Mikey Dread’s “Israel Style” is one of my favorite tunes of all time. In fact the whole World War Three album, which includes the tune “Jumping Master”, is a genius piece of Roots Reggae work. Heavy on the dub, heavy on the drums and bass, and masterful in Mikey Dread’s delivery of his vocals, the album cannot be touched.
I had a gig one night at the Boulevard Club in San Marcos, at a club where Junior Reid was performing. I had to play outside the whole time while the show was going on inside. The gig was kind of a drag, but turned around in the blink of an eye. I was playing Israel Style for the folks burning herbs outside, when low and behold Mikey Dread walks up to the tables. He asked if I was playing the tune because I saw him in the crowd, and I explained to him that it’s a staple in my Roots selection, and I had no idea he was in the house. Mikey got a large smile on his face, and said Thank You. I reached out and shook his hand, and told him “No, thank you Mikey Dread!”
It’s rare that an artist passes, and I actually feel it inside. I knew the situation was grim for Mikey Dread, after I heard of his battle with a brain tumor. Unfortunately yesterday, Saturday March 15th, he succumbed to the tumor, and has moved on. Of course he’s not dead, by any means. With a catalog of great tunes like Mikey’s, he will live on in the hearts of Reggae lovers forever.
For Mikey Dread’s Bio Click Here
Who Cork The Dance, one of my favorite Blogs, posted an old recording Mikey’s radio show which was recorded Christmas 1978. You can check the blog, and download the show HERE
Michael Campbell A.K.A. Mikey Dread