Bob Marley, Dennis Alcapone, Empire Ballroom, Leicester Square, London 1974

Having seen this photo several times and not knowing the story behind it, I was stoked to see that the legendary singjay Dennis Alcapone talked about the photo in his 2009 interview with my friend Angus Taylor for United Reggae.

“Well to be honest with you when I first came here in ’73 I overstayed my time. I was here for six weeks the first time. I came back in 1974 on the Jamaican Showcase with Dennis Brown, Toots & The Maytals, a young Sly Dunbar. Sly was playing in a band called Skin, Flesh & Bones with Lloyd Parks on bass, and Ranchie [Mclean] andTarzan [Nelson]. Cynthia Richards was on the tour as well, and Al Brown, singing Here I Am Baby. When it started the tour was called Jamaican Showcase. This guy from the Greyhound was involved. Danny from the Greyhound and his lady Joanne – they were the ones that put the tour on.

There was this promoter in London called Admiral Ken. He asked for me and Dennis Brown from the tour and he put us together with Desmond Dekker for a show in the Empire Ballroom, which was a sold out show. Bob Marley came that night. Bob Marley, Familyman and Carlie the drummer (Familyman’s brother). At this time Bob Marley was promoting the album Catch A Fire and he was backstage and I called him onto the stage and introduced him to the crowd. I’ve got a picture at home of me and Bob, Empire Ballroom 1974. But because I was a star at the time, the cameraman didn’t take a frontal of Bob, he took the frontal of me. He went behind Bob and took the picture. I asked him after that, “didn’t you have a frontal of Bob?” and he said, “no!” because it wasn’t Bob’s show. Bob wasn’t big at the time. Can you believe that?”

 

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For those not familiar with Alcapone, here is a digital transfer of one of his popular singles from my vinyl collection, “My Voice is Worth 1/2 Million Dollars” on the High Note imprint.

And here are a few more , including several of his Studio One cuts:

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A Lee Perry cut from the Black Ark feat. Dennis Alcapone:

Dennis Alcapone over Ken Boothe’s “Old Fashioned Way,” a killer Keith Hudson production titled “Spanish Omega.”  On an Inbidimnts 10″ re-issue.

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