In Defense of Reggae
Apr 4 2012
Music writer Sophie Saint Thomas throws personal caution (and the possibility of hurting David Bowie's feelings) to the wind in this shocking defense of reggae music.
Let me open with a excerpt from an interview David Bowie did with Melody Maker Magazine in 1979:
Melody Maker: You've never experimented with reggae, have you?
David Bowie: No, I don't like it very much. I got rather biased against it... I heard an awful lot of it when I was a kid, and I heard even more of it when I was a teenager of the ska and bluebeat variety; and rather unfortunately.
As one reader pointed out via Twitter, I have a David Bowie tattoo, bed spread, and Twitter handle. With that in mind, what I'm about to say may shock you.
"FUCK YOU, DAVID BOWIE!"
My lovely editor, Ms. Kelly McClure, has tweeted against it. Pitchfork has bragged of their "official policy against the genre." The following is a rant defending reggae music against all angsty Anglo-Saxons who bitch and moan about what they don't understand.
I was raised on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, the origin of my porny pen name. While my parents also exposed me to the typical classics, the Talking Heads, the Stones, the soundtrack enveloping life was reggae. Long before I had a David Bowie tattoo, I had an "ice gold green" peace sign tattooed on my ass. Years after I said good bye to the Virgin Islands as my home, the music continues to hold a special place in my soul.