On Gregory Isaacs & Henry James
I can’t say I was the world’s biggest fan of Gregory Isaacs aka the “Cool Ruler” – musician whose style was considered laid-back even among fellow roots reggae musicians – which is saying a lot! He was really mellow! But somehow his passing (this Monday) has been affecting me in a big way – second day in a row can’t stop reading articles on him and listening to his records. Night Nurse, Private Beach Party, Willow Tree. He was tremendous, really was. I always liked some of these tracks, but now I’m growing obsessed. Which weirds me out a bit – I had the same thing happenning a few months ago when Tuli Kupferberg departed. It’s like that Henry James story, the Altar of the Dead – where protagonist “collects” dead to pray/mourn for, builds imaginary mournful relationships with people she hardly knew. In all, it’s kind of a funny story, parody? I think. Anyway, RIP Gregory – I guess you won’t be needing that Night Nurse any more – but we will! Oh btw, in the Night Nurse song (which I’m pluggin below) there’s a line “I dont wanna see no doc” which once upon a time, my friend Rokhl riffed on as “I don’t want no synagogue”. Hehe.