Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Halloween Mix 2007 Track 8 - Pablo Gad's Blood Suckers

On to the next tune... up next we've got Pablo Gad's "Blood Sucker" from his 1979 LP of the same name on the Celluloid label. Pablo Gad was an English singer/DJ who began recording in London in the late 70's and was renowned for his militant and politically charged lyrics during the late roots era. Sadly Gad disappeared from the music industry for over 20 years but came out of "retirement" in the new century to record again.

The eighth song in our mix, as you probably already imagined, deals with vampires... in the figurative sense that a lot of reggae does. In the Jamaican/Rastafarian reasoning a vampire is not necessarily a mythical creature who awakens when the sun goes down to seek human blood, he is in fact someone in the place of power that sucks the life from those who are suffering and unable to defend themselves. A vampire could be a corrupt power tripping politician (aren't they all?), a heavy-handed police force, a heartless landlord or even a sleazy self-righteous religious leader. Simply put vampires are people and corrupt systems which wield their power to hurt those who they are supposed to be helping. Pablo Gad's "Blood Sucker" speaks of this everyday monster.

Now you might ask why would I go and throw a "political" song into our maddening mix of macabre musings? My answer would be two-fold... First, even though "Blood Sucker" doesn't directly speak about the Transylvanian Count we've come to expect when the leaves start to change and the brisk wind begins to blow but I think it does a good job of re-connecting some of those ideals so prevalent in reggae music that I asked everyone to suspend when we started this last week. I'm hoping it gives the new or un-seasoned Jamaican music listener the chance to hear what makes roots reggae so powerful. Second, unlike our fond childhood memories and appreciation and fascination with all "things that go bump in the night," the creatures of Halloween are products of folklore, literature, cinema and usually our own overactive imaginations... thankfully this allows us to safely revisit them anytime we're looking for a fright in a controlled, sane environment. We don't have that option with Pablo Gad's bloodsucker. We can't stop listening, reading, watching or imagining this evil... it's lurking in the dark shadows of corruption and greed waiting to drain us of our spirits and our abilities to live a happy life. What could be more scary?

Don't worry I'm not getting all political and the Halloween mix isn't going to take a turn for the serious. "Blood Sucker" is completely in tune with the rest of the songs you've heard thus far and will continue to hear until Halloween. I've included the trailer to the 1960 Hammer classic Brides Of Dracula, hence the photo, and even give a "shout-out" to Peter Cushing about halfway through so I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Track 8

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