Letter From Kingston: Digging On Beat Street

Sevens Clash Goes Shopping At Augustus Pablo’s Old Record Shop

Today, Beat Street is a shadow of its former self. A long, slow rate of attrition initiated by the digital drift of the music industry, and assisted by governmental neglect, has gradually gutted what was once a vibrant scene. With a disappearing domestic market and unable to subsist solely on the occasional pilgrimage by fanatics from abroad, stores are being shuttered one by one. Pablo passed away in 1999 at the age of 44 due to complications from a rare nerve disorder, but the family maintains ownership, and Rockers International stands defiant in the face of the changing tide. They are truly one of the last of a dying breed. 

The store has just opened for the day when we arrive. LPs cover the walls and 45s hang from the store’s high ceilings. It is small, but not claustrophobic. After quick introductions and a short conversation, Mitchie Williams, the local musician who runs the place day-to-day, digs under the L-shaped counter to produce multiple stacks of original pressings of classics from the seventies and eighties.  Read the rest at… SevensClash.com

Augustus Pablo “Eastman Sound”

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