Been flying around today, so please forgive me for not blogging this sooner. The “livication” continues for Dr Martin Luther King, who this day 50 years ago, started what would be the march that became a success, from Selma to Montgomery, in Alabama. After a series of attempts previous to this historical event where all the protestors gathered on the Edmund Pettis Bridge, the march was completed 4 days later in Montgomery. The protestors had travelled on an average of 12 miles a day and took refuge and shelter wherever they could along the way.
We Steel Pulse, tip our crowns out of maximum respect for those who courageously conducted their moral duties during that episode. Thank you for moving the world a few steps closer to civilisation.
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.
Speaking of having “a blast” in New Caledonia (Kanaky), while on route to our Costa Rica festival, I had a few hours to kill in Paris and got “blown away” by the visit I made at the Musee d’Orsay.
Imagine, all the artists that I adored as youth, had a good chunk of their paintings hanging right there. The experience was like that of a kid in a candy store. Both the Impressionist and Post Impressionist movements have been my favourite periods of art. And to see the paintings for the very first time in front of me, has left me satisfied with life for the rest of the year.
Had a blast in New Caledonia, not realising that the island next door, Vanuatu, was having a blast also with a cyclone. My prayers go out to the inhabitants, hoping that you can at least cope to a certain extent, until aid finally arrives. While checking out the museum here in NC, I see that they have also included Vanuatu, although once British, as part of its history.
Melanesia, you are the best. Never a dull moment here. Thanks to Ronnie, Gaza, CiGi, and the Killdem Crew. Yes NC badda than you!
Yesterday, was the third anniversary of the slaying of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon who would have been 20 years old, was cut down in his prime while on his way home from buying a packet of candy and some ice tea. The results of this incident has created a huge rift in regards to race and racism in America.
But like Steel Pulse says, it’s “Love and Justice thru Music!”
Today, is a day that I hold close to heart, because it was exactly half a century ago that Malcolm X got slain. And yes, it was only 9 days before his actual assassination that he was in our neck of the woods back in England, with the aim to fight the universal injustice perpetuated on the African Diaspora.
The quality that Malcolm had that most leaders lacked, regardless of their colour, was that he was capable of being analytical and critical of his own comments and beliefs.
In other words, he was capable of admitting if he was wrong.
Leaders of today and of yesteryear are controlled too much by arrogance, stubborness and egotism, yet they are all more than willing to lead the world down the wrong path.
A big up to Spike Lee, who directed the incredible film, Malcolm X, back in 1992. Strange, but according to todays conditions, that film will forever stand the test of time.
“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” - Malcolm X
It’s been 52 years since the slaying of the hotel kitchen worker in Baltimore, MD, known as Hattie Carroll. Her name became very popular due to the meager punishment her perpetrator received, the following six months later.
It was Bob Dylan that made a difference being a voice against the racism in those days by writing his song based on this incident called, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.
We, Steel Pulse, have honoured the efforts of Bob Dylan by doing our own rendition of his song, which we have titled: From Natty to Hattie.
Hattie Carroll’s name will forever live on because her case was one of the many cases where Justice was not served. Anyway, checkout our updated version of the track. A big up, too to any of Hattie’s surviving family members.