Revisiting the Seventies:
I was so sad to read about the death of William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke last week.
Lead vocalist for Third World for many years, his voice, their music, my teenage years.
With occasional frizzy blonde curls – er, from a really bad perm on my dead straight hair – skintight pink pants and a shirred cut-off top (stretchy, elasticated, maybe the cheap ’70’s forerunner fabric to an Issey Pleats Please?) – certainly pre Olivia Newton John in Grease, I got my ’70’s (and ’80’s) funk down at the parties, clubs and concerts of London, getting my roots ‘n reggae groove on with Toots, Bob, Bunny et al.
The pink outfit and perm I once wore resonates with me because it is just so, not, me! Too loud. Too tight. And curls?!
Yet, one memorable night near Worlds End in Chelsea, with a booming driving bass as the audible beacon, dozens of teenagers sprawled up stairs, crowded into rooms, hung on a balcony, smoking spllffs, moving to the beat in a tower block apartment. I was there. In pink. With curls. My yout’. My love.
Along with One Nation Under A Groove (George Clinton, Funkadelic, The Brides Of Funkenstein – unforgettable!), Ain’t Nobody (Chaka Khan) and the Fire And Desire of Rick and Teena, Now That We’ve Found Love by Third World (12″ Remix with the kickin’ drum’n bass) sets my soul alight and my booty shaken’, albeit from a wheelchair these days.
RIP Bunny. The music lives on … with me. Does it move you too?