Don Letts and BAD

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Don Letts and BAD

Postby AT2JA » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:01 pm

What do you think about the man and how he promoted reggae in Big Audio Dynamite, as well as the many other radio shows, etc that he has been a part of?
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Re: Don Letts and BAD

Postby Mick Sleeper » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:25 pm

Don's time in Big Audio Dynamite really made that band work. After the original line-up split and they started leaning more towards inspid dance music, BAD were more a lot more SAD.
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Re: Don Letts and BAD

Postby underated » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:01 pm

Don letts is cool, pretty straight talking,
Fav sound bytes ,

I knew Bob Marley when he stayed in London.....I used to sell him weed.

I grew up with songs that were about changing your mind....not your sneakers. [referring to current sounds].

Must say i have forgot about the BAD stuff, need to check it out again.

So yeah DL is a man of many talents, check out
Superstonic Sound Documentary

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Re: Don Letts and BAD

Postby jb welda » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:06 pm

mick I am sure I can look this up somewhere but would you give us a rundown of the lineups of BAD then? I thought there was just one lineup and that was with one of the clash, cant remember who, strummer maybe, but not sure of the timeline you suggest as I thought they always were pretty "insipid dance music"? maybe I missed their best because I don't even recall much reggae.

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Re: Don Letts and BAD

Postby Ras Berry » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:53 am

I've always thought he was a "right place/right time" kinda guy and has been dining out on it ever since


8)
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Re: Don Letts and BAD

Postby dan i dubdub » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:33 am

Ras Berry wrote:I've always thought he was a "right place/right time" kinda guy and has been dining out on it ever since
8)

Probably some truth in this. He is one of those crossover type guys who link up different scenes. Maybe not crucial to the purists and deep roots fans, but absolutely essential to those whose eyes and ears he has opened by his music. Who else has filled this role? maybe Zion Train, Mungo's HiFi, Mad Professor and On-U Sound at different times. Don Letts also played a role in setting up Dread Zone (built around some of the Big Audio Dynamite crew).

Btw, it was Mick Jones from The Clash who was in BAD, frustrated that The Clash weren't doing enough to change their music (despite Sandinista).
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Re: Don Letts and BAD

Postby Mick Sleeper » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:05 am

jb welda wrote:mick I am sure I can look this up somewhere but would you give us a rundown of the lineups of BAD then? I thought there was just one lineup and that was with one of the clash, cant remember who, strummer maybe, but not sure of the timeline you suggest as I thought they always were pretty "insipid dance music"? maybe I missed their best because I don't even recall much reggae.


I think Wikipedia will have a better rundown of the line-up changes than I can supply, but off the top of my head... After Mick Jones was sacked from The Clash (by a misguided Joe Strummer), he and Topper Headon formed a band called Top Risk Action Company. TRAC recorded an album's worth of demos - kind of weird, kind of funky, a blueprint for Big Audio Dynamite. Don Letts seemed to be the real missing ingredient - he and Mick Jones co-wrote some really cool and fascinating songs together. Later on, after the painful demise of The Clash, Joe Strummer teamed up with Mick Jones and co-produced their second album (No. 10 Upping Street), as well as co-writing a lot of the tunes. It's the closest thing to a sixth Clash album that we'll ever get. The last BAD album with the original line up was Megatop Phoenix, their finest moment. Then, Don Letts and Leo Williams split and that's when BAD moved more towards club music instead of being a more interesting melting pot of styles.

Some of their more reggae influenced tracks include "A Party", "Ticket", "Tighten Up Vol. 88" and "Harrow Road" (with Ranking Roger). I don't love 'em as much as I used to, but when they were good, they were very good.
Last edited by Mick Sleeper on Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Don Letts and BAD

Postby steve rice » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:03 am

Ras Berry wrote:I've always thought he was a "right place/right time" kinda guy and has been dining out on it ever since


8)


He was and has...i met him in the 70's when he worked in Acme Attractions on the Kings Rd..people assume he was resposible for putting the Reggae into punk..i wouldn't agree with that.
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Re: Don Letts and BAD

Postby SteveT » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:38 am

I thought his autobiography Culture Clash was an interesting read
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Re: Don Letts and BAD

Postby vane » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:39 am

Don's claim to fame first and foremost is as a film-maker at a time - the mid 1970's - when you really had to be serious about spending a lot of time, effort and money to make any sort of film at all. Now everyone and their dog has access to high quality cameras (aka a mobile phone) and digital editing facilities on a computer (often completely ignored in the haste to upload to YouTube) so we are all now film-makers and the skills involved have become somewhat devalued. As an original and innovative film-maker, Don has been a very influential figure. I remember first seeing his Super8 films of the Sex Pistols, Slits, etc.... at the ICA in about '76/77, in a room with about 30 other people, with an enthusiastic Don projecting his own films on a noisy projector onto a white wall with the sound screeching out of a tinny speaker. You don't get that sort of experience any more.
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