A Kauai Style Celebration

Yes Mi Irieites,

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Give thanks for life…..

Farewell Mother Sister

Hail Mi Irieites,

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.

Bless you Mother Sister… R.I.P.

 

A Visit to Pearl Harbor

Yes Mi Irierites, 

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With a day to spare before our next gig in Honolulu, we were fortunate to get the opportunity to see the historical memorial at Pearl Harbor.  I say fortunate, because since our very first visit to Hawaii, back in 1986, there has never been a relaxing moment to take time out and make this visit.
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Collectively speaking, we thought it would be a real shame if we were ever to mention to our children and grand children that we have been coming to Hawaii for almost 30 years and have never seen the site that experienced such a catastrophic event which the USA still regards, even to this day, as one of the most significant of events in their almost three century history.Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 1.19.07 AM
It was an enlightening observation.  Being here, had me connecting the dots on how the world was at that time.  Not that anything has really changed over the decades, but it showed me how hungry countries were in the struggle for power.  With Japan wanting China and the rest of Asia, Europe wanting all of Africa, and Russia’s spread of Communism, all of this created the inevitability of war.  It is no wonder that the legacy of imperialism and racism is what it is today.
Anyway, with 2,341 dying during the incident on Dec 7th, 1941, many that have survived have chosen to be buried among those that lost their lives that day.  The most recent joined the ranks in 2013.
Eight known survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack are still alive.  Two have already pointed out that when they die they wish to be buried among the rest of the victims.
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“All we are saying, is give peace a chance” – John Lennon.

Wha’ Gwaan, Guam?

Yes Mi Irieites,

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 2.35.49 PMGuam 2014: Stylin’ in the Limo

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.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 2.36.09 PMGuam 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?

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 2.36.31 PMGuam 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….”

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 4.15.04 PMFond Memories: Guam 2012

 

Farewell, Dr. Maya Angelou

Hail Mi Irieites,

As we celebrate the life of Dr. Maya Angelou, we must cherish her strength, her voice, and her commitment to justice.  The news of her death was, in her own words, “expected, but still unwelcome.”

And so it is with all leaders of the Earth. Their passing leaves a hole in the world, one that is never quite filled.

The title of her most famous work -  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings comes from a poem by Paul Dunbar, the son of parents who had known the injustice of slavery:

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:

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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!

A Portrait of Malcolm X on his 89th Earthday

malcolmbydavid

Yes Mi Irieites,

Here it is as promised, a portrait of Malcolm X, finished in time for what would have been his 89th birthday. If you have been following this, I had put up the preliminary sketch Feb 21st 2014 and did promise to have something presentable for this day.

I know I will get a few slagging offs from those who are defensive about this individual, but that is how life rolls sometimes. Just enjoy that I’m enjoying getting into other areas in my leisure time.

“Put away the misconception
That he came to teach us hate
So wake up from your sleep and slumber
Wake up before its too late”

In the meantime, Steel Pulse gives a shout to others born on this day May 19th: Grace Jones and Rohan “The Coffee Man” Marley.

And guess who I shall be painting next…

Bless!

Impressions on Peruvian Food

Blessings Mi Irieites,

We are at this moment in Lima, Peru’s capital and having a blast. While between press conferences and interviews, I’ve managed to tuck in to some of the dishes in this country of diverse culture. It is amazing just to witness the variety of fruits and vegetables that this place, the back bone of the Andes, has to offer.

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i’m tasting a blended smoothie, which includes bananas, almond milk, walnuts and one of Peru’s most favoured fruits, the “lucuma.” For the millions out there that don’t know this fruit, it’s hard to describe it really.

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Let’s put it this way, it’s about the size of an orange. The fleshy part has the colour of an egg yolk and it’s dry taste, is that of a cross between a roasted breadfruit and a baked sweet potato – just loaded with all the B vitamins. Incidentally, it is used here to make ice cream!

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Thanks Peru! Now being freshly energized with these healthy foods, Steel Pulse will definitely be giving y’all a great show tonight.

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