Category Archives: Steel Pulse

Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

Mi Irieites, the message is the music. The man whose banjo “surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” The world misses you already, Pete Seeger.

Just for further information, Pete Seeger became a very strange and interesting part of my life at an early age without me even realising it.

Songs like “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” were imprinted in my memory – back in the UK we treated them as nursery rhymes!  These songs were played on radio 2 and 4 while getting dressed to go to school.  We never realised that they were actually protest songs.  My acknowledgement came full circle when I was asked to do a seminar about protest songs onboard a “Jam Cruise” exactly a year ago.  As a result I decided to do some research on that subject only to stumble across these types of songs that were recognised as protest music.  In doing so I understood and respected the meaning of Pete Seeger and the many other contemporaries of his, including Woodie Guthrie, Lead Belly, Phil Ochs and Joan Baez.  Bob Dylan was already on my list.

But the most painful thing for me right now is that we have been trying, ever since my re-discovery, to meet this great man – but to no avail.  The chances became slimmer when we learned that he lost his wife a few months ago.

Pete, I wanted to tell you how much of an influence your music had on me at an early age and has now become even more potent knowing the tribulations you had to go through back in the  day when songs like yours were viewed as anti-establishment.

“When will they ever learn, when will they ever……

learn!

Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – Jan 27, 2014).

Haiti: 4 Years After

Yes Mi Irieites,

Today, 12th January 2014, marks the 4th anniversary since the earthquake struck Haiti, killing more that 250,000 people and leaving over a million still homeless.

So far, out of the $9 billion US, that was promised by the “International Community,” only a small portion has been bestowed to the country, of which a good percentage of that went towards  emergency aid as oppose to reconstruction.   If it was not for the tremendous effort of the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Australia and the many small business’ coming from out of America, that have volunteered their services, Haiti would still be in the quagmire just as the day the catastrophe to place.  So President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe, still have a lot on their plates serving the almost 500 tent camps scattered all over the stricken vicinity.  Please excuse me for any countries that have made major contributions that I have not listed or we are not aware about.  It would be good if you the fans can give me an update on that.

4haiti

As you already know, that we have been supportive of the situation ever since by donating a song we wrote immediately after the incident while recording in Jamaica called, “Hold On [4 Haiti].”  This we’ve awarded as a digital download to raise funds for Partners In Health (PIH) to erect solar panels by S.E.L.F (Solar Electric Light Fund).  We were fortunate enough to perform in Haiti 2 years ago and visit one of the hospitals being supplied, 2 hours north of the capital, Port au Prince.

We thank you for being part of this…

In Memoriam: Faybiene Miranda

Hail Mi Irieites,

The Steel Pulse Family is consumed with sadness to learn of the tragic loss of Faybiene Miranda, the dear wife of our dear brother Cliff ‘Moonie’ Pusey.

mirandamoonie

Few could compare to her. She stood for all that is good – the love of words, education, meaning and yes, the future. She was a true revolutionary – full of love and hope for the next generation.  She was the godmother of my daughter – Shashamane.

Moonie, we can’t begin to imagine what you are feeling, but let us share our heart-felt condolences.

Take a few minutes, Mi Irieietes, to listen:

An Interview: http://www.reggae-vibes.com/concert/fmiranda/fmiranda.htm

Prophecy – her song was banned in Jamaica: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-phUA8P1wuw

UPDATE:

A Poem for My Godmother by Shashamane

You were my godmother
The one God chose for me
You brought kindness
And compassion.

You are my definition
Of perfection
My explanation of
Flawlessness

You will always be
My jewel and treasure,
My universe, My all;
My Godmother!

So inspirational
With little effort
A marvellous poet
A wonderful woman

My Godmother
Good mother
Grandmother
Great and adoptive mother to all

Because of you,
I will now find
New territories of
Self-discovery.

Love Over Hate: The Life and Struggle of Nelson Mandela

Hail Mi Irieites,

The sad day has finally come where President Zuma had to make the announcement that South Africa’s biggest icon and one of the world’s most prolific activists towards Justice and Racial Equality, Nelson Mandela, has passed away.  Now all nations across the entire planet are in mourning.

In this modern day era of ours Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, whose life dates back to the beginning of the 20th Century, had ideals that will forever stand the test of time.  Because as long as the world continues to have struggling and disenfranchised masses throughout, there will always be room for this energy of “survival and freedom” that this man perpetuated.

As most of us know, life was no easy road for our hero, who finally gave into death after a long battle from a lung infection.  It was only five months ago that Steel Pulse was commemorating his efforts for reaching age 95.  In terms of cricket, that’s what one would call an excellent innings.

