In Response to the editorial “Solidarity is What We Need”
by M. Peggy Quattro
February 14, 2008
Greetings! In response to this editorial above, which was a bulletin posted on MySpace by Lloyd Stanbury, I hereby agree with several points he adeptly brings to our attention. The image of Jamaica as a corrupt and violent society is constantly being presented to the world. Every country has degrees of these elements, but the Land of Reggae, the Land of Wood and Water, the Land of One Love, has taken a turn for the worse.
Since the beginning of Dancehall in the late ‘80s, when lyrics were degrading women and praising the gun culture, the seeds of destruction were sown. Playing our part in the media, Reggae Report chose not to support or encourage this new type of performance. No where near the quality of Dennis Brown’s “Love Has Found its Way” or the driving call to “Get Up! Stand Up!,” early Dancehall artists brought in such sleaze as “Wicked Inna Bed,” calling for “Bam Bam…Lick a shot on mama-man’s head.” The media helped make performers, such as Shabba Ranks, a so-called star. What followed was an audience trained to think this was the new direction of Reggae music.
Bob Marley said it best: “You have to be careful of the type of song, and the type of vibration that you give to the people…because ‘Woe be unto they who lead my people astray.’” Continue reading →
The Jamaican music industry, and by extension the wider Jamaican society, have been moving in a direction to destroy themselves, as evidenced by the increased lack of respect, love and harmony being displayed between our brothers and sisters. We should all hang our heads in shame when we consider that Jamaica has created so much poverty and hate among its people despite being a country and people blessed with an abundance of human and natural gifts.
It is indeed amazing that despite the worldwide demand for the talents of our musicians, sportsmen and sportswomen, the attraction of our beautiful island, our wonderful food and trend-setting fashion, we still remain a poor and under-developed country. Maybe if we were to stop fighting each other and against each other we would be much better off as a nation and together reap the benefits of our very valuable natural and human resources.
The tendency of some of our artists and music producers to revel in tribalism, war and disrespect of each other, combined with the promotion of disunity, does not help our situation at all. It is full time for us to take a stand against music and musicians who constantly promote disrespect, violence and tribalism among our people. It is also time for persons involved in the music industry to do their part in building a better Jamaica by working closer together rather than against each other. We should not continue to be the silent majority while our people suffer and our beautiful country is washed down the drain.
Reggae music has helped to liberate and build confidence in millions of people around the globe, yet at home some now try to use it to do the opposite to our own people. Music supporters, as well as the makers and performers of music, all have a role to play in reversing this very negative trend. I am not for a moment trying to give the impression that only the music makers and their fans have to make a contribution to rebuilding and reclaiming Jamaica. I am however urging those of us in the music industry to do our part. Music is the food of life.
“Look at me, I ain’t your enemy
We walk on common ground
Don’t try to fight your brother
What we need – SOLIDARITY”
These are words from “Solidarity,” a song from Anthem, the first GRAMMY-winning Reggae album by Black Uhuru in 1985.
Reggae’s First Showband Was Ahead of Its Time
by M. Peggy Quattro
September 2007 – It’s about time! Zap Pow always struck me as the most progressive, talented band I’ve ever heard come out of Jamaica. Listen to their music and you’ll understand what I mean. Thirty years after the band sadly broke up, Prime Minister Simpson honored the members August 6, 2007, at her Independence Day Gala in Kingston. Then Zap Pow and friends honored Jamaica with their performance.
The Jamaica Gleaner featured an article on August 30, 2007, where the surprised co-founder, lead guitarist, vocalist, and writer, Dwight Pinkney, expressed that “it’s better late than never.” Pinkney acknowledged the absence of co-founder Michael Williams, aka Reving Mikey Zappow, who passed away a couple years ago. Mikey named the group ZAP POW in 1969. He lived for the music, for the band, and for the recognition of the quality music they produced and performed. Continue reading →
Director Martin Scorsese set to Produce a Bob Marley Documentary
February 8, 2008 – It was reported in Variety online that famed director Martin Scorsese will team up with Steve Bing’s Shangri-La Entertainment and international sales agent Fortissimo Films to produce a yet-to-be-titled documentary about Reggae’s international super star Bob Marley.
Tuff Gong Pictures and Shangri-La are producing, and the Marley family has endorsed the film. The release date is set for Feb. 6, 2010, in honor of brother Bob’s 65th earth day.
Eldest son Ziggy was quoted as saying, “I am thrilled that the Marley family will finally have the opportunity to document our father’s legacy and are truly honored to have Mr. Scorsese guide the journey.”
The same three powerhouses teamed up to produce the Rolling Stones’ documentary “Shine a Light,” which opened the Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 7, 2008.
SAT., MARCH 1, 2008
MIAMI’S BAYFRONT PARK AMPHITHEATRE
Presented by THE BOB MARLEY MOVEMENT OF JAH PEOPLE & 103.5 THE BEAT.
For 15 years, one of South Florida’s longest running festivals is still going strong and feeding the hungry! This year’s line-up features Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Julian Marley, and Ky-mani Marley. With additional performances by Capleton, Richie Spice, Gentleman and The Far East Band, Junior Demus, Joseph Israel and Javaughn.
The 15th annual Caribbean Fest is a daylong celebration of music, arts and crafts honoring the life and philosophy of the legendary Reggae star Bob Marley. It features some of the top musical acts in the world, as well as popular local performers. The Marley “boys” — Stephen, Damian, Julian, and Ky-mani — will headline what always promises to be South Florida’s finest Reggae and Caribbean music showcase. Continue reading →
Breaking Up the Band: Ali Campbell Leaves UB40 after 28 Years (and UB40’s Latest Response on January 28, 2008 is Below)
This is a messsage directly from Ali Campbell’s website where he explains his reasons for leaving UB40
January 27, 2008 – As one of the founder members of UB40, I have put the band first in my life for the last 28 years and am deeply saddened at the ending of that relationship. No words can express how upset I feel today that I have been forced to make this decision.
I am perhaps most upset on behalf of the fans, who have stuck with us, through thick and thin, throughout the years and are the best fans in the world. However, I feel that it is important for me to put the record straight on my reasons for leaving the band.
Contrary to some of the misleading, false information and accusations that have been circulating in recent months, the reason for my forthcoming departure from the band is NOT, as has been stated, due to my wanting to pursue a solo career. That is not the truth!! I released my first solo album 13 years ago and when I released my current solo album I had every intention to continuing to balance my solo career with my commitment to the band.
The reason for me leaving the band is that management difficulties, which have been ongoing for almost 5 years, had become intolerable. Continue reading →
January 2008 – Potential video starlets/groupies roam around in barely-there outfits. The aroma of cheap weed lingers and mixes with that of wet concrete on the cracked Overtown sidewalk. Aside from the shimmering of gold chains and dubs, there is much dreariness in the ‘hood.’ This inner-city neighborhood, one of Miami’s many hoods, is not about flashiness, it is about getting by. For many, it is the reality Miami very often lacks when considering the surgically attained beauty and rampant riches that are prevalent in the ‘305.’
Almost three hours after arriving on the set, and close to 12 hours into the video shoot for “I’m So Hood,” a single from his second album We The Best, I notice Miami’s DJ Khaled rushing through a wardrobe change. Continue reading →