Clinton Fearon
Founder of Seattle reggae mainstay the Boogie Brown Band.
EVENT: Clinton Fearon & the Boogie Brown Band play the Bohemian Backstage with Fearon's son, Aben "Glorious" Fearon, and Soul 1 on Fri Dec 29.

You play a regular gig at the Bohemian--what do you think of Pioneer Square?

"From a business point of view, the owners are smiling, but from an artistic point of view, I don't think it's like it could have been or what it used to be.... I go down there to listen, and three-quarters or more of the people inside there are of a different audience, and they go there because it is a popular place. They've gone more for hiphop--and that's totally cool--but you can't call it a reggae club when the reggae fans are out looking for a place to go."

Seattle's reggae scene kind of depends on the Bohemian, doesn't it? Where else could reggae go?

"Well, you know, I've been here a good while, and I've watched it grow and divert, and grow again and divert, and what happens is that you don't depend on [one place for reggae]. A room will pop up, and over the course of time that room will change to something else, which leaves the reggae fans out there checking for other places to go. There hasn't been a real reggae club in Seattle all this time. I have been here about 13 years, and I have not seen a reggae club. The closest one was the Red Sea, across the street from the Central. I think it's a sports bar now."

It's great that you play so often in spite of this. Other music communities in Seattle are so well-supported.

"I think that's part of it: Reggae is not from here. Funk is from here, jazz, blues, hiphop, soul, rock, all of that is from here. People can relate to that, bar owners can relate to that. Reggae is an authentic thing from around the corner, and it's cool to try every now and then, but it doesn't bring much business. So places like the Bohemian, the Rainbow, the Elysian, the Showbox sometimes--for all those willing to put on reggae gigs, I have to give thanks for them being willing to do that."

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