Friday, July 30, 2010


"Don letts wasn't the bringer of Reggae. Paul was into reggae, Joe was into reggae and John was into Reggae. They were turning me onto tunes. It wasn’t always the other way around. It was one of the reasons we got on. Don’t forget that early skinheads were into reggae, Trojan and ska. Black music was and will always be rebel music. The stones were into Bo Diddly and Howling Wolf. While the UK had reggae the US were getting into and being influenced by hip hop. Both reggae and punk was rebel music."

- Don Letts


The relationship was essentially a London thing reggae and punk were thrown together by being mutual outcasts, two fingers against authority and a sense of an established order breaking down. Both were rebel music.

1977 was to be an apocalyptic year in reggae terms...and so it was in music fashion and society generally as white and black street culture found itself with the same aspirations for possibly the first and last time.
Punk and reggae became further intertwined because of two of punks most influential figures, Mr Rotten and the boys in the Clash. reggae was very much a part of their musical scene and growing up and each vied to say they loved it more than the other as an influence.

For the Clash they cove
red Junior Murvin’s Police & Thieves, wanted a Notting Hill riot of their own, had Lee Perry produce one of their finest singles Complete Control and worked alongside Mikey Dread on their sprawling Sandinista album while wearing initially clothes with Prince Farianisms like’ Heavy Manners’ sprayed on them. Jah Wobble in PIL would utililise the pounding reggae bass on a many a tune and as Haile Unlikely Vs the Steel Leg recorded his own groovy 12”. Contrasting this is the two very different experiences of the boys visiting Jamaica. For the Clash it was a heavy trip resulting in the song ‘Safe European Home’. For Rotten, him and Letts spliffed out to sound systems and generally had a good time at Virgin’s expense.

The relationship was further cemented as bands like Misty in Roots and Steel Pulse appeared on shared stages at Rock Against Racism gigs with Bands like Generation X .


The relationship between punk and reggae is very much alive and well you can hear it from bands like Rancid, The Aggrolites, The King Blues and many note worthy artist. Now the long awaited testament to the Punk Reggae alliance has been realigned! English Zimbabwean Paul Hussey. A member of F.O.U.R (Factory Of Unlimited Rhythm) a losely knit, innovative new crew of artist, writers, musicians, and ideas people. F.O.U.R.'s members include Peter Couch, Brian Johnson, Suzanne Couch had produced Kingston Calling.

This brave and creative compilation of punky reggae tunes features a host of top Jamaican artists including Toots, CeCille, Anthony B, QQ, Chezidek as well as introducing some new stars. The album is due for release in September 2010 for some mighty tunes do check out