Today is the 123rd anniversary of the birth of H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I, the last Emperor of Ethiopia.
Rastafari liveth forever.
Presented here is the beginning of a painting in livication to the Lion of Judah… to be continued…
Hail Mi Irieites,
Today, would have been the 97th earth day of Nelson Mandela. May he be continued to be remembered in all of us, especially in this ignorant phase this world happens to be going through at this time in regards to racism.
I present a painting for this special day, though unfinished. Enjoy!
Hail Mi Irieites,
Blessings to our fans out there. Here we are throughout the longest day of the year wishing all A Happy Father’s Day. I thank you also so for the support our fans have given us on the west coast of the USA, with me suffering from laryngitis. After “40 years” of hard slogging on the road, it was touching to witness you all joining in on the songs with such intensity.
Thanking all the band members too, including our friend and co producer, David “Cirious” Elecciri. But least not forget the “Charleston 9″ that were brutally gunned down only a few days ago.
Our prayers go out to the whole nation in mourning.
Hail Mi Irieites,
10th June 2015 was the 75th anniversary of the Right Honourable, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, making his transition.
The works of Marcus Garvey have not gone unnoticed. Let’s see if the powers that be can put their Hearts together to have this African icon exonerated.
In the meantime, let’s continue to Rally Round the flag.
And a happy Birthday to the “Don” John Carlos, the Olympic runner of 1968, who turns 70, today. Many happy returns. We won’t forget your stance against racism.
Birmingham’s reggae legends UB40 and Steel Pulse have confirmed they will play two very special shows together for the first time in December 2015.
The first show will take place at London’s O2 Academy Brixton on Sunday, 20th December, followed by a hometown show at the O2 Academy Birmingham on Monday, 21st December.
Steel Pulse’s lead singer David Hinds said, “Yes, this is history in the makings when the two Birmingham giants have come together to make our city proud. This is a legacy to be witnessed and documented and treasured for the rest of our lives. Forget about the million dollar question as to why it took so long. The hard core fact is that it is happening and we hope everyone will “show up” for this “show down” come December 2015. We, Steel Pulse, will be celebrating our 40th anniversary, too.”
UB40’s Robin Campbell said, “I’m looking forward to seeing Pulse again, they’re one of the best live reggae bands, a class act.”
UB40 formed in 1978, naming themselves after the unemployment benefit form, before releasing their debut album ‘Signing Off’ in August 1980 – considered by many to be one of the greatest reggae albums ever released by a British band. It was the start of a career that has since seen the band have over forty UK Top 40 hit singles and achieve sales of over 100 million records, making UB40 one of the most successful British groups of all time
Formed in 1975 at Birmingham’s Handsworth Wood Boys School, Grammy Award-winning Steel Pulse have been true to their roots for the past forty years. One of Bob Marley’s favourites, the band has maintained a sense of fierce integrity as it strives to get the message of love and justiceacross to all people. They won a Grammy for their 1986 album ‘Babylon The Bandit’, and received further Grammy nominations for the albums ‘Victims’, ‘Rastafari Centennial’, ‘Rage & Fury’, ‘African Holocaust’ and ‘Vex’.
Steel Pulse are David “Dread” Hinds (lead vocals, rhythm guitarist, composer and harmonica player), Selwyn “Bumbo” Brown (keyboards, vocals), Sidney “Predator” Mills (keyboards, backing vocals), Amlak “AmBASSador” Tafari (bass), Wayne “Ceesharp” Elvis Clarke (drums), Moonie (lead guitar), Keysha McTaggart (backing vocals), and Jerry “Saxman” Johnson (saxophone).
UB40 are Robin Campbell (co-lead vocals and guitar), Duncan Campbell (lead vocals) Earl Falconer (bass, vocal), Brian Travers (saxophone and keyboards), Jimmy Brown (drums), Norman Hassan (percussion, vocals). The band also feature, Martin Meredith (sax) and Laurence Parry (trumpet) and Tony Mullings (keyboards).
Tickets are £35 (STBF), available on O2 PRIORITY from Wednesday 27th May at 9.00am
General sale Friday 29th May at ticketweb.co.uk or 0844 477 2000
Exactly 15 months after Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston for the Heavyweight Championship, he made his first title fight defence against the former champion, who he’d called “the bear.” This was on May 25th 1965. Today, marks the 50th anniversary of this great occasion.
There was plenty of controversy in the period between the two fights. To begin with, upon receiving his belts Ali announced that he was a Muslim and denounced the original name he was once called, which was Cassius Clay. His claim was that it was a name given to him by his former slave masters.
