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

Peter Tosh – Live Acoustic and Interview Session KZEL Radio Studio, Eugene, OR

Peter Tosh – Unplugged

For those that have visited my blog.  I am not a big writer.  I have a very busy life and focus my posts on sharing rare music. Today is a special musical treat from the Bush Doctor Peter Tosh.  Live and chilling in the studio this gives a great glimpse into the intimate kind person Peter was, very warm, funny, and friendly.

Back in 1977 Peter Tosh did a tour of the USA.  Along the tour, Peter stopped a various radio stations to help promote his music and tour. One such occasion was at KZEL radio station in Eugene, OR. A few tracks from this session were released on the official Talking Revolution CD.  I try not to share official material, Peter Tosh fans should buy all official releases and support his estate. Many thanks to Roger Steffens for this gem. 

 

Talks About Herb

Pick Myself Up/ > on Talking Revolution

Talks about music

instrumental/

Talks about Oregon Legalization

Jah Guide (instrumental)/

Can’t You See/

Talks about musical inspiration

Fire Fire/ > on Talking Revolution

Livicates Tune to all intellectual Herb Smokers

I Am That I Am (benediction only)/

Don’t Want To Get Busted Into

Don’t Want To Get Busted/ > on Talking Revolution

Don’t Want To Get Busted Outro

Legalize It > on Talking Revolution

Peter does KZEL Radio Promo

 

The Life of Peter Tosh – Roger Steffen’s look at the life of Peter Tosh thru music and interviews.

If you have never heard this tribute to Peter Tosh by Roger Steffens, then your in for a real treat.  This page is taken from my Peter Tosh Tribute site. HERE > Peter Tosh Tribute

Peter Tosh – The Life of Peter Tosh KCRW broadcast unknown date.

Roger Steffen’s look at the life of Peter Tosh thru music and interviews.

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Recording source: FM  Dubwise Transfer

Click each track to play, left click and save as to download
Part 1.

 

Interview – coming in hot
Interview – Vienna 1980

Roger Intro for show

Interview 1983 with Mel Cheplowitz.

Simmer Down

rasta shock them – treat me good

Interview 1983 cont.

walk and don’t look back early version
Acoustic What Your Doing To Me

Interview about being on Jamaica Music Business

steppin razor early version
simple tom
the letter
rightful ruler
Arise blackman

Talks about Here comes the Judge

here comes the judge

Part 2,

Selassie Seranade
Sun Valley
We can make it uptight

Interview about education

downpressor man early slow version
no sympathy
get up, stand up

Talks about his songs >stop that train

Chris Blackwell talks about telling Bob to go Solo >Once Bitten
lion

Talks about Mark of The Beast

Mark of The Beast



Part 3.

Talks about His Work to Do

Igizabier Y masgwan ( let jah be praised)
dont want to get busted live in studio

Talks about Laws
Speech One Love Peace Concert as Peter says “An Integration Concert
Equal Rights  One Love Peace Concert

Speech at One Love Peace Concert talks about the Shitsytem

Bush Doctor   One Love Peace Concert
Interview talks about his speech at One Love Peace Concert

Part 4.

bob and peter in LA – get up, stand up
guide me from my friends
dont call it no rat race
explains bumba klot meaning
bumba klot live
Speech when power went out at Jamaica World Music Fest. 1982.

you can’t blame the youth  live

them a fi get a beaten  live
pick myself up  live in studio

Speaks about worries of Assassination Possibilities  > mama africa live

Peter talks about Future with Roger
Interview > jam inna jamdown 

Closing Remarks by Roger > Fire Fire live Studio

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)

 

 

 

Peter Tosh – Rebel with a Cause, Reggae’s unsung Revolutionary.

Peter Tosh  – Rebel with a Cause, Reggae’s unsung Revolutionary.

 

To mention Peter Tosh in the same circle as Malcolm X, Che Guevara, or Nelson Mandela is not uncommon. Peter was a true revolutionary, activist, and a rebel witha cause.  To wake up peoples slumbering mentality as he would put it, toshake up the system with Truths and Rights, Peter Tosh was like no other rebel.  He used the power of reggae music to spread his messages.  Never underestimate the power of music.  His stance on the Legalization of Marijuana lead to him being beaten numerous times, but he  was not afraid to speak his mind and Get Up Stand Up for his and our rights.

In recent years many have wondered why someone who gave so much seem almost forgotten. As an original member of the Wailing Wailers (The Wailers & Bob Marley and the Wailers) Peter was an original driving force in Jamaican Music in the late 60’s, and onward tell his tragic death in 1987.  He, Bob Marley, and Bunny Wailer helpedbring reggae music to the world and influencing many worldwide to learn more about Rastafari and their African Heritage. Peter was the only Wailer who could play an instrument and is know to have taught Bob how to play.  He wrote and arranged manyof The Wailers early songs. In 1973, he left the group for a solo career and went onto create historic LP’s like Legalize It and Equal Rights.

 

Though perennially overshadowed by Marley, Peter’s militant style and views on life often appealed to many more than Marley’s more loveable friendly personality.  “In places like Africa, Peter is an even more respected star than Bob because of his militancy,” says reggae archivist Roger Steffens. “He was almost beaten to death on several occasions by Jamaican police because of his anti-establishment views. He didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk — and people respect that all over the word.”

 

Peter was a amazing person who not only influenced Jamaican musical history but through his music, words, and philosophy have impacted millions worldwide. I love Peters out-spoken militant personality that refused to be scared to speak his mind especially when it involved Truths and Rights and the Legalization of Herb.  Legalize It is more than an anthem, it is a whole Movement world-wide.  If still alive today, I know he would be at the forefront of the battle to Legalize It!  Peter’s music and messages have been a inspiration to myself and others and will continue to be for many generations.  People will always need to Get Up, Stand Up for their rights and Peter should be recognized for his contributions to the world just as  much as Bob Marley or any other freedom fighter that has received large media attention.  A true Rebel speaking for Equal Rights and Justice.

Visit the Peter Tosh Tribute Site for rare pictures, video, and music. HERE

By John DuBois (Dubwise Garage) Jan. 14th 2012