|volume 5 * issue 4 * February 2001|
JUNIOR MARVIN APPEARS ON SNL -Junior Marvin appeared live with Lenny Kravitz on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" television show on Saturday, January 20th. Junior was in the background playing guitar behind Lenny's backing singers. Lenny and the band, including Junior, performed Lenny's latest single "Again" and later on in the show, Lenny came back with "Mr. Cab Driver," but Junior did not perform on this song. You could definitely tell that Junior was enjoying himself for what will be remembered for a long time for those who saw it! Junior is not the first Wailer to be featured on "Saturday Night Live" because way back in 1978, Peter Tosh and his Word, Sound and Power band played two songs on the show, including "(You Gotta Walk) Don't Look Back" with the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger.
In case you missed the show, below are a few snapshots that all feature Junior Marvin. In the first photo, Junior is on the right side behind Lenny Kravitz' left shoulder; in the second , Junior is on the left with his arm raised; and in the third you can see Junior in the bottom left corner. You can also see more photos from Junior's "Saturday Night Live" performance on Junior Marvin's official site.
BOB MARLEY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS -It is that time of the year again to celebrate the birth of Bob Marley. From tribute concerts and festivals to posthumous awards and televisions specials, there are plenty of things happening to celebrate Bob's 56th earthday, which occurs on February 6th, 2001. Here is a rundown of the major events taking place over the next month or so, and hopefully you will be able to experience at least one of the following celebrations. This is not a complete listing of all the Bob Marley events around the world and if you don't see something near you, chances are there probably is some kind of celebration taking place!
BOB MARLEY DOCUMENTARY COMING TO A HOME NEAR YOU -Speaking of the "American Masters: Bob Marley - Rebel Music" PBS special, which will air on February 14th, even if you aren't able to watch this airing of it, you will still have a chance to own the documentary very soon. According to www.bobmarley.com, a DVD and VHS of Jeremy Marre's "Rebel Music" documentary should be available in the near future on Palm Pictures. Here is some further information about "Rebel Music" from a press release:
An "American Masters" Special -- Bob Marley may not have invented reggae, but he became its foremost practitioner and emissary, embodying its spirit and spreading its gospel to all corners of the globe. This 90-minute documentary features extensive footage of Marley that has never been seen before: home movies shot in Jamaica and the United States, early studio performances, in-depth interviews and dynamic, newly discovered concert footage. Through news and archival footage of the era, together with Marley's words and music, the program provides original and revealing insights into the music, politics and the spiritual inspiration of the world's greatest reggae superstar.
The PBS "American Masters" website now features a fantastic essay from Roger Steffens, dealing with Bob Marley's greatness in the 20th century and how no other artist shares the same power as Bob Marley does. The site also includes an interview with the documentary's director, Jeremy Marre, talking about the making of the film and also Marre's previous films, including "Roots, Rock, Reggae."
If you want to hear even more from Jeremy Marre, head over to www.ireggae.com
and listen to the site's weekly web radio show called "The Uprising,"
which features a lengthy and very detailed interview done with Jeremy
conducted by writer Gregory Stephens. In the 60-minute interview you
will be able to hear Marre touch on topics including the story of
Marley himself watching Marre's 1977 documentary "Roots, Rock, Reggae"
in Marre's apartment, and the tensions between Chris Blackwell, Island
Records and the Marley family. You will also hear how Bob Marley is
only the second non-American to be featured on the PBS series "American
Masters," with Luciano Pavoratti being the other. It is definitely an
interview that you are not going to want to miss!
HOME TO MY ROOTS REVIEW -The Wailers Band, along with Culture and Burning Spear, performed three historic shows in South Africa from December 15th though December 17th, making stops in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Thanks to Sidima Ntsangani, who was able to attend the December 17th show in Durban and write a review of the show for all to read. Many thanks to Sidima for sharing his thoughts!
Home To My Roots Review ABSA Stadium - Durban, South Africa December 17th, 2000 by Sidima Ntsangani
The shows were three, one in Cape Town, one in Johannesburg and the third one in Durban but due to my tight schedule I made it to the one in Durban.
Firstly, I would like to let everyone know that the concert was a killer. Every artist who came up on the stage did his level best to satisfy the audience. In Durban the weather was so cool and with clouds up on the sky. The gates were to open at 17h00 and I was there at about 17h20. Outside the ABSA stadium it was packed and all one could see is the red, gold and green colors and I said "God, South African people have long been waiting for this time".
