33 years ahead! Mikey Dread’s custom-made Midnight Dread theme song debuts at the top of this March 17th, 1980 now weekly program. Moe Armstrong, one of the most unforgettable human beings I’ve ever met, joins me as crucial co-host packing big vinyl fresh from a trip to London & 5 live Clash shows with Mikey Dread. The 2 Tone t’ing is blooming, punky reggae parties hardy. Militant Barry toasts about ‘murderer’ Sid Vicious. Moe reports on the scene from LKJ at Race Today to a new Black Repertory Theatre play in California regarding Marcus Garvey’s influence & much more. For years a life-size wooden street sign of Moe, the Reggae & African music buyer for top East Bay dub vendor Leopold’s Records, stood on historic Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley California, site of several major protest rallies & riots during the Vietnam War including The Peoples’ Park fiasco where the authorities fired buckshot, killing an innocent bystander while wounding various ‘uppity’ hippies & students, many who had dared to venture out for a cup of coffee that turning point day, Bloody Thursday, May 15th, 1969.
-Moe Armstrong with his buddy Joe Strummer-
A decade later Moe was doing wild radio shows on ace campus station KALX at the University of California Berkeley, where Mario Savio’s prescient Free Speech Movement talk on the Sproul Hall steps on December 2nd, 1964 told students “we’re a bunch of raw material that… don’t mean to be made into any product… We’re human beings! (cheers)” Then most famously Mario added “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, & you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears & upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, & you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhFvZRT7Ds0
-Moe on-the-air & we do mean on! At KALX, UC Berkeley, California 1970s-
“Remember how we were told…We have great music, we have great Culture, we need Corporations running our airwaves to ‘Free us so we could be creative’. That was my first contact with Corporate Thinking….Letting Metro Media dictate to KSAN (San Fran’s legendary ‘underground’ radio station)….While I bopped around KALX and Leopolds…The jury is no longer out…Corporations are not so good. We might have gone bankrupt by being too loose. They went bankrupt by sucking the good out & maintaining the bland.” -Moe Armstrong
A sense of melancholia drapes those days to these times since popular progress is nearly always infiltrated & undermined by underhanded government forces. Moe suffers Post Traumatic Stress from being an early Veteran baked in Vietnam (it ain’t a disorder, it’s a result). Like many who returned from the controversial 1960s-1970s war he was drawn to San Francisco, about the only place in the entire USA where Vietnam Vets found solace, the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco an oasis of overstanding & assistance. Today Moe works for Vet to Vet in SF, going out into the community & bringing depressed & damaged veterans from isolation into the light with hope, advice, & experience. All part of blunting a system so afraid of the truth getting out it will do anything & did, as has been recently shown in hideous detail in this new book of dread Bay Area revelation 1967-1982:
Like today’s Afghan/Iraq vets many learn to ‘keep on movin’ just to keep their mind off the memories. In Moe’s own words about his time as a member of the band Contrabando in the early 1970s “I had come to Colombia to die. I saw no end to the war in Vietnam. I had seen too much death & destruction from my part in the war. I had seen too many screwed up people after the war. I was screwed up also. Went to the mountains to die by going out in a flash on endless dope. I almost died but really got very very very sick. Besides the drug overdose – parasites went into my liver. Went to Bogota & started a Rock & Roll band. We all lived together, Colombians & North Americans. Practiced our music & wrote songs. I was very happy. I also finally began to understand the deep & older culture that I had been exposed to in New Mexico. I began to appreciate Latin Culture. Made my first contact with the Cubans. Celebrated the opening of the Cuban Embassy in Bogota. Played our music in hotels & theaters & even the Coliseum. We also did television in Colombia. We were very popular. We identified with the emerging alternative culture in Colombia & the world. We were artists & musicians… part of the art community in Colombia at the time. We all shared our lives & our ideas together. Those were special & magical days.” Armstrong later took Bay Area reggae faves The Titans to Cuba, an historic breakthrough in musical diplomacy. The Titans were led by Ron Rhoades (video here) formerly of The Shakers, the first US reggae band signed to a major label. Moe’s the dude in the oversized hat in Contrabando:
“GOING OVER GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE TO MARIN COUNTY”
All we had in those days were some radio stations
That gave us some air time,
Kesey had already taught us we were up against the Combine,
Thinking music could get us over to the other side
Went over Golden Gate Bridge middle of night,
To see Doug Wendt To spin records with Doug Wendt
To talk with Doug Wendt and the whole Bay Area,
Talking about Revolution
I had come back from Cuba
I had come back from London and the Clash,
There was an immediacy in sharing the news
From the control tower every hour at every midnight
We thought that the Combine would GIVE OUT
Never realizing this Babylonian Combine,
Would come back and grow,
Would take more and give back less……..
We thought this music that sang about injustice
We would get rid of injustice,
Strummer and myself talked about seeing
Beginning and the end,
Got to get the message to Doug Wendt
We talked about the travels and the new day,
Got a recording of those radio shows,
Listen up The future is here
The future is yet to come,
Joe Strummer said
The Future is Unwritten
-poem by Moe Armstrong March 19th, 2013
Moe contacted me last year wanting dubs of his enthusiastic Midnight Dread co-hosted programs, setting I on this path to get my vintage shows on Mixcloud where the first ten episodes’ main segments already reside, joined just this week by #11, the first of 3 shows in 1980 I did with Moe: http://www.mixcloud.com/midnightdread/
REGGAE IN AMERICA lp; Lion Zion on KDIA, Commercial Black Radio, Oakland CA Sept. 18, 1977:
I recently bought a top flight TEAC A-4010 SL reel to reel tape deck at St. Vincent’s in near mint condition for $25. After a check-up with maintenance it’s now home dready for action. Last fall a pipe going into my hot water heater split spraying water all over many treasured Midnight Dread archive boxes. Luckily almost everything was saved including a large stash of 1/4 inch tapes from the 1960s-1970s. Here then is the first major discovery from the ‘reel to real’ tape Midnight Dread Archives, a very interesting and vital historical aircheck from 1977 of the now mysterious Lion Zion on the San Francisco Bay Area’s then AM radio soul station giant KDIA. It runs about 24 minutes and brings his music and the message of Jamaica straight to a largely African American audience within a basically Top 40 R&B Hits format.
For many Northern California listeners this was the first time they were exposed to the culture and sounds from Jamaica. Listen for the crystal clear philosophy of hope and dignity as presented by Errol ‘Lion Zion’ with recordings of his began at Lee Perry’s Black Ark studio in Kingston, Jamaica with some very tasteful additional tracking done in Oakland like The Oakland Black Ensemble on the song “American Revolution” joining the lp’s yardies Lloyd Parks, Fill Callender, David Madden. Glen DaCosta, Vin Gordon, Keith Sterling, Anthony Creary, & National Dance Theatre Singers. Excerpt from Inner Visions on KDIA hosted by Dr. Harold Donahue. “This is not the 21st Century, this is the 3rd Century. What is a natty? Is the man trying to smoke to define I-self a plan? Dance the I-Buffalo in the Time of I-ology!”-Lion Zion
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE SHOW & CONTINUE READING…
Wendt’s “Real World” video:
Doug Wendt is well known internationally for his popular worldbeat dance party originally presented from 1988 to 1994 at San Francisco’s KENNEL CLUB. Featuring world music videos from all over the globe plus custom edited videos compiled by Doug projected onto three large screens; this ever-changing, all-inclusive five hour filmic trip around the world was hailed by DETAILS MAGAZINE as “Best Night Out In America”. O GLOBO in Rio de Janeiro called his presentations “An Empire of the Senses.”
Here’s an example of one of Wendt’s special video edits made for club play. It features footage from Doug’s “Dub Film” 16mm short. Canyon Cinematheque curator Carmen Vigil described Wendt’s films as continuing “to please upon repeated viewings… his humor is based on the language of film in much the way the writings of Thurber derive their humor from the language of words. (Doug’s) a versatile film artist with an expansive lyric wit and a gifted ability to work with what is mysterious and absurd in our real lives and collective dreams.”
Wendt’s big-screen video selections helped ring in the New Year with Santana and Al Green at Oakland Coliseum in 1995. His rare Bob Marley videos appeared on the bill at the annual Bob Marley Day Festival at Kaiser Auditorium in 1996 and 1997. His live band appeared along side his special visual creations at Alley Galleria in June 2009. Doug has also appeared at The Fillmore Auditorium, Pasadena Film Forum, UC Berkeley Greek Theatre, Reggae Sunsplash USA, The L.A. Theater Center, New Orleans By The Bay, The Portland Museum, Reggae On The River, Staples Center, Dreadstock, Winnipeg Folk Festival, CMJ’s New Music Seminar, clubs in Europe and much more plus private parties including a world music celebration at Lucasfilm¹s Skywalker Ranch.
Midnight Dread 1979 radio:
Time travel to the glory days of classic progressive roots rock reggae radio
September 30, 1979 2 hour premiere (in two parts)
This is the very first show of the many hun-dreads that ran on various stations between 1979 & today. The commercial radio show aired on KTIM from 1979-1984 before moving to San Francisco’s KQAK The Quake from 1984-1985 and KFOG from 1987-1990. Doug was co-host of The Reggae Explosion on KTIM AM & FM circa 1974-1977. One may also listen to the first part of this broadcast here while scrolling thru other info/scans.
Midnight Dread Number One September 30th / October 1st 1979 KTIM FM San Rafael CA -first 80 minutes by Midnightdread on Mixcloud
Here’s the second part of the first Midnight Dread program from October 1st, 1979:
Midnight Dread Number One Part 2, October 1st 1979 KTIM FM San Rafael, California -end of program by Midnightdread on Mixcloud
November 11th, 1979
This is the first eighty minutes of the second Midnight Dread program as aired on KTIM, San Rafael California’s ‘North Bay Noise’. After the success of its pilot show on September 30th Midnight Dread returned with this special three hour celebration in its new regular time slot, every two weeks late Sundays at midnight for two hours. In March 1980 it went weekly. The radio show aired on KTIM from 1979-1984 before moving to San Francisco’s KQAK The Quake, KUSF, and KFOG. Midnight Dread now broadcasts new shows daily via http://worldOneradio.org/ 12am Pacific Time
Midnight Dread Number Two November 11th 1979 KTIM FM San Rafael CA -first 80 minutes of 3 hr program by Midnightdread on Mixcloud
November 26th, 1979
From when Bob Marley was in town to play Oakland Auditorium with Betty Wright “this Friday” I and I hit the airwaves with ’nuff Bob plus Climax Asher, LKJ, Matumbi, Marcia, Gregory, Dr. Alimantado, Augustus Pablo, The Bases, Bob Andy, plenty “Hypocrite” and much more. Here’s the first eighty minutes of the third Midnight Dread program as aired early Monday November 26th, 1979 on KTIM in San Rafael California.
Midnight Dread Number Three November 26th 1979 KTIM FM San Rafael CA first 80 minutes of 2 hour show by Midnightdread on Mixcloud
December 10th, 1979
In early 1979 Jerry Stein & Jeff Roth traveled to Jamaica & filmed what would become the classic roots reggae movie WORD SOUND & POWER featuring mainly The Soul Syndicate, Earl Zero & others. They also shot amazing footage of Hugh Mundell & Augustus Pablo performing in the hills which finally saw the light of day recently in THE MYSTIC WORLD OF AUGUSTUS PABLO The Rockers Story box set (Shanachie) in 2008. In this Midnight Dread radio program Jerry joins host Doug Wendt to play many great & scarce selections from his reggae vinyl collection & talk a little about his film, which then was tentatively titled CHILDREN OF JAH. Here’s the first 80 minutes of a 4 hour show as aired 12am Monday December 10th, 1979.
Midnight Dread Number Four December 10th 1979 KTIM FM San Rafael CA-first 80 minutes of 4 hr program by Midnightdread on Mixcloud
December 24th, 1979
On a heavy rainy night Roger Steffens & Doug Wendt sloshed their ways to the studios of KTIM-FM in downtown San Rafael, California to do their first Midnight Dread radio program together. The 1980s were just a few days away. KTIM was one of the last fairly free-form commercial rock radio stations to survive the 1970′s. Roger had just started a regular reggae radio show in L.A. with Hank Holmes & speaks glowingly of Judy Mowatt having just interviewed her & Rita Marley while riding along on the Bob Marley tour in Southern California earlier in the month. Doug & Roger discuss the latest issue of Reggae News & Ras Michael’s first US tour as well as the end of the 70s in this first 80 minutes of a 3 hour program aired very early on Christmas eve day December 24th, 1979. Earth & Stone’s “Three Wise Men” 7″ gets played in a brief nod to the holidays.
Midnight Dread Number Five December 24th 1979 KTIM FM San Rafael CA-first 80 minutes of 3 hr program by Midnightdread on Mixcloud
Midnight Dread 2012 Midnight Raver posts
from December 3rd 2012 Midnight Raver:
MIDNIGHT DREAD Classic Reggae Radio Hour
This Midnight Dread hour from Sunday night December 2nd-3rd, 1984 on The Quake (KQAK) in San Francisco features Bay Area reggae radio pioneer & Jamaican native Tony (Wright) Moses, The ChanSing Master with host Doug Wendt. They talk about how seeing The Wailers on Broadway in SF in 1973 altered the course of their lives. (Tony Gee, who can be heard introducing early Bob Marley tour dates saying “the proverbial Bob Marley & The Wailin’ Wailers” established the first ever San Francisco Bay Area reggae radio show which Tony Moses took over circa 1974.) While celebrating that Tony Moses & Doug were both born on December 3rd they play many rarities while discussing their reggaemylitis. Doug announces a sudden Black Uhuru tour cancellation. Tony presciently hails reggae as being 21st Century style several times. Ini Kamoze sings “World Of Reggae” live at Reggae Sunsplash in 1984 at the beginning of this scintillating sampler:
from October 29th 2012 Midnight Raver:
MIDNIGHT DREAD’s ‘NIGHT OF THE LIVING DREAD HALLOWEEN SPECIAL’
“Here’s an hour from the October 28th, 1984 MIDNIGHT DREAD program as aired on The Quake (KQAK) in San Francisco. It was an especially scary time. Actor Ronald Reagan was re-elected President the next week. Voodoo economics flowering.
This classic reggae radio show is just one of MIDNIGHT DREAD’s annual NIGHT OF THE LIVING DREAD Halloween specials. It’s part of the complete 1984 Midnight Dread Radio Archive programs mastered, digitized & available here (http://www.midnightdread.com/online.html).
Enjoy other Midnight Dread special webcasts (http://www.midnightdread.com/WebcastsPage.html ) & get the full sets (http://www.midnightdread.com/midnight.html ).”
Midnight Dread Program #249 as aired October 28th, 1984 on The Quake, KQAK, San Francisco’s Modern Rock station (https://www.facebook.com/groups/115785265362/ ):
this ANNUAL NIGHT OF THE LIVING DREAD HALLOWEEN SPECIAL sound sampler includes: Hear an
hour’s segment here now!!
Blue Riddim “Satan” unreleased
Junior Murvin “Lucifer”
Cultural Roots “Hell A Go Pop”
Big Youth “Hotter Fire” 7″
Archie Poole “Wicked City”
Pablo Moses “The Slayer”
Trinity “Scarecrow Style”
Scientist “The Voodoo Curse”
COUNTRYMAN soundtrack segments
Bob Marley & The Wailers “Midnight Ravers”
Creation Rebel “Threat To Creation”
Mikey Dread “Pre-Dawn Dub”
Wailers “Mr. Brown”
Senor Pablo “Science” 7″
Welton Irie “Obeah Man”
Lovindeer “Man Shortage” 12″ opening
from October 10th 2012 Midnight Raver:
Dis one a classic! Midnight Dread “Nostalgia”
Midnight Dread directed this video for Maroon Town. Shown at his hit Kennel Club circa 1988-1994 video dance party show in San Francisco that Details magazine called “Best Night Out in America”.
A couple feature length DVDs of Midnight Dread VJ-ing at the Kennel Club are in the Midnight Dread’s do-it-yourself online store. They include many jammin’ juxtapositions of Word Sound Image Power:
from September 11th 2012 Midnight Raver:
Midnight Dread’s Rare Interview with Peter Tosh, San Francisco, 1983
So several months ago I contact Doug Wendt AKA ‘Midnight Dread’ to ask him if it was OK if I share his rare interview with Peter Tosh. We ended up speaking for over an hour and just hit it off immediately. He wasn’t so keen on it at the time because there was really no occasion for it, however he did agree to share from his archives to the Midnight Raver Blog, and a friendship grounded in reggae was formed.
Doug has so much to offer us – the second generation of reggae enthusiasts, collectors, and archivists. He was there when Catch A Fire was released, in fact, he attended The Wailers’ historic shows at The Matrix in San Francisco, CA. He held it down in the Bay area by launching a popular reggae radio show which first exposed this great music to the people. It is people like Doug, Roger, and Night Nurse that I first came to learn of this music.
I owe so much to Doug for being one of the first to bring this music to the U.S. I am lucky to have him as a friend.
And now, the Midnight Dread interview with the late, great Peter Tosh…
Strange days, stranger nights. Something wicked this way comes. Summer turns. Life blinks. Dread On Arrival.
September 11th 2012 dawned with terror in the air, 25 years to the day Peter Tosh was gunned down by hideous cowards. Last night I re-watched the 1992 film on his life PETER TOSH STEPPING RAZOR: RED X. It’s spellbinding from the start. Its cinematic magic weaves Peter’s life and music into the spirit world he was so naturally attuned to. It’s a chilling experience filled with foreboding and reactionary violence as it unreels towards its bitter denouement. In many ways RED X is an anxiety driven roller coaster ride alternating its positive meaning and upliftment alongside hints of what everyone knows is coming.
As RED X begins to reach its final sequences and the lights fade out on Mick Jagger and Peter in a duet on Saturday Night Live doing “Don’t Look Back”, about the only movement revealing Tosh’s sparkly side, suddenly the soundtrack changes to an especially strident segment from my 1983 interview with Peter. That interview soon returns for a longer take shortly after Maureen Tosh and others begin talking more openly about duppys, forty-nine of which Peter allegedly expelled from his home when he moved in.
I can tell you a thing about duppys. It really shook me the first time I saw my interview’s placement in RED X. First, I had no idea it was even in the picture until I heard my voice. Also, it appears just as the film’s becoming much more ominous. My interview with Peter has always given me the willies ever since its audio disappeared from my original and only recording until after his death. (More of that story introduces the interview Midnight Raver links to below.) I would not have withheld Peter’s memorable quotes from 1983 until September 1987 otherwise. None of it was ever broadcast on any of my Midnight Dread radio programs or in print in that time period. So it gwan. Peter also taped most of our talk. That’s how it made the movie. In the film my interview fades out and its source is never credited. Read all the rest of that interview here now.
PETER TOSH STEPPING RAZOR: RED X speculates Peter may have been killed along with ace Jamaican radio DJ Free I Dixon over their plans to begin broadcasting a “Rastaman Radio Station” in Jamaica. Though that rumor seems at odds with some facts it reminded me of a chapter on the power of “Reggae and Radio” I wrote for Stephen Davis and Peter Simon’s REGGAE INTERNATIONAL book that was cut from it before publication. The recent revelation that it was an FBI informant that gave guns to the Black Panthers in the sixties illustrates sabotage is always possible. Powerful forces rule the undertow.
