Lighting Up

Joseph Hill lights a spliff for “Deadley” Headley Bennett. (1995)

Here is my journal entry for that day.

12/24/95 – It’s Christmas eve day and I’m going up to Joseph’s (Hill) place to shoot the cover for his new CD “One Stone”. My good bredrin Harris arrived early with the legendary sax player Deadly Headley and we were off. Headley said he had not seen Joseph in some time so I knew they would have some interesting stories to talk about. We arrived and Joseph was out in his yard enjoying the beautiful Jamaican morning.

We hung out for a while talking and listening to the new CD, it was the best Culture I had heard in a while which made me even more excited to be doing the cover. Joseph explained the concept of the title and some ideas he had. The basic idea was that one stone can cause a lot of change, like a rock tumbling down a hillside or a pebble moving through a stream, it causes change. After the music was over we left to go to the spot Joseph had in mind for the cover photo, a river just up in the hills past Golden Spring. It was the perfect spot the shoot, a nice cool river with some nice little waterfalls. I could have just hung out there all day admiring the beauty of the place, but there was work to be done.

The lighting was less than ideal due to the heavy jungle foliage not allowing much sun to penetrate. We shot at several different spots along the river until I felt we got the right shot, and we did get plenty of wicked shots for sure. After we were finished shooting we hung out a while burned some herb and enjoyed the solace of nature. Joseph decided this was also the perfect spot for an afternoon bath, so in we went, the water was cool but refreshing. I was thinking to myself, “why can’t every shoot end like this” but like life, all good things must end, so we packed up and drove back to Josephs place to drop him off. Now we were off back to the noise & hustle of Kingston.

Once I got back I called my publisher, who had been avoiding me for quite some time, since he owed me money. I called very pissed off and managed to get delivered $J 5,000 out of the $70,000 I was owed. At least I had a little cash to celebrate the holiday. The rest of the day I just hung out and listened to Chinna and the gang play music all day. That evening we sat around watched some holiday TV shows and then at midnight Chinna broke out a bottle of champagne to celebrate. I remember Chinna saying “who says we don’t celebrate the holiday, cheers”! it was a different Christmas for sure, but pure niceness indeed. The following day would be spent celebrating Christmas in Trench Town, not your average Christmas holiday for me, but it was awesome. Big up to the Trench Town massive.

One Stone would later go on the be one of Culture’s best selling CD’s.

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