Since nearly the very beginning I ‘n’ I have harvested all the various Halloween tunes found in Reggae music.
<25+ Years of Jah-loween on 29 Years of Smile Jamaica; 24 sec.>
Over the 3 decades of Reggae Radio my Devil’s menagerie has grown to 2 60-CD suitcases, a crate full of vinyl, a box full of 7″.
About a decade ago, I started hacking up horror bytes, movie trailers and Jah-loween intros. Then like Dr. Frankenstein in his laboratory, I hunker down in my Secret Dubratory and stitch it all together.
It’s alive! It’s alive!
So now enjoy this look back to all Hallow’s Eve and admire how Horror Reggae fits the Season. 11 sec.
Jah-tober 20th Smile Jamaica, livicated to the late great Peter Tosh – born Oct. 19, 1947.
Jah-tober is Jah-loween on Smile Jamaica,
Peter was at the pinnacle of the masses of Reggae songs devoted to the Halloween menagerie: vampires, ghosts (duppies in Jamaica), witches, mummies, anti-Christs, zombies and general evil. I and I have hundreds of Jah-loween tunes on CD, black wax: LP, 12″, 10″ and 7″.
Peter’s additions to the canon?
Mark of the Beast – about his brutal beating at the hands of Jamaican cops
Jumbie Jamboree – ska update of a classic soca song about the cousin of the duppy – jumbies.
With the Wailers: Mr. Brown (who drives around in a coffin) and Duppy Conqueror.
There is one more….
My very first Reggae LP was Peter Tosh – Wanted Dread & Alive; Christmas 1981. Thanks mom!
I was very happy to be cratedigging in SLC, at Get In Here Records I scored the above 12″ black wax aboved.
Tosh’s tragic end belied an “Omen”. I had just got into Reggae bigly as 45 would say around Sept. ’86. A year later I was working at Graywhale CD and used my employee discount to buy 2 CDs:
Ramones – Halfway to Sanity
Peter Tosh – No Nuclear War.
I think the Tosh album dropped on Sept. 3, 1987. On Sept. 12, I remember going to the SLC airport to pick up my sister off the plane. On page 2 of the paper that morning:
Reggae singer Peter Tosh killed in Jamaica.
Peter Tosh dead on, …wait for it: Sept. 11.
Peter the mystic did not go quietly to Jah’s Heavenly Choir. He got his “revenge” on his birthday that year: Oct. 19, 1987:
<Peter Tosh murder: Sept. 11, 1987. Black Monday – Oct. 19, 1987; 75 sec.>
Black Monday was the worst stock market collapse since the Great Depression. Only, since, eclipsed by the Great Recession of 2008.
Dow Jones stock market lost 22.6% of its valuation in one day. Peter Tosh exacted his revenge against the “shystem” in A-sad-ica. Because for the poor there is nothing “merry” about America.
Happy Birthday to the Stepping Razor: #PeterTosh. Murdered on 9/11 '87. Crashed the stock market from beyond on his birthday. 10/19/87 #BlackMonday. Chanting down the shytstem in A-sad-ica b/c for the poor, there is nothing "merry" in America pic.twitter.com/QjNWMBvwse
It was October 2003. My bredrin Grizzlite and I headed up to Park City to catch one of my favorites from the 90’s: Lucky Dube. Terrific South African roots singer in the era of apartheid.
A huge favorite with the Pacific Islander community, the club was packed. Everyone singing along on a cool fall night in the mountains.
Grizz and I got a beer and angled ourselves and positioned ourselves on the patio with a view of the stage. Everyone bumping along to Lucky’s melodic Peter Tosh-esque vocals.
All of a sudden the packed dance floor scattered and the music screeched to a halt. A youth had been shot. Later I found out it was a gang assassination. Tribal war in the Polynesian community. Assassins were dispatched from California. They knew their target would be out in the open and vulnerable at a must see event: Lucky Dube is on a par with Bob Marley among the Island community.
Before we knew it, the paramedics had wheeled the victim pass Grizz and I on a gurney. One of the EMT’s was straddling his chest doing CPR. Right next to me, a massive Island dready stepped up and punched the dying man in the face, caving in his nose.
Smile Jamaica loves Halloween. Or Jah-loween as I call it. Plenty of Reggae songs dealing with the Undead. Tapping into the superstitious nature of many Reggae artists. I harvest about 2 cd suitcases, 1 bag of 7″ 45s and a crate full of vinyl devoted to….
Satan, Vampires, Ghosts & Duppies, Frankenstein, Zombies and other evil forces and black magicians..
In between, I stitched in a whole heap of Halloween movies trailers: Wolfman, Frankenstein and Young Franenstein, Nosferatu and many more.
So in the words of Lee “Scratch” Perry: Pick up your cross and follow me!
Ini Kamoze – Hole in the Pumpkin; Shocking Out (Greensleeves) ’87
Yabby You – Anti-Christ; One Love One Heart (Shanachie) ‘75
Scientist – The Curse of the Mummy; Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Greensleeves) ‘81
Yellowman – Me Kill Barnie; Them a Mad Over Me (Hitbound) ’82 – soap opera Vampire Barnabas Collins
Future Pigeon – The Mummy; Echodelic Sounds of Future Pigeon (Record Collection) 2006 LA
Niney the Observer – The Ghost & the Duppy; Freaks (Heartbeat) ‘96
Prince Alla – Evil Forces; Sweet Sensation (Corner Stone) ‘84
The Reddies – Voodoo Woman; Cultivation (Thereddies.com) 2009 Jah-stin Texas
Max Romeo – I Chase the Devil; War in a Babylon (Mango) ‘76
Ghetto Priest – Dungeon; Vulture Culture (ON U Sound) 2003 UK cover of Singers & Players original
Laurel Aitken – Witchdoctor From Fr. EP Amsterdam; Eskapade En France (Unicorn) ’90
Benjamin Zephaniah – Blood Sucker; Belly of the Beast (Ariwa) ’96 UK dub poet
Milton Henry – Them a Devil; Who Do You Think I Am (Wackie’s) ‘85
Black Uhuru – Black Uhuru Anthem; Anthem (Mango) ’83 – hard not to be a dread in this Dawn of the Living Dead
Roots Nation – Dungeon; Temperature’s Risin’ (Rare Roots) 2011 Dover, NH covers Willi Williams herb tune arrest
Lucky Dube – Dracula; Prisoner (Shanachie) ’90 South African
90 min. – 2 hr.
Peter Tosh – Mark of the Beast; 7” (Intel Diplo) ’73
Larry Marshall – Duppyman Skank; 7” (Moodisc) ’96;to all the fallen Jamaican singers (Duppy = ghost)
Nerious Joseph – Ole Vampire; 7” (Rad’s) UK
The Toyes – Monster Hash; The Toyes (CD Tunes) ’96 herbal update of Boris Pickett song
David Lindley & El Rayo-X – Werewolves of London; Very Greasy (Elektra) ’88 Warren Zevon cover (2 hr.)
2 – 2 and 1/2 hr.
Hooters – All You Zombies; All You Zombies (CBS) ’85 Rockers do Reggae
Dennis Brown – Black Magic Woman; Black Magic Woman (Trojan) ’72 Fleetwood Mac/Sanatana cover
Lone Ranger – Frankenstein; Barnabas in Collins Wood (Wave) ’79 JA vinyl
Clint Eastwood & General Saint – Talk About Run; 12” (Greensleeves) ’81 making out in the graveyard
Easy Star All Stars feat. Mikey General & Spragga Benz – Thriller; Thrillah (Easy Star) 2012 Michael Jackson cover