Back from the land of my birth: Fort Benton, Jah-tana. Put a thousand miles on the Dubmobile. I took the long way home
Wheel it back to July 12…
Finished up Smile Jamaica, Saturday Night Stylee from SLC north on a hot evening jag to Idaho Falls. Nice to have late night sun to cruise to. Heavy duty bass tunes to keep me awake without caffeination. Every. Step. of the Way. Bunk for the night. Get in to a Super Full Moon dark sky about Midnite. (213 miles).
Straight up I-15. Sunday Morning. No road rage here. 6am and I am up. As Bob sang, “Sun is shining and the weather is sweet. Makes me wanna move my dancing feet.” In Jah-tana in July, the Sun is up at 5am and sets after 11pm.
Caffeine + bass = caffabass. Better set the cruise control or Johnny Law will give I the Hairy Eyeball.
A heinous drive in the Winter. Until my fams started having Xmas in Jah-buquerque, New Jah-xico a few years back, I got stopped at the Monida pass 3 times in 20+ years You have two choices when the Roads on I-15 get shut down between Spencer, Idaho and Lima, Jah-tana. Or as I call it the 30 Miles of White Knuckles at 25 MPH.
Live like a refugee with thousands of other Snowbirds from Canada, long haul and livestock trucks and other Holiday travelers in the school gymnasium in Lima (population 227)
Hope to Jah you can get a hotel room in Dillon, Jah-tana (-50 miles back over brutal roads) or worse Butte (-112 miles).
Summer is a different story than White Out Jah-tana
I cross the Continental Divide a half dozen times, half a dozen rivers. Spring Wheat is a carpet of green. Winter Wheat starting to turn golden brown.
Wind my way tillButte, Jah-tana. (Hastings chain book/music/movie spot in any Metro city of the Big Sky state.) Lots of cheap rock catalog stuff: Black Sabbath, Alice and Aerosmith for $5. New Beats Antique. (205 miles)
Headed for the People’s Republic of Missoulafor two days of cratedigging and bookdigging (Rockin’ Rudys, Ear Candy Records). Saw the new Planet of the Apes movie. Good but the Hercules trailer looks better. North of $300 at Rockin’ Rudy’s. Lots of buttons, magnets and T-shirts. Added to my Dylan and Drake bootleg collection. Took three clerks and the owner came out as they rang me up. I am known as a “whale” in the Cratedigging biz. Lots of great used stock I read about in Rolling Stone and Mojo. Bob & Gene, Cheech and Chong. Some Missoula reggae, The New CSNY reissue. Ear Candy: Bombay Disco and a group called Kadavar. Checked everywhere but no Vinyl for I’n’ I to be had in Jah-tana. The vagaries of cratedigging. (118 miles)
One day back in my old University town, Bozeman, Jah-tana. Main Street stroll: Cactus Records, Vargo’s Jazz and Books. A beer at the resurrected Rockin’ R
Not finding good luck in Bozeman lately. The Anchorman 2 and American Hustle Soundtracks was about it. Funny story buying Bob Marley and Johnny Cash Tee shirts in the mall. More to come…(202 miles)
Then home to the Hi Line (North Central Montana) through Helena (the Capitol) and Great Falls. 35 miles to the Birthplace of Jah-tana: Fort Benton. (225 miles).
I moved to Utah to go to University Fall 1986. I had spent the previous 3 years in Bozeman, Jah-tana. Go Bobcats!
My last (and coldest) year at Montana State, I discovered their community/college radio station KGLT.
My musical tastes were sort of in limbo. I had just started subscribing to this new magazine, Spin.I was big into college rock: The Minutemen, (Double Nickels on the Dime,), The Replacements (Pleased to Meet Me) and Husker Du (New Day Rising).
When I wasn’t listening to the local radio, I was watching MTV when the station actually played music videos: The Cult, Big Audio Dynamite, Jesus and Mary Chain.
I was alienated from most contemporary Rock (too many synth drums, Neil Young as a Republican), Hair Metal balladry (Perfect for the culturally bereft Reagan “Just Say No” era). The Clash fell apart.
And the only King of Pop for me is the King of Kings: The Negus; Negusa Negast; Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Elect of God, ever-living Jah. Earth’s Rightful Ruler
<Smile Jamaica Reggae History Lesson: Definition of Negus. 17 sec.>
So when I got my Student Loan check from Uncle Ron, I had some easy cash for these new fangled things called the Compact Disk. Moving from 25,000 people in Bozeman to a couple hundred thousand in Salt Lake City gave me more musical choices.
I bought a little blues, I picked up some quality world music. Mostly in Salt Lake stores long gone: Smokey’s Records, Raspberry Records, The Mad Platter. The (real) Cosmic Aeroplane.
My first Reggae acquisitions: Jimmy Cliff Harder They Come soundtrack and Reggae Greats. Bob Marley’s whole catalog had just been reissued on CD for midline price. Bought them all. Sly and Robbie – Taxi Fare: The very first CD purchase. Steel Pulse – True Democracy. UB40 – Labour of Love
As usual my timing sucked. When I was scouting Utah as a move, I dialed in to their excellent Indie station: KCGL. Listened to it every day all day when I relocated. Alas, about six weeks into Fall of 1986, it was bought out and converted to a religious station. WTF?
As Bob Marley said, “When one door closes, another will open.” A friend I had met in the dorms turned me on to Salt Lake’s Community station, KRCL.
That’s how I learned about Reggae Radio: from their Saturday Afternoon program, Smile Jamaica (then heard 1-4pm.)
