Prince Buster Takes on the Beatles?!


Daily Gleaner, March 23, 1964

I do love me a good Prince Buster laugh, because he is such a character. He cracks me up with his bravado, his machismo, his brazen balls.

I blogged a few weeks back about his time as a “boxer” and it still makes me chuckle that Prince Buster has even been called a boxer, but it’s because he is such a masterful marketing guru, for himself! In interview after interview he tells journalists and fans that he began as a boxer. He boxed one round in his entire life, and that round was rigged for him to win! Read the blog post for details on that humorous tale.

I also blogged recently about his stirring the pot in the U.S. with other artists who were at the Peppermint Lounge to promote the ska dance and sound. Check out that blog too.

His Judge Dread songs are nothing short of classic. And the whole feud with Derrick Morgan is legendary. Prince Buster’s claims of being the first to invest ska, the first to play ska, the first to create the word ska, etc. just make me smile–really smile, not a sneer, because to me, Prince Buster epitomizes the stick fighting culture that is so much a part of ska. Is there no one who better characterizes the theater of ska than Prince Buster?

So then, without further ado, here is the text of the article. The headline speaks volumes though. And if anyone knows what became of this claim detailed below, please share, as I’d love to know.

Prince Buster May Tackle the Beatles

Prince Buster, pioneer of the Jamaican sound now known in London as Blue Beat, returned to the island by air on Monday. He had been in London for several weeks, during which he appeared on BBC-TV and ITV, singing his Blue Beat Hit Song, “Wash Wash.”

This was the singer’s fourth visit to London, where he now has an agent, in charge of promoting his records and arranging future personal appearances.

Buster says he plans to return to London in May to do more television and stage shows. He plans to take along a quintet of Jamaican musicians who have backed him in his recordings.

One of the projects which may materialise then for the group is to appear opposite the Beatles at the London Palladium, according to Prince Buster.

1 thought on “Prince Buster Takes on the Beatles?!”

  1. Great article Heather…You have aptly described Prince Buster as the “…emperor who had on no clothes…”.

    I agree that the irrepressible Buster may be described as the CLOWN PRINCE OF SKA, but nevertheless, his BlueBeat musical treats (especially (“Wash Wash”), had a seminal effect on introducing and extending the scope of Jamaican music in the UK, as well as in the wider international arena.


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