Monday, July 31, 2006

Unhealthy Reggae

I was being lazy again, posting at commment is free on the Congolese elections, which linked to my 'Congo War' post. Which made me want to hear some old ska, so I played Don Drummond's 'Marcus Junior', wonderful jazz trombone with an oriental feel.

Googled Don Drummond, found the sad tale of his short life, the murder of his rhumba-dancer lover, and his death in an asylum.

Then found the reggae 'In Memoriam' page. Blimey. The rapper lifestyle suddenly looks healthy.

That ganja sure takes its toll in middle life. Puma of Black Uhuru, Keith Hudson, Marley of course.

But a lot of other old favourites gone. Zap "This Is Reggae Music" Pow. Prince Far I. Count Ossie ('crushed to death'). Dennis Brown. I Roy. Slim Smith ('bled to death'). George "To Be A Lover" Faith. Augustus Pablo, the misty, mystic melodica player.

Worse, I noticed Don Drummond's lover in the dead musicians list.

"Mahfood, Marguerita - 2nd January 1965, killed by Don Drummond"

Not the Marguerita who sang "Woman Come" on "More Intensified" ? One of the most wonderful, basic, straight-from-the-heart female vocals ever ? Alas, the same. I know her death (documented here) would have been a tragedy if she couldn't sing a note. But all the same ...

There's a sample at the Amazon site. But you have to hear the whole thing. Thank you for your indulgence.

1 comment:

Mick H said...

Yep - live fast, die young, just like in "The Harder They Come" - though I expect the reality was always more sordid. I once shared a joint with Prince Far I, but perhaps the world isn't ready for that story yet.

Don't know that Marguerita track - I'll have to check it out.