Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

Busy Doing Nothing: Johnny Clarke, the Reggae Idler

James Maycock, The Independent, March 1999

THE COMPETITIVE MUSICAL CLIMATE was so intense in mid-'70s Kingston, that Jamaica's capital city was given the soubriquet "Third World Nashville". Hundreds of aspiring musicians and audacious singers – mostly teenagers – fought to impress the all-dominant, reigning producers. They had the power to change these youths' lives from ones of quiet desperation under the sun to one of fame and, perhaps, fortune. These youngsters had to seize the moment. And that moment could arrive at any time. Johnny Clarke was one such fearless singer & songwriter. Back then, he was determined to win the confidence of these producers.

Total word count of piece: 900


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.