robbie earl



“So glad I got to know you. The times that we had I’ll keep like a photograph. I’ll hold you in my heart forever, I’ll always remember you…”

Garnett Silk (born Garnet Damion Smith; April 2, 1966 – December 9, 1994), was a Jamaican reggae musician and Rastafarian, known for his emotive, powerful and smooth voice. During the early 1990s he was hailed as a rising talent, but his career was ended by his early death in 1994, while attempting to save his mother while his house was on fire.

Smith was born in Manchester, Jamaica. His musical career began at the age of twelve, when he performed under the name Little Bimbo.[1] During the 1980s he worked as a deejay on sound systems such as Conquering Lion, Soul Remembrance, Pepper’s Disco, Stereophonic, and Destiny Outernational (where he first met Tony Rebel).[1] He recorded his first track in 1985, but it would be two years later before his first single, “Problem Everywhere” was released.[1] An album of material from this period (Journey) was later released. In 1988, he joined Sugar Minott’s Youth Promotion label, releasing “No Disrespect”, and working regularly with Tony Rebel, Smith now being billed simply as ‘Bimbo’. The pair began performing as a duo around the sound systems to much acclaim. The Garnett Silk Meets the Conquering Lion: A Dub Plate Selection album dates from about this time and features a clutch of exclusive recordings the DJ cut for the sound system from the mid-1980s through the end of the decade. Rebel, a Rastarfari, eventually converted Smith to his religion with the help of dub poet Yasus Afari, a close friend of both the DJs.
Singing career
In 1989, at the suggestion of veteran singer Derrick Morgan, Smith turned from deejaying to singing, with a recording session at Bunny Lee’s studio with Rebel, including tracks recorded separately, as a duo, and with Anthony Selassie, and he began working under his real name.
The Heartbeat label’s Tony Rebel Meets Garnett Silk in a Dancehall Conference compiles these early Morgan-overseen recordings. The success of this session led him to continue as a singer, going on to work with producers King Tubby, Prince Jammy, and Donovan Germain, before signing a two-year contract with Steely & Clevie in 1990, recording an album’s worth of songs for them. It was the production duo who decided to change his name to Garnet Silk, in reference to his smooth voice.
Only one of the tracks recorded during this period, “We Can Be Together,” a duet with Chevelle Franklin, was actually released at the time, and discouraged by this, he returned to Manchester and threw himself into songwriting, often in partnership with an old friend, Anthony “Fire” Rochester.
Another encounter with Tony Rebel brought an introduction to Courtney Cole, owner of the Roof International label. Silk would record a plethora of songs at the producer’s Ocho Rios studio, amongst them were the hits “Mama,” “Seven Spanish Angels,” and a cover of the Johnny Nash classic “I Can See Clearly Now”. Roof International would posthumously bundle up these early singles and other material recorded at this time for the Nothing Can Divide Us album, which the VP label picked up for the U.S.
By 1992, Silk was in Kingston in the studio with producer Bobby Digital, recording his debut album It’s Growing. Split between deeply cultural themes, spiritual songs, and romantic numbers, the album went on to become one of the best selling in Jamaica that year, and he had his first major hit single with “Hey Mama Africa” (produced by Richard “Bello” Bell) for the Star Trail label, which was Silk’s first international hit, and topped the reggae chart in Britain.
Over the next two years, the singer would record with most of the major name producers on the island, both on his own and in partnership with Tony Rebel. He cut a swathe of songs with King Jammy, including “Fill Us Up With Your Mercy” and “Lord Watch Over Our Shoulders.” The latter track titled a 1994 compilation released by the Greensleeves label in the U.K. and boasts seven Jammy cuts and a clutch of hits for other producers.
1993’s Gold, released by the U.K. Charm label, bundled up more hits from this period. Amongst them was “Zion in a Vision,” a Jamaican number one cut with producer Jack Scorpio, as well as “Hey Mama Africa”. he also recorded for Sly & Robbie, including the deeply religious “Thank You, Jah” and the haunting “Green Line.” But the pace was becoming too much and Silk collapsed during a show at the Ritz in New York City, suffering from low blood pressure and exhaustion.[1] The exhausted singer was forced to cancel all his scheduled appearances for the next six months, most crucially of all, what would have been his debut at Reggae Sumfest. However, Silk bounced back in 1994 and set back to work. In a show of good grace, he rejoined Steely & Clevie and cut the “Love Is the Answer” single, another massive hit. “Fight Back,” produced by Richie Stephens, was next up. By then, the singer was ready to re-take the stage, which he did with a vengeance, headlining that year’s Reggae Sumfest and Reggae Sunsplash festivals.[1] His set at the latter event was captured for the Live at Reggae Sunsplash 1994 album, released in 1999 by the Tabou1 label. Silk’s backing band was Jahpostles, who originally formed in the late 1970s.
Having signed an international distribution deal with Atlantic Records, Silk now entered Tuff Gong studios with producer Errol Brown and the cream of Jamaica’s sessionmen (including Aston Barrett, Sly & Robbie, Tyrone Downie, Earl “Chinna” Smith, and Uziah “Sticky” Thompson), to begin work on his second album. He’d recorded ten songs and the album was nearing completion when he went home to visit his mother. Silk had borrowed a pair of guns from his attorney after his home had been burglarized, but had no idea how to use them. Sitting with a couple of friends at his mother’s house in Mandeville, Jamaica, on December 9, one offered to show him how they worked, at which point the gun accidentally misfired, hitting a propane tank and setting the house ablaze.[1] The singer, his friends, and his two brothers made it out safely, only to discover that Silk’s mother was still trapped inside. The singer rushed back into the house to save her, but it was too late and both were lost in the fire.
The events surrounding Garnett’s death have been said to be questionable and this requires a reliable source. There are talks about the burglary and his death being connected in a more suspicious manner and some of them appear to have come from sources close to the artist.
Silk’s music has been kept alive by several tributes, including Macka B’s “Tribute to Garnett Silk” and the Earth Day concert, and numerous compilation albums, including two collections of his dubplates, Kilamanjaro Remembers Garnett Silk (Jam Down, 1999) and Rule Dem (Trojan/Sanctuary 2006).
In 2000, Atlantic finally released The Definitive Collection, a two-CD set showcasing the ten tracks the singer had recorded during sessions for his unfinished second album.
Silk’s son Garnet Smith Jr. has followed him into a career in music.
Silk’s nephew Anthony Cruz recorded a tribute album in 2013, featuring cover versions of fifteen of Silk’s songs.

