I Don't Get It

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I Don't Get It

Postby Ranking Glasses » Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:40 pm

When I talk to older Jamaican people I often ask them about the music they enjoyed in their youth, their experiences of going to dances and their favourite artists. I guess it stems from the funny stories my parents told about "raving" in JA in the 50's & early 60's. For example, my Mum often told a story about how she bought a new pair of shoes with her first wages and she and her 7 sisters took turns to wear them to a local dance. Even more funny when she explained that they all had different size feet!

The common theme is that one name comes up over and over again when I ask about their favourite artist and that name is Derrick Morgan. He was obviously a massive star in JA in those days. Although I inherited a few of his records from my parents ("Revenge" on the Pyramid label being my favourite) I'm struggling to see the appeal. Why do people rate him so highly? There's an interview with Bunny Lee on You Tube where he recounts hiring Peter Tosh as a session guitarist only because Derrick Morgan could do everything better. Ironic if you know the lyrics of Peter Tosh's famous song the "The Toughest!".

Could it be that DM didn't go down the typical Studio 1, Treasure Isle or Black Ark route? Is there a wealth of classic DM material that I'm yet to tap into?
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby jb welda » Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:24 pm

>There's an interview with Bunny Lee on You Tube where he recounts hiring Peter Tosh as a session guitarist
>only because Derrick Morgan could do everything better.

Huh? Whats that mean? Why would he hire Tosh if Morgan could do "everything" better? Do you mean he thought derrick morgan was a better guitar player? Or do you mean he thought Tosh was only good as a session guitarist and nothing else, compared to DM?

Didn't Derrick Morgan pretty much supply the Two Tone ska revival with about half of their material, and prince buster the other half?

As for peter tosh being "the toughest", he was always a braggart with little to back him up imo.

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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby Ranking Glasses » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:30 pm

JB, I'm not sure why you're asking me, I'm not Bunny Lee? He said it in this video at about 11:20: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoNiwU7W0UY
It's a fascinating interview but is anyone able to comment on Derrick Morgan please? Thanks.
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby Negrote » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:56 pm

Hi there,

afaik, B. Lee is brother in law to D. Morgan...

and to your question, I reckon it's because DM is older than other JA-artists and among the first local super-stars, that's why the older people rate him more than younger ones do. No mistery, just history!! :D
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby jb welda » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:02 pm

>JB, I'm not sure why you're asking me

You are not sure why I am asking you? How about because you posted it? Since you posted it I assumed you had some point in posting it. Evidently not. It sounds like a bunch of nonsense to me. Carry on.

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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby slengteng » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:26 pm

jb welda wrote:As for peter tosh being "the toughest", he was always a braggart with little to back him up imo.

one love
jb


Would you develop, please ?
"hablo de estar a la vez en miles de hogares"
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby flashman » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:11 am

jb welda wrote:>There's an interview with Bunny Lee on You Tube where he recounts hiring Peter Tosh as a session guitarist
>only because Derrick Morgan could do everything better.

Huh? Whats that mean? Why would he hire Tosh if Morgan could do "everything" better? Do you mean he thought derrick morgan was a better guitar player? Or do you mean he thought Tosh was only good as a session guitarist and nothing else, compared to DM?


one love
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In the video he says he would only hire Tosh as a musician, because Morgan was a better singer. In other words, he wouldn't hire Tosh as a singer. He throws in Morgan "can do everything better" as a diss on Tosh, it seems to me. Kind of funny.
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby Ranking Glasses » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:37 am

If someone repeats what someone else has said they are not responsible for the original quote. It seems that some people just like to argue especially when they have nothing meaningful to add to the discussion.

What Bunny Lee said about Peter Tosh is nothing compared to what he said about Bunny Wailer, or should I say "Bunny Failure"? There's obviously some history there. However, I am very impressed by Bunny Lee's knowledge and memory of events.

I understand that DM was a local superstar in those days but I don't really understand why? I listen to his his songs from the 60's and to other artists of the same period , e.g. Jackie Opel, and I don't see what makes DM better. I suspect that it could have something to do with his personality as well as his music. He enjoyed a long period of success and is among the legends of ska and early reggae so good on him.
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby Chaz » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:20 am

Despite the ironic "One Love" sign off, it's a rather typical brusque response from JB, but what he means I think is that the sentence is a bit unclear in its meaning, as it stands.

For instance, should it read as follows?

"There's an interview with Bunny Lee on You Tube where he recounts hiring Peter Tosh as a session guitarist only, because Derrick Morgan could do everything better."
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby Ranking Glasses » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:44 pm

Or because Derrick Morgan could do everything ELSE better. But why should we have to worry about every word we post because of one argumentative person?

Any comments about Derrick Morgan or is no one interested because its not heavy roots?
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby jb welda » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:27 pm

> It seems that some people just like to argue especially when they have nothing meaningful to add to the discussion.

Seems to me you are the one being argumentative, posting something and then claiming to not know what it means, and then claiming I am being a big bad person for asking you, who posted it, what it means. But that seems to be your MO: post something unclear and contradictory, and when someone asks about it, you attack them. But now I am diverting from the subject and making the subject YOU just like you make the subject ME instead of whatever it was, so apologies for playing your own game a little too well.

