony.
Saturday May 11, 2013, the calendar synched for Smile Jamaica to feature 3 hours of Bob Tributes, bootleg live, covers and rarities. Worth a listen to hear the love Bob’s contemporaries had for him and his legacy.
I think in 500 years they will be talking about three artists of the 20th century like we all know Bach, Mozart and Beethoven: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives Presents: Memorial Roots – Tribute to Bob Marley; May 11, 2013
Tribute to Bob Marley who joined Jah’s Heavenly Choir on this date, 32 years ago.
Cedella Marley Booker – Mother Don’t Cry; Awake Zion (Rykodisc) ‘84; tribute from Bob’s Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Roots Rock Reggae in Dub vol. 1 (Tuff Gong); Dub Album of the Week; dub cuts to Marley vox
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Wake Up and Live; Brisbane, Australia ‘79
Ronnie Davis – Kaya; Jah Love (Music Club); 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement; version galore(1); Bob cover vox
Shorty the President – Kaya; Fire Fire (Charmers); ‘78 Canadian vinyl; version galore(2): Bob cover deejay; ***End of Set 1
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Kaya; Milan, Italy ‘80; herb tune
Sister Carol – Dedicated to Bob Marley; Black Cinderella (Jah Life/Heartbeat) ‘84 singjay tribute
Jimmy Cliff – No Woman No Cry; Follow My Mind (Wounded Bird) ‘75 cover
Johnny Clarke – Crazy Baldhead; Authorized Rockers (Virgin Front Line) ‘76 UK vinyl ‘76; ***End of Set 2
Stevie Wonder – Master Blaster (Jammin’); Hotter Than July (Motown) ‘80
Jah Pelikaho & the Wailers – Jammin’; 21st Century Dub (ROIR) ’80 Wailers go a Jah-pon
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Heathen; Live at the Sunplaza; Tokyo, Jah-pon Apr. 10, 1979; ***End of Set 3
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Africans Unite; Libreville Gabon West Africa; Libreville Jan. 6, 1980
Rita Marley – I’m Still Waiting; Who Feels It Knows It (Shanachie) ‘80
Culture – Double Tribute to the O.M.; Lion Rock (Heartbeat) ‘87 Order of Merit Jamaica’s highest honor; ***End of Set 4
Heptones – Natural Mystic; Good Life (Greensleeves) UK vinyl ‘79
Ziggy Marley – Pass It On; Hawaii 5-0 Soundtrack (CBS)
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Positive Vibration; Kaya Deluxe Edition (Tuff Gong) ‘78; bonus disk: Live at the Ahoy, Rotterdam Netherlands July 17, 1978
Judy Mowatt – Joseph; Black Woman (Shanachie) ‘76; comparing Bob to the Biblical Prophet
Bob Marley & the Wailers – War/No More Trouble – Portland July 14, 1978; Request. Lyrics from speech HIM gave at the UN
Happy Mother’s Day! Be sure to wish your mom a glorious day or think of her memory today. I know my beloved mother Jeannette has been a great supporter of the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives. (Even though she wonders why I keep doing Reggae Radio for free going on 25 years.)
“Yimma*, if they pay me, then they get to tell me what to do and what to play.” Bumba klaat to that notion!
*Mother in the Assyrian language
I usually get her flowers and always have them sign the card, “Love you more than Bob Marley”. This year I got her an RFID money clip to stash her credit cards in. She’s got more of those than I have Marley discs.
Facebook has caused a Civil War in my family and my Mom has been reeling from the fallout.
This is a perfect song to set the mood of the day:
A young boy hands his mother an itemized list of charges he says he’s owed for performing various chores and comes to collect; the singer performs this in spoken word. The mother responds (singing) by reminding her son about all the things she’s done for him, that she never asked him to pay for services rendered and that, all things considered, “the cost of real love is no charge.”
