Police Officer! Time Hard Midnight Dread #61 March 8th-9th 1981 KTIM San Rafael, CA | MIDNIGHT RAVER
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Police Officer! Time Hard Midnight Dread #61 March 8th-9th 1981 KTIM San Rafael, CA


Doug Wendt picks up mastering & digitizing vintage radio programs from where he left off

Let’s set the stage because it’s been over a year since Midnight Dread archiving took a break. In early March of 1981 few overstood the tremendous impact of the great u-turn the USA had just embarked on with the election of Ronald Reagan, a fading movie star with diminishing mental capacities fronting for amorality’s most dastardly denizens. Maggie Thatcher had just taken charge in the UK with similarly misbegotten ideologies determined to ‘save’ economies by undermining them, the poor, and the middle class. JA same way. Greed uncorked and deregulated. Impossible endless growth institutionalized. Share-holders enriched at all costs. Little sharing with heart-holders. Concurrently John Lennon was assassinated in December of 1980 just as true rumors swirled that Bob Marley was deathly ill, the combination of which left a huge void as it silenced two of the best power-to-the-people voices of any generation. 34 years later the overall damage is omnipresent as absurd austerity’s grip chokes the life out of people and their planet.

This very day Congress is openly emboldened to write letters to Iran undercutting Obama’s only authorized efforts to make an agreement short of war. Vandalizing ‘strategeries’ go on and on. In Reagan’s day his operatives secretly made a treasonous deal with Iran in pre-election Oct. 1980 to hold the US hostages longer until Ronnie was sworn in, insuring President Carter’s defeat. Just like in pre-election Oct. 1968 when similar illegal sabotaging was used to kill a done deal peace agreement with Vietnam that LBJ had just made allowing Nixon to barely sneak into office. Bad card. Hard times made harder by cynical dead-end intellectualism still running amok in 2015. The first 80 minutes from Midnight Dread #61, as aired live from 11pm-2am March 8th-9th 1981 and available for the first time since it original broadcast, captures the intuitive dread of the day.


“Please Officer! You carry more guns than an aircraft carrier…” pleads Earl Zero on his Visions Of Love album in this radio program. The official report this week from Ferguson Missouri captures the reality. The militarization of enforcement exacerbates confrontations. As George Dekker sings in “Time Hard” everyday things ARE getting worse. The system is not only a fraud, it’s a racket. Being poor is a crime and a major revenue source that fuels the very oppression that rules it. Music may soothe the savage beast but it’s its heartfelt message that really makes the righteous see things more clearly. In MD #61a Rocking Horse (featuring Keith Poppin) sings about “Hard Time” and then concludes later in another tune “I’m So Fed Up”. Batter up, spring IS coming.


Kiss your thriving shared wealth away. From 1980 on it’s all increased productivity by the workers with most all the rewards going to the already well well-off while temps and sea levels rise, income down, selfishness trending. Corrupted media cheers it on. Fabulists all. Not exactly the uprising hoped for. What’s it going to take?

“Roots and culture,
Truths and rights”


According to this show’s Reggae Calendar the messengers of the times performing live and on film circa March 1981 in the San Francisco Bay Area included: the Reggae Sunsplash film of the 1979 event with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Third World etc. debuting for at least a week at the York Theatre in SF; the Dread Beat & Blood film on Linton Kwesi Johnson premiering in Berkeley & SF; Earl Zero backed by the Soul Syndicate’s Tony & Fully joining The Titans for a fantastic double-bill at the Keystone Berkeley on Friday the 13th; with Warner Brothers’ reggae recording artists The Tazmanian Devils at the Old Walfdorf; plus the 2-Tones, The Hoovers & The Box Boys all playing, some at The Fab Mab on Broadway in SF, punky reggae parties main SF home located on Broadway across the street from the club where the Wailers legendarily first appeared in 1973, as well as The Skanking Babylonians playing at that very spot 8 years later.

Derrick Harriot delivers an important “Message From A Black Man”, LKJ & Garland Jeffreys recall recent (1980) “Miami Beach” race riots that killed eighteen precious beings, The Skulls remember “Black Slavery Days” bad seeding before Jackie Edwards’ “Johnny Gunman” meets Ernie Smith’s “Duppy Gun-man” at Midnight for a Big Showdow. The Wailing Souls new footlong “See Baba Joe” unreels, Mikey Dread stocks up with his scary “Pre-Dawn Dub”, Kojak & Liza precede Eastwood & Saint as both pairs of DJs take on “Two Bad Duppy” while earlier Time Hard, Music Harder Still with two Dekkers, Extension 7, Maytones & Blacka General, Jah Thomas, Sugar Minott & the aforementioned Earl Zero and Rocking Horse. And that’s just in Part One. Part Twos soon come. Forward. Next week, Midnight Dread’s live radio interview with Joe Higgs.


Last time’s years ahead program featuring rare Live Reggae Tapes, many from Peter Simon, with special co-host Roger Steffens. Dreadcasting over the air since 1979 & online since 1996 dreader 21st Century Midnight Dread programs air daily at 12am including replays often heard in his Best of All Worlds high noon slot and where one can also become conscious at 6am with the indigenous sounds of Native Son Rising, all curated by Doug everyday, all times Pacific. Many more Midnight Dread sights & sounds here and on this blog’s Midnight Dread page.



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