Don Letts DJ, filmmaker and broadcaster
Don Letts DJ, filmmaker and broadcaster
Don Letts is really the man who instigated the ‘punky reggae party’. As the resident DJ at the Roxy, one of the key London clubs during the early days of punk, he opened the ears of many of the young punks to the deep joys of Jamaican reggae and dub. He is still in love with music which is why it was such a pleasure to have him come and spin some tunes after John Cooper Clarke’s Wild Hare Club performance.

As well as documenting the punk scene in Punk Rock Movie, Don went onto manage The Slits, play in Big Audio Dynamite with Mick Jones of the mighty Clash and make various other films and music videos. Always at the centre of the scene, but with a filmmaker’s eye, Don is a great storyteller and talking to him over breakfast was a real pleasure.  “What you need to know, Richard, is that Chrissie (Hynde) was sleeping on my floor at that time...” Want to hear some of the man yourself? Well, I recommend that you tune into his show on Radio 6.

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When Richard Met Debbie

Everybody knows the story of my meeting with Patti Smith but she’s not the only one of the artists of the New York underground scene of the late 1970s who I’ve met. Yes, of the CBGB centred scene-makers, I’ve also talked to John Cale and Richard Hell, exchanged grunts with Tom Verlaine and hung with Lenny Kaye. OK I confess to having engineered these encounters, mainly by blagging my way backstage, but my coming face-to-face with the Queen of NYC cool, Debbie Harry, that was totally unexpected.

When Richard Met Debbie

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