Friday, February 20, 2015

Ali Campbell Quotes

1. Never before had we seen pop getting so brazenly political. Thatcher was a hate figure that seemed to unite everyone.  

2. Yeah, nothing has changed much. I was a young angry man and now I'm an old angry man. I'm angry at the world. It's what gives reggae its fire. But I'm very lucky and 35 years later, I am still doing what I love. It doesn't get any better than this.

3. You hear reggae influences in almost every genre, and the biggest contemporary hits in dubstep and hip hop, it's having more of an impact now. Many people may think the genre is dead but it's alive in Jamaica, as always, and it's become homogenized worldwide in other genres taking from reggae. The genre is definitely not dead.

4. Hip hop started with reggae and now it's come full circle with hip hop emulating reggae.

5. We started out on the streets of Birmingham as a couple of kids wanting to make reggae music.

6. (on the main financial lessons he has learnt) Not to trust anyone. I was a very trusting person and that's been my downfall. I trusted people who stabbed me in the back and betrayed me. I didn't want to become someone who is suspicious but you have to become like that otherwise people take advantage. 

7. My dad was a folk singer but he wasn't allowed to go to America to make money because he was a communist. So straight away his politics halved his income and he would have felt very guilty if he had earned a lot of money anyway. I think he had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that his sons were making money. He was stingy too but I found it all a little contradictory as he played to Aaron-sweatered, middle-class teachers in folk clubs.

8. I had a home and studio in Jamaica and built a little hotel there but again the partner we had ripped us off and built exactly the same home down the road for his dad. He was ordering double. We ended up in litigation with him.

9. Money hasn't made me happy at all. It's got in the way of a lot of stuff and it changes people's attitude to everything. When there's money involved you find out who your friends are. I've found out I didn't have any brothers. I thought we were a band of brothers, not just my blood brothers. When I left I found out that every member of UB40 had had a quarter of a million quid that I hadn't had so it's all got very nasty. Money might put your kids through a good school and help you live in a nice home somewhere but other than that it gets in the way. We're told all our lives that success is making lots of money, but I'd say success is holding on to it.

10. Politically, reggae has always spoken against the establishment. We went with that. We supported South Africa's struggle against apartheid and you can see the effect the entire movement had when the whole world stopped when Mandela passed away. It was felt around the world and that legacy is something you as South Africans can be proud of.

11. Solicitors and lawyers are the scum of the Earth. I'm seen as a cash cow by everyone. For me it's about making music and sometimes I wish I didn't make money.

12. We have more oomph now with a younger band and 11 members on stage. Expect the same energy we had 15 years ago when we toured South Africa with the original band.

13. I don't know how to save. When you don't grow up with money, when it does come in you don't have a clue how to handle it. I'm still awful with money. It doesn't matter what I earn, I've still never got any money.

14. I still make reggae for the fans who love and supported us over the years. We don't change much as we get older, and I still love my old influences like Peter Tosh and Stevie Wonder.

15. I don't really like handling money. I'm not good with it, I leave it to my wife. I don't carry anything in my wallet and I've got a tour manager who pays for everything.

16. When I was 17 I worked as a cashier at a Butlin's holiday camp for £22.50 a week, which I thought was an enormous amount of money. After the season ended I was then on the dole for three years on £7.90 a week until UB40 were offered their first record deal. Several major labels offered us £150,000 advances but we turned them down on the advice of my dad who - despite being a confirmed anti-capitalist - said: "go for percentage points of profits," as he knew that publishing was where it was at. At that time we had the best deal in the country next to Paul McCartney. We were on 15pc when everyone else was on 8pc. 

17. I do like dub and the music sometimes say more than lyrics can. It's a great unifier. But other than that, I still hold myself as being responsible for the continuation of reggae, among others and that's what I will do for as long as I live.

What do you think of Ali Campbell's quotes?

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