Nowadays my Midnight Dread radio program is on nightly (every midnight Pacific Time) with new shows including my 2012 Tribute To Peter Tosh special. For more from ‘the garden of inspiration’ listen at 88.1 and 97.7FMs in the San Francisco Bay Area and thru the TuneIn phone app and other audio portals including http://www.worldOneradio.org and http://www.shoutcast.com (search WorldOne). Midnight Dread also often appears midday at noon (Pacific Time) in my daily Best of All Worlds slot along with Ghost Town Sound and Deep Sixties shows.
Here are sound samples in Peter’s words from the interview/show as aired on Midnight Dread’s radio special the week Tosh was killed:
-Doug Wendt, September 11th, 2012
PETER TOSH INTERVIEW
8/17/83 Nob Hill, San Francisco
(Copyright 1983 Doug Wendt/2002 & 2012 midnightdread.com. No reproduction, distribution or excerpts without written permission)
(guitar playing sounds)
DW- I’ve been doing Midnight Dread on commercial radio for several years.
PT- That is very good, because it is very difficult to find people who really contribute so much energy towards helping to make reggae acceptable in this stiffneck society & I really appreciate what you’ve been doing very much.
DW- To have a format that includes reggae is not gonna put you in the biggest shape commercially.
PT- Serious thing.
DW- You’ve been involved with several labels in America; Columbia, Rolling Stone, EMI & I must tell you in ten years of playing strictly reggae music on commercial radio I have never received one promotional copy of any of your records. That means they’re not taking care of business, they’re not dealing with even commercial radio.
PT- & when you tell me that it is very good to hear that from you cause I have to keep these things under file because when I am going to report to the president of the company & let them know that if my album don’t sell millions because I know it has the potential to sell millions & there is too much hypocrisy going on in this society & too much white promotion of white music & demotion of black music & then too much ripping off of black music by white musician to make their career elevate to levels & then at the same time belittling the integrity of black music; I can’t take them shit there no more, & I will not have the integrity of my music being belittled willfully by beauracrats who sit down & plan & arrange these things to see to it that people like all me don’t hold a million dollar but at the same time they will give you a couple play that when the people out there hear about you they think of you as a millionaire not knowing that you don’t have nowhere near a millionaire, seen, but they want to promote you as a millionaire out there & they know that they are demoting you behind there, seens & set you up that you will never be a millionaire. Is not to say that I want to be a millionaire because I was born a millionaire, my potential make me more than zillions of years, seen, so I don’t count millions of papers because paper will come & paper will go but my ability & my integrity is here forever, seen. So I am more than a zillionaire. But at the same time what is due to Caesar give it unto Caesar. Is long Bumba Clot time they’ve been robbin Peter to pay Paul & I’ve been seeing too much of that & at the same time want me to keep on working, working, working, bumba-blood clot working for all the days of my fuckin’ life & when you done working you end up paying your fuckin’ old age pension to the doctor. I am not into that bumba clot cause I am not here to subordinate, neither am I here to live up to no man’s expectation, I know the potential of my music & my music must be played & respected the way any other white bullshit is respected where I don’t hear it is culturally or morally uplifting to the people. And if the society is not dealing with moral upliftment just let me know & just let me back out because I will go to Africa, & to the Far Easts and to Japan & China where people are more culturally & morally awakened, seen, & people who are much more uplifted to life & the dignity & integrity of what life is. I can’t take this deplorability that people adore & enjoy themselves in. People bathing in shit here & take it for enjoyment. I can’t take that. You see lie is the moat & hypocrisy the order of the day. When I play for the people, everytime I play for my audience they are hypnotized, seen. These guys know the potential of the music. They don’t want to break reggae music because reggae music is the King’s music & reggae music is Rasta music & Rastaman opposes the whole shitstem within the society. So they don’t want to know that they can break the rastaman, they will break rasta lookin people, seen?
DW- Eddy Grant.
