A time capsule capturing the evolution of reggae culture.
By Ryan Hohn
Reggae Scrapbook is a fabulous coffee table
book on steroids or weed, and is definitely a Reggae Music collectors
must have. Stacked with over 150 pages of detailed factual information,
a DVD loaded with historical interviews, Reggae
Scrapbook offers a never before seen insight, deep into the
background of reggae culture.
Written by Roger Steffens and Peter
Simon, two world re-nown reggae aficionado, have done
seminal works in documenting the historical aspects of reggae
music. Roger is undoubtedly one of the world's first and most
ardent reggae collector/archivist with the largest collection
of reggae artifacts including recordings, literature and Reggaemobillia.
His previous publication includes, The BEAT Magazine, Bob Marley
& The wailers- The definitive discography and has now delivered
yet another milestone in the preservation and archiving of Reggae
with Reggae Scrapbook.
Peter Simon, is an internationally acclaimed photojournalist
who's commitment to documenting reggae culture has resulted
in the publication of two earlier historical works, "Reggae
Bloodlines" in 1977 and "Reggae international" in 1983. The
brother of world famous singer/songwriter Carly Simon, he also
broadcasts a reggae radio programs and produces homegrown star
quality music albums in New England from his home of Martha's
Reggae Scrapbook is of high print quality meticulously laid
with the latest features ultimately enhancing and exciting the
reading experience. With forward by Toots Hibbert and introduction
by Stephen Davis it contains numerous replicas of post cards,
set lists, numerous stickers and a Passa Passa dancehall booklet
by Roy Sweetland. One of the more intriguing items includes
Peter Tosh's unique backstage access pass, concert tickets and
actual facsimile reproduction of his death announcement and
trial verdict. Also containing a collection of autographed album
art covers combined with uniquely mounted replicas of dance
posters throughout the book.
Spanning the entire period from early Ska to Roots and Culture
and present dancehall era the text follows a straight chronology
while past and present images are interwoven throughout the
book. The creators of Reggae Scrapbook have done a pretty good
job in capturing some key moments, events and personalities
and not just creating another encyclopedic record. For example
the feature on Earl "Chinna" Smith "Inna Di Yard" roots revolution,
offered an interesting insight on the creation of reggae music
in the early days and how it is still being produced today.
The inclusion of a DVD compilation of interviews with some of
reggaes' greats including Tosh, Luciano, Joseph Hill, Alton
Ellis, Judy Mowatt, The Wailers Band and others was informative
and represented the best of two decades of the Century Cable
TV show "L.A. Reggae" hosted by Roger Steffens. The photography
in this book is rather stunning with awesome black & white images
from Peter Simon covering the earlier periods and have some
rather youthful images of some of the greatest reggae pioneers
with significant contribution in writing and images from BUZZZ
senior photographer Roy Sweetland.
Reggae Scrapbook is a definitive piece of literature that offers
it's readers a complete look at the historical and current trends
of reggae culture. Although it might be a great addition to
any reggae fanatics' collection, its' size however limits the
prospect for reading on the fly as it will not fit in your back
pocket and more appropriately suites your library. Reggae Scrapbook
get's a definite thumbs up from the Buzzz team.
Reggae Scrapbook [ISBN-13:978-1-933784-23-6] is published by
Palace Press/Insight Editions in association with Roots
Of Peace who is committed to plant two trees for each
tree used in the production of the Reggae Scrapbook and will
be on the shelves in November 2007 at US$45, a very modest price
for a priceless reggae record and great gift.