“I forget exactly when this was, the late 1970s, very early 1980s, when we all began working with Black Uhuru. Probably the most militant reggae band I’ve ever come across they made Peter Tosh look fairly harmless and could clear a restaurant just by walking in, taking off their tams and shaking out a considerable mass of dreadlocks.
Underneath that outward show of bravado, if you like, the three of them were really nice people. Duckie Simpson especially so.
The first LP did okay but didn’t set the world on fire. When the second LP was ready to go, the Island marketing people set their budget accordingly. This was duly passed to Chris Blackwell who immediately summoned the senior marketing chap up to his office whereupon he was asked why the budget for the new Black Uhuru had been set so low?
The marketing guy said it hadn’t and justified the figure by trotting out sales figures, but CB was having none of that. He put forward a figure which was a huge increase over the figure previously submitted.
The marketing guy recoiled and said the figure was way too high and in no way could it be justified. CB insisted and added another 10k to the figure he’d already written down.
At which point the marketing guy started to sputter and, once again, began telling the boss it shouldn’t be done, the band’s sales to date simply didn’t warrant it.
CB held his hand up and quietly said, “You don’t understand. This is my money you’ll be spending.”
Read the rest here at SPIN