March 14th. That was the last time I ‘n’ I set foot in the Temple of Sound: KRCL. The beginning of the pandemic and then a few days later the Utah Earthquake.
A full 3 months of Living Room Editions out of the Secret Dubratory of the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives.
Stitching the shows together from home was a nice way to fill the time spent under quarantine. But it did take a lot of time:
Upload song, move it into place on digital editor
Record set breaks with a decent but not great USB microphone
Edit it all together into 6 x 30 minute sets
Upload to cloud storage so Program Director can add it into the queue
I ‘n’ I would venture out at 4pm Saturday, (in my brand new Subaru Legacy) and run my weekend errands just like a regular Smile Jamaica listener. Just me and a few other intrepid souls on the Covid deserted roadways.
What’s not to love? I ‘n’ I could do this forever. Except…..
In the Ark-Ive, I ‘n’ I don’t have a wheel of steel connected to my laptop. That knocks about half of my potential out of rotation for homegrown shows.
The joy of taking the record out of the sleeve, placing it on the turntable, back queuing the song to start crisp. The warm rumble as the song kicks into life.
April slides into May. I’m getting antsy. Gentle inquiries about when KRCL deejays could return. Not yet. Not yet.
“I’ll go first. I’m too ornery for the Covid.”
Okay, okay. Grumble grumble. Then I ‘n’ I get the green light.
Rules for in-station deejays:
Only 1 deejay per day allowed live in the studio
Masks worn except when announcing
Wipe down surfaces
Wear gloves. Couldn’t queue records with two gloves, so went “commando” on my “queue” hand to find the right starting point
Disposable microphone “condom”
Studio keyboard wrapped in shrink wrap, so kept a playlist off my Ipad
Great to have a microphone that didn’t pop my “P’s”. Just came off the road ferrying my parents from Sun City West, AZ to Fort Benton, MT. Little cratedig in Missoula with my down time.
The days, weeks, months, slide together. So what should I do in my first live Smile Jamaica in 90 days?
Missed out on Mother’s Day Showcase because of lack of vinyl capacity. Let’s do Father’s Day!
So there I am juggling wax: 7″, 10″, 12″, LP. Even CDs. Back to my motto: No digital for I ‘n’ I
Hailing up the fathers! Then I ‘n’ I get a phone call. “Uh, according Google, Father’s Day is next Sunday.”
In radio, you are taught to never call attention to your mistakes. So I ‘n’ I just soldiered on knowing that by the time you get this Ark-Ive link, it will be properly Father’s Day Weekend.
Just as I ‘n’ I ….errr, planned it. Yeah!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: June 13, 2020 – Father’s Day Showcase; 2 min. 27 sec.
The Wailers – Hallelujah Time; Burnin’ (Tuff Gong) ’73
IInd Street Dreds – Culture Rock; Dub of the 70’s (Atra) UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Charlie Ace – Father and Dreadlocks; 7″ (Studio One)
Black Roots – The Father; In Session (Makasound) ’85
Big Youth – Papa Was a Rolling Stone; Reggae Phenomenon (Trojan) ’77
Fort Knox Five – Papa Was Stoned; Radio Free DC (ESL) 2008 DC dubbers
George Nooks – Created by the Father; 12″ (Joe Frazier)
Prince Alla – In My Father’s House; Sweet Sensation (Cornerstone) ’84
Israel Vibration – Universal Father; Why You So Craven (RAS) ’81
Sister Carol – Mi Love the Father; Lyrically Potent (Heartbeat) ’96
Lascelles Perkins – Our Father; (Voice of Voice) ’70
Michigan & Smiley – Sugar Daddy; 12″ (RAS) ’83 dj duo
Errol Dunkley – Created by the Father; Darling Ooh (Attack) ’72
Lone Ranger – DJ Daddy; DJ Daddy (Techniques) ’84
Dennis Alcapone – Me and My Father a Spar; Good Old Days of the 70’s (Teams)
Fred Locks – Moving With the Father; Culturally (Tan Yah) ’95
R. Zee Jackson – Come Now Father; 10″ (Sip a Cup) 2005 UK
Aswad – In My Father’s House; Rebel Souls (Mango) ’84
Michael Robinson & XLR – Mother and Father; 7″ (Horse) ’75
The Ethiopian – Heavenly Father; Return of Jack Sparrow (Nighthawk) 8’7
Alton Ellis – Papa; 7″ (Clintones) ’75
Set 5: Vinyl is Vital
Don Carlos – Ababa John I (Father Majesty); Spread Out (Burning Sounds) ’83 UK
Merger – Father’s Children; Prisoner of Your Love (Takoma) ’84 US
Winston Reedy – Message to Father; Dim the Lights (Inner Light) ’85 UK
A. Doeman – Heavenly Father; Jah Jah Come Now (I & I Sound) 80’s LA
I ‘n’ I been on lockdown since the Utah Earthquake: March 17, 2020. All the Smile Jamaicas “curated” out of the Secret Dubratory within the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives.
