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Blog - Rob Punton

Loving Music Hating Racism – Basil and me

Photo of the author with the musician Basil Gabiddon sitting in a community hall

Photo of Rob Punton with Basil Gabiddon of Steel Pulse

Being involved in Love Music Hate Racism is one of the greatest, most rewarding things I have ever done. Racism is a evil epidemic of discrimination which highlights the way the establishment divides us and causes mistrust within our communities. Differences strengthen society; not weaken it. Diversity enriches our culture and communities; not dilutes it. Only by standing together against racists and bigots of all kinds, cane we remove all forms of discrimination and hatred from our midst.

I write and perform for LMHR (Love Music Hate Racism) Where I was fortunate to meet and subsequently get to know Basil Gabiddon from Steel Pulse – a stalwart of the Reggae scene. He is a Brummie Legend who was at the forefront of Stand up to Racism in the 1970’s and he is still there at the vanguard of LMHR today. His music is still vibrant and as ageless as he is himself.

They say “never meet you heroes as they are bound to disappoint you” – well in the case of Basil he didn’t disappoint, and in fact he exceeded my expectations. If anyone had told me I’d be performing alongside him, I’d have laughed in their face, never mind, calling him a friend.

On hearing him, perform live in Birmingham, I wrote this poem Basil – A tribute.

I nervously, performed it in front of him. He liked it so much he asked if he could keep it.

Here it is I hope you like it as much as he does!

Basil: A tribute
They say when Smokey
Sung you heard violins
Well I know that when
Basil sings
All hearts in the hall leap with joy
All our spirits rise on high
As he beats out his message
Of hope, overcoming fear
Fear shrinks before our eyes
Let us stamp on the racists to his rhythms
Let the bigot begone to his beat
So, sing your songs Basil
Let us join in your chorus
As we aim for a fairer society
Reach for a better world
I am honoured to sit by you
Sing loud, Sing proud
Let the world hear your song
Hear our voices
Singing the message
of hope in harmony
© Robert Punton


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