Hail Mi Irieites,
Middleweight boxer, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, became quite a controversial figure in the mid-70s thanks to icons like Muhammad Ali and Bob Dylan. Born May 6th 1937 in Clifton New Jersey (a mere 6 weeks before Joe Louis became Heavyweight Champion of the World), Carter, after serving a series of time in Juvenile centres, joined the US army at an early age. It was in the army that he became an active pugilist, going on to turn professional by age 24.
Unfortunately, his career was stopped in its tracks in June 1966, when the authorities wrongfully accused him of a triple murder that took place in a bar in Patterson (not Floyd), New Jersey. And although he was not identified by the survivors of the shooting, a trial took place the following year finding him and a friend that was with him at the time of his arrest, guilty. There he was -sentenced to life imprisonment.
Carter and his supporters contested the sentence over the years. Finally there was light at the end of the tunnel when the judge declared him a free man, in November 1985.
But like l said, it was the likes of Ali and Dylan that brought home to the nation the injustice served on this individual. Carter wrote a book during his incarceration in 1975 titled “The 16th Round.” Dylan read it and wrote a song called “Hurricane,” of which he went on to perform it at the Trenton State Prison; the prison where Carter himself, was “residing.”
In 1999, Denzel Washington starred as Hurricane Carter, a film of the boxer’s journey to freedom from behind bars. By this time Rubin Carter was already living in Canada and, talk about lightening striking twice, he was arrested once again. Only this time he was mistaken for a drug dealer wanted by the authorities. They realised their mistake when they acknowledged that Carter, then aged almost 60, was not in his mid 30’s like the suspect they were looking for.
Once again, I have lucked out on meeting this incredible person. But his quest for survival through the injustice will always stay with me. Rubin went on to be quite an active speaker at many events. He earned himself, among other things, two honorary Doctorates of Law, in 2005. Steel Pulse announced his death yesterday evening while performing to our fans in Vail, Colorado. The “Hurricane” passed after a two-year fight with prostate cancer. He was 76 years old. We share our love and condolences with his friends, families and the supporters that believed in his innocence.
Hail Mi Irieites,
Though still out of action, I just had to take a few moment to think of Marvin Gaye, struck down 30 years ago today. I was fortunate to have seen him many years ago back in England at the American Embassy. It was not long after that he made his comeback hit, “Sexual Healing.” Not many acts can get a second chance of success, but Marvin certainly did ’til the tragedy happened.
His biography, Divided Soul - was a real eye-opener. I read it the moment it came out. While studying it, one could clearly see that he was destined to be killed by his father. As a matter of fact the gun that killed him was actually a Christmas present he had given to his father, Marvin Senior. An epic tragedy on every level.
May his children continue to be proud of the songs this man has produced for mankind.
More here >>
Hail Mi Irieites,
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.
Once again, my sincere apologies…
Hail Mi Irieites,
A special tribute to one of the pioneers of reggae from the NY region; Philip Smart, engineer, producer, mentor and recording studio owner, out in Freeport Long Island.
Sad to say that Philip passed on peacefully, last week after a long bout of cancer. One of our last recordings at Philip’s studio was the backing tracks to “Put your Hoodies On,” a song dedicated to the murdered teenager, Trayvon Martin.
Many acts have gathered a momentum of success having worked at Philip Smart’s. Acts including: Shaggy, Sister Carol and more.
Philip, I’m sure that you will be proud to know the positive response our song has been getting on youtube since it’s release. With heartfelt condolences we come together in celebration of the life and legacy. One should have been named Philip “Smiles,”too for that beam of happiness always on your face.
Celebration of his life starts today, March 8th between 12pm and 4.00pm.
Yes Mi Irieites,
Here we are on the two year anniversary of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. Martin’s parents are still fighting courageously for justice – in this unsafe climate created by the unjust “Stand Your Ground” law. Steel Pulse issues this video on the second anniversary of the slaying of Trayvon as a plea for justice for all mankind:
We will never forget. Forward ever.
Today marks the 40th Anniversary of Grenada’s Independence from Britain. If you can remember, I wrote an in-depth blog on their most recognised Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, who was executed back in October, 1983. So Grenada, the island of the best spices, a BIG UP to this incredible milestone.
This day Feb 7th, 2014, marks the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ very first US tour, touching down in New York. That was the second British invasion. The first British Invasion was in 1775 during the USA’s war for Independence. This time the shouts of Paul Revere: “The redcoats are coming! The redcoats are coming!” was replaced by thousands of screaming fans while the group disembarked the plane.
As for The Beatles, all we can still say after 50 years is, “We love you yeah yeah yeah. We love you yeah yeah yeah!”
Sorry to be the bearer of this sad news in this 2014. Bunny Rugs, the lead singer of Third World was pronounced dead a few hours ago. He had a long bout of cancer.
Only 3 days short of his 66th birthday, this man was not only one of reggae’s biggest voices but also a dear friend of ours. We will be paying tribute to this icon who has left an incredible legacy behind.
To Cat, Richie, Ruption and the rest of the crew, our heartfelt condolences.