Spring forward to mid May. The plan was to fly to Phoenix, drive my parents to Albuquerque for my nephew Aitch’s graduation. Poor kid, born two months after the 9/11 tragedy. Now, the New Mexico Gator Aid player of the year – baseball scholarship to Pepperdine University – his season gets scrapped b/c of the Covid.
My plan was in between the graduation ceremony (which, of course never happened) and the party, I ‘n’ I was gonna make my pilgrimage to Roswell.
Jews have Jerusalem. Muslims have Mecca. I ‘n’ I have Roswell, New Mexico.
Change of plans. New route: Sun City West, AZ to Fort Benton, Montana.
Diary of a Cratedigger:
Day 1: Flight from Salt Lake to Phoenix.
Flying is surreal. Had no problem with getting an Uber to the airport. The airport was abandoned on a Monday. The big travel day. Two cars at drop off, no wait at the airline, no wait through security.
More workers than flyers. Get to the TSA line. I ‘n’ I have my mask on. So does the TSA ID checker. Put my phone on the scanner, show my driver’s license. The officer says, “Please remove your mask so I can check you against your ID.”
I ‘n’ I was like, “What? You want me to take off my mask? I thought the whole point of masking up was to prevent potential aerosol spread of the Covid? Now you want me to expose myself to the other flyers’ goomba who were ahead of me in line? I’m sure they all had dry cough and were sneezing Covid like a machine gun. Why don’t I just lick the ticket scanner while I’m at it. WTF”.
Of course I said none of that. And spread my germ cocktail all over the effing place.
A couple of restaurants open. But most closed. Flying felt like going to a funeral. Surprisingly half full plane, no one in the middle seats. No beverage service. Guy in the seat ahead of me was mask shamed before take off. Phoenix 105 degrees.
Day 2: Sun City West, AZ to Cedar City, UT – 432 miles.
Left 105 degree Arizona. I’m driving a stuffed Buick Enclave where my only view is the side mirrors. Passenger manifest: Pops (recovering from a neurological condition called NPH – wet, wobbly and wacky). Beloved mother and bunny killer Bella.
The plan was to stay at the Virgin River Casino in Mesquite, Nevada. Two problems:
Nevada still a “Shelter in Place” state. No resort rooms until this week.
The dispensary in Mesquite, was like a Seinfeld episode. Remember the Soup Nazi? Had to call in an appointment, meet at a set time, order off a web menu, stay in the car, wear your mask. “Sorry you didn’t say Simon Says, NO VAPE FOR YOU!“
A loaded car, a fidgety dog, a dad in a wheelchair in 105 weather. Another first world problem/Covid inconvenience.
So we stopped in North Las Vegas. I ‘n’ I told my Mom, there will be an Uber fee for this trip. Roll into Reef Dispensary in NLV. Mom and I walked right up. She got her CBD/THC “diet coke” vape. And I’n’ I got my elephant tranquilizer vape.
We arrive to our non-smoking, non-vaping, non-whatnot motel and unload for the night: Cedar City, Utah.
From 105 to 35 degrees in 400 miles. Everything is curbside. Cedar City is deserted. Highways are mostly empty. No reason to sight see because nothing is open. Everything is in a holding pattern and tense.
Taking Bella for a walk – looking for poor bunnies to kill – you could feel the Covid around every corner.
Dystopian almost. Three people and a rabbit killer trying to be normal. Will we actually make it to Montana. Second best Covid state when it comes to total cases. Third best in mortality (17 dead.)
Day 3: Cedar City, Utah to Idaho Falls, Idaho – 405 miles
Pretty uneventful. Grinding down an empty highway looking for handi-capable rest stops. Forced to listen to The Bridge on Sirius XM. 1400 miles of wimp rock: Cat Stevens vs. Seals and Croft to see who plays The Eagles in the Mellow Rock championship.
Idaho Falls is a beautiful river city, but we never got farther than curbside at Olive Garden.
Mom and I ‘n’ I vaped while watching Game 6 of the Bulls-Jazz Finals on ESPN. I ‘n’ I should be two months into a season watching my beloved San Francisco Giants struggle to reach .500.
