Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yellowman

Yellowman
Stephen Talkhouse, Amagansett, NY
August 22 '08


Last night, Yellowman came back to the East End and proved to a packed club he's still THE man when it comes to 'Dancehall' reggae. In a (sanitized for the South Fork) set that contained most of his hits, including I'm Getting Married, Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt, Mad Over Me, Zungguzungguguzungguzeng, Blueberry Hill, Jamaica Nice/Take Me Home Country Roads, Sea Cruise, Mr. Chin and Operation Radication, he and trusty longtime backing crew, Sagittarius, had the crowd singing and skanking, winding and grinding like there was no tomorrow. Despite a 20 year battle with jaw and skin cancer, not to mention an early life of being orphaned, teased and rejected on account of his albinism, 'King' Yellow has prevailed. If he wasn't such a good and (beneath the tongue in cheek boastful exterior) decent human being, he'd be having the last laugh. But he's too classy to gloat. Having built a career on how sexy he is, and how much the ladies love him, I saw the proof one afternoon when I went to visit him in Beth Israel, just prior to an operation. There in his hospital room were 4 gorgeous young ladies attending to his every desire. Needless to say, my visit wasn't long and I left soon after, wishing him well and thinking "just how the heck does he do it?"
I've seen him at NYC's Lone Star Cafe, Ritz, Roseland, and Madison Square Garden, a very heavy and somewhat dangerous club on Utica Ave. in Brooklyn the name of which I've long forgotten, The Haunt in Ithaca, NY, and an outdoor event near his birthplace of Negril, Jamaica. Every time, he's put on a positive, energetic, sometimes funny, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes incredibly rude but always impressive 90 minute show and last night's was as good as any of them. In the dressing room, he told me that he's recorded some new tracks with Toots Hibbert's son, Clayton (pka Junior Toots) and that Sony still pay him royalties on 'King Yellowman', the album we did in '84 when I was at Columbia Records. Wikipedia says he's:
had a substantial influence on the world of hip hop. He is widely credited for leading the way for the succession of reggae artists that were embraced by the growing hip-hop community in America during the 1980s and part of that is due to having had Bill Laswell produce the 'Strong Me Strong' 12". He tours extensively and still lives in Jamaica, which he finds preferable to living in a place where "Bush is in power". Just as I was about to take my leave, an office door opened and who should walk out clutching 2 guitars but Jimmy Buffett, who was about to play an unannounced set. But not before posing for a quick photo with the King...

Yellowman, Jimmy Buffett, Simeon Stewart
Stephen Talkhouse, Amagansett, NY
August 22 '08


If you click here, and then click on the "slideshow" icon, it'll take you to some photos, old and new.

2 comments:

angel corpus christi said...

priceless pix.

ht said...

thanks. Yellowman is an extraordinary person, a righteous dude.