About an hour after we got inside the ABSA stadium the instrument men came in and Culture was introduced. After that Albert Walker and the other singer (forgot his name) came in, the ABSA stadium was up on its feet and everyone was cheering, whistling and clapping hands. After a few seconds the "Main Man" came on the stage, Joseph Hill himself and the ABSA stadium roared stronger and stronger. Joseph came with his two piece outfit, and a smiling face of-course, I couldn't believe my eyes. I jumped up to the front to make sure that I am seeing the real Joseph, and my God ...Yes This is the Real Joseph Hill. Joseph came to the stage with the lyrics "Watch Your Step," putting them in the "Iron Sharpening Iron" tune. After that he came with the "Payday" tune from the "Payday" CD. The ABSA stadium was just jumping now, everyone feeling very much spiritual, both Black and White enjoying what was happening. I can't exactly remember the order of the tunes Joseph sang but, he also sang tunes like "One Grandson," "Tell Me Where You Get It," "Legalization," "International Herb," etc.
When Joseph was singing for more than forty minutes the rain came down on Durban, the rain didn't trouble any of the audience and even Joseph himself was not troubled by the rain, rather the concert became hotter and hotter and Joseph became more "LIVE." The rain was just to resemble that JAH is with us and it was just only HIM's blessing that are coming down. Joseph also came with the new tunes that caused the ABSA stadium to jump more!!!! I liked him when he sang the song and changed to the deejay style, he was just driving me mad. I have to say Joseph was SUPER-MAGNIFICENT. After one and a half to two hours Joseph left the stage with the "Get Ready" tune. The audience wanted him back though, but he already gave the audience his level best.
After Joseph left the stage, Gary "Nesta" Pine and the Legendary Wailers took the stage. I have to say they brought the spirit of Robert Nesta Marley to Durban; Bob Marley was there SPIRITUALLY, everyone felt his spirit. Gary Pine selected the Marley tunes like "Natural Mystic," "Crazy Baldheads," "I Shot the Sheriff," "Roots Rock Reggae," "No More Trouble," "No Woman No Cry" to select a few. All the people in the stadium were just running like MAD.
Gary Pine was on the stage for about two hours also when he left the stage for the ELDER, now I am talking about Mr. Rodney (Burning Spear). Mr. Rodney came to the stage very cool, calm and collected in his jean outfit. He opened the stage with the "Mi Gi Dem" tune. The legs were too tight but no one could refuse to jump for the tunes from Mr. Rodney. He was super, towards the end of most of his songs he took his mic to the pocket and starts to go to the bongo drums and he looked so spiritual and was spiritual indeed. He played the tunes like "Jah No Dead," "Slavery Days," "Identity," "Old Marcus Garvey," "Happy Day," "African Post Man" to select a few. When Mr. Rodney was on stage, it was like He was the first artist to take the stage as the ABSA stadium jumped like everyone had fresh legs. Mr. Rodney kept the show live asking if the audience wants some more and as this kind of time was long overdue for the poor South Africans they kept on saying they want some more. Winston Rodney gave them what they wanted ... some more music. The old man performed until the early hours of the morning. When Mr. Rodney left the stage the audience was still there, looking as if they still wanted some more from the Spear but unfortunately he left the stage for good.
From the colleagues who attended the Cape Town and the Johannesburg shows, I found out that the shows were also massive. This means that the rest of the "Home To My Roots" tour was successful. All the African people showed much love for all the African Prophets who came to make South Africa feel good. This was a warm welcome for Joseph Hill (Culture), The Wailers and Burning Spear and I don't doubt that they appreciated the welcome to the Mother Land.
That's all I can say about this unforgettable experience. On behalf of the South African peoples, I would love to pass a word of thanks to all the people who made this possible, really, I say it again, this was just "LONG, LONG OVERDUE." I hope the South Africans will have these concerts more frequently now, let's just keep the fire burning!!!!
THE CULTURAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR -With the official release of Haile Selassie I's "The War Album" on Bruno Blum's Rastafari Records on January 1st, 2001, there now comes a re-release of the first single that began the melding of Haile Selassie I's United Nations speech with Bob Marley & The Wailers' "War" riddim. The newly re-released single features Haile Selassie's United Nations speech over the Bruno Blum produced riddim with the Wailers Band, called "War," and the B-side is Bruno Blum's "DJ" English rendition of the speech over the same "War" riddim. According to Bruno, this single has been re-pressed on his Human Race Records label, with a label designed by Dynamic Sounds' team in Jamaica. This is the third overall pressing of this unbeatable single, with the first coming in 1997 on Human Race Records in Jamaica, the second coming in 1998 with a wider release on Rastafari Records, and now the latest version. We aren't really sure where to pick up this latest "War" single, but for starters you might try online. You can also e-mail Bruno Blum for more information at: email@example.com.