Enlightened, the young boy realizes that his mother is right and forgives the charges (once again, narrated) before the singer sings the moral. “No Charge” was one of the few songs that talked about motherhood during this time, which might be one of the reasons why it was so popular.
So of course I have a Reggae version. I had to take yesterday’s Smile Jamaica off because Beast Buy sold me a TV that had no picture and thought I would pay a $1000 for it.
Every Saturday prior to Mother’s Day, for probably two decades – certainly as long as the Cannabis Service Shows , I have played this tune by Sonya Spence as the lead off track to that day’s Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive show.
The year our family feud was running well hot, I had to choke back tears. And that never happens to me.
<Sonya Spence – No Charge; 3 min 22 sec>
Love you Yimma, my Sistah Stacey, any Mothers who check in with Smile Jamaica, Happy Mother’s Day!
“Tribal War. We don’t need no more of dat” – Dillinger
Ruff week at the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives. Pretty vexed that on the same weekend my TV puked, they “fired up” the Cold War (pun intended) in Ukraine. And my hay fever went Chernobyl.
I hacked and wheezed through the air checks on this week’s Ark-Ive. My apologies. So I have to protect my voice. My “radio instrument” connecting Reggae stories to Reggae music.
I went to my pharmacist and said I was Fukashima level allergy on its way to bronchitis. What over the counter pill would be kosher/halal with my Doc’s meds? She said some none of the placebos (my cynical take) on the aisle were any good. I needed the “hard stuff”.
So no wonder I can’t find my Springtime go-to Drixoral or Sudafed. They asked me to promise not to cook meth and show my ID and sign here. Gladly. Pato Banton’s lyrics flashed in my head as the nice lady walked me through the anti-meth speech. “I do not snort the meth”….fill in the rest.
So I probably was spending $200 a year on nothing. After two days on the “hard stuff”.: my right ear is unplugged and no further bronchial ick. Praise Jah! Selah!
So I’m a little cranky on the mic. WTF Ukraine? Who is keeping an eye on Chernobyl? Quit killing one another and get your eye back on the ball. Yes-eye! Rastafar-eye!
I started co-hosting Smile Jamaica the Fall of the Fall of the Iron Curtain. 1989. (KRCL’s top rank Saturday Night Punk Show by the station’s first Bad Brad – Brad Collins was called Behind the Zion Curtain).
Optimism all around. After a heavy duty Cold War 80s, it was over. At the “end” as I was beginning to play a peace show. Alpha & Omega. 70’s 80’s Reggae always for peace and the 99ers before they were called that. Socialism small “s”. Love your brother. Share your bounty. “Blessed are the meek for they are the children of Heaven”.*
*The Beatitudes. Sunday school never worked on me. I know all my Bible strictly from Reggae Music!
Now we’re back full circle with the Cold War. I am not happy. I will not harangue politics on a music show. Let the music do the talking and pay attention to the prophecy sung in 1974 “rewind and come again” in 2014.
2 generations later still packs a wallop.
Here is what you can savor from last Sat Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive.
Vinyl warning from the twins. Ruffy and Tuffy: “If the Third World War is a must, Russia and America haffe bust”
Start it off with a horse racing set livicated to the Kentucky Derby
Rockers do Reggae: followed through on my threat to play Billy Idol punkdub; Patti Smith (dubble dose of punkdub!); Ben Harper Live 420; Garland Jeffreys new roots-rock-reggae hybrid. (Cryptic Game of Thrones reference?) Proto Bad Brains DC punkdub
Wailers Family Tree: Bob last show Pittsburgh; Tosh Dubplate from Equal Rights. Bunny Rootsman Skaning ’86. Marcia and the Revolutionaries ’78
Vinyl Is Ital midway. Always one extra for the lovers of Black Wax
Mutant Dub with Natacha Atlas heading into World Village 7pm. Last half hour
Nuff Reggae protest: LKJ, Jimmy Cliff via Joe Higgs, Althea & Donna, Burning Spear