It’s now been announced that the body found in woodland outside Bristol on 10th March, has been confirmed as being former Bristolian Reggae DJ, Derek Serpell-Morris (aka DJ Derek), who had been missing since July 2015. He was 73.
Tag Archives | Reggae
Just finished a captivating and, to my mind, long overdue book, which covers the history of black music in the capital spanning (almost) 100 years, the recently published ‘Sounds Like London’. By bringing all the threads together, its author, Lloyd Bradley has made a telling contribution to our understanding of how British black music evolved, following the lineage of its direct influences in the Caribbean and Africa, in juxtaposition with the impact of African-American innovation throughout the 20th century.
In 2009 I wrote an article on the history of mixing in this country called ‘How The Talking Stopped’. It was the most in depth piece I’d ever written, the research alone had taken many months, including a couple of trips to the British Library in London to comb through the copies of Record Mirror they have archived there, for it was within this magazine that the person who I’d certainly argue did more to promote UK DJ culture than any other human being, connected (via his essential weekly dance column) with fellow DJs in every corner of the country. This was the literally larger than life James Hamilton (1942-1996), and if you’re a British DJ, whether you’ve heard of him or not, you can’t have escaped his influence, for he’s part of the very fabric of our DJ / club heritage.
When my agent, Matt Johnson, booked me in for ‘A Night With…’, I hadn’t realised that it did exactly what it said on the tin, namely present just the one DJ for the full 8 hours the venue was open. I generally play for either 2 or 3 hours, with the odd 4 hour slot along the way – the only times I can recall playing longer (since I started out again), was a night at The Key in London back in 2005, and then the Credit To The Edit launch parties, both Sunday All-Dayers held at a couple of East End boozers (The Dolphin in 2005 and The Horse & Groom in 2009), so, as you can imagine, it came as a bit of a shock when the penny dropped and I realised that I’d unwittingly signed up for a marathon, but I quickly warmed to the idea and began to ponder the possibilities it presented.
Thanks to the Ranking Maz P for making me aware of this wonderful short film documentary about DJ Derek (aka Derek Serpell-Morris), filmed 4 years ago and directed by Jamie Foord. Watch here on Vimeo in 2 parts (not sure why it’s not online as a complete item, having a total running time of less than 19 minutes):
Well, that was the London Olympics that was – what was initially greeted with mass cynicism ended up captivating the nation, engendering a new sense of identity that would have been unthinkable just two and a half weeks ago.
What was your favourite number 1?
Just wanted to make you aware of a project my former Invisible Players colleague, Don Letts, has been commissioned to produce, focusing on the clothing brand, Fred Perry, and its cultural relevance in the UK from the Mods in the ’60s to Britpop in the ’90s, and right up to date via their association with Amy Winehouse, whose designs for the brand continue to be released, with the full blessing of her family, following her untimely death last July.
Just over five months after John Lennon had been shot dead in New York, another 20th century great was taken away from us. Bob Marley was just 36 when he died, thirty years ago today, in Miami on May 11th 1981.