Don Letts

Film Director & DJ — London

Name
Don Letts

What do you do?
That's like asking Marlon Brando in the The Wild One: 'what you rebelling against'? My main occupation is that of film maker but I also have a weekly show on BBC 6Music along with DJ'ing nationally and internationally. And Marlon Brando's answer to that question? - 'what you got?'

How you would best describe your job?
A mixture of pleasure and pain but I enjoy what I do so I figure I'm on a winner.

Where are you from?
Born in Brixton - raised in London - live in Kensal Rise. I'm what this city looks like!

Describe your style in three words?
The Rebel Dread

One Film you would love to have directed?
'The Harder They Come' directed by Perry Henzell - helped break reggae worldwide and inspired me to become a film maker. The soundtrack's crucial vinyl.

You can spend an hour with anyone from history - who would it be?
Barack Obama - as the first African American president his importance to people of colour globally is impossible to overstate.
Related track's gotta be: James Brown's 'Funky President’.

Which British musicians have influenced your approach to life?
Joe Strummer, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Ari Up.

British Subculture you feel will have the greatest legacy?
Obviously Punk - because it was complete subculture not just a stylish soundtrack. It was an attitude that informed/inspired writers, poets, graphic artists, photographers, fashion designers and yes film makers! Related track's a toss up between The Sex Pistols 'Anarchy in the UK' and The Clash's ‘Complete Control'.

First song you played on repeat?
The first single I ever bought was The Beatles 'Penny Lane' b/w 'Strawberry Fields' - released in 1967 when I was just 11 years old. I was a major Beatles fan as a kid - quite literally an 'Apple Scruff'.

One record you would keep forever?
Marvin Gaye's album and the track 'What's Going On' released in 1971 - it's as relevant now as it was when it was released and just like Marvin I still wanna know 'what's going on'?

Song that defines the teenage you?
Bob Marley's 'Natty Dread' released in 1974 it landed when I was finally standing on my own two feet.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
'If you feel like you have no reason for living
- don't determine my life'
From Dr. Alimantado's 'Born For A Purpose'

Best Gig you have ever been to?
The first live gig I ever went to was The Who at The Young Vic in Waterloo back in '71 when I was fifteen years old. It was my was my introduction to an alternate universe - been living there ever since. Seeing Bob Marley and the Wailers at The Lyceum in 1975 was another crucial gig - walked out of that show a new man. The Sex Pistols live at The Nashville's also a seminal moment along with seeing The Clash play seventeen shows back to back at Bonds Casino in NYC during the summer of 1981.

A song you wished you had written?
Flaming Lips - 'Do You Realise??'

Four new songs you can’t stop playing now?

Dispute - The Frightnrs

Suddenly - Drugdealer ft. Weyes Blood

Caution - Damian Marley

Lying Has To Stop - Soft Hair

Name
Don Letts

What do you do?
That's like asking Marlon Brando in the The Wild One: 'what you rebelling against'? My main occupation is that of film maker but I also have a weekly show on BBC 6Music along with DJ'ing nationally and internationally. And Marlon Brando's answer to that question? - 'what you got?'

How you would best describe your job?
A mixture of pleasure and pain but I enjoy what I do so I figure I'm on a winner.

Where are you from?
Born in Brixton - raised in London - live in Kensal Rise. I'm what this city looks like!

Describe your style in three words?
The Rebel Dread

One Film you would love to have directed?
'The Harder They Come' directed by Perry Henzell - helped break reggae worldwide and inspired me to become a film maker. The soundtrack's crucial vinyl.

You can spend an hour with anyone from history - who would it be?
Barack Obama - as the first African American president his importance to people of colour globally is impossible to overstate.
Related track's gotta be: James Brown's 'Funky President’.

Which British musicians have influenced your approach to life?
Joe Strummer, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Ari Up.

British Subculture you feel will have the greatest legacy?
Obviously Punk - because it was complete subculture not just a stylish soundtrack. It was an attitude that informed/inspired writers, poets, graphic artists, photographers, fashion designers and yes film makers! Related track's a toss up between The Sex Pistols 'Anarchy in the UK' and The Clash's ‘Complete Control'.

First song you played on repeat?
The first single I ever bought was The Beatles 'Penny Lane' b/w 'Strawberry Fields' - released in 1967 when I was just 11 years old. I was a major Beatles fan as a kid - quite literally an 'Apple Scruff'.

One record you would keep forever?
Marvin Gaye's album and the track 'What's Going On' released in 1971 - it's as relevant now as it was when it was released and just like Marvin I still wanna know 'what's going on'?

Song that defines the teenage you?
Bob Marley's 'Natty Dread' released in 1974 it landed when I was finally standing on my own two feet.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
'If you feel like you have no reason for living
- don't determine my life'
From Dr. Alimantado's 'Born For A Purpose'

Best Gig you have ever been to?
The first live gig I ever went to was The Who at The Young Vic in Waterloo back in '71 when I was fifteen years old. It was my was my introduction to an alternate universe - been living there ever since. Seeing Bob Marley and the Wailers at The Lyceum in 1975 was another crucial gig - walked out of that show a new man. The Sex Pistols live at The Nashville's also a seminal moment along with seeing The Clash play seventeen shows back to back at Bonds Casino in NYC during the summer of 1981.

A song you wished you had written?
Flaming Lips - 'Do You Realise??'

Four new songs you can’t stop playing now?

Dispute - The Frightnrs

Suddenly - Drugdealer ft. Weyes Blood

Caution - Damian Marley

Lying Has To Stop - Soft Hair

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