Home / Arts & Entertainment / Black Uhuru’s Duckie Simpson: “I’m a Nine-Star General Now” (The Interview)
Duckie Simpson and keyboardist/producer King Hopeton perform in Solana Beach, California | Courtesy of Stephen A. Cooper

Black Uhuru’s Duckie Simpson: “I’m a Nine-Star General Now” (The Interview)

Q: What he said was that earlier there was a case in Jamaica –
Duckie Simpson: It wasn’t a case. It was an injunction.

Q: He said he won in Jamaica [but] his lawyers in the U.S. never brought that up in California. And if they had [brought that up], that he had won [a case about the name of the group, Black Uhuru] where the group was formed, things would be different.
Duckie Simpson: (Laughing) He didn’t win a case in Jamaica.

Q: It was an injunction? It was [surrounding] a concert –
Duckie Simpson: The year before that injunction, he didn’t tell you that I won an injunction [against him], right?

Q:  No.
Duckie Simpson: Alright. He and Don was gonna do this big concert in Jamaica. And I put an injunction on them [about] that concert.

Q: That they [couldn’t] perform under the name “Black Uhuru.”

Andrew Bees performs with Black Uhuru in Solana Beach, California | Courtesy of Stephen A. Cooper

Duckie Simpson: Yes, yes. The next year, they did the same thing. But what my lawyer did in Jamaica, she used the same documents that she used the year before. To file back the injunction for the next year. And the judge said that can’t work. So [Garth and Don] won the injunction [that year due to that]. It wasn’t a trial [like the one that later took place in Los Angeles]. It was an injunction stopping them from doing a concert.

Q: I can’t remember a time before where we have seen a Black Uhuru album where you have been the frontman on every song.
Duckie Simpson: This is the first album.

Q: So is this an album where you are putting your [stamp] on things? Saying, “hey, this has always been my –
Duckie Simpson: I ain’t putting no statement [with the new album]. I won the case in 1998 in Los Angeles Supreme Court [over the use of the name Black Uhuru].

Q: So the fact that you sing on every song [on this new album] has nothing to do with that?
Duckie Simpson: Nah. When we went to court, the judge said the name was mine. Now after thirty-four years, [former Black Uhuru member] Michael [Rose] is now fighting for the name[, too]. (Laughing)

Q: I read about this in October [of last year]. You told the [Jamaican newspapers] that the case [involving Michael Rose] might go to arbitration?
Duckie Simpson: Yeah, it’s in arbitration. Michael Rose joined Black Uhuru. Black Uhuru already existed before Michael Rose. [It’s been] thirty-four years now since Michael Rose left the group. Now he has just realized that he is the voice of Black Uhuru. So who the f*ck am I?

Q:  Last time I [interviewed] you, you said [Michael Rose] is like the wasp who everyone thought could produce the honey, but that he never was able to.
Duckie Simpson: He make the comb. But he couldn’t make the honey. I read the other day where Michael said me and him have some internal problems. Me and Michael don’t have no f*cking problem. I’m the general. Michael is a foot soldier. I’m [the] general. I grow Michael Rose.

Q: Five-star general?
Duckie Simpson: I’m nine[-star] now. (Laughing) I grow Michael Rose. I know Michael Rose from he was sucking his f*cking finger. From when he was five or six years old. I teach Michael Rose to sing. I teach Michael Rose about Rasta.

Q:   All these attacks you’ve received over the decades from the various [former band members] who’ve been in Black Uhuru, do you have times where it upsets you, or do you laugh at it, or both?
Duckie Simpson: I know that’s how people are. People are devious. And people are wicked. And I am not a sociable guy. I don’t trust f*cking people. I don’t need friends and stuff like that. If you should interview all of Michael Rose’s friends from Waterhouse, they’ll tell you he’s a [derogatory term]. Seen? Michael Rose is one of the weirdest [derogatory term] you can ever – don’t let that guy fool you with his acting nice. He’s a bitch. All of my problems in Black Uhuru is women.

Q: Really?
Duckie Simpson: Yes. Garthie’s woman. Garthie’s girl from California. She’s the one who break the group up.

Q: [Garth’s] wife?
Duckie Simpson: Yes. She is the one who break up Black Uhuru.

Q: One of the things [Garth] said when I interviewed him was that you had stayed at his house. And that before you left –
Duckie Simpson: But he didn’t tell you I stayed on the floor.

Q: No.
Duckie Simpson: Oh, okay. That’s what he should tell you. I had to sleep on the f*cking floor. He didn’t have a f*cking bed in California.

Q: And then [Garth] said that when you stayed at his house [that] before you left, you took his wife aside and said, “Don’t you know that Garthie formed the group?”
Duckie Simpson: I don’t know about that. This guy is hallucinating. These guys are bitches man. They are f*cking liars. Michael Rose and all of them. When I met Garthie I was a natty dread Rasta. Garthie can’t tell me sh*t. Seen?

Q: Were you in Jamaica when Haile Selassie visited?
Duckie Simpson: Of course.

Q: Did you go to the airport?
Duckie Simpson: No. Tried to see him over the boulevard. He passed close by our hometown. So I was trying to see him when he was passing close by. Didn’t make it.

Continued on Page Six–>>

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