Back Issues of the Wailers News December 1998
Back Issues of the Wailers News
"ROLAND ALPHONSO - LIVE FOREVER"- History's greatest saxophonists must include names like John Coltrane, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, King Curtis, Jr. Walker, and Tommy McCook. Giants like these don't merely play music but they create legacies of epic proportions and influence countless other musicians to come. Certainly Roland Alphonso rightfully belongs amongst these masters!
On November 20th, Roland Alphonso passed away, joining the ranks of other musicians whose music will live on forever. Roland Alphonso was an integral part in the creation of ska music in the early 1960s with the Skatalites, and remained in the forefront of the ska scene ever since. The list of artists that Alphonso had worked with throughout his career includes everyone from The Wailers, The Maytals, The Heptones, The Tennors, Third World, and Lee "Scratch" Perry to modern day groups like Skankin' Pickle, The Stubborn All-Stars, and Jump With Joey. Not only did Alphonso influence some of these artists, but his influence stretched over into American jazz with such artists as the late Don Cherry.
With Roland Alphono's death, there will certainly be a great void in the music world. The spirit of the Skatalites, will always be forward ever, as Skatalites' singer Doreen Shaeffer said the night after Alphono passed away, "The show's gotta go on." This last bit of info comes first hand from huge reggae/ska fan, Gil Poulin, who talked to Shaeffer after the November 21st Skatalites show in Providence, Rhode Island. Many thanks!
Reading a biography would definitely enlighten you as to his achievements, but to fully appreciate Roland Alphonso, one must listen to his vast body of work. You can certainly start by picking up anything by the Skatalites, or the countless groups they've worked with.
For more information on Roland Alphonso, you can check out our tribute page to him, entitled "Everlasting Sound", where you can read the official Alphonso Family statement, and much more.
"ONLY TIME WILL TELL"- It's official. Warner Brothers has put a pause on the much anticipated Bob Marley movie, which was scheduled to begin shooting in 1999. It seems that the hault is due to the small difference in budget: Director Ron Shelton and Warner Brothers can't seem to agree on one. Roger Steffens, who is also a consultant on the film, stated that, "There was a relatively small amount of money that separated Shelton and the studio, but in the midst of these negotiations, which are common in Hollywood, major shakeups are occurring right now at both Polygram/Universal/Island (which holds the rights to Bob's most successful music) and Warner Brothers. Both studios are restructuring at their highest executive levels, and the movie has been caught in what we hope is just a temporary squeeze."
Former BMW manager, Don Taylor, who is no stranger to controversy surrounding Bob Marley, told the Inter Press Service (IPS) that, "I don't think it has anything to do with a budget. Personally, I think the script was weak; Warner Brothers would not have gone this far and not known the extent of their budget." When asked if Taylor would become involved with the movie, he added that he "wanted nothing to do with a whitewash." Steffens counters this statement by telling The Wailers News that, "Taylor has never read the script, which was kept top secret, only a page or two given out to actors at the auditions. Far from a whitewash, this is a no-holds-barred look at all aspects of the singer's life, and perhaps this is what Taylor most fears, because he has no control."
Roger sums up the situation by saying, "Things just don't seem very viable right now. But as Bob said, 'we must never give up the fight!' Nothing happens before the fullness". Fans shouldn't give up hope now though, because as Steffens himself said above, these disagreements occur all of the time in the movie business. Only time will tell, but it's bound to happen sooner or later!!
"FULL OF WATTS HAPPENING IN REGGAE"- The picture you see at the left is the front cover of one of the best reggae-zines out today, called Full Watts, which is created by Steve Milne out of California. The latest issue out is volume 2 issue 3, which features an insightful interview with Earl "Wia" Lindo, entitled "Fire On The Wire". This interview was first published in The Beat magazine a few months ago. To accompany the Full Watts version of the interview, there are numerous pictures that accent this excellent interview. Also included with the interview is an essential Wia songography and discography.
The Earl Lindo interview barely scratches the surface as to what this issue of Full Watts has to offer. There is an extensive and thorough article about the incredible Johnny Clarke, entitled "Johnny in the Echo Chamber: Johnny Clarke in His Own Words". This gem is spread out over 30 full pages, with photographs of some of Clarke's rare 7" singles, LPs, and many photos of Clarke himself. The article tells his history using Clarke's own words, and you'll be able to find out the legacy behind most of his greatest songs, including, "None Shall Escape The Judgement", his cover of "No Woman No Cry" and many others. You'll also find a lengthy discography of Clarke's works.
There's so much more inside, so be sure to get your copy, at a mere $3 for 100 beautifully laid out pages. If you can't find a copy at your local music store, send Steve $8 (US) for an annual subscription (3 issues in all!) to this address:
You can also purchase singular back issues of Full Watts for $3 (US) for each issue, some of which feature the likes of Earl Zero, The Abyssinians, Ronnie Davis, Ras Michael and more! Check it out!
Full Watts 8779 Brittany Park Drive Sacramento, CA 95828
"THIS WAS CAUSED THROUGH LOVE AND AFFECTION"- If you had any doubt that The Wailers are one of the most influential groups in history, more proof comes from a new ska compilation entitled "Love and Affection: Ska in the Key of Love". The disc, released on the MoonSka record label, features the title song "Love And Affection", which is of course the rarely covered 1965 classic of The Wailers, performed by the New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble.
The album is a collection of third wave ska bands singing various love songs (most previously unreleased) and also features such groups as Bim Skala Bim and The Toasters. This compilation isn't brand new but the cover song by the NYSJE is a really great one. If you want to listen to the entire album via RealAudio, www.broadcast.com has it available for your listening pleasure. If you're interested in getting the album for yourself, you can order it by clicking the picture at the left!
If you're able to view the concert, you'll notice one blaring omission in the lineup, as Stephen Marley didn't perform. They played such songs as "Tomorrow People", "Looks Who's Dancing", "Free Like We Want To Be", "Rainbow Country" and others.
At the show over 100,000 people were in attendance, which was the largest crowd Marley ever performed in front of. This is probably the first time that we had ever seen photographs from this concert, and all are personally taken by Vito War himself. Be sure to view them all for yourself, by clicking the photo at the right!
"HIT ME WITH MUSIC"-
There's a new release out that might interest a lot of Lee Perry and Bob Marley fans alike. It's a 3-CD set entitled "Treasures Of The Lost Ark", and recently came out on the Jetstar record label. The first disc of the 41 song collection contains the legendary Marley/Perry Black Ark songs "I Know A Place" and "I Know A Dub", as well as "Who Colt The Game" and "Who Colt The Dub". These songs were part of Marley's revisiting Scratch's production talents, roughly around 1977/78. The set also features many other previously unreleased Perry productions and songs by other artists. The sound quality is excellent and you can get the entire tracklist from Online Records in the United Kingdom.
- new release #1-
TOUR DATES: WAILIN' ALL OVER THE WORLD- Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers
The Wailers Band
Bob Marley Festival (Click here to see the official webpage!)
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