From Publishers Weekly
Though less than comprehensive, Steffens and Simon’s illustrated history of reggae music is nonetheless essential reading on the subject. The duo have spent decades covering the genre (Steffens as the founder of reggae magazine The Beat, Simon as an award-winning photographer), and they enthusiastically share their bounty in this interactive scrapbook packed with pull-out ephemera like stickers, postcards, set lists and flyers. The equivalent of spending a long evening with a friendly, eager collector, it’s hard not to get caught up in the authors’ enthusiasm. Fans will find all their favorites here in bright, full-color photographs, from lesser-known but seminal figures like Joe Higgs to legendary figures like Lee “Scratch” Perry, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. The authors frequently share their own vibrant, first-hand experiences with the performers: Judy Mowatt discusses a performance in Zimbabwe with Marley that turned into a riot; eccentric Perry provides a tour of the “Throne Room,” his home studio; and Steffens recounts the time he presented Peter Tosh with a marijuana bud the size of a cricket bat. Augmented with a DVD featuring a handful of interviews with artists and hundreds of candid snapshots, it’s the next best thing to a trip to Jamaica.
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From its birth in the vibrant Kingston ghettos through it phenomenal popularity in the 1970s to its iconic standing in today’s global culture, reggae and its close relations–ska, rock steady, dj, dub, dancehall, and raggamuffin–have taken the world by storm.
In The Reggae Scrapbook, scintillating words and images propel our appreciation of Jamaican music into the 21st century. Accomanying us on this journey is one of the men who introduced reggae to America and helped rock the world with its syncopated beat, Roger Steffens.
Through lectures, books, magazine articles, radio, and television, Steffens has shared his knowledge of reggae around the globe as the world’s premier archivist and collector of reggae memorabilia. Here he traces reggae’s history and roots, supplemented by an audio CD featuring interviews with such reggae greats as Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff and “Toots” Hibbert.
Divided into chapters on “Roots and Ska,” “Rock Steady,” “The Golden Age,” “Rockers,” “Digital and Dance Hall” and “Internationalization,” and enhanced by sidebar features on historic figures, styles, and events, The Reggae Scrapbook is all you could wish for in a celebration of the rise of this irresistable musical and social force.
The Reggae Scrapbook also conveys reggae culture through a treasure trove of memorabilia, the cream of Steffen’s collection of more than 30,000 photographs, 800 T-shirts, 3,000 buttons, 10,000 posters and flyers as well as innumerable, seven-inch singles and album covers, posters, postcards, and tickets.
Photographer Peter Simon presents a stunning collection of evocative images, from reggae’s rough beginnings to the latest festivals, providing a stunning visual accompaniment.
About the Author
ROGER STEFFENS (“Ras RoJah”) is the founding editor of the genre’s best magazine, The Beat. He has hosted hundreds of local, national, and international radio and television programs, including his own Los Angeles radio show, Reggae Beat. His articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and other influential publications.
PETER SIMON is a widely exhibited, award-winning photographer and author of many books including Reggae Bloodlines and Reggae International. Simon’s work has been featured in many national publications including Newsweek, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone.
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