Words by Earl Gateshead—
Earl Gateshead and Dr. Alimantado
Along with people like Don Letts, Earl Gateshead was one of the figures responsible for making reggae a vital component of the burgeoning punk rock movement in 1970s London. His career as a selector began accidentally when, while promoting punk shows at The New Queens Head in Brixton, he was unable to find a DJ to support the acts, taking over the duties himself with reggae selections. He would eventually link with South London’s Armoury 89 soundsystem, and became Big Youth’s and Dr.Alimantado’s tour DJ. Still active on the London scene, where he runs Trojan Soundsystem and is a regular guest at nightclubs like Fabric, Earl makes his NYC debut on Friday (6/29) at Drom in Manhattan alongside Subatomic Sound System, Deadly Dragon’s Scratch Famous and Top Shotta Band. We asked him to select the 10 reggae tunes that had the greatest impact on punk’s first wave.