Saturday, June 09, 2007



Don Letts, interviewed in MOJO :

I'd never DJ'd in my life nor considered it. There weren't any superstar DJs. obviously because of my reggae background I knew about DJ culture. There were no punk records so I played reggae. People make a big deal out of me turning the white kids onto reggae but there is a tradition in this country of white working-class kids gravitating to black music. People like Strummer, Lydon and Simonon already knew about reggae and didn't need Don Letts to turn them on. But a large number of white kids in the suburbs didn't grow up around black people I really turned on. I did play Velvets, Dolls, Stooges, MC5 and the Saints but people told me to keep playing the fucking reggae, even when the bands started bringing things out.

I never played requests. I would always say, "Why hear something twice when you can hear something you've never heard once?" People like the Slits and the Clash took it on board and reinterpreted it. That was kind of empowering for me to see how my culture had a direct effect on my white contemporaries. We both had something to bring to the party. I went back to Forest Hill and told my brethren that I had got the gig at the Roxy. They couldn't stop taking the piss. Andrew was looking for staff, so I asked them if they were interested and they said, "Get the fuck out of here." I got them to come down to the Roxy and they saw un untapped herb market. A week later they were working there.


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