Monday, July 31, 2017

The Selecter and Saxa (RIP) in the August 2017 Issue of MOJO

The August 2017 issue of MOJO magazine (which is taking longer and longer to find its way over to the USA each month; my newsagent told me that he heard that the distributor might start bringing the bulk of each month's issues over by boat and only have some copies airmailed--and the consumer would pay more for the airmailed copies if they want to receive them more quickly!) features a fantastic warts-and-all four-page history of The Selecter by Lois Wilson, as well as an obit for The Beat's late and truly amazing saxophonist, Saxa (compare it to our remembrance of the man).

The Selecter feature hews fairly closely to what I've read about the band previously (particularly via Pauline Black's autobiography "Black by Design"), though I don't think it's been ever stated so clearly that Black (according to Neol Davies) was the one to break up the Celebrate the Bullet-era Selecter--and I had no idea how the early 90s revival of The Selecter, which included both Davies and Black (and was quite good live--see Out on the Streets), managed to lose Davies fairly early on. This piece does give short shrift to the recent Black/Hendrickson/Pyzer version of The Selecter; they've released a series of undeniably great albums full of new material and have extensively toured in support of them (and they're playing in the USA again this August). Oh, and it seems that The Selecter's forthcoming album was originally titled Human Too.

When I was writing my obit for Saxa, I found it pretty difficult to find any reliable info about Saxa's goings on in the UK in the 1960s--he claimed to have played with The Beatles and Elvis during that time (I did track down Malu Halasa's "Twist and Crawl," an entertaining Wha'ppen-era biography of The Beat, but even that didn't have a lot of solid facts on Saxa's background). So, it was interesting to see that MOJO's Ian Harrison had similar challenges. All in all, MOJO did Saxa proud.

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