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#1 Mar 06, 2019 4:39 pm

New Historian
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At Reggae Sunsplash, all hostilities ceased (for a while)

It seemed like the worse things got in Jamaica, the more people partied. No matter how bad the crime, how worthless the dollar, Jamaicans still managed to hold onto their one abiding strength through times of adversity: their ability to party. And the biggest party in town was Reggae Sunsplash. Okay so the crime and tribal war was out of control and your paycheck could barely buy a hamburger in New York, but life wasn’t all bad. Maybe it was simply the inherent ability of young people to enjoy themselves against the odds, but we collectively seemed to do like Monty Python and “always look on the bright side of life”.

So amidst of the doom and gloom, Jamaica was buzzing! Reggae was the hottest music in the world and rock stars were flocking to catch the vibe, record an album, smoke the ganja. You’d rub shoulders with Mick and Keith at parties up at Chris Blackwell’s beautiful villa Goldeneye, and think nothing of it. No big thing. You wouldn’t get all star-struck, that would be uncool. The Stones recorded their 1973 album Goat’s Head Soup in Jamaica, giving it a certain edginess and its title. Elton John tried to follow suit, by starting to record his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album at Dynamic Studios in downtown Kingston; but he abandoned the project when he discovered that "the climate was hospitable, but the natives weren't!”

Then, as now, reggae held Jamaica together. If there is one thing that every Jamaican from Beverly Hills to Trenchtown has in common, is their love for reggae. At Sunsplash you’d find cabinet ministers, captains of industry, drug dons and adventurous tourist types, all enjoying the music - or huddled together under the rain.



1979-reggae-sunsplahs-2.jpg

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#2 Mar 06, 2019 5:15 pm

Real Distwalker
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Re: At Reggae Sunsplash, all hostilities ceased (for a while)

I wish I could have been there.  That said, I am guessing Elton John's status as a gay man wasn't welcomed in Jamaica in 1973.

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#3 Mar 06, 2019 6:45 pm

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Re: At Reggae Sunsplash, all hostilities ceased (for a while)

It wasn't known then, a non-factor. He just didn't have the hard edge of Keith and Mick, the Jamaicans saw him coming lol!

Last edited by New Historian (Mar 06, 2019 6:45 pm)

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#4 Mar 07, 2019 10:09 am

piratejenny
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Re: At Reggae Sunsplash, all hostilities ceased (for a while)

New Historian - Did you see the Gil-Scott Heron? It was the performance of "The Bottle" Reggae Sunsplash 1983. Such music!

Last edited by piratejenny (Mar 07, 2019 10:55 am)

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#5 Mar 07, 2019 10:42 am

Slice
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Re: At Reggae Sunsplash, all hostilities ceased (for a while)

Real Distwalker wrote:

I wish I could have been there.  That said, I am guessing Elton John's status as a gay man wasn't welcomed in Jamaica in 1973.

But ah bet the only reason they hired him is because then they din know he was gay.

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#6 Mar 07, 2019 10:47 am

Real Distwalker
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Re: At Reggae Sunsplash, all hostilities ceased (for a while)

I thought that, even before he was out of the closet, it was kind of an open secret that Elton John was gay.  Maybe not.

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#7 Mar 07, 2019 10:47 am

Slice
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Re: At Reggae Sunsplash, all hostilities ceased (for a while)

I once had Jamaican friends.  I invited ah few of them to ah party at ah friends house.  As they walked in some Mighty Sparrow was playing.  Seriously they stop the kaiso and demanded that reggae be played.  Jamdowns too damn selfish and closed minded.   Not all but the majority.

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#8 Mar 07, 2019 2:21 pm

New Historian
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Re: At Reggae Sunsplash, all hostilities ceased (for a while)

Slice wrote:

I once had Jamaican friends.  I invited ah few of them to ah party at ah friends house.  As they walked in some Mighty Sparrow was playing.  Seriously they stop the kaiso and demanded that reggae be played.  Jamdowns too damn selfish and closed minded.   Not all but the majority.


Well you have to say that among the Caribbean Jamaica is the cultural (and sporting, and ...) heavyweight, it punches way above it's bantamweight lol! When I was in Africa I'd just tell people I was from Jamaica (even though I am, kinda!), you'd be amazed at the reception. But that don't mean they have to walk into the fete and turn off Sparrow lol!!

You've never been to a show, until you've been to one of those mega-reggae shows in Jamaica, like Sting.

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