Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mannox magic and more

Selwyn 'Bumbo' Brown of Steel Pulse in 1978
I am a glutton for early photos of Steel Pulse and Peter Mannox has a drawer full of them, having been born and brought-up in their backyard of Handsworth in Birmingham, and been around at the time the band were just kicking off their successful music career with Island Records. These are two more photos from Peter which he took in early 1978, showing what most reggae band members at that time did when they weren't playing their instruments. Peter, who now lives in the wilds of Scotland, is able to provide hard copies in higher resolution of these priceless early photographs, up to A2 if you so require. Contact him through his blog here.
Steel Pulse's David Hinds contemplating life in 1978
You may recall that back in April 2008 I posted a slice of a self-portrait by Steel Pulse's lead man David Hinds. Well here is the full painting in all its glory. As you may be aware, the early history of reggae legends Steel Pulse has always intrigued me. They've been my band of choice since I saw them at Cheltenham Town Hall in 1978, some four years after their formation in the backstreets of Handsworth in Birmingham. The founding fathers of the band were David Hinds and Basil Gabbidon. They were best friends, both attending sixth form at Handsworth Wood and they both had Saturday jobs at the Co-Op supermarket in Winson Green. They loved music and they loved art. So much so that they left Handsworth Wood and went to the Bournville College of Art to continue their studies. Basil took a one year vocational course in graphics and David, who joined Basil in the supermarket on Saturday's only, took a foundation course in art studies and later moved onto the School of Art at Margaret Street, the Art Department of Birmingham Polytechnic. It was during his first year at Margaret Street in 1974 that David painted this self-portrait. It's oil paint on cotton duck canvas, 21"x20" and shows David at home - and is a unique piece of artwork by one of the world's leading reggae artists.
David Hinds' 1974 self-portrait in oils

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