Download New Beth Lesser Book Rub A Dub Style FREE

Rub A Dub Style CoverWith the release of their 1979 hit, ‘Rub-A-Dub Style’, deejays Smiley and Michigan announced to the world that Reggae music was undergoing a major change. Dancehall was gonna take over leaving the Roots and Rockers sound of the 70’s just that – in the past. This new sound was blowing up Jamaica and it has now not only changed Jamaican music but has inspired and helped lead the way for Rap and Hip-Hop all around the world.

In her new book, ‘Rub-A-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall’, writer Beth Lesser focuses on the rise of Dancehall after the passing of Marley in 1981 and the Dancehall explosion in the early ’90’s. The book looks at the decade after the death of Bob Marley that took the music of Jamaica even a step further taking the Dancehall style sound from the ghetto to even greater international success.

This is the story of the ’80’s as told through the eyes of the participants – the artists, musicians, producers, distributors, sound owners, radio jocks, engineers and fans. ‘Rub-a-Dub Style’ covers this innovative period in Jamaican music that saw the introduction of pre-programmed instruments, the rise of sound system ‘specials’, the battle of ‘slackness’ versus ‘culture’, the emergence of female dancehall artists, the development of the sing-jay style and the domination of the market by deejays.

Rub-A-Dub Style is being offered as a FREE pdf download as an appreciation of Jamaica and it’s people and culture. The author hopes that through publishing the book it will help promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the immense efforts the artists and musicians from that period went through in creating such a powerful and dynamic expression of Jamaican culture.

The book is also available for a $1 donation from most E book retailers including Amazon (a fee is required by Amazon etc. in order for them to make an E Book available to the public which is why there is a cost) and as a printed paperback book via a self-publishing service called Lulu ($17.50 US/ £9.90 UK/ 15,87 € Europe). The printed version does not include any photographs though to make the book more affordable as a print-on-demand publication. I reached out to Beth for some photos which you can see below. Beautiful aren’t they.


Beth & Dave '87During the 1980’s, Beth and her future husband, David Kingston, started a fanzine focusing on Augustus Pablo’s Rockers International which quickly broadened it’s scope to include other Reggae artists at the suggestion of Pablo himself. Changing it’s name to Reggae Quarterly it published a total of 8 highly regarded issues over five years that focused on the exploding Dancehall sound. During the same time David was also the host of the award-winning show Reggae Showcase on CKLN in Toronto as Lord Selector with many of the Reggae artists featured in the book passing through the city appearing for both interviews and live sessions on the air.

Beth and Dave regularly visited Jamaica and New York to pick up records for the radio show, do interviews for the magazine and take pictures a plenty documenting what was happening in Jamaica and with the music. Her photographs from this time have now appeared on LP and CD covers, books, magazines and in films from around the world.

In 1989, Beth began a piece for Small Axe on King Jammy and his body of work which kept growing into a full book. The book King Jammy’s, was issued as an expanded edition in 2002. I’ve got a copy and it’s a wonderful read, well worth picking up.

A few years later, Soul Jazz, asked her to write a book about the 80’s Dancehall scene of which she had visually captured via her photos that would showcase her work and accompany a collection of tunes they were releasing. “Dance Hall: The Rise of Dance Hall Culture” came out in 2008. The Quietus website did a thorough interview with Beth talking about the book.

Following the death of Sugar Minott in 2010, Beth then set out to write a biography of the legendary singer. She wanted to focus not on his individual recordings exclusively. She wanted to highlight the work he did with people he taught and inspired – a tribute to an old friend – who did more than create great music but had a direct impact on the community around him. The book The Legend of Sugar Minott & Youth Promotion was published by Small Axe in the UK.

The other books Beth has written have been so beautiful I hope this new book sees a full color print publication sometime in the future. It would be a shame if it never happened. Check out this interview from United Reggae for even more background on her.

All donations received from the book will go directly to support various projects by Jamaican artists and producers. No details on who or what projects specifically at this time.

If you’re interested to helping Beth offers a few ideas in the book including contacting the The Jamaica Association Of Vintage Artistes & Affiliates (JAVAA).

The organization is always fundraising to support social welfare and business
education programs for it’s members and to promote the history of Jamaica’s popular music in schools.

The Jamaica Association Of Vintage Artistes & Affiliates (JAVAA)
Oakton Park Entertainment Complex
57 Hagley Park Road
Kingston 10
P: 876-908-4464

Portions of this post were adapted from a piece about the book posted to the Trojan Records website by Laurence Cane-Honeysett.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.