Day 4: Idaho Falls, ID to Fort Benton, MT – 401 miles
Left Idaho Falls, 29 degrees. I ‘n’ I still in shorts and sandals from Phoenix. Heavy fog over the Monida border pass. Giving me vertigo. Ah, what would it be to not have treacherous weather heading into Montana.
We sailed home. Beautiful rivers and green wheat fields. Arrive at the birthplace of Montana and the house I ‘n’ I grew up in.
What better place to hide from the Covid than a river town where the mosquitos are the size of house flies.
Two days later Mom gets this letter from the Chouteau County Health Department:
It has been brought to our attention you may have recently returned from travel out of state in a non- business related capacity.
You are required to do a 14 day self quarantine upon arriving in Montana. This directive is established by Executive Order of the Governor of Montana and is MANDATORY for visitors and residents alike.
This is essential because travel from another state or country is a common source of Covid-19 infection; with 25% of COVID cases in Montana being travel associated.
First and foremost, people don’t want to get sick and don’t want others to get sick. Montanans understand that. The Governor is confident that most Montanans will take this directive seriously and understand their role in cutting off the chain of transmission to save lives and minimize long term impacts to our economy.
Self-quarantine means that the resident MUST stay within the boundaries of the property on which they are residing in while in Montana and CANNOT leave those boundaries or interact with other people.
This includes the resident being prohibited from grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations/convenience stores, bars, places of worship/churches, schools, gatherings.
Exceptions will only be made in the event of medical emergency, fire, natural disaster or other acts of God preventing the ongoing healthful habitat in a residence.
Self-quarantine must be maintained through the expiration of June 1, 2020 for those arriving prior to June 1.
Please call us when you have completed your self-quarantine
This is the world of Covid-1984. The state of Montana had license plate cameras and then harvested my Mom’s GPS locator info from her fancy Iphone. Since when did I need a passport to travel within the United States? But then, maybe trampling a few civil rights is how Montana smashed their curve.
How nice of the Governor of Montana to let my parents escape a burning house or act of God. To abide by this stricture, my parents would have starved before their 14 day home confinement were up.
And this applies to guests too. So how did I spend my self-quarantine?…….a favorite from Fort Benton keggers circa 1983. Judas Priest – Breaking the Law
Day 5: Cratedigging in Missoula.
Ah, the People’s Republic of Missoula. Once we got unpacked, found some rabbits for Bella to munch on and got the house ready for “self quarantine”, I got on the Google and tapped in “Record Stores — Missoula, Montana.”
It’s not enough that they are still in business. (How many will be fatal victims of the Covid. I shudder to think. I fear that more than the critter killing 80 year olds.) They have to be open for customers.
Curbside record shopping is a joke. I have a curbside record hut, it’s called Amazon. I ‘n’ I wanna go in and dig through the crates. Don’t care about curbside.
Rockin’ Rudy’s – still in business – open to customers
Record Heaven, Rockin’ Rudy’s vinyl sister; 2 for 2
Ear Candy records – 3 for 3.
Pack up, grab my vape works and hit the road. Still freezing, but the drive over mountain pass at Lincoln (home of the Unabomber), was free and clear. More rivers to cross, per Jimmy Cliff. Listening to a mix of Led Zeppelin Radio and Little Steven’s Underground Radio. Heard nuff Christopher Cross to last 10 lifetimes.
Montana, as a Shelter in Place state. (As my Pops said – Jesus Christ, the whole state is already shelter in place). Mask mandatory. I ‘n’ I was talking to my Sister getting my vape on before a day of cratedigging. Anyone approaching Rock and Rudy’s without mask was turned away.
Grape Ape vape, 82% Sativa. I’m ready to dig. Fiya burn the Covid!
Ear Candy – $30 (more of a college rock shop where I am looking for dubstep fill ins I didn’t have)
Record Heaven – $150. Very impressed. About $120 of that was Reggae collectors titles and 12″ mix I didn’t have. Bravo. That is more Roots Reggae than I’ve purchased in either Vegas or Phoenix in the past year.
Who knows? Maybe by 2022 KRCL will let me back into the station to juggle some of this great black wax on the turntables.
So there you have it. Cratedigging under quarantine. I ‘n’ I write this blog post from the state prison at Deer Lodge, MT. I left the premises in Fort Benton and spread my goomba to Missoula. They had me before I put the first Bob Marley bootleg CD in the player!
Dammit, shoulda turned off my locator setting on my fancy Iphone!
