Spin Magazine Article on Black Rock

By editor • Oct 24th, 2008 • Category: news

The November 2008 issue of Spin Magazine (with MGMT on the cover) features a great oral history of Black Rock as told by the artists, journalists, and industry pros who made it happen. Check out the online excerpt from Spin - Black Rock: An Oral History by David Browne.

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  1. It was nice to see an article talking about Black Rock but as usual it was far too little and way too late for some and really didn’t go far enough. It was the same people being interviewed. Where were the women and some of the other rockers like Gordon Gaines who was one of the most incredible guitarists I have ever seen. (check out his live video on youtube) So while I was initially excited to see the article I was ultimately disappointed. To Spin’s credit there was a photo of DK Dyson the Eye & I vocalist but why not interview her as well?
    I was lucky to be at many of those BRC gigs and like Michael Caplan (who signed Living Colour and Eye & I to his credit) said, Eye & I was great. Although that gig where he said DK Dyson came out of a coffin was a bit off. As I recall, it was a trunk but there you go with the “Robert Johnson at the crossroads” routine with death and the devil nonsense fascinating some people. As people of color and artists in particular know we don’t have to look for the spirit or tell tales of the magic ‘cause it is always there unless you run or hide from it. One thing about Eye & I that I felt was that it was always about the light in the end of that damn tunnel no matter how long or dark that tunnel was and sometimes they would take us through the darkness to get there.
    Caplan went on to say that the “consumers voted no” The so called consumers didn’t even get to “vote” (Who is he kidding?) I guess that would take the blame off Epic Records who seemingly really watered down the music (in pursuit a a hit) from what many of us had heard at live shows although The Eye & I album was still amazing it seemed like more record company BS interference.

    The band Eye & I were in fact what I and many remember most from those BRC gigs in the late ‘80’s to early ‘90s more than anything or anyone else including Living Colour who I feel were and are great and all due praises to them. Eye & I was an incredible band who delivered on so many different fronts from the streets to the heavens and because of DK Dyson’s persona, talent and female aspect delivered so many colors that many of the others could not. (The Family Stand and later Sophia’s Toy must also be recognized as well)

    The band included Melvin Gibbs who is undeniably a great musician and an incredible “roots on the planet , branches in the universe” bass player , Gary Poulson was the amazing guitarist whose playing to me has never gotten it’s due. He has the ability to “ride the lightning” and funk it up as well, but also was not afraid to get sensitive and quiet. Many so-called greats who have gotten the accolades seem to be afraid to show the heart thang. Richie Harrison was total energy and thunder personified on the drums and seemed to be saying with his playing “that we could go anywhere in this world tonight if you ride me.”. I remember Derek Baynes as the keyboard player who added other worldly soundscapes as a young J- Logic on the turntables stacked layers of street vibrations. They truly were of their time and ahead of it as well. DK Dyson the vocalist was beyond words both sonically and visually. She soared to the stratosphere with her amazing vocal range which was earthly and spirit infested, painting pictures of joy and sadness at the same time and continues to do so. Her queenly carriage was a sight behold and hear. Check out her out on Myspace.

    When I left a BRC gig I felt so privileged to have heard EYE & I and these other Black Rock bands playing against the odds. It was hard knowing that race stopped the world from knowing. (Make no mistake about it that is what it was). I can say that as an artist and as a person they fed me and I ate well and it is a part of who I am and what I do. I believe I heard or read the DK Dyson once say “Black Rock Is, t’was and always will be”

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