PT- All those kind of looking people. They put on lickle dreadlocks & them break them because them know that they have had them in their hands seen, & they can spin them around & tell them what to do. Them can’t tell me what to do because I don’t get my inspiration from the drug store, seen. I get my inspiration from Jah & it must be materialized, seen. & they are not going to keep me here & use & abuse & try to defile my qualities. & then they try to eliminate & then they make movie of me, & bloodclot write books of me. No, that won’t work. I will be here to benefit all that is mine & all Paul who has been getting Peter’s pay better prepare to pay back bloodclot Peter because my judgement won’t be like any little joke business my brother. When me pray it is a dangerous thing. (strums guitar). You see because I believe in prayer. And if a guy out there think him wicked & him gun is in God, seen, & other weapons of destruction is in God, it won’t help him because what is due unto Ceaser I giveth unto Ceaser. (strums guitar)
DW- You may not be aware of, but here in Northern California there are 30 strictly reggae shows weekly. I’ve been listening to most of those shows because I deal in promotion for several reggae shows so I’m monitoring them to see what they’re playing. & they are not playing MAMA AFRICA (Tosh’s new lp at the time that had been out for 3 months) because they don’t have the record.
PT- (long pregnant pause) Can you imagine a bumba clot thing like that?
DW- They don’t deal on this ‘low level’ way of promotion. They deal in the block buster, take out ads in Playboy, spend 20,000 dollars there, $50,000 -that’s what they did with Bob Marley, who was never really promoted in this country except once with RASTAMAN VIBRATION. (which went Top Ten in Billboard)
CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING THE INTERVIEW…
from September 3rd 2012 Midnight Raver:
‘Rastaman Rocks Penn Hall,’ Philadelphia, PA, November 7, 1979
We have such great contributors here at the Midnight Raver Blog. The following press clipping was shared by Doug Wendt, AKA Midnight Dread, who is a crucial friend to the blog. Please visit Midnight Dread at www.midnightdread.com and at www.ghosttownsound.com.
The clipping is from the West Indian newspaper Caribbe′ Volume 1, No. 4, which was published in November 1979, Philadelphia, PA.
from August 8th 2012 Midnight Raver:
Midnight Dread’s Classic High Times Interview with Lee “Scratch” Perry
Tonight I’m sharing a rare classic from the Midnight Dread archives: a legendary interview with the “King of Reggae” – Lee “Scratch” Perry.
Please visit Midnight Dread’s website at www.midnightdread.com for more rarities.
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, the Upsetter, a cornerstone of reggae music, got his start in his late teens at Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One in Kingston in the late 50s. There amongst other major figures in the scene he soon made a name for himself as a highly creative yet eccentric producer who pioneered sounds with fearless chutzpa. As Brad Osbourne, a New York-based Jamaican who put out several Upsetter records in the US in the 70s once wrote, “Lee Perry is ten years ahead of himself.”
By the late 60s Scratch had his own Upsetter label and house band of the same name comprised of drum and bass wizards, Carlton and Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett. Soon he linked them up with Jamaica’s most popular vocal trio, the Wailers, comprised of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. The fruit of those labors, the albums SOUL REVOLUTION and AFRICAN HERBSMAN changed the sound and direction of reggae forever. When Bob Marley left Peter and Bunny he took Scratch’s band to conquer the world.
In 1973 Lee had his Black Ark Studio up and running. From there the most haunting works in dub and reggae were forged with a galaxy of reggae’s finest. His instantly recognizable works of echo, flanging, and phase shifting combined with a dignified yet playful lyrical content grounded by a wicked bass line were recently compiled on the 3 CD box set ARKOLOGY (Island Records). In ’76 and ’77 he produced two of Bob Marley’s best singles, “Jah Live” and “Punky Reggae Party”.
However, the increasing violence in Jamaica coupled with his record label’s rejection of one of his greatest solo albums led Scratch to burn down the Black Ark and move to Amsterdam by the start of the 80s.
