The hardbound book Rockers, put out by Gingko Press, is a combination autobiography of Ted Bafaloukos, the connection between 1970s New York and Kingston, Jamaica, as well as the making of reggae’s most iconic film. It really has solidified itself as one of the best books of the year. Case in point: unless you were in the know about the film (or Country Boy, or insert cult, underground reggae film here), lived it during the period, or were involved as a musician or DJ in the reggae scene, you probably had no idea about the early ‘70’s reggae movement in New York City and its Kingston roots. This connection just didn’t involve the music (which was a huge part of it), but the fashion and characters who littered the reggae scene with style and charisma. In present day, the movie has even been given a tribute by Levis, who dedicated a whole season to the Rockers Collection that reproduced a lot of the clothing musicians and others wore in the iconic film.
This book put out by Bafaloukos is really a bridge between the Jamaican culture and the United States in the ‘70s, particularly The Big Apple. Today, reggae is well known and popular. People are familiar with the genre and who’s associated with it. Everyone knows who Bob Marley is and how iconic he is now. When Marley and the Wailers first came to this country, they were not well received at first. There are widespread articles on the man being booed as an opening act. Reggae was virtually unknown and this Rockers book brings that to light. From a chance meeting with Marley on the street in NYC on his first visit, to being mobbed and accosted in Kingston as he was taking photos in a studio, only to produce these Marley photos and astound the locals (and losing many of the photos in he process) and just making it out of there after Bob gets him a ride, Bafaloukos has given us a huge part of history in this book. For years to come, this book will be looked back on like the movie was, a defining moment in music history, one that can never happen again. Reggae music was and will always be a movement. The early ‘70s reagge will never happen again, but that’s why Ted Bafaloukos was chronicling it. He knew it was much more than it was. This mysterious, sometimes dangerous music and culture (whether it be the first time he saw Augustus Pablo in Brooklyn where shots rang out or having to navigate the seedy streets of Kingston, Jamaica to capture this fascinating scene) struck a chord with the man. So much he made a movie that has gone on to be world renowned and has reached cult status many times over. And now this book, which we highly recommend to any music, history, or photography lover. This is the music/ photo book for 2020 people, there’s no doubt in our mind. If you are remotely interested in the music, movie or the movement of reggae in the 1970’s, this is the book that will fill in the gaps definitively.