The Rebel Beat Podcast 020 – Original Rebel Dread Don Letts on Race, Riots, and Making Music Dangerous Again

Source: 247 Magazine

Hello radio massive!

Welcome back to another weekly podcast of The Rebel Beat! It was a huge honour to welcome the legendary UK DJ Don Letts as our special guest on the show this week!

It is no exaggeration to say that punk rock would not be the same today were it not for Don Letts. As a staple on the early London punk rock scene, Don was best known as the DJ at the infamous club The Roxy. As a Londoner of Jamaican descent, Don famously brought reggae to the punks, hence starting a movement which bridged continents, genres, and brought together working class youth across racial lines.

As a young man during the tumultuous 70s in the UK, Don was also no stranger to radical street movements against police brutality and racism. It was this photo that was captured of him at the 1976 Notting Hill Carnival Riot that graced the album cover for The Clash’s “Black Market Clash”.

We were thrilled to talk with Don about the scene surrounding this iconic album cover, his comparisons between the riots of England in the 1970s, and present-day riots against police brutality in the USA, cultural appropriation in the punk scene, and the future of political music.

Hope you enjoy this podcast! We’ll be back July 1st for a special anti-colonial anti-Canada mix!

Until then, stay rebel!

Playlist – June 24 2015

Nina Simone – Mississippi goddam

Amiri Baraka – Who will survive America?

Roy Brooks and the Artistic Truth – Relief

dArk mAAt’r – The last question (feat. Malika Tirolien)

The Clash – Bankrobber

Interview with Don Letts

The Clash – White riot

The Sex Pistols – God save the queen

Big Audio Dynamite – Medicine show

Jimmy Cliff – The harder they come

Bob Marley and The Wailers – 400 years

The Equals – Police on my back

Las Cafeteras – Trabajador trabajadora

Buffy Sainte-Marie – Sing our own song

loosestrife – Job hunt

The Ex – Rules

Submission Hold – Purchasing power of the paranoid


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