Happy 70th Birthday Roger Steffens Ras Rojah

Roger Steffens “Reggae Obsession”

Happy 70th Birthday Ras Rojah

Many know Roger Steffens from his video lectures/tours about Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, or from his “Reggae Beat” radio show and magazine. Steffens co-hosted Reggae Beat on KCRW from 1979 until 1987, and Reggae Beat International from 1983 until 1987, which was syndicated internationally to 130 stations.  He has toured to many parts of the globe to give his lectures and multi-media presentation on the Life of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. He has also contributed to countless music anthologies as a writer and photographer.  But to many of us, Roger is know for his generosity, kindness, and willingness to share with reggae fans his rare audio and video gems that fill his massive reggae archives. If fate or luck or whatever works your way, it’s a beautiful day if you get to visit his archives. (Big thanks to his wife Mary for putting up with all us fanatic fans)

Please read wikipedia for more information on Roger and visit his site Roger Steffens Reggae Archives, because roger’s life is so  full of interesting achievements and people he has met I can’t write about it all here. Two interesting things many reggae fans don’t know about Roger is how he saved George Segals ass at the climax of movie Rollercoaster (he was the radio technician that jammed the bombers signal) or that he was close friends with fellow veteran and one of my favorite comedians/actors John Ritter.  His mind seems like a steel trap, ready to open and share his memories.  I remember a comment my brother made after I took him to meet Roger at his house. He said “Roger is like a encyclopedia. He knows everything”.


The list of visitors to his house and archives is testament to the importance of his knowledge and massive rare collection. I love that all the members of Bob Marley’s band the Wailers have visited, plus a countless list of other artists and reggae fans. The real topper and probably Roger’s most important visitor to him was Rolling Stone guitarist and reggae lover Kieth Richards. A Rolling Stone in your house….Wazzza!!!

I have not been to Roger’s archive since he moved from his old house by Echo Park.  Back in college, I  would visit him with my arms full of double tape decks.  I am happy to have donated some material to his archive knowing that he will share it with folks around the globe.   I treasure the time I got to spend chillin’ and learning about Jamaican music history, and hearing his stories about interviewing people like Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Lee Perry.  Give thanks to Roger for all he has done to promote Jamaican Music all these years.

Happy EarthStrong to ya Rojah!!

Here is a special Tribute Video I made.

With Carlos Santana

With Lee Perry

With The Meditations

With Cedella Booker

Rog & CC Smith

With Familyman Barrett

With Joseph Hill and Sangie Davis

With Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths of the I-Three

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Gregory Isaacs & Roots Radics- Los Angeles, Ca, Roxy, 1982-08-21 Late Show Complete Show

Todays special is a unreleased show from Gregory Isaacs run in Los Angeles in August 1982 were he played a  two night stand at the Roxy Theater with two sets a night. A very nice setlsit with the rockin’ Roots Radics Band sounding tight and Gregory doing a rare live version of “Mary”.

Gregory Isaacs with Roots Radics

Los Angeles, Ca, Roxy, 1982-08-21 (Late Show)

CD 01

01 MC Intro for the Roots Radics                      
02 Pass the Kouchie Instrumental
03 NN Instrumental
04 MC Intro for Gregory Isaacs
05 Gregory Isaacs Instrumental Medley
06 Tune in
07 Mr. Brown
08 Storm
09 Slave Master
10 My Number One
11 Sunday Morning
CD 02

01 Soon forward
02 Poor and Needy
03 Oh what a Feeling (snippets: Have you ever / DENNIS BROWN)
04 Mary
05 Substitute
06 Love is overdue
07 Front Door – MC
08 MC
09 Border – MC

Download CD1

Download CD2

Bob Andy and Alton Ellis Live and Direct from California 1980’s

Bob Andy and Alton Ellis Live and Direct from California

With the great recent blog on Bob Andy by Michael Watson called Ghost on Wax: Bob Andy’s Incomparable Song Book and my recent blog on Alton Ellis: The Godfather of Rocksteady, I thought I would share a few rare live tracks by these legends. These recordings have circulated with collectors for years and my guess is they originate from Roger Steffens collection. Big credit and thanks to him for his generosity towards reggae fans and collectors over the past 3 decades.

 

Bob Andy
Hollywood Palace
2/3/85 live in Los Angeles

Feeling soul

Feel the feeling

Fire Burning

 

Alton Ellis

Hollywood Palace
2/3/85 live in Los Angeles

I’m Still In Love with You/Breaking Up/I’m Just A Man

Sitting In The Park

Alton Ellis

1984-06 Live in Los Angeles

Still I Don’t Love You

Going Home (Bob Andy’s song)