Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rockers International Record Shop

Drifting off to the Eastern minor chord strains of Augustus Pablo since first being exposed to him in 1979, I never got to meet him or see him live (both challenging tasks). A lifelong dream was fulfilled in 1997 when I was finally able to visit the actual Rockers International Record Shop on Orange Street in Kingston.

These photos were taken by me and Leon: for some reason our driver “Cheese” aka Howard modeled with his Nissan in a few of them, and the Prince Buster photo is included since it is just a few doors down and taken the same day.

Buster’s was closed, in fact it was kind of dormant looking, but Rockers was busy. We soon realized why- This young black cutie named “Bubbles” (I’m serious), was spinning dancehall records on their set at full volume and dealing with customers (no photo of Bubbles). They had new stuff and mixtapes (“Zim Zimma” was the big tune at the time), plus tons of Rockers 45s and discos (with those red-on-yellow labels). They had every Pablo LP available in a rugged Jamaican pressing with that yard style clear plastic bag for an inner sleeve.

A couple times while we were there, this guy who looked exactly like Pablo except with an afro came up to the counter from inside the shop. It was either Garth or another Swaby brother, he had to be family. We took a good look at everything and made a few purchases, driving off with Cheese to Junior Reid’s shop and Tuff Gong.


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