Monday, March 1, 2010

spoiler alert: channel one for the road

here's to early retirement. and ukuleles.

And not a G-Man from here to the border.

"This set was voiced at King Tubby's studio in may [1977] for producer Bunny Lee. I was lucky enough to be at Tubb's on one of the nights, Bunny arrived in his rather beat up yanky [sic] car with Dillinger, Trinity and Jah Stitch, ready for an all night session. Dillinger entered looking dapper in a blue track suit with a pair of shoes tied by the laces slung around his neck. Dillinger greeted Jammy who looked up and remarked on whether or not the footwear was new. Dillinger, sharp as a ratchet blade replied, 'Yeh man, me got me new shoes and the talking blues'."

- Dave Hendley: Blues and Soul; sleeve notes, "Talkin' Blues", Bellaphon.

"Talkin' Blues" - released to a somewhat indifferent reception after the huge success of Island's "CB200" and "Cokane In My Brain" - comes in two distinct flavours. Or wraps. The superior Jamaica Sound original (pictured top), and the Belgian reissue marketed simply as "Dillinger" ; hidden within a horrendous sleeve wholly at odds with King Tubby's crucial Home Town sound.

Released too in the UK on the Magnum label as "Talkin' Blues", so far as I can gather these dubs are culled from the LP originally issued on the Jamaican Weed Beat imprint - with additional material - as Ranking Dellinger's "Superstar". With rhythms recorded at Channel One from The Aggrovators, featuring all the usual suspects. A killer mash, ultimately, with Bunny Lee and Tubby at the controls.

Lester Bullocks, certainly, was inordinately fond of his Honda CB200. It seems fitting that it graces this LP too.

Brother Jon announced his retirement this weekend after driving for a living for close to forty years. Most recently for the Golden Gate bus company in San Francisco. This is it. He calculates he has clocked up over one millions miles; something approaching a million and one quarter. That is a lot of road.

I would like to wish him well. He has been plotting a somewhat epic voyage from the west coast up to the Olympian wastes of Canada and Newfoundland, I believe, for some time now . And farther afield. Weather and hockey permitting. His bags are packed; his passport is in order. Since he refuses to travel without his prized ukuleles, I very much doubt he will be going at it on motorcycle. In any case, he has his free ride for life. The option to sit back in relative comfort and led somebody else take the wheel for a change.

Who knows. Perhaps somewhere down the road we may yet get the opportunity to meet face to face. That would be cool.

This dub is not particularly apposite. I ought to have cobbled together something more celebratory - portentous even - but my attention has wandered a little this past week, meandering into marginally paranoid cul-de-sacs. Idling in cobwebs.

Blame it on my stalker. 

Add to which, I spent the better half of an hour this afternoon laid out in a dentist's chair. Nursing a hangover while the hygienist tutted and worked in my mouth with ill concealed contempt. Scratching away deep beneath the gumline with water jet and crochet hook, and no offer of anything approaching an anaesthetic. I think she has given up on me. The hygienist. I spat blood and left.

Anyway. Jon has impeccable taste. An ear for all manner of lost dub gems. This is one of them. One for the road. Just groove on the Tubbs and Lee. Jah Love.

 Written by Lester Bullocks.
Engineered by King Tubby and Prince Jammy
at King Tubby's Home Town Hi-Fi.

Mastered by Ken Mossue.
 Produced by Bunny Lee; remixed by Dojo Claridge.
With thanks to Still Anonymous for the tip.

DILLINGER: JAH LOVE from "Talkin' Blues" LP (Jamaica Sound) 1977 (Jamaica)


ib said...

Robbie Shakespeare: bass; Sly Dunbar: drums; Carlton Davis: drums; Earl Smith: guitar; Tony Chin: guitar; Bo Pee: rhythm guitar; Rod Bryan: rhythm guitar;Bobby Ellis: horns; Dirty Harry: horns; Ancel Collins: organ; Bernard Harvey; organ; Ossie Hibbert: piano; Tarzan: piano.

Your driver said...

Bro' Ib. I haven't even started to pack. I'm giving myself at least a couple of months for that. Downloaded this dub from you earlier today. I might have to toss you something equally obscure, hopefully not involving men in fake grass skirts. That "close to 40 years" thing is weirding me out. I'm old enough, 56, but "close to 40 years" is for really old guys. The million plus miles, I'm willing to claim. I can also claim the fact that I've driven across the Golden Gate Bridge somewhere over ten thousand times.
I plan on traveling with no more than one ukulele. The great thing about traveling and ukuleles is that ukes are small. It is easily possible to cross the atlantic ocean with a ukulele in tow. I might have to prove that to you.

ib said...

I'm glad you got that track earlier.

I switched from one to the other quicker than a line operator on the railways. Well. Not really. I just washed my stalker out of my hair.

It is a welcome relief, and, I believe, a case of mistaken identity.

So. No packing yet. A couple of months seems entirely reasonable; a couple of months to adjust to not setting the alarm to shriek at the ungodliest hour.

I am happy for you, dude.

One ukulele ? How the hell do you figure on delegating which one to walk point ?

I nabbed that shot of all four resting in their cases. But I neglected to count them off by name and rank.

Good times.

Big Ed Dunkel said...

Groovin' in the groove yard. Sweet track.

Anonymous said...

From Root music to root canal!

Impressive and fast research on the overlooked Dillinger album!

A steady companion for life - my dentist of the last 20 years - known him almost as long as my wife. Every spring I put myself on his mercy - but never without a double dose of whatever he keeps under lock. "I'm extremely sensitive to pain, and just as resistant to anaesthesia - give me something that works!", are my plea. And the good doctor delivers!
From cocaine to lidocaine.
Still A.

ib said...

Scots don't floss. Or wash their hands after a trip to the toilet, very often. At least in my experience.

I draw a line at the second, but I just can't get the hang of running yards of string between my teeth. Or even these newfangled 'tepee' brushes.

In my later years especially, I am increasingly prone to the Shane MacGowan influence. It is all downhill, I fear.

I am not too sure which came first: the Jamaica Sound release or the Weed Beat Dellinger. Great dub sound on "Talkin' Blues", SA, thank you for the nod.

Anonymous said...

Just to make sure: my good dentist does not deliver what it seems I claim: lidocaine, yes, when needed - but really - what fun is that - as a dilute for suckers. But big C?? Come on, I obviously got a little carried away there - like a chemical Freudian Slip of some sorts……..
No floss?? That's bad - no chance of Movin' to (Montana) …………….. (fill in the Scottish equivalent) soon - Gonna be a Dental Floss Tycoon -
But then, on the other hand the market must be huge!

Still A nony mous

ib said...

Don't chastise yourself. I felt your reference to the big 'C' was merely an adjunct to the Dillinger.

The dental practice would be thriving though.

Equally. Don't beat me up on the not flossing. I feel low class enough as it is.

The only times I tried it in the past I looked like I'd been chewing knicker elastic down to the wire. A yokel in the closet with the aforementioned "yards of string" dangling loosely from each tooth.