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Bakehouse Studios presents UK punk legend and iconic dub and reggae DJ Don Letts

As part of the Why Punk? series, Bakehouse Studios presents UK punk legend and iconic dub and reggae DJ Don Letts in conversation.

Letts managed The Slits, formed the group Big Audio Dynamite with Mick Jones (ex-The Clash), and using the punk DIY ethic has directed videos for artists including The Clash, Elvis Costello, The Undertones, and Bob Marley.

Don Letts’ reputation has been firmly established in both the film and music world by a substantial body of work from the late 70’s through the 80’s, 90’s and well into the millennium. His work has been exhibited in The Kitchen N.Y.C, The Institute of Contemporary Art, The N.F.T in London and was honored at Brooklyn’s BAM festival and The Milan Film festival.  In March 2003 he won a Grammy for his documentary ‘Westway To The World’.

He came to notoriety in the late 70’s as the DJ that single handedly turned a whole generation of punks onto reggae. It was whilst as a d.j at the first punk club ‘The Roxy’ in 1977, that Don adopted the punk D.I.Y ethic and begun to make his first film ‘The Punk Rock Movie’. Shot on Super-8mm it is the only documentary on the U.K punk scene w/ Sex Pistols-The Clash and many others. This led to a period directing over 300 music videos for an eclectic mix of diverse artists ranging from Public Image to Bob Marley. He then moved into documentary work covering the likes of Gil Scot-Heron, The Jam, Sun Ra, George Clinton and most recently Paul McCartney. Dancehall Queen (co-directedby Rick Elgood) shot in location in Jamaica 1997 was his first feature film.

At the end of 2007 Don presented ‘Speakers Corner’ in conjunction with the British Arts council. Featuring several spoken word artists, poets and rappers with a musical band in a theatrical setting. The event toured the UK in November-December and was a contemporary response to the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade.

On Tuesday 6th November (Cup Day), Letts appears in conversation with Woody McDonald (The Cave – RRR) at Thornbury Theatre to talk about his career in music and film, his experiences of late 70s London punk, and the unification of punk and Jamaican reggae culture. 

There’ll also be a screening of Letts’ documentary ‘Two Sevens Clash’ featuring his archival footage of The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Slits, Linton Kwesi Johnson and more, plus an excerpt from the ‘Subculture’ series focusing on Punk and Two-Tone in the UK in the late 1970s, with contributions from Norman Jay, Viv Albertine and Pauline Black.

Bakehouse Studios presents Why Punk?
Don Letts In Conversation
 Tuesday 6th November (Cup Day)
Thornbury Theatre
859 High St Thornbury
Doors 12.30pm
Tickets $40+bf from OzTix

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