One of my favourite people and my creative comrade in arms, Don Letts has recently been working on a documentary called STRUMMERVILLE. It focuses on the charity of the same name that came into existence after Clash front man Joe Strummer passed away. The film had its world premiere the week just passed at SXSW. The charity helps provide a platform for upcoming bands, helps with funding and to get them into studios, provide access to mentors and more! For more info on the charity that helps emerging bands check out: Strummerville and the interviews with Don about the film below.
Don has also been responsible for wonderful documentaries on Sun Ra, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, The Clash, Punk Attitude and more!
RANDOM MISS B STORY: I met Don a couple of years back, he was in my hometown of Brisbane presenting a screening of the Clash doco Westway To The World among others. He also read excerpts from his biography Culture Clash: Dread Meets Punk Rockers, had a Q & A with the audience and performed one of the most amazing reggae, dub, dancehall DJ sets I have ever seen in my life.
Earlier, in the weeks leading up to Don’s appearance at The Globe in Brisneyland I’d been trying to secure a conversation with Don for my book project, Conversations With Punx: A Spiritual Dialogue; trying without much luck. A couple of days out from the screening/show I noticed a missed called on my cell/mobile phone. I checked my voicemail and a very British accent came down the line saying, “Hi this is Don Letts. I heard you’re looking for me.” To say that I was excited is the understatement of the year! I have always had a lot of respect and admiration for Don’s work. I can identify with him in the way that he is a part of, has helped shape and documents some of the most vibrant, innovative, creative music communities in the world—something which I aspire to every day with my work.
I told Don about my project and he listened with great interest. He told me that despite being a part of the punk community since its inception he had not necessarily thought of punk and his work having a direct link to spirituality. He told me that he rather it just manifests itself in his work. He also commented: My church isn’t a building, my church is the planet and the way I give praise and thanks to the creator, whatever or whoever he or she might be to any individual. It’s in the actions and the way that I conduct myself on a day-to-day basis. I respect myself, I respect other people. To me, that made a lot of sense, commonsense in fact. What do you think?
Are there any good music related documentaries you’ve seen of late?
Love & light,