My friend was a Jewish kid from Baltimore, computer programming major who had a really great CD collection and the stereo setup to make it pop. The dorms at the University of Utah were glorified closets encased in brick. Excellent environment for sound ricochet.
I told my buddy Neal that I had been, sort of, gravitating towards Reggae out of these compelling sub genres thanks to my radio consumption of Smile Jamaica.
He went to his book shelf and grabbed Black Uhuru’s Anthem off a rack. Popped it into his Nakamichi super duper CD player. Bose 901 speakers. Itched up the volume for a Friday night. And KABOOM!!!
Sly & Robbie were in high demand during the midpoint of this decade of wretched excess wiring the groove of synthesized drum & bass. Perfect for Roots Reggae. Dylan, Springsteen, Clapton and The Stones? Meh, not so much.
Michael Rose’s Afro Arab singing was right in line with my understanding of African vocalists like King Sunny, Youssou N’Dour and Fela Kuti.
Female singer Puma Jones’ a-syncopated harmonies clashed with Ducky Simpson’s growl foreshadowed my complete and never ending immersion in Reggae ever since. 28 years of collecting it. 26 years of promoting it on the extra terrestrial Radio waves.
Black Uhuru – Anthem. More than any of the 70s Roots or UB40’s pop groove.
This was protest music for me. Anthems for the underdogs. I had found something to synchronize my politics, too, as a life long anti-authoritarian Progressive who has voted Third Party since 1984 when I became old enough to vote.
Pretty much all my expendable income was and is going to Roots Reggae from Fall of 1986 till I join Jah’s Heavenly Choir.
I tell you how I got on KRCL with this Anniversary Preview Post. This Ark-Ive Stream Edition Podcast celebrates that legacy with All Vinyl.
Hit the link above or below and feast your ears on these musical treats
Vinyl liberated from 112 degrees Las Vegas: Third World, Jimmy Riley, Josey Wales
Roots Dawtas. Hard hitting UK Dub poetesses
Seven Leaf and 420 Cannabis Service Announcement
<Seven Leaf Jah-sterity; 1 min 34 sec?>
Mutant Dubwize to end the program. Black Wax stylee
Heavy Roots & Culture stretched out with Extended Mix dubjams
Black Uhuru – What Is Life?; Anthem (Mango) ’84 US
The Scientist Meets Ted Sirota’s – Scientific Strut; Heavyweight Dub (Liberated Zone) 2013; Dub Album of the Week
Jimmy Riley – I Wish It Would Rain; Rydim Driven (Mango) ’81 US: Temptations soul cover
Misty in Roots – City Runnings; In Progess (People Unite) ’84 UK
Sister Netifa – Daughters of the Soil; Woman Determined (Aluta) ’88 UK female dub poet
John Holt – Police in Helicopter; 12” (Holt) ’83 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement***End of Set 1
Third World – The Story’s Been Told; 12” (Island) ’79 German pressing
Mighty Diamonds – One Brother Short; Vital Selection (Virgin Front Line) ’81 UK best of
Jean Binta Breeze – Tracks + Nanny; Tracks (LKJ) ’91 UK dub poet. Nanny national hero of Jamaica***End of Set 2
Josey Wales – Who We Baby; 12” (Volcano) ‘83
The Selecter – Deep Water; Celebrate the Bullet (Chrysalis) ’81 2 Tone ska; Pauline Black vox
Niccodemus (sic) – Spar With Me; Dance Hall Style (Black Joy) ’82 UK***End of Set 3
10 Ft. Ganja Plant – Sing and Dance; Skycatcher (ROIR) 2013 Upstate Jah York
Sis Nya – Serious Time; Jah Music (Jah Shaka) ‘87 UK female vox
Michael Palmer – Ghetto Living; Ghetto Living (Bebo’s Music) ’85 Wheaton, Maryland
Barrington Spence – Jah Jah Train; Speak Softly (Trojan ‘76 UK***End of Set 4
Sister Carol – Liberation For the African; Liberation For Africa (Serious Gold) ’83 NYC Sevenleaf Vinyl set
Lovindeer – Free the Marijuana; De Blinkin’ Bus (TSOJ) ’82 JA
Lion Youth – Natty Bring de Couchi; Love Comes & Goes (Virgo Stomach) ‘81 UK clear vinyl
The Heptones – Sensemenia Collie; One Step Ahead (Sonic) JA***End of Set 5
Carlton Livingston – 100 Lbs. of Collie; 10” (Roots Injection) 2010 mutant dub herbal update of his classic 420
Capital Letters – Fire; Headline News (Greensleeves) ’79 UK youth group
Junior Ross and the Spears – You Can’t Run; Babylon Fall (Stars) ’76 JA
Jennifer Lara – Hand to Mouth; High Times All Star Explosion (Alligator) ’85 Jah-cago; blues label/reggae ***End of Set 6
Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus – Black Vibes; Revelation (Trojan) ’82 UK niyabinghi drums
New Age Steppers feat. Ari Up – Stormy Weather; Foundation Steppers (ON U Sound) ’82 UK Billie Holiday feat. Female vox
Singers and Players feat. Sister P. – Holy Scripture; Vacuum Pumping ’88 UK mutant dub set
Motion Detector – Dubtrain; 12” (LSF) 2002 US red vinyl
The Outsider – Rumours of War; The Outsider Meets the High-Tech Roots Dyanmics (Jah Works) ’93 UK melodica dubs