This morning I found out reggae legend King Stitt passed away the other day. He died from prostate cancer and was only in his early 70’s. Just a couple of weeks ago I was chatting to someone in Dub Vendor about the musical pioneer (he was one of the first DJs to be captured onto vinyl in Jamaica). Stitt’s attitude was classic reggae, where an artist would capitalise on whatever qualities they’ve got, no matter how unusual or obscure. He didn’t have Steve McQueen type looks but that didn’t stop him, he gave himself the nickname of “The ugly one” and the rest is history.
Stitt was a big hero of mine since the early 70’s when I saw the lyrics of his tune “Fire Corner” on the cover of my elder brother’s rough book; “No matter what the people say, these sounds lead the way, it’s the order of the day from your boss DJ, I King Stitt” Brilliant! Throughout the years I would be well chuffed if I came across any of his releases in second-hand shops and when it came to sample something for me and my mate’s first single it seemed King Stitt was a natural choice. When our track “Son of Stitt” by One Deck & Popular was released, I sent a 10” to Studio 1 in Jamaica where he worked with a note saying if he was ever in Camberwell Green and fancied recording a single to get in touch. He never did but it would be nice to think he actually read it. The last few years had seen King Stitt still in demand what with the ever growing interest in vintage reggae and at the end of last year doing gigs in France and Brazil to great acclaim.
I feel sad tonight of his passing and will drink a couple of mini-bottles of Sainsbury’s own brand lager to salute his passing. Big up the King!