'Drummie' Isaacs marches to own beat

Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

Friday, March 23, 2012

Print this page Email A Friend!




ON April 20, the Reggae Film Festival will present the documentary, Studio One Drummie and the History of Rocksteady Music. One of its stars is drummer Joe 'Drummie' Isaacs of the Soul Vendors band.


In it, Isaacs, who played on many classic songs at Studio One during the 1960s, speaks of his days working with legendary musicians including Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer of the Wailers, keyboardist Jackie Mittoo, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Toots and the Maytals, the Heptones, Marcia Griffiths, Burning Spear and American singer Johnny Nash.


Studio One Drummie also sees Isaacs exploring cultures of the Nyabinghi Rastafarians and the Maroons.


Recently, the 63-year-old spoke to Splash about his time at Studio One, from his home in Florida.


"It was all about love, everything was done in love," he said. "No one knew where it (music) was gonna end, but it was a happy feeling to go there (studio) every day to create rhythms."


Isaacs, who hails from Bog Walk in St Catherine, was never formally trained as a drummer. He says he left school at age 15 and went straight into music.


"I had a calling to play drums and was never really academically inclined in school. Many are called but few chosen; I feel I was chosen for this mission," he said.


At Studio One, he played on many hits including I've Got To Go Back Home by Bob Andy and Fatty Fatty by the Heptones.


Isaacs is disappointed with the lack of recognition for him and many of his contemporaries in Jamaica.


"That is the greatest disappointment in my life," he said.


He is also not happy with the state of contemporary Jamaican music.


"The music that is going on today basically is not really good," he said. "The rhythms are good, but the vocals that are put on these rhythms is not all that good — disrespecting ladies, dealing with badness, slackness and murdering," he added. "We are using the most powerful weapon in the world to describe these different things."


He believes a change to more quality content can have a positive impact on Jamaican society.


"I would really say that the music has a lot to do with the violence and everything going on in the whole world," Isaacs said. Educate the youths on how important the music is. When you have good content, that's when you will see change."


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT