Dillinger (musician)

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For other uses of the name, see Dillinger.
Birth name Lester Bullock
Origin Kingston, Jamaica
Genres Reggae
Instruments vocals
Labels Island/Universal Records

Dillinger (born Lester Bullock, 25 June 1953, Kingston, Jamaica) is a reggae artist.


As a young man growing up in Kingston, Dillinger would hang around Dennis Alcapone's El Paso sound system. This exposure would eventually lead to work in 1971, as a deejay on the Prince Jackie and El Paso sound systems,[1] initially influenced by Big Youth, U Roy, and Dennis Alcapone,[1] and performing as "Dennis Alcapone Jr.". The first record producer he worked with was Lee "Scratch" Perry, who decided that Bullock should change his name to Dillinger, after gangster John Dillinger.[2] He was part of the second wave of deejay toasters who rose to prominence during the mid-1970s. In 1974, he recorded "Freshly" for Yabby You, and 1975 saw a slew of releases with a variety of producers including Augustus Pablo ("Brace a Boy"), Joseph Hoo Kim ("CB 200"), and Coxsone Dodd ("Killer Man Jaro").[1] Albums for Dodd (Ready Natty Dreadie) and Hoo Kim (CB 200 and Bionic Dread) would soon follow. His hit "Cocaine in My Brain", produced by Hoo Kim (which relied heavily on "Do It Any Way You Wanna" by the People's Choice) was hugely popular internationally, and was a number 1 hit in the Netherlands.[3] His output dropped somewhat in the mid-1980s but he returned to recording in the early 1990s.

Dillinger is known for his quick wit, humorous lyrics, and vulgar content (e.g. on the track "Crabs in My Pants").

"Cocaine in My Brain" was featured on the K-Jah reggae radio station K-Jah West in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

In 1978, along with Leroy Smart and Delroy Wilson, Dillinger was referenced by lyricist Joe Strummer in The Clash's track, "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais."

Album discography[edit]

  • Ready Natty Dreadie (1975, Studio One) released in 1978 as Babylon Fever.
  • CB 200 (1976, Island)
  • Bionic Dread (1976, Black Swan)
  • Clash (1977, Burning Sounds) with Trinity
  • Talkin' Blues (1977, Magnum)
  • Top Ranking Dillinger (1977, Third World)
  • Superstar (1977, Weedbeat)
  • Cornbread (1978, Jamaica Sound)
  • Non Stop Disco Style (1978, Clocktower)
  • Answer My Questions (1979, Third World)
  • Marijuana in My Brain (1979, Jamaica Sound)
  • Funky Punk Rock to the Music (1979, Bellaphon)
  • Live at the Music Machine (1979, Jamaica Sound)
  • Dub Organiser (197?, Scandal Bag)
  • Cup of Tea (1980, Jamaica Sound)
  • Badder Than Them (1981, A&M)
  • Corn Bread (1983, Vista Sounds)
  • Live at London (1981, Vista Sounds) with Clint Eastwood
  • Join The Queue (1983, Oak Sounds)
  • King Pharaoh (1984, Blue Moon)
  • Best of Live (1984, Vista Sounds)
  • Cocaine (1984, New Cross)
  • Tribal War (1986, New Cross)
  • 3 Piece Suit (1993, Culture Press)
  • Say No To Drugs (1993, Lagoon)
  • Youthman Veteran (2001, Jah Warrior)
  • At King Tubby's (2006, Attack)
  • Ten To One (2007, Dream Catcher)

There have also been dozens of compilation albums of Dillinger's work released on various record labels since the 1980s.


  1. ^ a b c Larkin, Colin: "The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae", 1998, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9
  2. ^ Barrow, Steve and Dalton, Peter:"Reggae: The Rough Guide", 1997, Rough Guides, ISBN 1-85828-247-0
  3. ^ Dutch Top 40 number-one hits of 1977

External links[edit]