Sunshine only lasts a second
(caught using strobe effect on my new flash: Speedlight SB:800)
[view large on black: www.b12partners.net/photoblog/index.php?showimage=72 ]
from last year's archives
Some haunts feel more like second homes, as comfortable and familiar as that tattered Ramones tee it took three years to break in. Gold Star Bar fits the bill, situated on a strip of Division where blue-collar bars and liquor stores meld with breezy bistros and boutiques. Open since the Prohibition and an ill-reputed house in the swinging sixties, it now caters to area musicians, writers, artists, punks, bike messengers and working-class stiffs who always have an interesting story to tell.
The Star's simple red and white walls and neon signs aren't much to look at; it's mercifully short on gimmicks, pomp or pretensions. But true believers gather to gab at the long bar, in lawn chairs next to '50s era Formica tables or on the ratty couch where pool sharks relax and wait their turn to shoot some stick. Complimentary popcorn keeps the kids thirsty while the finest jukebox in Wicker Park spins classics by The Clash, Johnny Cash, John Coltrane, Slayer and Tom Waits, with some Iron Maiden mixed in for the hair farmer in us all.
Mikey Dread, who has died aged 54, was a revolutionary force in Jamaican popular music and became known in Britain as a producer of the Clash; he produced the band's single Bankrobber and contributed to several songs on their album Sandinista! (both 1980).
Immensely popular with the Jamaican public, and a source of fascination for overseas listeners who obtained copies on audio cassette, the show was eventually deemed too wild by the station management. Dread resigned in 1979, by which time he had already assembled his debut album, Dread At The Controls, which was licensed to Trojan Records in Britain. A second disc, called African Anthem, was a dub album mixed to mirror the style of his radio broadcasts and proved highly popular with punk audiences in Britain.
A major turning point came in 1980 after Dread was approached by the Clash, with whom he subsequently toured and recorded, helping reggae to penetrate a wider international audience. He was involved in the band's recordings for the Epic label, and, following his involvement in the group's experimental album, Sandinista!, he attended the National Broadcasting School in Britain; this led to his narration of Deep Roots Music, a six-part reggae documentary aired on Channel 4 in 1982, and his subsequent hosting of the television series Rockers Roadshow.
A later link with UB40 resulted in extensive European tours and the laid-back album Pave The Way, but by the mid-1980s Dread was spending more of his time in the United States. In the early 1990s he moved to Miami, where he became programme director of the Caribbean Satellite Network. He continued to deliver exciting live performances until he became ill with a brain tumour last summer, resulting in a move to North Carolina for medical treatment. [From Mikey Dread]