Guns & Ammunition
Born Murvin Junior Smith – most likely in 1946, although some sources say 1949 – he was raised by his great-grandmother in the bustling coastal market town of Port Antonio. His father died when Murvin was young, and his mother subsequently emigrated. At the local Methodist church, Murvin operated the pump for the pipe organ but he was too shy to join the choir.
Armed with some of his strongest material, addressing the political and social upheavals that were having such adverse effects on Jamaica, Murvin travelled to Perry’s Black Ark studio in May 1976. Police and Thieves immediately captured Perry’s attention and, after adding lyrics of his own, Perry arranged for Murvin to record it with the drummer Sly Dunbar, the bassist Boris Gardiner and the guitarist Ernest Ranglin. Murvin’s debut album, also named Police and Thieves, was highly acclaimed, but a planned follow-up was scuppered by Perry’s breakdown in the late 1970s.
Man, “scuppered” is an awesome word. I’m going to have to use that shit more often. Anyway, rest in peace, Mr. Murvin. You were scuppered far too soon.