Smile Jamaica Digital Dubplate – 2020 Roots Reggae Mashup
Zema – Fear Not; Black Sleep (Melchizedek) SoCal female Zap Pow – Last War; Zap Pow (Island) ’78
Yellowman – Lost Mi Love; Mr. Yellowman (Shanachie) ’82
Yabby You – Carnal Mindl; One Love, One Heart (Shanachie) ’84
Smile Jamaica locked out of your station that rules the nation, KRCL, till at least the end of May. So I ‘n’ I have the entirety of the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives to peruse for the infamous, notorious, humorous, outrageous, quasi legalish 420 Cannabis Service Show.
I ‘n’ I would say 25 of the 30 or so Jah-prils of being your host, has been devoted to the Seven Leaf
I’n’ I was chatting up a friend recently: “Wouldn’t it be great if the purgative lung properties of inhaling cannabis could mitigate against the severity of the Covid?”
What if doctors were able to tell their patients. “You have tested positive for the Covid. My suggestion is to start smoking marijuana immediately!”
I mean, really. You want to go on a ventilator or smoke two joints? Lot cheaper and the mortality rate of those on ventilators is about 90%. I ‘n’ I guess we’re stuck with bleach enemas and injecting Lysol.
So all the Doom Porn I’m forced to read as opposed to news, tells us we are heading into an economic Depression. You want a leg up on revenue? Do what Lebanon did.
They became the first Middle East nation to legalize cannabis. From the Aramaic – qanneh (reed) bossom (aromatic) – so the aromatic reed = ganja stalk
So don’t call it marijuana – that is a made up name by the 30’s anti-drug thugs in the US government: Maria + Juan = Marijuana. To stigmatize the drug with Mexican laborers so they could be easily deported during the depression.
Quick history of Cannabis:
The Scythians (an Iranian people) – were the first to throw Cannabis seeds on the hot plate to inhale the vapors.
From 5th Century BC historian, Herodotus:
The Scythians said, take some of this hemp-seed [presumably, flowers], and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed; the Scyths, delighted, shout for joy.” Yes I!
They puff puff passed it to the Medes (forefathers of today’s Kurds)
The Medes spread it to the expansive Assyrian-Akkadian-Babylonian empires.
Trade with Egypt allowed for the plant to go West through the Maghreb (Arab North Africa) and north through the Mediterranean
2020 – Lebanese blonde
So, while you are forced indoors – whether sick or healthy, enjoy this cannabliss podcast: 35 Reggae songs plus special efx, movie dialog and other seven leaf snippets.
Smile Jamaica Playlist: Apr. 18, 2020 – 420 Special
The Toyes – Green Doctor; Strange Animals (CD Tunes) ’96 LA
Eek a Mouse – Sensee Party; Skidip! (Greensleeves) ’82
John Clarke – Good Collie Weed; Visions of John Clarke (Wackies) ’79 to Only Sixteen riddim
Junior Byles – Cally Weed; Rasta No Pickpocket (Nighthawk) ’86
Gracy & the Herbman Band – Follow Up; See Mi Yah (Funfundvierzig) ’91 Germ. female
Black Uhuru – Sinsemilla; Sinsemilla (Mango) ’80 without seeds
Angie Angel – Sativa Info; All I Have Is Love (Easy Star) 2001
How is your quarantine treating you? This show is the third Homegrown edition of Smile Jamaica since the clampdown.
I ‘n’ I have whiled away the daylight hours crafting the 6 x half hour sets to upload to KRCL to play live, Saturday 4-7 PM on air. This and the next edition of Smile Jamaica is a dubble dose of 420.
Pot-cast as opposed to podcast. All Mutant Dub herbal enthusiasts. Included are my infamous marijuana related soundbytes, movie dialog and specialty bong effects. More than 25 years of such green leafy goodness
For an introvert, you would think I ‘n’ I would be loving Shelter in Place. Been listening to about 4-5 hours of music a day. Hate daytime TV. Probably 60 disks in the queue for when the all clear is given to rinse out on the radio
You would think quarantine would be a piece of cake.
Not so. I ‘n’ I have been mostly good. Stick to home during the week. But I refused to be an invalid on the weekends. Mini excursions as a Smile Jamaica listener:
Bought gas for $1.99 a gallon. Too bad you can’t drive anywhere
Broke the glass bowl on my smoking utensil – Praise Anu the headshops are open!
Ordered some missing Jah Shaka 10″ and 12″ vinyl off Discogs to complete my collection. $50 a pop. The cratediggers equivalent of comfort food
I ‘n’ I did do some cratedigging at Graywhale. Mask, gloves and no one in the Reggae, Techno, World sections. Man, record stores are gonna be lucky to survive the economics of Covid-19
Make a loop looking for some items: have toilet paper and paper towels. Scored two bottles of bleach at the Mall-wart (where I would never shop during normal times.) Can’t find rubbing alcohol which I ‘n’ I need for cleaning my smoking utensil
Ordered some bass traps for my new subwoofer so maybe my neighbor will quit bitching about “bass infection”
Binge watched the last 2 seasons of Ancient Aliens – did you know viruses were created by Aliens to manipulate mankind’s evolution? Well, now you know!
