Beth Lesser - Writings

REGGAE QUARTERLY

Reggae Quarterly Magazine was published between 1982 and 1988. In 1982, before we started working on RQ, we put together a Xeroxed fanzine about producer and melodica player Augustus Pablo. We borrowed the name, Live Good Today, from a song sung by Sam Carty on the Prince Jazzbo album, Ital Corner. The plan was to bring the ‘Zine to Jamaica and show Pablo,which was the purpose of our first visit in 1982. With Pablo’s encouragement, we expanded the concept and came out with the Reggae Quarterly magazines presented here.

Beth Lesser - Writings

REGGAE QUARTERLY

Reggae Quarterly Magazine was published between 1982 and 1988. In 1982, before we started working on RQ, we put together a Xeroxed fanzine about producer and melodica player Augustus Pablo. We borrowed the name, Live Good Today, from a song sung by Sam Carty on the Prince Jazzbo album, Ital Corner. The plan was to bring the ‘Zine to Jamaica and show Pablo,which was the purpose of our first visit in 1982. With Pablo’s encouragement, we expanded the concept and came out with the Reggae Quarterly magazines presented here.

Reggae Quarterly - Click to view or download
Reggae Quarterly - Click to view or download
Reggae Quarterly - Click to view or download
Reggae Quarterly - Click to view or download
Reggae Quarterly - Click to view or download
Reggae Quarterly - Click to view or download
Reggae Quarterly - Click to view or download
Reggae Quarterly - Click to view or download
Reggae Quarterly - Click to view or download

Beth Lesser

During the 1980s, my husband and I traveled frequently to Kingston, Jamaica and Brooklyn, NY from our home in Toronto, Canada to follow the changing reggae scene. In that period reggae was changing fast, moving from the heavy roots sound of suffering and redemption to the lighter, faster, digitized sound of modern dancehall.

My husband and I saw it happen. We saw Junjo’s Volcano empire rise meteorically and them crash as his young artists emigrated or met untimely deaths. We witnessed Jah Love’s Brigadier Jerry take over the dancehall scene without ever having recorded a 45 – powered by the new popularity of dance hall cassettes.

We were in Waterhouse when King Jammy unleashed his Sleng Teng rhythm to an analog world and, one by one, producers dropped their previously recorded rhythms and started building again from scratch using programmable keyboards and drum machines. We were in Jammy’s yard while he cut the dubplates for the Clash of the Century, the event that brought dancehall culture to the larger Jamaican audience.

Over those years, I collected an archive of material that I would like to make available to the public – to present and future reggae scholars and fans.

Photo right: Beth Lesser and David Kingston get married at Youth Promotion.

All images & text © Beth Lesser

Beth Lesser and David Kingston get married at Youth Promotion