As we mentioned in last month's issue, Bruno Blum's "The War Album" is now also available on Rastafari Records/Culture Press. The disc is absolutely crucial, featuring ten versions of the "War" theme, all based on Haile Selassie I's October 4th, 1963 United Nations speech and Bob Marley & The Wailers' "War" riddim. We had a chance to listen to the album and it is hard to put into words just how powerful these songs really are. Interspersed with Haile Selassie's own voice, Bob Marley's voice, as well as the musicianship of The Wailers Band, and newcomers like Buffalo Bill, this disc is top-notch from the productions all the way up to the accompanying liner note book. The cultural notes in the massive fold-out booklet, not only include Selassie's full speech translated into English, but also photos of H.I.M., as well as pictures of two of the singles that are featured on this album.
"The War Album" is the ultimate riddim album, as the music floats from one song to the next, combining the roots of Rastafarianism with Haile Selassie Himself, together with Bob Marley, one of the foremost reggae and Rastafarian ambassadors, alongside modern musicians and singers like Bruno Blum and Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bill is also another treasure on the disc, not only on his cover of Bob Marley & The Wailers' "War" but also on his own "Warmongers" tune, with updated lyrics about countries currently in crisis, including Kosovo and the Congo. Timelessness also comes to mind when listening to this album, not only for the music, but also for the message contained in the speech, and can easily be applied to any race, religion, or any struggle, in the world today. You should soon be able to purchase this album at Culture Press' website at www.musicentury.com. Bruno Blum should be congratulated for putting together such a fine piece of cultural work that any fan of reggae and its messages will need to own. Below is the album's cover as well as the full tracklisting for "The War Album."
"THE WORLD OF REGGAE FEATURING BOB MARLEY" OPENS TO PUBLIC -On January 20th, 2001, Roger Steffens' "The World Of Reggae Featuring Bob Marley" opened to the public in Long Beach, California, and has already begun to create much positive response. On the media day for the expo, which took place on January 24th, not only were members of the media in attendance, but such reggae artists as Ras Michael, Majek Fashek and Tippa Irie were also present.
The official website for the exhibition at www.theworldofreggae.com has a near virtual tour, featuring several photographs of some of the items on display. Roger tells us that Joe Higgs' red beret, which you can see nearly any photo of him, is also on display.
The Jamaica Observer recently featured an article on Roger's expo, entitled "Steffens Shows Off J'can Music," which describes more of what is contained at the world's first reggae museum. The below article is a review from LiveDaily.com, of the press day, and gives you a better idea what it took to put together such an exhibit at the Queen Mary.
Bob Marley A Focal Point Of New Reggae Exhibit
Roger Steffens Collection Is On Display In California And May Travel
by Colin Devenish (from LiveDaily.com)
LONG BEACH, Calif.--Over the years, reggae enthusiast Roger Steffens has become known as a writer, actor, photographer, editor and producer. Now, with the opening of the exhibit "The World of Reggae featuring Bob Marley," he can tack on curator to the end of that string of titles.
Since reading an article about Bob Marley in Rolling Stone 27 years ago, Steffens has taken a personal and professional interest in reggae, co-writing "Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer," founding a magazine devoted to reggae called the Beat, and hosting the award-winning radio show "Reggae Beat" on KCRW in Los Angeles.
Initially begun as a writer's file, Steffens' archive over the years has expanded to the point that the hoarded memorabilia now occupies six rooms and the garage of his Pasadena home. Part of that collection is now stationed in Long Beach at the foot of the Queen Mary, where it will be on display through September. Steffens hopes to eventually make it into a traveling exhibit.
"To be able to share almost 30 years of collecting is one of the great joys of my life. I've dreamed of this week for years and years," Steffens said at the press opening last week, which was attended by reggae stars Majek Fashek and Tippa Irie, and featured a half-hour performance by reggae legend Ras Michael.
Comprising two buildings at the foot of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Steffens said the thousands of reggae LP's, 45's, photos, articles, and posters currently on display represent only about one percent of his overall collection. "The bigger it gets the more it acts like a magnet, if someone can find a Marley piece I don't have ... almost always they just give it to me. So what this exhibition is, is a chance for me to share all the generosity that's been extended to me with everyone else."
Organized chronologically, the archive includes ska and dub artists who helped influence what would become reggae, and also explains the political and religious components of the Jamaican music that Bob Marley put on the map.
In addition to displaying the archive, Steffens hopes to host reggae-related concerts and events at the Queen Mary in the next year, bringing together artists who, for more than 40 years, have helped bring reggae to where it is today.
