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1966

VERA CRUZ * BUSTERS ALL STARS * BLUE BEAT 331 * UK

The city of Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz was founded by CortÚs during the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Vera Cruz was also a western directed by Robert Aldrich in 1954. Staring Gary Cooper as a southern gentleman who has lost everything he owns in the Civil War. He leaves home for Mexico and meets Co-Star Burt Lancaster, a no-good cowboy without any morals. With a bunch of mercenaries, they accept to fight for the emperor Maximilian against the Juaristas. Maybe this is what inspired Prince Buster to use this title or it could have been the dish; Catfish Vera Cruz.  Recipe as follows: Take 4 fillets of Catfish Cajun Seasoning 3/4 cup salsa 1/4 cup dry white wine 3 Tbsp sliced green olives 1 Tsp cummin Sprinkle both sides of fish with Cajun Seasoning to taste and either grill, bake or pan fry in non-stick fry pan until flakes (approx 5 minutes on each side.) Meanwhile, make sauce with remaining ingredients. Heat and spoon over fillets when served. Whatever the reason for the title it is possibly one of the most militant sounding of Ska, or any other, instrumentals to come out of Jamaica. The track starts as if already in the middle of a fight or battle and maintains this fervour and pace throughout, but what really lifts it into the cannon of all time militant and positive statements of art is the voice that can be heard at irregular intervals shouting "fight", and "fight, fight, fight". This provocative cry, existing as an abstract vocal consideration within the texture of the rousing music, works, I can't help thinking, as both a stimulus and goad to the musicians, and a call to arms for the listener. The likely fact that this music was inspired and spontaneous, and therefore pre-cognitive, with each participant offering their individual expression, or statement, being, at times, both performer and audience, helps draw a family likeness with Crumpin, a contemporary mode of expression, that, like Ska was, is, to date, not formalized, institutionalized, decontextulized, or commercialized.


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