musicology #134

theGood,Bad&theUgly #1

(Augustus Pablo – Cassava Piece)

this weeks selection is a project that themusicologist first played around with 10 years ago when the ‘techne’ was beginning to make it possible to ‘mix & blend’ media together.

the impact of the spaghetti western on contemporary street culture cannot be overestimated. especially in Jamaica where the ‘gun-man’ was beginning to dominate in the wild west atmosphere of Kingson’s shanty towns.

The Good The Bad & The Ugly, (the third film in the trilogy), was released in Italy at the end of 1966 but took a year to be released around the world, (opening in America in Dec 1967), widely criticised for it’s gratuitous violence, (amazing when you consider that Vietnam was in full swing), it was an instant success and inspired a  whole generation of  youngbloods which continues to this day.

Tarantino called it “the best directed film of all time”

Apart from masterful direction by Sergio Leone it also featured the atmospheric brilliance of Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack, (there is very little dialogue in the film), and great performances from the ‘Anti-Heroes’ Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef.

for themusicologist the only film with a comparable impact, (on the streets), was Scarface.

the Kung Fu films of the 70’s and early eighties were influential but The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and Scarface are beyond compare when it comes to influence. Nowhere was this more apparent than in Jamaica, especially in directing the music and the cat responsible for cementing this ‘gunman style’ was none other than Augustus Pablo. this 1972 cut on his brothers Rockers label follows on from the Lee Perry tradition of utilising the western theme and the only thing left for me to say is…

“when you have to shoot, shoot…don’t talk”


6 thoughts on “musicology #134

  1. interesting theme…even I who know very
    little about films can recite a few lines from
    the ‘spaghetti westerns’ and recognise the impact
    they had on the youth of the day…enjoyed the
    way the dialogue linked into the brilliant slice o


  2. I knew I was gonna like this one, I just LOVE Augustus Pablo and the sound of the melodica (hope that’s the right word for it, but I’m sure you know what I mean). Lovely tune this…thanks again xxx


  3. monique,

    you are right the instruments name is the melodica.
    Invented in Germany in the 50’s to teach school children the fundamentals of music.

    One of It’s first appearances on record was in 1966 on an Elvis Presley recording but it was in 1969 on Atlantic Records that Jazz/Funk musician Phil Moore Jr blew it ‘for real’ on the LP ‘Right On’.

    mainly played by Pianists rather than ‘Reed Men’ Pablo is probably the instruments most well known practitioner but there are many others who practice the art.

    thanks for the comment


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