It’s Growing (1992)
Gold (1993) Charm
Buju Banton Meets Garnett Silk and Tony Rebel (1993) Rhino (with Buju Banton and Tony Rebel)
Love Is The Answer (1994) VP
Lord Watch Over Our Shoulders (1994) Greensleeves
Tony Rebel Meets Garnett Silk in a Dance Hall Conference (1994) Heartbeat
Nothing Can Divide Us (1995) VP
Journey (1996) VP
Reggae Max (1996) Jet Star
Give I Strength (1999) VP
Killamanjaro Remembers (1999) Jamdown
Live at Reggae Sunsplash 1994 (1999) Tabou
Collector’s Series (1999) Heartbeat
Garnett Silk Meets the Conquering Lion: a Dub Plate Selection (2000) Conquering Lion
The Definitive Collection (2000) Atlantic
The Definitive Collection (2001) Atlantic (2-CD edition)
100% Silk (2001) VP
Legends of Reggae Vol.5 (2001) Artists Only
This Sound Leads The Way (2001) Rhino (Garnett Silk & The DJs)
Silky Mood (2002) VP
The Very Best of Garnett Silk - Gold (2002) Jet Star
Reggae Anthology: Music Is The Rod (1994) VP
Rule Dem (2006) Trojan
DVD appearances[edit]
Garnett Silk and Friends (2002) MVD
Golden Voices of Reggae (2005) Island MVD


MATCH REPORT: AFC Wimbledon - Blackburn Rovers (Sky Bet Championship)

Wembley Stadium, Playoff Final

Referee: Lukas Papwick

AFC Wimbledon Starting XI: Amankwaa; White, Demichelis, Ozéia, Kennedy; Francomb, Moore, Gauld, Sainte-Luce; Green (Bald) [c], Green (Other)

AFC Wimbledon Substitutes: Mose Vestergaard, Röcker, Deeney, Dicko, Kazviropoulos, Pell, Brown

Blackburn Rovers Starting XI: Silva; Kane, Hanley, Dann, Spurr; Etuhu [c], Evans; Marshall (King 90’), Olsson (Fábio Nunes 69’), Judge (Best 77’); Rhodes

Blackburn Rovers Substitutes: King, Morris, Best, Fábio Nunes, Henley, Goodwillie, Marcelo Boeck

Do you remember the first time you were in love?