Switched to an HBO comedy series called High Maintenance about a NYC weed delivery guy
Bombed out of line at the liquor store. Too many people outside even at six feet apart? Not worth it for my 1750 ml of Makers Mark
Cleaned out my storage shed I ‘n’ I probably hadn’t been in in over a decade
Organized my T shirt collection by: Marley, Weed, Aliens, Sumerians, rockers
Slogged through my taxes . Check daily for my $1200 Trumpbux, because….
Found out my car is dying. Took it in for 90k service and got told $3500 in my future for repairs. Gonna car shop on Sunday for a new Soob. Hope new models still have CD players!
Dodging the daily earthquakes SLC has been having.
Walking from the living room to the Ark-ives is not enough physical activity. Bought a pedometer and stealth walking my neighborhood avoiding all other people doing the same. I ‘n’ I will pay the jaywalking ticket.
Did a little work for the University
The one thing I ‘n’ I am not doing much? Reading politics. Tired of body counts, doom porn and the inevitable political bickering on who to blame for the Covid.
So I’m going old school: Found this book in a box in the shed I ‘n’ I had bought during my last cratedig to San Francisco. City Lights Bookstore:
The Complete Tales & Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.
Something moody and macabre to fit the mood as we all wait for the Covid to come get us.
The Unparalleled Adventures of One Hans Pfaal
With a heart of furious fancies,
Whereof, I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air ,
To the wilderness I wander
Did someone say Burning Spear? I ‘n’ I think I made a good choice to counter the doom porn until we are all let out in 2022.
I ‘n’ I know Black History Month (February) as Bob Marley Month (Bob-ruary). Born Feb. 6, 1945 he would have been 75 had he not died of melanoma on May 11, 1981 (36 years old.)
In the Rasta community, they avoid death. So part of that Ras’pect is to say “livicate” not deadicate.
As a major Reggae collector I ‘n’ I had picked up some Marley reissues in the past year.
Plus, a CD/DVD combo that was published on the West German rock television show Rockpalast. (See image at top.)
If you were a youth in the 70’s as I was, weekend night time rock and roll TV programs, like Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack fed viewers music television fix before the advent of MTV.
The Uprising disk/DVD = Rockpalast performance was recorded in Dortmund (West) Germany on June 13, 1980.
It was haunting. Bob was at his high point. I ‘n’ I always tell people you can gauge Bob’s age by the length of his dreads. The short and wiry, athletic Bob roamed the stage like a lion. Dreads flashing. Moving about the other group members. Full of energy and passion.
Bob’s nickname was Skipper. He was an exacting band leader who would even fine his wife Rita, among other band members, if they made a mistake. This was the video performance of a man and group leading Reggae into the mainstream.
The 80’s would have seen him at the top of the pop music pinnacle alongside stalwarts like Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, U2 and Madonna.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. Almost 3 months later Bob collapsed running in New York’s Central Park. He performed one more show in Pittsburgh, PA (Sept. 23, 1980). And made his Exodus to Jah’s Heavenly Choir less than 8 months later.
As someone with a Ph.D. in Bobology, I was stunned. On stage in front of thousands, this was not the look of a many being ravaged by cancer.
<Bob’s Rockpalast performance; 72 sec.>
Bob’s passing shocked the Reggae world as well. In Jamaica, and elsewhere over the decades since May ’81, I ‘n’ I have culled nearly 50 Bob Tributes.
One thing about music when it hits you, you feel no pain. Artists exacted their grief in an expression of platonic love. Every Bobruary, I’n’ I rinse out those songs throughout the 4 weeks of Smile Jamaica editions.
<Marley Tribute phenomena; 40 sec.>
For the past several months I ‘n’ I have been tracking through the Wailers’ early pre-Island label catalog. We are on the 1970 recordings for Chinese Jamaican restauranteur, Leslie Kong
The Wailers had huge ska success with Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One label. But they would sell 80,000 copies of a record and be compensated $25.
So the group quit Studio One and created their own label: Tuff Gong. However, the Jamaican music business was cut throat. DIY groups like the Wailers couldn’t get their songs into the shops or on the radio as independents. So the label folded.
Thus they turned to one of Dodd’s competitors, Leslie Kong. Beverley’s, his label, was a successful Rock Steady label selling thousands of records in the UK, especially.
