New interview with reggae historian/archivist/A&R man Steve Barrow (Blood & Fire, Island, Trojan)
March 30, 2013 06:04AM
Hola SNWMF massiv!

New interview with London-based musical archivist, historian & label A&R man Steve Barrow (Trojan, Island Records, Blood & Fire) on the US Midnight Raver blog.

The Blood and Fire label (armed with some serious $ thanks to Simply Red), was IMHO pivotal in creating a new interest in vintage Jamaican music with their high-quality reissues - and also helped create a Worldwide awareness of King Tubby's legacy and role as dub innovator.

Read on: [bit.ly]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2013 06:07AM by FLEXIMIX.
Re: New interview with reggae historian/archivist/A&R man Steve Barrow (Blood & Fire, Island, Trojan)
March 30, 2013 06:25AM
Stevo Barrow

I say... Some Never Plant yet want to Reap,
Be careful, try to look before you leap;
Took a little walk from my Vineyard...
Now I'm all alone..
Re: New interview with reggae historian/archivist/A&R man Steve Barrow (Blood & Fire, Island, Trojan)
March 31, 2013 03:31PM
I must say that certain statements in this piece are misinformation. I met Barrow, as he says, in 1974, after I walked into the All Change shop he was managing in Baker Street. I had a few album review copies I didn't want and was looking to sell; LPs by the likes of Zap Pow, Inner Circle, Byron Lee, Ernie Smith, ie uptown reggae. I approached Steve and he seemed actually interested in my stuff, a very unusual thing in these days when most record shop dealers laughed me and my reggae records out of their shops and the white racists who ran the music press would openly boast of how any review copies they received from Trojan would immediately be consigned to the dustbin, without even being played. As I remember it, he was enthusing over a dub album on Fay Music that was new at the time.

Steve and I became close friends. I went round his house and discovered quite an eclectic record collections, tons of Blue Note jazz, shelves of black comedy by the likes of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and Dick Gregory, some folk, R&B, bits of blues and a few reggae tunes, labels like ESPN and Transatlantic. Steve erroneously states that I hadn't been collecting Jamaican music as long as Chris Lane or Tony Rounce. However, I actually bought my first Jamaican record in 1961, when these two were about four years old, and was collecting throughout the 1960s records by the likes of Derrick Morgan, Prince Buster, Eric Morris, Roy Panton, Stranger Cole, Shenley Duffus. When Steve met me I owned about 800 Jamaican singles and about 200 or so albums.

In these days, Steve didn't know the difference between Dennis Alcapone and Dennis Brown, but unlike most other white boys he was interested enough to learn. I brought round to his house my dozen or so Alimantado records plus a photograph of the good doctor and we spent the evening in high spirits and hysterical laughter. When he opened Daddy Kool in Hanway Street, Fitzrovia, I was one of his first customers. He was selling soul and funk and it was myself who encouraged him to stock reggae records. After six months, All Change said they wanted to close the Hanway Street shop, which was when Keith Stone came in. Stone lived a street away from my parent's house in South Woodford, where I was living at the time. One evening he offered to drive me home and when we reached Woodford he invited me into his house. As we sat chatting, Roger Parker arrived, followed shortly after by Snoopy. It was then that Stone said Barrow had been stealing money from the shop and that he intended to sack him. I know that Barrow has always seen this as a plot but in fact myself, Roger and Snoopy were entirely innocent of any adversity towards Steve until Stone dropped his bombshell.

Since his dismissal in 1977, Steve has always been cold towards me. Even though I was the prime writer on reggae on Black Echoes for 25 years and the NME for 10 years, he has never mentioned my name in any of the books he has written on this music, while giving ample shout outs to writers who may have been on the paper just a few months, nor has he ever acknowledged my Dennis Brown or Bob Marley books. Barrow was on Echoes a mere year and contrary to what he says never published a single article in the NME. If Steve wants to write me out of reggae that's his choice. In fact, his mention of my name in this interview is the only time he has ever acknowledged me, and that is only because I revealed the true depth of our friendship on his Blood & Fire website. He seems to have incorporated certain aspects of my life as I told them to
him into his own mythical autobiography.

Reel



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/2013 03:40PM by The man.
Re: New interview with reggae historian/archivist/A&R man Steve Barrow (Blood & Fire, Island, Trojan)
March 31, 2013 08:22PM
And what can we mere befuddled Yanks make of this but to sit in wonderment . And wish we could have been picking up Ska, Rock Steady & mainstream non-Rasta records for a song in London in, oh say 1977....
Re: New interview with reggae historian/archivist/A&R man Steve Barrow (Blood & Fire, Island, Trojan)
April 01, 2013 07:11AM
No one can 'write' youwinking smiley out of Reggae, there, Mr Reel!

I say... Some Never Plant yet want to Reap,
Be careful, try to look before you leap;
Took a little walk from my Vineyard...
Now I'm all alone..
AKA
Re: New interview with reggae historian/archivist/A&R man Steve Barrow (Blood & Fire, Island, Trojan)
April 01, 2013 12:31PM
Very interesting interview there, thanks for posting. Never knew of the Simply Red connection. I'd be interested in reading your interview as well Fleximix.

And thanks to Mr Reel for the first hand perspective of the story. I always look forward to reading a post from The Man.

Looks like Papa Ray came real close to getting a shout out in the interview, but unfortunaltey "Some – but defintely not all – of the tracks were issued by an excellent company in St Louis, the name of which escapes me."
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