Mine was a long time ago, longer than I care to admit. It was late October, round 1am or so. I had just got to her house- it was about an hour and a half by train each way. We were still in that not-quite-friends-but-not-quite-dating space, that liminal space that’s brimming with possibility but no one’s done the thing yet. It was raining. She was behind her house, sitting on the stoop in the back yard. Just sitting there, soaking in the rain and waiting for me. I sat down next to her and we just stared off into the sky, a chocolate brown sky with no stars that was dropping a steady rain on our heads. She told me about an album she picked up earlier that day- Arctic Monkeys? Maybe?- and she was about halfway through it. She said she was glad I was there. We were quiet again for a while, just sat there, getting wet. I wish I could say I had some grand revelation that led me to lean in and kiss her then, or that I finally mustered enough courage, but it wasn’t quite that dramatic. She was just beautiful, and soaking wet, and it seemed right then. She giggled, scooched up towards the door a bit for some protection, and then took the lead on our second ever kiss. I don’t remember how long we were outside her house. But that’s when I knew I was in love.

At one point, not too long before we went inside to put on the kettle for some badly needed tea, she turned to me and said, “I can’t promise you it will get better than this.” At the time I wasn’t sure how to take that, and later I worried that maybe she was trying to warn me off. “Don’t get mixed up with me, kid, I’m no good.” Much, much later- long after we had broken up- I came to think she meant something else. We can’t ever promise each other much of a future. We can’t promise we’ll always love someone, or that we’ll always be there for them, or that we’ll never let go. We may have the right intentions, but life and time often intervene. The most we can ever promise is that we’ll try. She couldn’t promise me things would get better, and indeed we never got our Happily Ever After. But we did have that night in the rain.

There are no shortage of hack writers out there who compare supporting a football club to being in love, and I don’t quite intend to join their ranks today. There are similarities, but also profound divergences. As much as we may talk ourselves into believing otherwise, a football club can never, ever, love us back. But often our intentions, our commitment, our dizzying highs can come close to being in love. And the big thing, for me at least, is that your club can never really promise you it’ll ever get better. But sometimes you have magical nights in the rain.

It wasn’t raining at Wembley earlier today, in a stunning turn of events. But we did get one of the most magical days in the history of Wimbledon football.

The Dons have battered teams in the past, but this was probably the most comprehensive game we’ve ever played. All our goals came from gentlemen named John Green- including one that is, fair and away, the most spectacular goal since Lawrie Sanchez’ header against Liverpool. Blackburn probed early, but once we got our first goal (the product of a blundering miscommunication between the goalkeeper and one of his defenders), they knew it was over. The scoreline margin was thin heading into halftime, but they must’ve known it wasn’t their day. For all their struggles to get to this point, Wimbledon sailed through the playoffs, their whole latter end of the season a leisurely stroll to the steps of the Royal Box. Twice.

This wasn’t just a coronation. This was the culmination of years, decades Wimbledon football. So much was done by so many to get us to this point that we can’t possibly remember them all, but the Dons did give it a try. The post-match team photo on the pitch included not just the first team but a host of former Wimbledon players. Former Wimbly Wombly skipper Alan Bennett. Jack Midson, given special leave to attend from his new club. Dave Beasant, goalkeeper and captain for the Wimbledon team that won the FA Cup in 1988. Vinnie Jones. John Fashanu. Robbie Earle. Neal Ardley. Seeing them all standing side by side with the likes of Bald John Green and Other John Green and Ryan Gauld and Callum Kennedy. Three or four surviving generations of Wimbledon footballers, all there to help escort our club back to the Premiership.

So. Here we are. 15 years after tryouts on Wimbledon Common and playing in the Combined Counties, AFC Wimbledon will find themselves plying their trade in the Barclay’s Premier League, with all the money and global broadcast rights and corporate partnerships that entails. It’s a monumental task for a club with no money and a thin squad, but Wimbledon have become football’s equivalent of Pascal’s Wager- which is to say, doubting them is probably more trouble than it’s worth. By way of their Cup win, they’re also back in Europe next season. How they will manage all this is remains an open question. But it’s one we can, perhaps, wait to worry about tomorrow.

For now, I want you to remember today. I want you to go home and stash some memento of what you saw today. Maybe write down some pertinent details somewhere you’re sure you’ll find again on some far off afternoon in the future. Days like this in football are rare, especially for clubs like ours. This is special. This is important. Go somewhere quiet- or very loud, if that’s more your speed- and be present and mindful of today as one of the good days. Soak it in. Remember.

Because I can’t promise you it will get better than this.

AFC Wimbledon 3-0 Blackburn Rovers

Scoreline: Other Green (WIM) 37’, Bald Green (WIM) 64’, Bald Green (WIM) 79’

Discipline: n/a


My grandfather Earl “Robbie” Robison passed away this morning. He lived a hell of a live and spawned what seems like several hundred people. He was married to my grandmother 73 years, which is longer than I hope to live and he served in World War II. His hobbies included getting bitched at by my grandmaw and wood working. I’ll miss him sitting in his armchair in the corner trying to survive the chaos and anarchy of xmas family gatherings.