Record producer is the guy that funds the sessions.
Recording in a music studio; pay for time
Paying the musicians
Paying the sound engineer
Paying to mix the tape recording
Paying to press the records
Paying to distribute the records to shops domestically and internationally
Payola to get the song on the radio.
The Wailers recorded about 10 songs. What to call it. Since Kong knew the group was hot, but records by the Wailers were hard to find, he wanted to call it Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers.
The group were hostile to that notion and felt they were being ripped off again. These weren’t their best songs. “Best” signifies the group was at its end, not a re-boot. The album is not exactly filler, and there are some great performances. But Best was a misnomer…at best.
The group wanted the album to be called Caution. This is where the Reggae apocrypha sneaks in. The Wailers were sighting up Rasta. With all that mystical and magical revelation, they warned Kong this offense would not go unpunished….Caution indeed.
Here is how Bunny Wailer described what happened in the liner notes of the Bunny album I have introduced on this podcast edition of Smile Jamaica. As part of I ‘n’ I Wailers Family Tree selections.
<The mysterious death of Leslie Kong; 2 min. 48 sec.>
As Bunny noted, Kong wanted to exploit the group’s sales potential: notoriety + scarcity = $$$. Call it Best Of and watch the records fly off the shelves.
He wasn’t interested in “art” but commerce. The Wailers took their craft seriously. Here was another rip off. Call it black magic obeah, divine justice or just the eerie circumstance of timing.
On the very day the records were to be sent to the shops, Kong died of a brain aneurysm. He was 38 years old. Caution indeed!
How about one more story:
Haile Selassie visited Jamaica in 1966. For Peter Tosh it was a foundation moment in the development of Rastafari worship.
Livicated, never dedicated to the life and legacy of Bob Marley. Born Feb. 6, 1945; 2020 would have been 75 years
<Livicated nah “dead” icated”; 61 sec.>
Let’s hear some Bob stories from Smile Jamaica’s 20+ years of Marley celebrations.
<Smile Jamaica’s Bob Marley 75 Tribute Show; 62 sec.>
First, watch this amazing clip of Redemption Song put together by the Marley Family
Bob and crew had really crossed over with Uprising. College kids and whites in America always loved Reggae, but blacks in America were rather cool to the music. It’s militancy and Old Testament songbook was out of step with 70’s secular disco and soul stylings.
But a disco mix of Comin’ in From the Cold was starting to be played at the end of the 70’s disco supremacy and even black radio was playing the album in limited rotation.
The year 1980 was gonna be the year the Wailers punched through. Blacks and whites at their North American concerts bringing the masses together in love and unity which would have probably lead to Ronald Reagan’s defeat in November that year and who knows what life would have been like had that scenario come to pass
He would have been on the pantheon of 80’s music titans like Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince. Of that, I am certain.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. Bob collapsed jogging in Central Park….livicated nah dead-icate and come May, 1981 dozens of Bob’s contemporaries crashed the studios to pay homage.
<Bob Marley tribute songs; 27 sec.>
After Bob Marley was nearly assassinated by the CIA (According to Alex Jones and yours truly) at the….wait for it…..Smile Jamaica Concert, Dec. ’76. Bob made his “Exodus” to England.
While recording that landmark album, he was exposed to the punk rock movement happening. Rastas were outcasts in Jamaica. So were the punks in England.
<Bob loved punk rock; 36 sec.>
New wave, new rave New wave, new wave, new rave Let me tell you, we’re going to a party And I hope you are hardy So please don’t be naughty For it’s a punky reggae party New wave, new rave New wave, new rave
Tell you what, take a joyful sound To make the world go ’round Come with your heart and soul Come-a, come-a and rock your boat ‘Cause it’s a punky reggae party And it’s tonight It’s a punky reggae party And it’s alright
Rejected by society (do re mi fa) Treated with impunity (so la te do) Protected by their dignity (do re mi fa) I face reality (so la te do)
New wave, new rave New wave, new wave, new rave
Wailers be there The Dammed, The Jam, The Clash Maytals will be there Doctor Feelgood too, ooh No boring old farts, no boring old farts,…
Yet, Judy Mowatt, one of the songbirds in the I-Three, Bob’s female backing trio, thought Bob was more like the Biblical Prophet, Joseph. Leading his people out of bondage, not in Egypt, but Babylon. Heading to Zion in Africa.
<Bob Marley = Joseph; 34 sec.>
Last story was about the prodigious father Bob was. Eleven kids (two adopted from Rita) by seven different women. I give the scorecard:
<Bob’s brood; 46 sec.>
And let’s end with this couplet from Punky Reggae Party. Pure brilliance!
