Diary 1971

Home address: Church Street, Chelsea, London.

I MOVED from Stockholm, with Johnny Nash, Danny SIMS, and my lady to Chelsea, London, England in October 1971. My total earnings from October to December 1971 was a staggering £600. From working with Nash on the 'I can See clearly now' album for CBS Records, I got paid a blistering £300, and from working, at the same time, with Island records, on the 'Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu, Rabbit' album, I got paid another scorching £300. I spent £500 of it, leaving me with a grand total savings of £100. I’ve made it! I earned the money, and then spent it. That’s a sign of success, man! I was very lucky actually. while I was still working with Johnny Nash in Stockholm, I managed to get the 'KKTR' gig in London, via an old deceased friend, named Rebop Kwakuba, who at the time, was the African (Ghanaian) percussionist for the famous Steve Winwood and 'Traffic'. I knew Rebop because he also worked with me and Nash in Sweden, doing percussion for us. He made trips back and forth from Sweden to England, due to the fact that he had a Swedish wife. That he kept well hidden. I think I met her once. On one trip to London, to do his 'traffic' thing, he came to me and said, “Rabbito (rabeetoe), give me your home tapes to take to London, so I can play them for Chris Blackwell, head of Island Records ”. I said, “cool man, yeah, have a joint, and I’ll get some sorted out for you. by the way, pass me that bottle of wine, and do you want a tab of acid, Rebop? ”.

Anyway, Chris Blackwell really liked my home demos, he liked the way I worked, and what I was generally about at the time, and he liked my work with Johnny Nash, and Bob Marley, who was also living with us in Stockholm, on board as a songwriter for Nash, like I was too. So, Chris approached Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke, guitarist and drummer from 'Free', and told them about me, and that they should consider having a listen to my demos, and consider giving me a try in their new project, since Free had split up. That's how the album, 'Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu, Rabbit' (KKTR) came about. Thanks to Rebop, who now is sadly gone; he died on a dance floor, in Sweden, from heart failure and stroke, due to the effects of booze and cocaine. We all loved Rebop. God Bless.

Anyway, I’m in London now-1971. I’ve been trying to get here from Texas slnce 1967. Bob Marley, who lived with us in Sweden, and worked as a songwriter for Johnny Nash, who owned all of Bob's publishing at the time, along with Danny Simms at Cayman music, joined us in London after a short break away from the camp. These are magic days. My first impression of London are romance, beauty, awe, and 'olde English' air. My lasting impression will always be, believe it or not, the gloriously 'White ’ milk bottle. I notice them everywhere: on doorsteps, sitting on window sills, like little soldiers waiting to be called into service. Sort of 'protectors of the front door'. I wander around Koss's flat and his courtyard, in the mews in Nottinghill, and take in the summer air, and notice, in amusement, all of the lovely clean white milk bottles on everybody ’s doorsteps. The market at Portobello road - Island studios were right off of it at basing street - will always bring back huge fond memories of a Texan ’s first glimpse of London.

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