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Don Letts

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, April 12th 2008
What would you do if a voice of a generation ran off with your girlfriend? In the case of Don Letts, who introduced reggae to snotty nosed punks during his year zero residency at The Roxy, he understandably took the huff. Thirty years on, Letts has forgiven said cuckold, Clash frontman Joe Strummer, though it did mean he missed a now legendary Rock Against Racism gig at London’s Victoria Park.

“I was young and all I could think of was my male pride,” Letts remembers today. “The bigger problems of the world were put on the back burner that day, but Rock Against Racism has survived, and is even more important today than it was then.”

While Strummer is no longer with us, Letts will be Dj-ing at RAR’s 30th anniversary show at the same venue. He’ll also be popping into Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms for a Saturday night session to be savoured.

“I describe my set as the history and legacy of Jamaican culture,” says a man who has made crucial celluloid studies of left-field icons such as Sun Ra, George Clinton and Gil Scott Heron. “It’s very much like my sets at The Roxy. I don’t scratch or do any superstar DJ moves, but there’s lots of bass. Reggae’s in my DNA, and DJ-ing is a great way for me to creatively network with young people, just to find out what’s going on. It’s an ongoing dynamic. It’s always moving.”

The List, issue 600, 10-24 April 2008



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