Crucial Vinyl: Super Ape by Lee 'Scratch' Perry and The Upsetters
Each week the Don selects a piece of Crucial Vinyl (an album that has shaped his musical taste and helped to make him who he is). He features three tracks from it and explains why it means so much to him. This week he picks Burning Spear's political and hugely influential L.P. Marcus Garvey.
Named after the Jamaican national hero and prophet of the Rastafarian faith, who was born in Jamaica in 1887 and died in London in 1940, Burning Spear's album was released in the UK on the Island label in 1975. A dub version entitled Garvey's Ghost came out a few months later.
Around this time, Don was getting started as a DJ in London, initially playing dub reggae at the fashionable clothes shop Acme Attractions in London's Kings Road, where he worked. At the end of 1976 Don went on to DJ at the Roxy club in Covent Garden. Between frantic live sets by the likes of the Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Generation X, Don would spin reggae records. Back then, hardly any punk records had been made.
Somehow, many of the punks had affinity with reggae and Don's blend worked. The mellower, but still rebellious, reggae sounds appealed to the young crowd and provided a welcome break from the thrash of punk. Many of the young punks loved this very cool alternative soundtrack and a lasting bond was formed.
Don had an enviable collection of reggae on vinyl and, as well as DJing, he would make highly-prized mixtapes for his friends, including the Clash, the Slits and John Lydon of the Sex Pistols.