“Me again, Knocking on your door, til’ all your walls come tumblin down. Me again, like Jericho before, Babylon walls come tumblin down”– Rocky Dawuni
I began to lose interest in reggae about the time it began to put me to sleep, about the time it became a really big deal, in fact, too big worldwide, about the time Bob Marley died, and all his disciples and imitators and assorted reggae wannabes were content to roll a fatty and coax a beat from the drum machine with about the frequency of a heartbeat. I wonder how many marijuana (medical, of course) spliffs are extinguished in parched lips to the sound of reggae every year?
Some of the best reggae happened before I even knew what reggae was, e.g. the Desmond Dekker hit ‘Israelites’ in 1968. Then when the Jimmy Cliff film vehicle ‘The Harder They Come’ came out in 1972, that defined reggae for me. It was only with some persuasion that I began to listen to Bob Marley, and accept his primacy in the genre. Reggae had its Dylan, and had moved beyond its Elvises and assorted pelvises.