Thanks to those who explained further what Bunny Lee was saying. In that context it makes sense. In the original context as posted it did not, at least not to me. The paraphrase from I'm the Toughest from Lee explained it best and put context to the quoted statement that then let me understand the meaning of the original quote.

I think I did add something meaningful to the discussion, you just choose to ignore it because it doesn't seem to meet your agenda. Sorry I do not put enough happy faces in my post to satisfy you and the others here.

Here is an article that may help explain his popularity in those days:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013 ... usical-war

its all about publicity and reaching the public. "Musical wars" brought out the people and gained popularity for the "combatants". Maybe that's where his stature amongst your elders came from.

I should also add that I have witnessed DM on stage a number of times and have talked to him a few times, and he is, even now, even so blind he is led around by his wife, a very dynamic performer who originated (or co-originated if you listen to Prince Buster, his main rival in those days) the catchwords, phrases and mannerisms that came to be associated with ska and later with the so called second wave/two tone artists who based just about all their original and cover tunes on his material, mannerisms and vocalistic stylings. He was an original and a man of the people, from the ghetto, and combined with his dynamic stage presence, probably impressed a whole heap of people in his heyday.

Even ten minutes of elementary research would have revealed such. But I am glad to be of help even if it is not appreciated much.

As for Tosh being a braggart, the song I'm the Toughest is a good indicator of that. And there were plenty more in that vein as well as overly paranoid lyrics about friends stabbing you in the back etc. While he was alive he was known to be rude, aggressive and judgemental and tended to put his accomplishments above all else, even to the point of biting the hand that fed him (Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Chris Blackwell, etc) when it suited him, like refusing to shake Jaggers hand on SNL because he didn't want to catch "batty germs" were I believe close to his words on the subject. The much ballyhooed "Barber" nickname for him is another example of his arrogance brought on by his view that he was above everyone else and therefore could sit in judgement of them. True that's not exactly being a "braggart" but it leads one down the path to thinking of him as such.

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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby slengteng » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:31 pm

jb welda wrote:
As for Tosh being a braggart, the song I'm the Toughest is a good indicator of that. And there were plenty more in that vein as well as overly paranoid lyrics about friends stabbing you in the back etc. While he was alive he was known to be rude, aggressive and judgemental and tended to put his accomplishments above all else, even to the point of biting the hand that fed him (Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Chris Blackwell, etc) when it suited him, like refusing to shake Jaggers hand on SNL because he didn't want to catch "batty germs" were I believe close to his words on the subject. The much ballyhooed "Barber" nickname for him is another example of his arrogance brought on by his view that he was above everyone else and therefore could sit in judgement of them. True that's not exactly being a "braggart" but it leads one down the path to thinking of him as such.

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jb


Thanks for this explanation. Isn't his nickname Stepping Razor rather than Barber ?
"hablo de estar a la vez en miles de hogares"
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby Ranking Glasses » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:52 pm

Thanks for the info JB although your ego got in the way initially but I guess you can't help it. Yes, Derrick Morgan was a musical gladiator which people admired.

Didn't Peter Tosh "borrow" Stepping Razor from Joe Higgs? It's no secret that I'm not a major fan of PT but he made some conscious tunes which I like. Bunny Lee's attack on Bunny Wailer however was scathing and somewhat unjustified because any artist who can hold their own at Madison Square Garden cant be too bad!
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby BeePIe2 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:17 pm

I enjoy his music.

Derrick Morgan & The Blues Blenders - It's Alright (1966)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlSnszCiUH8

is a top pick-me-up tune. As is

Derrick Morgan & Patsy Todd - Hey Boy, Hey Girl (1968)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW0jpWuLf0A

So may of the m/f duets of this period I find the female vocal too shrill but this is one of several nice ones.

Given that my music collection splits pretty much 50:50 between Reggae and US pre-war blues/jazz/country & '50's R&B, I guess DM's earlier stuff is familiar ground for me, easy listening in that sense.

Going through tracks now I realise how much of his music was my introduction to elements of reggae such as the courtroom style thing (Judge Dread In Court), warring producers (Blazing Fire), or "The Conqueror" (1967) which leads on to Bunny Lee & Cornel Campbell's Gorgon type stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVmuRgn0LRI

DM's "I Love You" & "Hold You Jack" (both 1968) are the only ones I rate on the "Wet Dream" riddim (a song I'll happily never hear again).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDVcqs94K3A

His version of "Behold (1975) with Johnny Clarke is nice too,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoWB3ATtmJc

although I like The Blues Busters best,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g-RjDtADlo

"Under Heavy Manners" from that period with Bunny Lee in the mid '70's is about as close to heavy roots as I think he gets :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj2X2hqPDQs

And he produced plenty as well, I like Max Romeo's "Let The Power Fall"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAYGlyH113o

which having known the African Head Charge version for years before hearing it was a nice suprise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywulg66YPZA

Anyway, cheers! That's killed an hour clicking through some tracks I've not paid enough attention to in a while :)
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Re: I Don't Get It

Postby Ranking Glasses » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:18 pm

Thanks BP! As I say, "Revenge" is also very good.
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