Gary O'Connor's Blanc Noir Audio
Don Letts describes himself as first-generation, British born black. In the early 1970s, along with Jeannette Lee, he ran a shop called Acme Attractions on the Kings Road, Chelsea. The Dub Reggae he played in the shop attracted the attention of Andrew Czezowski who asked him to dj at the legendary Roxy Club, the only dedicated Punk Rock venue in London at that time. Letts found the punk scene inspirational, picked up a Super-8 camera and changed his life. He became friends with Bob Marley and also forged close relationships with John Lydon of the Sex Pistols and Joe Strummer of the Clash. Letts went on to become a successful promo-director working with PIL, the Pogues, Aswad, Elvis Costello, Black Grape, Bob Marley and the Clash to name but a few. He co-founded Big Audio Dynamite with ex-Clash guitarist Mick Jones and produced a number of compilation albums including 'Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown' on Trojan Records. In 2007, Culture Clash: an autobiographical account of his life was published with assistance from David Nobakht.
'The idea of a clash of cultures summarises a man whose life has found him continually balanced between two poles: the predominantly white world of art/fashion, video and film making in the UK on one side, and the black sensibility of Jamaican reggae, hip-hop and black politics on the other. Few black artists have so successfully managed to unite these disparate elements as has Don Letts.'
David Nobakht, 'Culture Clash' 2007
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