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Opinion: Don Letts’ Role in Iconic Culture of the Last 40 years

Don Letts was instrumental to the sound of Big Audio Dynamite

Don Letts' memoir 'There and Black Again' will be released May 20.

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

For a few years now, the alarm I use to wake myself up on my phone has been set to play Big Audio Dynamite’s “The Globe.” This drives my family crazy, because the beginning of that song is a totally bananas cacophony of sound that comes out of nowhere and grabs you by the ears, and they’ve been woken up by it way too early, way too many times. But that’s why it’s a great alarm. And a great song! I’ve always felt that way about BAD in general—you never knew what they were going to do at any moment, and it’s why their work elevated both rock ’n’ roll and DJ culture back in the ’80s and ’90s.

Don Letts was instrumental to their sound, and as Santa Cruz expat Jennifer Otter Bickerdike notes in her cover story this week, he’s also found himself involved with some of the most iconic culture of the last 40 years, from filming videos for the Clash to hanging with avant-garde artists. Bickerdike’s interview with him this week, as he releases his memoir There and Black Again, is a great read for any music fan.

I also have big news this week, as Good Times has won first place in General Excellence in the California Journalism Awards for the second consecutive year! All the details are on page 12, and I just want to say I’m so proud of our team for all eight of our wins this year, but especially for pulling out a back-to-back win in General Excellence in what was the most difficult year ever. It’s an award that recognizes every aspect of our paper, so it belongs to every staff member and contributor who helps make GT what it is every week. Thank you, everyone!

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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