For a reggae fanatic, it sounds like a dream hanging out in Jamaica with Bob Marley in his mid-Seventies prime, standing backstage, taking photos as the musical legend casually hands you a spliff for your toking pleasure. Yet all of that and more happened to Peter Simon, the award-winning photographer who was at the forefront of the reggae scene years before it crossed over to America and won the hearts of ganja-loving college kids. In 1976 he cocreated Reggae Bloodlines, the first in-depth book about the genre. More than 30 years later, he has teamed up with journalist and memorabilia master Roger Steffens for Reggae Scrapbook, a truly magnificent volume intended to be a gift for true fans of true roots music.
Marley was very favorable to me because he felt we gave the music the kind of respect it deserves. I remember him saying to me: You do more good than harm, yknow, and from him, that was high praise, Simon recalls. He freely admits the latest effort isnt a definitive text by any means there isnt significant attention paid to the dancehall generation, or the artists producing homophobic, misogynistic crap, as he calls it. But for admirers of the Wailers, the Skatalites, the Heptones, Burning Spear, Augustus Pablo, Peter Tosh, or Culture, this book -- stuffed with ticket stubs, flyers, posters, and playlists -- is a vivid trip down memory lane by two men who blazed through the genres glory days. Meet Simon tonight at 10 for a special edition of DJ Lance-Os weekly Reggae Sunday jam at Jazid.
Sun., Jan. 20, 2008