This was not good publicity in the eyes of the authorities in regards to the rematch. They saw problems ahead for hosting the event.
Secondly, there were many who believed that Liston had thrown the first fight, and claiming it could have been mafia controlled, creating the need for a rematch. The first fight was also remembered for Ali screaming and showing emotions of pain to his eyes, stating that the gloves that Liston was wearing were laced with something to blind him.
Thirdly, it was only three months prior to the rematch that Malcolm X, was assassinated, creating a huge rift amongst others in this new found religion of Ali’s.
In any event the contest took place at Lewiston’s Central Maine Youth Center, as oppose to another place in Boston where it was initially planned. If my memory serves me correctly ( it was soooo long ago), the fight lasted only 64 seconds, becoming one of the fastest first round knock outs in history at that time. The punch, landed by Ali, was known as “The Phantom Punch.” It brought about even more controversy due to no one actually seeing it strike Liston, hence believing that Liston, once again had thrown the fight. But after several slow motion reruns, everyone was able to see how it was done, though there were many still not convinced it was hard enough to send the former champ toppling on the canvas. But this was the start of a new era for boxing. An era of witnessing an unusual speed and agility from a heavyweight.
Anyway, fans please excuse me for not posting this sooner. Travelling got the better of me. In the meantime please try and enjoy the painting that I just started of this incredible individual. Muhammad Ali:
Yes, this is a tribute to the Legendary, Riley B. King, better known as B. B. King, born September 16, 1925 and was approaching his 90th birthday this year. Passed May 14, 2015.
I had the pleasure to be present at a Grammy Award back in 1985/86 and watched B.B. jam on stage with Mark Knopfler, Hank Williams Jr, J.J. Cale and others. They all had their guitars screaming out all at once, playing every note on the fret board.
Except for B.B.
He just stood there and played one single note and it stood out by far from that wall of a sound coming from all those other guitar players. Yes, B.B. King had the most distinctive guitar tone ever. On that day I learned that guitar playing is all about quality and not quantity. Yes, we all know the story of saving “Lucille” from a fire, but there was an interview that I read of his many years ago about how he came to develop that tone. He said something about trying to emulate all those guitar effects including the wah-wah pedal, by trilling extra hard the notes with his fingers on the fret board. But from the upbringing he had, he had no idea that the effects were coming from pedals and other electrical devices, so thinking one had to be one heck of a guitar genius to get that sound. So out of sheer, blessed ignorance B.B. created a style of playing that was second to none.
Today B.B. King has been hailed as one of the top ten greatest guitar players of all time. Unlike many of the traditional blues guitarists, BB had a good knowledge of chords that were not used in traditional 12 bar blues; chords like 7 flat 5 chords and chords that were leaning towards the jazz format. Although there are many songs that were hits, one of my favourites of his is How Blue Can You Get.
Upon B.B. King’s passing, we mark the end of “The Real Deal” orthodox blues, as we know it.
But while I am at it I would like to pay tribute to the other Kings in all of this. Least we not forget the efforts of Albert King (1923-1992) and Freddie King (1934-1976). The three Kings were gracious and majestic with their achievements. With none of them being related to each other, B.B., Albert and the youngster Freddie all played major parts in keeping the blues alive in a time where rock n’ roll was the order of the day.
Freddie, having the rockiest tone of the Kings was trying to develop a crossover sound, by having quite a few of his songs, played upbeat. One of my favourites of his was Big Legged Woman.
Albert, on the other hand, had lots of popularity among others such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Clapton, and the list goes on. Hence there have been albums and live performances with him featuring cats like these and visa versa. My favourite of his was The Sky is Crying, originally done by Elmore James.
By the way, I had the pleasure to meet Albert King in a hotel lobby, in New Jersey, somewhere back in 1989. I also had the pleasure of him taking a photo holding an ESP telecaster of mine. Now it beats me what I’ve done with the photo, although the guitar itself was stolen within a couple of years of that experience.
So B.B. King, The Thrill is Gone. No way bro, you will be forever in our hearts.
Steel Pulse will be appearing at your New York nightclub come August 6th. Our show will be livicated to you. All Hail, The King of the Blues.
I hope I caught the date in time but today May 5th, 2015 is a year shy of the 75th anniversary since H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie returned from exile to Ethiopia from the town of Bath, UK to reunite with his countrymen to defeat the Italian invasion.
Ethiopia is still hailed as the only country in Africa that was never colonised. That became a bonus and incentive for the rest of the continent to seek total liberation.