SLEEPY MEETS MR.SOUL IN LADBROKE GROVE
2. ALTON WHIPS THE PRINCE!
3. AGGRESSION, THE GUN, AN' ALL THEM T'INGS
4. ALTON RECALLS
4. ALTON RECALLS
I want to ask you about some tunes of yours that are favourites of mine, 'Can I Change My Mind' (Studio One).
Alton Ellis: "Yeah. It was Dodd mek me record it fe sing it over y'know. It was his idea. 'Im bring it from America. (The song was originally a million selling US Soul hit when recorded by its composer, soul singer Tyrone Davis). It tek me sump'n like four days to do it. I sing it as close as possible to the original, projectin' mi feel. It don't come as easy as it used to, y'know.
"Like, one day I go to Downbeat, one Friday, ca' I jus' go for me money on Fridays y'know? An 'im say 'You nah do nutten today, man?' So me say 'Yes!', I couldn't tell 'im no cos I don't 'ave no money yet. So I say 'Yes', but I didn't come to do anyt'ing, I come fe some money fe me tunes from las' week. So he say 'Yes man!'... because is about twelve an' one o'clock, so the session will start back, like, about two o'clock. I jus' go up 'pon the piano man an' (sings) 'I'm just a guy'... One a me biggest hit tune! Yeah man! The vibes come easy them times. Them don't flow that easy no more."
What about 'African Descendents'?
"Is white people more ask me about those songs: 'African Descendents', 'Blackish White', 'Blackman's Pride'... them songs stretch out far.
"A lot a them things are gone now mi bredrin. Becah, y'see Trenchtown there now? You 'ave them t'ings a comin' to you whether you waan' to or not. Plus, you actually livin' it because as a youth growin' up you a wonder - y'know, you sufferin' so - what it's all about...you force to accept, y'know?"
"Pianno (Mortimo Pianno, a spritual guru of Bob Marley's and the dread who stood with Selassie I on the steps of the plane during the Emperor's visit to Jamaica in 1966) was readin' the Bible one night, an' is like everyt'ing 'im say was jus' like a tape in my mind. An' I jus' go right home an' jus' pick up my guitar... 'Lord Deliver Us'. We in an environment whe' them t'ing deh use' to go on. Bob (Marley) mental the same, but put it inna context more effective, more acceptable."
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