Rejected by society Treated with impunity Protected by their dignity I face reality
If mankind gets 500 more years, they will still mention the 3 B’s. Not Beethoven, Bach and Brahms. It will be Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Bob Marley!
Cedella Marley Booker – He’s a Rastaman; Awake Zion (Rykodisc) ’84: Bob’s Mom: 3 hours of Bob Marley 75th Birthday Celebration
Chalawa – Natural Mystic Dub; Exodus Dub (Weston’s) ’78 Canadian dub of Bob Marley
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Smile Jamaica; Kaya (Deluxe) ’77 Lee “Scratch” Perry show theme!
Macka B – Bob; Hold Onto Your Culture (Ariwa) ’96
Culture – Double Tribute to the O.M.; Lion Rock (Heartbeat) ’82 – Order of Merit (Jamaica’s highest civilian honor)
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Easy Skanking; Boston ’78 (Tuff Gong) 6/8/78 live at the Boston Music Hall: 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Jah Thomas – Tribute to the Reggae King; 12″ (Midnight Rock) ’81 JA
I ‘n’ I was in Vegas when the Niners thumped the Packers during Thanksgiving. That heinous loss was a wake up call to the team and I ‘n’ I hoped for a better result after the Packers rolled up everyone else and beat the quality Seahawks, at home, in the playoffs.
Many Smile Jamaica listeners rung me up on the show last week to wish me well. Feeling good Saturday night….
Last Sunday, the Niners literally ran over the Pack. Aaron Rodgers looked old and now I ‘n’ I get to count down the days until baseball season in April.
Grumble, grumble, grumble. First world problems.
(BTW – the song Green Bay Killing refers to a police massacre of Rastas in Jamaica. So my apologies for making light of a sports beat down)
Clint Eastwood – Greetings to All; Death in the Arena (Channel One) ’78 JA vinyl
Wackie’s Rhythm Force – Act V (Wackies) ’85 Bronx vinyl dub album of the hour
Zion Initiation – Jah Light; Take Us Home (Cultures of Soul) ’79-88 Boston roots reggae
The Tennors – Ride Your Donkey; Broken Flowers soundtrack (Decca) ’68 rock steady
Niney the Observer – Freaks; Freaks (Heartbeat) ’92
Don Carlos & Gold – Harvest Time; Raving Tonight (RAS) ’83 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Jah Thomas – Please Mr. Officer; In Disco Style (Munich) ’80 bonus herbs
Cha Cha & Ranking Joe – One Day You’ll Know; 10″ (Above Rock) 2010 UK female Chinese singer
Zara McFarlane – Fussin’ & Fightin’ – Arise (Brownswood) 2017 UK dawta
Bunny Wailer – Lively Up Yourself; Hall of Fame (RAS) ’95 50 Bob Marley songs for his 50th birthday
The Melodians – Jah Reggae; Irie Feeling (RAS) ’83
The Heptones & Joe White – Give Me the Right + President Rock; 10″ (Success) ’73 UK
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 30+ Years
Aswad – Concrete Slaveship; Aswad (Mango) ’76
Althea & Donna – Sorry; Uptown Top Ranking (Virgin Front Line) ’78 female dj duo
I ‘n’ I was fighting glaucoma with my bredrins Mike and Aqua Boy. I was laying out my Presidential strategy for taking down The Cheetolini in 2020:
With the JFK coup anniversary looming: Was it Bin Laden on the Grassy Knoll? Discuss!
But then the discussion took a turn. When baseball season is over, I ‘n’ I turn to a new time suck: Ancient Aliens on the History Channel.
I was talking about the documentary’s 2 hour tribute to Erich von Daniken, the Father of Ancient Astronaut Theory. His book, Chariots of the Gods, lit the fuse for a whole generation seeking a connection between ancient astronauts mis-labelled as Sky Gods by mankind.
I took to the alternative cosmology of Ancient Astronaut Theory late in life. But I should have been into it for 40 years….
I grew up in a small farming community in North Central Montana called Fort Benton. Beautiful little river city. We had a theater and a drive in. It was a short bike ride from my house to go see a movie to get out of the sun.
It was sometime, summer 1975. I was ten years old. The movie was Young Frankenstein: Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman and Teri Garr. But, in the lobby was something that really intrigued me: a whole display of cut outs, movie stills and placards describing Chariots of the Gods. The movie.
One of the stills described a picture in Ancient Assyria; my mother’s homeland in the Fertile Crescent. I was totally enthralled and could not wait to see it in two weeks!