He spent that decade touring Europe, eventually connecting and releasing albums with the UK’s two best reggae producers, Adrian Sherwood and Neil Fraser, aka The Mad Professor. He also married a Swiss baroness and moved to a mountainous area near Geneva, Switzerland.
He has continued to release solo albums featuring his freely associating, unending stream of consciousness chant/rap utterances ranging from herbal and godly praises to off-hand japes and puns.
On the weekend Allen Ginsberg died Perry made his West Coast debut at San Francisco’s Maritime Hall and kept the world-beatnik thing going with rapid-fired words, unearthly howls and lion growls as the Mad Professor and his Robotics band flawlessly recreated the original sounds of over three decades of Upsetting material. “I’m here to bring back San Francisco alive!” he exclaimed to the sell-out crowd.
“Are you deaf? I will make you deaf” Scratch shouted before calling on all fellow madmen in the audience to raise hands if they too were “shits-o-phrenic mediums.” Nearly half did. “I am your psychiatrist and you are here for your treatment,” he intoned.
At 61 Lee looks more like the Rastafarian’s god Haillie Selassie than ever, only adding to the mystical, da-da is back spirit of his live performances. At Maritime he burned through killer remakes of “I Am A Madman”, “Secret Laboratory” and “Roast Fish & Cornbread” as well as scorchin’ covers of “I’ll Take You There” and “Papa was a Rolling Stone.” With a twinkle in his eyte he sat poolside at The Phoenix in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District between shows and answered a few questions.
Q: Will there be an Upsetters’ Band reunion?
A: I once planned the Upsetter Band. The upsetter was so upsetting that it upset even I. They wanted to take over the whole thing. They was upset and they become Reggae Boys and Reggae this and they become Wailers. So I give them all the things that wail and upset them and put all that is upsetting away. I put their alcohol away. I put the rum away. I put the deads away. And I put the massive dreads away p; they were all too dead and dreadful for me, you understand. I am the Upsetter. Anything that is upsetting me I must get rid of it, or execute it, or exterminate it. That’s why I’m the Upsetter p; to upset what is upsetting me and what is not good for me, is to exterminate it, liquidate it or wipe it out. I must not be upset. There won’t be any more Upsetter Band, I’m pressitively sure!
CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS CLASSIC INTERVIEW…
from July 6th 2012 Midnight Raver:
From The Midnight Dread Archives: Pablo Moses
I have included an interview with the legendary Pablo Moses from the Midnight Dread archives. This rare interview with Moses was published in Tower Records‘ Pulse! magazine in 1984. For those who have never heard the music of Pablo Moses, I have also included my favorite Pablo tune “Proverbs, Extractions.”
Click the image to read on ISSUU.
“Classic progressive reggae radio broadcast midnight nightly (Pacific Time) http://www.worldoneradio.org/
from June 13th 2012 Midnight Raver:
Linton Kwesi Johnson & Dennis Bovell from the Midnight Dread Archives
More rare media from the archives of Midnight Dread. This article, written by Doug Wendt (AKA Midnight Dread) appeared in the July 1984 edition of The Pulse. A true rarity among press archives.
Please visit Midnight Dread’s website at www.midnightdread.com. A must-see for any fan of reggae roots and culture.
CLICK TO READ ON ISSUU
This is the home of Doug Wendt and Midnight Dread on the MIDNIGHT RAVER BLOG. Please visit and deeply explore Doug’s website at www.midnightdread.com. Also, for the best and rarest material from Wendt’s four decades as one of the foundation reggae DJs in America check his classic reggae vinyl & collectibles. Plus you may hear, see and purchase Doug’s high grade and unusually riveting exclusive DJ/VJ mixes/radio shows, as well as find out more about his unique live band / blog where the red, black, yellow, and white unite under Ghost Town Sound. Midnight Dread offers scarce items in thanks for crucial support of ongoing efforts to properly preserve and digitize the huge amount of material in the Midnight Dread Archive in the always open Midnight Dread Premiums Store. This page will often highlight treasures from the archive as long as there is interest, underwriters, and level vibes.