Don Letts is humble and low-key but a serious force. He was involved in a trove of culturally significant things people may not be aware of. Don was largely responsible for the crossover of reggae into punk, that’s him on the cover of Black Market Clash; he made the videos for “London Calling,” “Rock the Casbah,” and others for the Clash, as well as “Back on the Chain Gang” for the Pretenders and “Pass the Dutchie” for Musical Youth. Don was in the band Big Audio Dynamite with Mick Jones, and he made maybe my favorite music doc ever called “Westway to the World” about the Clash. An amazing film called “Rebel Dread” about Don’s life has just been released. The film is a compelling portrait, and I plan to add my own portrait of Don with a print in the future!
Out now in the US, Rebel Dread explores Don Lett’s cultural and political awakening and looks at how he found his voice as a young black British man including the story of how music and the spirit of Punk Rock helped make him the man he is today. Watch today on Bohemia Euphoria.