This Is Reggae: My Life in Jamaican Music, from Zap Pow to Bob Marley and the Wailers

McFarland. Jul. 2023. 155p. ISBN 9781476691640. pap. $29.95. MEMOIR
Saxophonist/songwriter/producer DaCosta, as a member of Zap Pow and of Bob Marley and the Wailers, is legendary in the reggae genre. His memoir, told with the help of Dave Peters, is also the story of modern Jamaican music from ska to the popularity of reggae in the ’70s. Readers will learn that DaCosta’s mother couldn’t afford to raise and provide for him, so he grew up in Jamaica’s Alpha Boys Home. That’s where he learned to play the clarinet and joined the school band. At 16, he graduated and eventually joined the army where he played in its band. Leaving the army after 10 years, he still had a strong desire to make music and eventually made his mark with the saxophone. The book is filled with behind-the-scenes anecdotes about Bob Marley and the Wailers and the world of Rasta. Liberally illustrated with photographs, this book is an intimate account of DaCosta’s life, and it centers the birth and popularity of reggae music.
VERDICT Of particular interest to reggae fans; a good addition to large music collections.
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