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)


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