The following week, the movie theater went out of business and became a farm implement manufacturing business. Cursed!
Wheel it forward to last weekend. I was regaling my mates, between bongrips and bourbon, of the story von Daniken described from the Bible: Ezekiel and the crystal ship. A wheel within a wheel.
Ezekiel 1:14-28. Ancient Astronaut Theory
14And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.
19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.
23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies.
24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
25 And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.
26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
That, my friends, is the description of nothing other than a space ship which travels by gyration, the wheel within a wheel!
<Ezekiel’s crystal ship>
My bredrin Aquaboy, who reads dinosaur media like the New York Times and The Nation magazine, was not having it. He was giving me the red eyed hairy eyeball.
So I’n’ I zone in on the kill shot: The Ancient Aliens episode devoted to Chariots of the Gods’ legacy talked about one of the original NASA scientists who thought von Daniken was a crank and set out to use physics to debunk the wheel within a wheel.
His name was Sidney Blumrich…
I ‘n’ I, who does not read the New York Times nor the Nation, never got to finish…Aquaboy was full on scoffing. I ‘n’ I held up my hand and calmly said,
“Your perception is not my reality.”
They’re here. They’ve always been here. And they’re coming! Scoffing won’t save you!
Bobbylon’s Top Ten Biblical Alien Encounters
Moses and the burning bush – spaceship
Ezekeiel and the Crystal Ship: the wheel within a wheel aka a gyroscopic spaceship
Stairway to Heaven – walkway to a spaceship
Enoch – Noah’s grandfather who walked with God and then was not
Lot’s wife – turned into a pillar of smoke, not salt after Armageddon was destroyed in a nuclear attack
The New Jerusalem – Borg cube massive space ship
The Nephilim – Biblical giants describing the Anunnaki who created mankind and mated with their women
Noah’s Flood (1) – Utnapishtim in a tessaract spaceship to wait for the flood waters to recede (Sumerian origin story)
Noah’s Flood (2) – Ziusudra in a submarine to wait for the flood waters to recede (Sumerian origin story)
Jacob’s Ladder – spaceship walkway (see #3)
How about some examples from Islam and Hinduism:
The Prophet Muhammad’s midnight journey to Heaven on the back of a winged horse Al-Buraq. Buraq means “lightning” in Arabic (one man space capsule)
Descriptions of flaming minarets in the sky (missiles)
Hindu Vimana’s: space chariots fighting battles
Shiva’s Trident – missile
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-vember 16, 2019 Annotated Playlist: 73 sec.
Mikey Dread – Voice of Jah; Dread at the Controls (Trojan) ’79 UK vinyl
Aggrovators – Dread Locks in Jamaica (Attack) ’76 JA vinyl dub album of the hour
Chachi feat. Sister Carol – Natty Dread; (Kariang) ’99 Ethiopian dawta cover Bob Marley
Sister Carol – Natty Live Up; Lyrically Potent (Heartbeat) ’96 Bob Marley’s Natty Dread
Jah Thomas – Tribute to the Reggae King; In Disco Style – Entertainment (Midnight Rock) ’81 Bob Marley tribute
Sublime – Legalize It; Hempilation (Capricorn) ’96 Peter Tosh cover; 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Junior Murvin – Bad Weed; 12” (Upsetters) ’78 UK – Lee “Scratch” Perry prod’n; herbtune over Police & Thieves
Zema – Joy in the Morning; Black Sleep (Melchizedek) 2003 Culver City, CA dawta
Linton Kwesi Johnson – Sonny’s Lettah; a capella live (LKJ)
<UK sus laws against “vagrancy”; 28 sec.>
The Eagles – Country Living; Reggae Classics (DCC) ‘73
Tapper Zukie – Black Man 12”; I Can Hear the Children Singing (Blood & Fire) ’78 dj to Prince Alla
Barry Brown – Release the Chains; 10” (Rockers) ’80 UK; Augustus Pablo prod’n
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 30 Years
Martha Velez – Get Up Stand Up; Escape From Babylon (Sire) ’76; Wailers cover
Mighty Diamonds – Gnashing of Teeth; I Need a Roof (Hitbound) ‘76
So enjoy this 3 hours of All killer….literally Jah-loween tunes: From driving around Kingston in a coffin to “roll a lickle spliff wif di papyrus”. Horror bytes, movie trailers and the monster menagerie!
From your Undead station that rules the nation!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-tober 26, 2019: Halloween Showcase; 2 min. 14 sec.
Ini Kamoze – Hole in the Pumpkin; Shocking Out (RAS) ’87
Scientist – Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Greensleeves) ’81 dub