Early on in San Diego's punk scene, the Marine Corp Recruit Depot and several Navy bases were in close proximity to the rather large hub of punk activity. So it wasn't unusual that there was a string of military guys who were active members of the scene, and by that I mean band members, zine editors and occasional show promoters. They drank, fought, loved and slammed like everybody else. Their military service was a day job, and didn't identify them, just as you may not have been thought of as a burger flipper first, [scene role] second. I lived for a while with a couple Navy guys, and have known one particular Marine since the very, very beginning of the San Diego punk scene. I never thought I'd be in contact again, with that unknown guy with "Void" rubber stamped on his face, decades later. So this is for Terry, who was the first person I thought of, because I know he loves reggae, particularly the early stuff. And it's for Bruce, Lou and Chris (RIP), too. (No bro hugs, not with a lit cigarette.)
On to the goods. If you, like me, really like looking at early reggae record sleeves, here's a collection on a site called Smashing, with accompanying design oriented text. That Maytals album cover below is not only my favorite reggae LP cover ever, but in the top ten of all of the record covers I've ever seen, which is to say, a fuck load. There's something about it's simplicity, choice of colors; and the well composed ramshackleness of it.
The site that really started all of this, an hour or so ago, is Dave's Jukebox, which I am currently all over like flies on stink. Reggae oriented blogs are rare. Even rarer are those with reggae 45s, as opposed to whole LPs. And this Dave has a great selection of early reggae, with names and labels you know, and quite a few names and labels that you may never get to hear again. That's the big thing, early unfamiliar reggae. I eat that shit up. If you like early ska, rock steady, and DJ stuff, you will want to bookmark it immediately. The music is on DivShare, but you don't have to join. Just click on the small green "Download " button, and wait while the timer runs out, about 15 seconds, without clicking on anything else. I linked to one down below so you can give it a whirl; after that you can just get your ass on over there.
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