Rico Rodriguez, trombonist, was part of the backbone to the development of reggae music, ever since the genre itself was in its earliest stage as Blue Beat and Ska. His style derived from the Jazz music that was coming out of the USA.
We are delighted and proud that we encountered an experience with this individual, when he performed on trombone, along with “Satch” (trumpet) and Dick Cuthrie (saxophone), on our Tribute To The Martyrs album. This album has always been recognised by our hardcore fans as being one of our best efforts.
To our fans out there, Rico, a student at the Alpha Boys Music School, in Kingston JA, was born in1934, in Havanna, Cuba.
A big up to the UB40 crew, too. Rico, a Ras that no one could separate from his spiff, once said to me that the first time he every received any decent and consistent money in this business was when he teamed up and went on tour with UB40. He said, “The man dem a look after me good, Dread!! The man dem a look after me good!”
So to the “Man from Wareika,” Jah guidances through your transition. A milestone!
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
Watch this video. What I fail to understand is why would the officer, after shooting the individual at least three times, and the individual falling to the ground telling the officer that he was doing exactly as he said, reaching for his license, would the officer then handcuff the individual hands behind his back?
That camera scenario, should make a world of difference to how justice will be served……Well, not that it did for Rodney King.
It was exactly a year ago I made my first visit to the headquarters and home (53 Talgarth Rd), of the Right Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Today on the 127th anniversary of his birth, I extended my tribute by paying a visit to the house where he was actually born, in St Ann’s Bay, Jamaica.
This pilgrimage was enlightening. I am still amazed that it was from here in JA where this man, who is now such a powerful icon, started his journey from humble beginnings, and then went on to shake up and wake up the Diaspora. So much similarities to John the Baptist. But unlike John, he was allowed to keep his head.
So as we Rally Round the Red, Gold, Black and Green, let us think of all the soldiers along the way that have created a path for us to continue to walk with our heads high through the gates of freedom.
On August 9, 1995 Jerome John “Jerry” Garcia passed on. Garcia performed with the Grateful Dead for their entire thirty-year career (1965–1995) as the lead guitarist, singer and songwriter. His creativity and vision led the band to its long and enduring success with fans across the world. Steel Pulse salutes his spirit. In respect, here is the Grateful Dead performing Franklin’s Tower:
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.
Let’s take a minute to pause and remember Ruby Dee – civil rights activist first and actress second.
Dee and her late husband Ozzie Davis were well-known civil rights activists. She was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Both Dee and Davis were both friends of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, with Davis giving the eulogy at Malcolm X’s funeral in 1965. In 1970, she won the Frederick Douglass Award from the New York Urban League. In 1999, Dee and Davis were arrested at the headquarters of the New York Police Department, protesting the police shooting of Amadou Diallo.
Steel Pulse were honored to share a moment where our lives intersected – through Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing.
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me, When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore, When he beats his bars and would be free; It is not a carol of joy or glee, But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core, But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings – I know why the caged bird sings.
It is easy to let the desperate troubles of the world drag us down, but Dr. Angelou is an inspiration for us all to never get weary – doing Jah Work.
Here she is with Malcolm-X in Ghana all those years ago:
And here are a few quotes from this Queen of the Arts:
“I still get excited about any human being speaking or singing.”
“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.”
“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
“When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. I’m trying for that. But I’m also trying for the language. I’m trying to see how it can really sound.”
“The main thing in one’s own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry.”
“All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.”
“The best candy shop a child can be left alone in is the library.”
“I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music.”
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.”
We were truly blessed to have had her here fighting for us all. The caged bird is free at last. Farewell, and rise!