Mandela was born on July 18th 1918, in a Xhosa village called Mvezo, in South Africa.  As a child and also coming from a lineage of royalty, Nelson herded cattle for his family, a chore that was not uncommon in those days where humility built one’s character.  By the mid 40s he gained a Batchelor of Arts degree and went on to pursue a career in politics and law.  It was towards the end of that decade where South Africa’s colonial past took a drastic change (1948).  In 1964 he was imprisoned for life by the South African ruling powers of the day for the crusade he embarked upon against “Apartheid”… an ideal that was running similar, if not parallel to the laws of segregation that was quite effective in the southern regions of the USA at that time.

A good portion of his life sentence was served on Robben Island.  But it was the efforts of so many around the world spearheaded by his wife Winnie Mandela that brought Nelson’s “hidden away” incarceration to centre stage.  With the sanctions from many countries and boycotts by many celebrities’ worldwide as well as general public rallies and outcry, Mandela was finally “Let Out” after spending 10,053 days (ten thousand and fifty-three), from Victor Verster Prison on February 11th 1990.  [Incidentally, Mike Tyson was “Knocked Out” on that same day also… ]

Within three years of his release, the one time integral member of the ANC and “convicted terrorist” was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1993).  By 1994 he became the First Black President of South Africa until 1999.  His works, efforts and influences had him receiving more than 250 honours during his lifetime.  This included a US Presidential Medal of Freedom (at least three current US Senators voted to keep him behind bars only four years before his parole, in1986).  Mandela went on to serve his country in so many ways of which one in particular was the launching of his company called “46664”; a number in reference to the number that he wore on his prison uniform whereas ‘466’ was his actual number and ‘64’ stood for the year he started his jail term.  This number is now a symbol of all the things that Mr. Mandela represented that encompassed the challenging fight against HIV/AIDS.

In 2005, Mandela retired from public service to make more of a presence with his family.   Then there was the untimely death of one of his grand daughters that unfortunately continued to make him absent from the limelight at a moment when South Africa were the host to the epic event, better known as the World Cup, a few years ago.  This was the first time the World Cup was ever featured on the continent.

Mandela will continue to be remembered in films plays and novels that depict his character in the most profound way.  But let us not forget the endeavors of all the “soldiers” before and during his lifetime that made notable indentations and contributions with their lives to stop the menace known as racism.  Stevie Biko, Desmond Tutu and Winnie Mandela; just to name a few.

Finally, we – Steel Pulse – are deeply saddened by all of this because for the first time after so many desperate attempts over the years, we are scheduled to be in South Africa for a few shows early 2014.   There goes another individual of the highest stature that we have never had the pleasure to cross paths with.

To the family of Madiba, our sincere sympathies as we pay our respect and tribute to such a legend and “Father of the Nation.”  (July 18th 1918 – Dec 5th 2013); a man that will make so many cry, yet was unable to cry himself due to having his tear ducts removed while imprisoned.

Hail Madiba – the true Sun of Africa.

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela

Prayers for my father

Hail Mi Irieites,

Today, I bear strong thoughts of my father, Charles Percival Hinds (15.11.1921- 08.11.2003).

Even now I give thanks for his endurance, patience and belief in the band; long before the world had recognised our potential.  It was through his eyes that I initially viewed the world and its political history.  Though his methods were crude in description, I was able to adapt and interpret from him the energy, that you, our fans, have been able to identify with in our music.

Homage to the original Mr Hinds….

The Netherlands Never Let Us Down!

Yes Mi Irieites!

With only one more show to go, Eindhoven, we performed our second to last show in Amsterdam at the Melkweg, last night.  And if the truth were known, the crowd was electrifying as ever.  Please allow me to rephrase that; the “Nether Lands” has “Never Let us down.”

alanderson
Incidentally, Al Anderson came backstage with his family.  We had no idea he was there or else we would have presented him on stage for old time’s sake.  Least we not forget that it was here in Holland that we shared the same stage with Al when he was one of the lead guitar players for Bob Marley and the Wailers, 35 years ago! Fret not, we hope to feature him for a brief moment in our long over due documentary.  We hope that your wait will be significant..

On another note, I found time to check the Anne Frank museum here in Amsterdam and although the queue was halfway around the block, it was worth the wait, believe me.  At first, I was feeling quite agitated, knowing that the tour bus would be leaving midday, sharp.  I am already known for my lateness.  But finally, we, (Rande the merchandise guy) and I got in viewed managed to view all; enlightening and forever memorable.

Anne Frank was Special.  Her energy during those time will remain with me, forever.

Bless!