“There’s no music that can unite the people like Reggae music,” – said David Hinds at the 1st Diaspora African Rastafari Congress (DARC) Awards held at the Golden Terrace Banquet Hall in Queens, New York.
Hinds received the HIM Liberation Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award for his legendary contribution to reggae music and the Rastafari community worldwide.
Also present at the celebration were His Imperial Highness, Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, grandson of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, Monty Howell, the grandson of Leonard Percival Howell, considered the “First Rastaman,” and Dr. Asantewaa Oppong Wadie.
As we are into our 40th year of existence as a band, we give thanks for each and every moment for the opportunity that was given to us by the Most High. Because we are totally aware that if it was not for H.I.M, there would never be a “Steel Pulse.”
Our first recognition on ‘centre stage,’ was our debut album, “Handsworth Revolution” (1978), which came at time when the UK was facing absolute turmoil in regards to the policies that were very much disenfranchising the first generation of blacks of post colonialism, stationed throughout the many pocketed communities in Britain. Already plagued with unemployment, there were laws and socially political issues that were not working in our favour. Having our limited outlets of entertainment under constant surveillance, along with the youths no longer accepting the “back seat” (so to speak), that was offered and accepted by our parents, and to top it all, the occasional police brutality…. it was only a matter of time for the lid to have been blown off that pressure cooker.
Steel Pulse predicted the sentiments of Handsworth Revolution at leastthree years before the very first riots kicked off in Bristol, back in 1981. HR became a landmark, a milestone; call it what you may, in the history and development of ‘Black Culture,’ in Britain. As a result the band played a significant role among the punk and new wave music that was sweeping across the country. Our lyrics and stance became part and parcel to the issues that the punks were lashing out against. it was at a time when being left winged and being an anarchist, was at its heights.
Today, we can see clearly how current and relevant those lyrics and ideologies of yesteryear have become. Now, do you see why I started out this blog by thanking the Most High, in the first place? In all honesty, the band never dreamed that the whole HR experience would have taken such a stronghold throughout the rest of the world. We could barely play our instruments when all this happened. Yet, we were eager to make a difference in our lives that we had hoped, would in turn, influence others.
We are looking forward to returning to the shores of England, after a very long hiatus to deliver this same album that created us, “live” in its entirety to the nation that was first in line to bear witness to such an enlightening experience. We sincerely hope that you can be present to join the masses that will be attending this walk down memory lane.
We,the Steel Pulse family, would like you all to join us in wishing a Happy 70th Birthday and Blessed Earthstrong to Winston Hubert Mackintish AKA the legendary Peter Tosh - Original Wailer, Stepping Razor, Mystic Man, Bush Doctor, Rasta Soldier and holder of Jamaica’s distinguished Order of Merit. Peter was a true revolutionary who inspired not only us as Steel Pulse but numerous millions across the globe. Your works and memory will never be forgotten Peter, thank you for your selfless devotion to the cause of Equal Rights and Justice for the poor and oppressed.
Born on July 23, 1892, Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia, H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie is a continual inspiration for Steel Pulse and millions around the globe. We search for the truth and hunger for justice in his name. To commemorate His Majesty’s birthday, LIFE presents photos from H.I.M.’s historic 1966 trip to the Caribbean.
This is a big shout out to all our fans, especially those that attended the show in Kauai, at the Kilohana Plantation. It is not often that Father’s Day and my birthday land on the same day. Nevertheless, we tried to make the most of it. Yes, we did.
From the moment we landed in Kauai, we were entertained Hawaiian style; serenaded by 4 beautifully spirited people. Some of us stopped behind and took pics.
Then there was the show, but prior to that, the band and crew chipped in on a watch that I have had my eye on, ever since we performed in Peru, a few months ago. Thanks bros and sister. That was a pleasant surprise. Not having a cake presented to me on stage this time round, was a surprise too. I guess I can’t have my cake and eat it. Now I have something to match my “redder than dread” outfit and my red “Ray Ban” sunglasses, that I’ve been sporting recently. But enough talk of material things.
Once again, many thanks to everybody on the Hawaiian islands that have supported the band through thick and thin throughout the years. We acknowledge there is now a new generation of Pulsers, since our first arrival, back in 1986.
And just as I am overcoming my jet-lag, we have to do a 180 degrees back to our designated countries, until we meet again.
After 3 days of travelling from the Caribbean, to the South Pacific, we have finally landed in Guam…. And got : “leid!” (pronounced laid). Yes, it really took us that long to get here.
Guam 2014: Baruch and David Dread
The reception has been warm as usual, with that incredible looking limo waiting for us once more outside the airport.
Why can’t everyday be a Guam day?
Guam 2014: Roman, Dread, and Veronica
As tired as we were, we all went out to the “Jamaican Grill” restaurant. There we met two of our youngest ardent admirers, 13 year old Roman, and Veronica. These two guys were filling me in on the culture on the island.
To begin with I had no idea after coming here, for what must be the fourth or fifth time, that the country had been strongly influenced by the Spanish language and culture, for the past three and a half centuries. The formal name of the indigenous people are the “Chamorros,” who have called the island home for the past 4,000 years. Then it became a strategic point for the US before WWII. Japan occupied the place for a few years during the attack on Pearl Harbour. Now today, it is one of the many islands across the globe that has “Ragge Music” as their back bone and link to the world.
“Ferdinand Magellan and a Captain Crook Pirates of the ocean glorified Written in your books….”
Please accept my humble apologies for not continuing with this Midwest tour. The sickness I have contracted became too overbearing to sustain the remaining days.
Ever since the first date, I’ve been fighting a fever during the night right up to show time only to find that the condition had made my vocal chords inflamed, therefore unable to perform with any accuracy. On top of that I had a complete loss of appetite, ultimately sapping my strength. Nevertheless, I was willing enough to at least make a presentation each night despite my setback, not wanting to let you, our fans, down.
Unfortunately, the whole thing got the better of me and now has forced us to “throw in the towel.” To our loyal fans, especially those that have been waiting anxiously and have travelled hundreds of miles cross country to be part of our event; we hope that you can bear with us until I get back on the mend to serve you in the way that you know we do best. I thank those that have supported us at the events that we had managed to get by on (Telluride, Aspen, Boulder and Denver). Your cheers and high morale were terrific and uplifting to our spirit. We hope to give you something a bit more special next time round.
With more tributes out there, we pay our respects to David Koff, film director of “Blacks Britannica.” David Koff, who died just over a week ago, age 74, was said to have had bouts of depression, ultimately taking his own life.
You will be missed, David, because you spoke up for justice when few had the courage. We salute you and your work.
“Blacks Britannica” is a documentary that came out in 1978, depicted the social, political and racial issues throughout the UK at that time. This film became so controversial that it was banned from the UK for many years. Before it was made, not many outside Britain were aware of the plight and hardships faced by Caribbean migrants struggling to survive in a harsh England.
Our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. Your spirit will be with us always. Selah.
(David and his producer was kind enough to offer any footage for us to use in the Steel Pulse film/ documentary which is now due for a late summer release.)