Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

You Can Get It If You Really Want 

Wednesday, Sep 30 1998
As the hardscrabble hero of the early '70s cult film favorite The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff leaves the Jamaican countryside for Kingston, where he hopes to make it as a singer. A series of bad breaks leads him into drug dealing, homicide, and, inadvertently, stardom, which grows exponentially along with his reputation as an avenging gangster (the film continues to inspire some viewers to stick it to the man, at least at a certain video store from which the movie was recently stolen). The Harder They Come also helped seal reggae's popularity in the States, with Cliff's now-classic contributions (including "Many Rivers to Cross" and the film's title track), as well as songs from Jamaican national treasures the Maytals and Desmond Dekker. Cliff's irrepressible sweetness, and the high-steppers ball he puts on with his band, is reason enough to swing by this year's Reggae in the Park concert, which he'll be headlining. Ragga, rocksteady, ragamuffin, Rastafari, and Red Stripe (and semsimilla, in vast quantities) figure into the two-day event, which features supporting acts like OJ Ekemode ("The King of Afrobeat"), the Nigerian All-Stars, and the Itals. Also notable on this year's bill: Cliff contemporaries the Legendary Wailers, whose new CD Psychedelic Souls puts a reggae spin on '60s rock, like the Doors' "Love Her Madly" and the Who's "My Generation." The show begins at noon Saturday (also Sunday -- the Wailers and Cliff perform Sunday afternoon only) in Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $14-25; call 458-1988.

-- Heather Wisner

About The Author

Heather Wisner


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"