By Bernie Bell
We watched a – recorded – telly programme which was part of a series about Reggae music. This one, ‘Reggae Fever: David Rodigan’ was mainly about…David Rodigan. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0brzpsb
Many of the people interviewed spoke of the excitement of a new release – when new material came in from Jamaica – how they would be there, in towns and cities all over Britain, waiting at the shops which knew what’s what, for the incoming ‘good stuff’ – music that is – not – the other kind of good stuff!
For this to happen a network of knowledge, true commitment and love of the music was needed.
The people exporting from Jamaica needed to know what to send, those on the receiving end then had to know where to distribute the records to – which shops were the right shops. Then, the groovy people who were into the music, needed to know which shops to go to. It involved a whole network of real enthusiasm.
It was similar when Rock ‘n’ Roll first took off and the new releases came in from America – the same deep, real love of the music had to be there to make the network, work.
David Rodigan exemplified this – knowledge, enthusiasm, interest in what he was working with – though can I call it work?
In the programme there are sections where he’s sitting, talking, and there he is – a quiet, balding, bespectacled chap – then shots of him D.J.- ing or dancing on a stage to the music playing – and – it’s like he’s another person – manic movements. Possessed by the music.
And now to the point – where has that kind of commitment and excitement gone? I was trying to think of what new kinds of music have emerged in recent years. I admit to being an old person, and not being all that aware of what’s going on, but all I can think of is Hip-Hop – and that’s been around for a while now.
When new music does appear it’s instantly accessible – immediate dispersal – down-loading.
So, where has the excitement gone and the knowledge of what to look out for, and where?
I was puttering at Mike about this and he pointed out that, in Biology, a level of isolation is needed for new species to emerge. I can see the comparison.
If you’d like to sample some of the kind of Reggae groove which produced such loyalty………here’s some…..
I’ve just ordered ‘Natty Dread’, Marley’s 1973 second album that helped launch his career, and a staple for me back then. On vinyl, of course!
Aaaah…vinyl…..the trouble with vinyl records for me was being a messy little person…..handling them with sticky fingers…dropping them…dropping things on them… https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/12/23/music-re-cycling-the-ocean/
And now I’ve got ‘Dread, natty dread’ running through my head….not a bad way to start the day!