Speaking about a certain 'vintage' dancehall singer / Ch1

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Speaking about a certain 'vintage' dancehall singer / Ch1

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:15 am

While discussing Channel One studio - I recall someone who was on the scene at the time telling me there were certain badmen who were patrons of the studio or into what was going on there who spread a shield of protective influence over the studio, which is why no one ever came and messed with people in the studio or people coming or going - even though Ch One was in a troubled area..

FWIW - I heard the Ch1 studio building is still around, but not in use except for part as a bicycle shop or something like that & the gear like their classic API mixing desk is in storage awaiting a possible new facility elsewhere in the city eg: in a safer location..
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Postby Reggaemusicstore » Fri Dec 31, 2004 12:36 pm

Choc - I think just about every studio in JA has its own "gateman" to keep order & make sure the wrong people don't come in. And given the number of badmen involved in the biz, I'd imagine everyone needs to make their own security arrangements...
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Postby ephteeay » Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:16 pm

wasnt that prince far i's job at gibbs studio in the past?? or a different studio.. dont remember... think i read that somewhere..
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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:01 pm

Howdy RMS - My understanding is this went beyond a gateman thing w the vibe being Ch 1 under a general umbrella of protection from certain gunmen who liked the Ch 1 scene or even did work there as producers / artists - so that everyone knew not to mess with cuz they'd get blown away..
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Postby Ringo » Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:29 pm

Seems pretty likely when known big men like Junjo and George Phang were around in the early 80's. I'd be interested to know more about the situation in the 70's and up to the violence of the 1980 election though.
Yesterday I was reading Manzie's excellent sleeve notes to the B+F Ja Man dub CD, in which he talks about Channel One being in the heart of the ghetto, so in touch with the people, but also geographically situated so that he could get there without having to cross any "borders". These borders between JLP and PNP areas are also described in more detail in P Edwards' Trench Town book. There's also the famous tale about the Overnight Players LP being recorded when the musicians were too scared to leave the studio because it had all kicked off outside.
Unsurprisingly, I can't find any reference to the Hookims' political leanings, and it seems that songs supporting both sides (or their areas) were recorded at Maxfield Avenue. It seems as though the militancy was mainly directed against social injustice and violence, with some of the anti-war anthems such as Leroy Smart's Ballistic Affair being recorded there.

When I was there the studio was in a state of disrepair and appeared empty, but it wasn't a place to hang about too long unless you had business being there.
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Postby Reggaemusicstore » Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:42 pm

I hear what you're saying choccy but I'd still maintain that virtually everyone in the JA biz in terms of producers, label owners, studio owners etc would have to have some kind of arrangements for dealing with situations, if they weren't directly able to deal with it themself, otherwise I fail to see how they'd survive in the cut throat world of the reggae biz in Kingston. There must be so many badmen just looking for easy pickings that to show any sign of weakness in one's biz dealings would be an invitation to be trampled underfoot.... And as one particular veteran artist told me, "most of the producer them is badmen"....
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Postby Curly Locks » Fri Dec 31, 2004 4:45 pm

Whatever protection Channel One may or may not have had, they certainly didn't do their job well enough !
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Postby jb welda » Fri Dec 31, 2004 5:45 pm

>Whatever protection Channel One may or may not have had, they
>certainly didn't do their job well enough !

whys that? i dont recall hearing about any big problems there.

i think part of it was robbie shakespere using the place so much. people knew robbie was not someone to mess with so i would assume that if robbie was in the place, the bad boys kept their distance.

one love
jah bill
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