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Island Records: Chris Blackwell at 84

Discussion in 'music' started by Finnegan, Jun 6, 2022.

  1. Finnegan

    Finnegan pfm Member

  2. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Looking forward to reading "The Islander: My Life in Music and Beyond", due in a couple of weeks apparently
     
    Weekender and gavreid like this.
  3. guey

    guey pfm Member

    Just ordered the book from Rough Trade, signed, and with a free t-shirt.
     
  4. Aethelist

    Aethelist pfm Member

    Kindle version here. Run out of room for storing books.
     
  5. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    He’s had some life.
     
  6. Finnegan

    Finnegan pfm Member

    Just started reading Island Life. Didn’t realise his early life was real, Ripping Yarns, Boy’s Own stuff- hobnobbing with Errol Flynn, Ian Fleming and Noel Coward. Blackwell makes no attempt to pretend he wasn’t born into colonial opulence and privilege (didn’t know his family owned Appleton’s Estate rum distillery) but his loathing for the racism of the plantocracy and his affinity with black Jamaicans their music shines through. Great stuff.
     
    Seanm and gavreid like this.
  7. Finnegan

    Finnegan pfm Member

    Yeah maybe, no idea of the financial arrangement between Island and the Jamaican artists it carried, but it’s undeniable that Blackwell was instrumental in popularising Jamaican music and introducing the white rock crowd to reggae.
     
  8. eguth

    eguth pfm Member

    Passed his shop many times when I lived in The Grove.

    The black community said he was ripping them off. I don't know whether this was fair comment. I do know that they also said this about another promoter in The Grove. They manhandled this second one (once).

    They [The Community] had a huge chip on their shoulder. Quite understandable. Many were acting like 'A Law Unto Themselves': or so it seemed at times. They were treated, often, by some of the locals and some of police as if they were savages.

    I got along well with many of them, probably because I got involved with the carnival committee, took part in carnival, and played as a musician with some prominent Grove musicians.

    I regret I didn't pop in to see Blackwell.
     
  9. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Fascinating read - highly recommended. @eguth I had no idea he had a shop in Ladbroke Grove - when was this?
     
  10. guey

    guey pfm Member

    Yup, great read; and full of TIL moments, even for a long time Island Records fan.
    Warm Leatherette and Nightclubbing both recorded in a session lasting just over a week - pretty gobsmacking.
     
  11. eguth

    eguth pfm Member

    I chose the wrong word to describe the Island building. Not a shop. I assumed, wrongly, that this would not be taken literally. As I said, my remarks relate to the 70s- mostly in the early 70s.
     

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