Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

November 13, 2013

Fela in performance

Filed under: Africa,dance,music — louisproyect @ 4:11 am


  1. Reblogged this on 21st Century Theater and commented:
    I posted this awhile ago, but a reblog couldn’t hurt. Badass extraordinaire. No one like him before or since. I wonder if he and Marley ever met. If they did, I haven’t heard about it. I’ll have to dig around for that. In the meantime, I just found this:

    Fela Kuti and Bob Marley: two ports of the Black Atlantic

    Comment by 21stcenturytheater — November 13, 2013 @ 11:27 am

  2. Oh, for those who are wondering who that odd skinny redhead is at the beginning: that is the drummer Ginger Baker, of Cream and Blind Faith fame. He moved to Nigeria and lived in Africa for many years. This footage is from a documentary he made.

    Comment by 21stcenturytheater — November 13, 2013 @ 11:42 am

  3. Spent almost three years in Liberia in the mid-’70’s and never once heard of Kuti until well after I returned: palm wine music and highlife was all that was ever aired.. and what was aired was only heard in Monrovia, not upcountry. Bembeya Jazz was well established and the favorite among francophone and muslims but even they were not exactly a household word outside of the former french west africa during this period. But by the end of the decade Kuti was well known but not aired, mainly because his stance against military governments and because he started singing in english ( everybody’s second language)

    I believe that Baker actually filmed the show. It was intended as a promo for the album ‘Let’s Start”.

    This performance of Let Me Say My own at the Luna Night Club appears to me a sendup of Jaan Pehechan Ho at the Princess Club. Bollywood films like Gumnaam were about the only fare that made the upcountry village circuit and were hugely popular to film audiences gathered in barns with projectors running on portable generators so loud that the film sound ran a distant second. My scant evidence for this claim is the dance and that the event is staged.

    Ginger Baker fronted the british invasion in Nigeria that attracted pop luminaries like McCartney.. and Africa 70 with Kuti makes a stealth appearance throughout this McCartney/Jackson vid (and full-on @ 2:57). Much nicer than what was eventually released sans Kuti, no ?

    Comment by Scott Edwards — November 14, 2013 @ 4:51 am

  4. The most interesting effect of Baker’s stint in Nigeria is that he inspired a lot of locals to add loud rock guitars to their music.

    I prefer Fela’s kids on record even if they couldn’t touch him as a live performer (similar with Marley, In prefer hearing his songs sung by someone like Ken Boothe although Marley was obviously amazing to see live).

    Comment by godoggo — November 15, 2013 @ 9:47 am

  5. ….based on the video evidence.

    Comment by godoggo — November 15, 2013 @ 10:06 am

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