Farewell to the Jazz Heart

Bob Marley and the Wailers “Jammin”

Reggae Part One

I was always a fan of Reggae music including Bob Marley’s laid back sound. I once had a fantastic bobmarleycollection of 12 inch reggae records including many white label imports. In the 70s I used to run a disco that was mainly used to raise money for left wing causes, named appropriately “The Red Flag Disco”.  I had three versions, a very punky version, a very laid back reggae night and a party big hits night.

I remember doing a night at a farm near Hexham and my friend Mel and I doubled up on the decks. We played Reggae to a bunch of stoned hippies until three in the morning. It was a fabulous night.

After my first daughter was born I gave the equipment and all the records away to a local youth club. Some of those singles would be worth a fortune today.

Reggae Part Two

In September of 2008 I went to see my Doctor and asked him to listen to my heart. Something didn’t feel right. I was quickly diagnosed with Tachycardia and Atrial Fibrillation and rushed into hospital.

What followed was nearly ten years of hospital visits, so many Cardio Versions I have lost count and two heart operations called a Cardiac Ablation. The last one was in December 2016.

A Cardio Version is that scene in a hospital drama when the sick person’s monitor flat lines and the Doctor puts two paddles on a patient’s chest and zaps their heart. You see the body arch and then hopefully the monitor begins it’s reassuring beep. That’s basically a Cardio Version. I like to think of it as the Control Alt Delete thing I do on my computer when it refuses to work properly.

The Cardiac Ablation is a lot more complicated but basically it is a laser blasting the misbehaving bits of your heart from the inside in the hope all will be restored to perfect working order. I am pleased to report that since the last CA in 2016 there have been no more problems. I did a rough calculation based on a price list for a hospital in America and found out if I live in the USA it would have cost me over $700,000 for treatment.

Now you are wondering what is the connection between reggae music and Jeff’s dodgy ticker?

Farewell to the Jazz Heart


My heart had a case of the Heebie-Jeebies

Beating out a scat tune like a jazz guitarist on speed

Shaky fingers rattling out discordant chords


In hospital my heart is wired as a washing machine

As well connected as a coming out debutante

Paparazzi eyes scrutinising its every peculiar pulse


When the Doctor’s drugs don’t do the trick

They charge me up like Frankenstein’s monster

Zapping my chest with a thunderbolt


My Reggae heart returns with its stoned Caribbean rhythm

Marley’s ghost pounding out the Rasta man vibration

Beating out the drums of the rhythm of life


©Jeff Price February 2018

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