'Ernie B' denies Spear's claim

Simone Morgan

Friday, March 23, 2012

Print this page Email A Friend!

ERNIE Boetius, CEO of Ernie B Distributions and RAS Records, was recently in the news when reggae legend Burning Spear accused him of selling bootleg copies of his music.

But in an interview with Splash, Boetius denied Spear's accusations and said the singer's pronouncements have not caused much damage to his business.

"The overwhelming reaction is a combination of bewilderment and sorrow.

Bewilderment, because the accusations are incredulous," Boetius said.

He added that Spear's pronouncements can bring negativity to the reggae distribution business.

In his Facebook post on February 13, Spear said that, 'they bootlegging all of our music and trying to use the police to get us arrested. Time to unite it's our music that feed them'.

The singer, whose real name is Winston Rodney, also called for Ernie B's company to be 'shut down now'.

Boetius believes Spear's comments can bring negativity to the reggae distribution business.

Based in California, Ernie B Distributions is a one stop company and has been in existence since 1993. It provides mail orders to customers in over 100 countries.

"Since we never manufactured nor licensed products, we've never had a need for contracts of any kind. We simply buy and sell CDs and records (usually directly from artists, producers or labels)," Boetius explained. "We buy from practically everyone in the world that has reggae music to offer for sale."

Boetius stated that he has no quarrel with Spear and would like to see their differences resolved quickly.

"If the harassment ceases and the accusations are publicly retracted then we would consider the matter closed with no hard feelings," he said. "Our intention is to cause the least amount of legal problems possible for Burning Music while still protecting our company from harassment, libel and slander," he concluded.

Burning Music monitors Burning Spear's impressive catalogue which has titles dating back to the late 1970s. Since the mid-1970s when he recorded classic albums like Marcus Garvey and Man In The Hills for Island Records, Spear has recorded for several independent companies, such as Heartbeat Records, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon