I’ve been listening to a lot of Toots recently, after his recent passing, and thinking about him. I asked Toots once what Maytals meant, and he said “you know, Maytal, like ital” (I-tal was the Iyaric word for “vital” — as in the vegan sense). All three of them, Raleigh, Jerry, and Toots, grew up… Continue reading


Minnie’s Can-Do club was on Fillmore, at the corner of Wilmot alley where O’Napes and Bluebird had a place. Debbie Chicago lived up on California, around the corner from Dunkin’ Donuts with its SFPD cars outside. Up the street from what was soon to be Ruel’s Kingston Records, where I found the scene that led… Continue reading


Why someone becomes famous over another is a matter of talent plus circumstances: friends, funding, events, timing, visibility, etc.. there may have been, and I imagine certainly were, more creative or visionary musicians than Beethoven at the time, but a constellation of factors thrust him into the limelight. Once there he becomes an influencer, both… Continue reading


I went into a starbucks and they were playing “Who’s Lovin’ You” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, which was my number one favorite record when I was a kid, and I said so to the girl at checkout and added that it was the B-side of “Shop Around” (the real hit at the time)…. Continue reading