WAILERS FAMILY TOUR UPDATE -The Wailers Band are currently embarked on their 31st tour of the world and from what we understand, the line-up has added a couple new key members. The band still includes Aston "Familyman" Barrett on bass, Earl "Wya" Lindo on keyboard, Al Anderson on guitar, Gary "Nesta" Pine on vocals, but now reportedly features Tyrone Downie on keyboard and Everton Gayle on saxophone. This is the first time Tyrone Downie has been performing with The Wailers Band in several years. If you can catch The Wailers Band on their current tour, definitely check it out!
also is about to do several dates in Jamaica and the U.S., and it is
recommended that if you are able, be sure to check a show out. He will
make special appearances at the Bob Marley Days in Long Beach,
California and San Diego, California in mid-February. You can see a
rundown of the Wailers family related tour dates, including The Wailers
Band and Bunny Wailer, on the "2001 tour" section.
BUNNY, KY-MANI AND OTHERS, SALUTE TONY REBEL -Bunny Wailer and Ky-mani Marley were among the many performers at the January 13th bash to celebrate Tony Rebel's birthday in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. Both The Jamaica Observer and The Jamaica Gleaner featured articles reviewing the event, and both agreed that the event was highly successful, safe and entertaining. Below are quotes from the articles, relating to Bunny Wailer and Ky-mani Marley's performances. Both articles took different views on the concert and particularly Bunny Wailer's comments about women.
"Bunny Wailer, a conscience of mainstream reggae, was sometimes exciting. The pretenders who may have thought that this member of the old brigade and sole survivor of the original Wailers did know how, or had forgotten how to "ram dancehall", must have had a rude awaken and he sang and danced to material from two of his great albums -- "Blackheart Man" and "Rock 'n' Groove." But just as he threatened to blow the place apart with his high energy stuff, Bunny Wailer shifted to an exulting mode, lamenting what he sees as the negative trends that had entered Jamaica's popular music.Rebel Salute Redeems Itself January 16th, 2001 by Basil Waters, The Jamaica Observer
Complained Wailer: "I don't like how dance business a gwaan ... Mi nuh understand now a days how woman ova deh so and man over deh so and then yu hear di deejay seh all who know seh b...man fi dead put up di lighta ... dem kind a style mi nuh inna." But people had come out for entertainment and Wailer's dissertation went on too long. Interest waned.
Ky-mani Marley gave a workmanlike appearance through but sounded better when he borrowed his father's hits."
" ... and three-time Grammy winner, Bunny Wailer, hit out openly at women who have lost respect for their temple, the body, as he targeted sexual immorality.Cultural Hunger Appeased At Rebel Salute January 15th, 2001 by Janet Silvera, The Jamaica Gleaner
... The spirit of the king of Reggae Bob Marley was strong. With his son Kymani's powerful performance it felt like a reincarnation of the king."
THE WAILING WALL -We recently received a nice photo of an original Bob Marley & The Wailers concert ticket from June 28th, 1980 at the Stadio Comunale in Turin, Italy, courtesy of Ivan Serra. Ivan's father originally attended the concert and passed it down to Ivan. Many thanks to Ivan for sharing this little piece of history.
Christian Cowlin, The Wailers Band's monitor engineer for their summer/fall European 2000 tour, has graciously sent us more photos of The Wailers Band. Here is one which Christian titled "Babylon By Boat" and features from left to right, Christian Cowlin, Aston "Familyman" Barrett, Cha Cha, and Junior. Thanks to Christian for sending this photo along. If you have any item that would like to share for "The Wailing Wall" section, pass it along and we would be more than happy to put it up!
NORWEGIAN BOB MARLEY TRIBUTE ALBUM -As we reported several months back, there will be a Norwegian Bob Marley tribute album coming out in the very near future. In February 2001, "Inn fra Kulda" will be released on the Tylden & Co. record label. The title translates into "Coming In From The Cold" and the album features many well-known Norwegian acts of many different musical genres all covering Bob Marley & The Wailers' best known songs. This news comes from www.rasnas.net, who has two tracks on this tribute album. You can also find more information about this tribute at the ""Inn fra Kulda"" website.
Here is the tracklisting for the "Inn fra Kulda" Bob Marley tribute album:
1. Definite and Apollo with Nasibu - I Shot the Sheriff
10. Beady Belle - Waiting In Vain
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NEW RELEASES -
CHALAWA - EXODUS DUB / DELIXX - UPRISING IN DUB
Some of the best sounding Bob Marley & The Wailers' dubs that exist, come from two groups that aren't Wailers related. Chalawa's "Exodus Dub" and Delixx's "Uprising In Dub" were originally released around 20 years ago, but for the first time, both albums are available in one disc. Chalawa's "Exodus Dub" of course features dubs of Bob Marley & The Wailers' 1977 "Exodus" album, while Delixx's "Uprising In Dub" features dubs of BMW's 1980 "Uprising" album. The dubs are creative versions of BMW's material, with the heart and soul from the originals still present, yet not straight copies of the originals. The disc is available on Westone records.
A new book recently hit stores, entitled Jamaican Warriors: Reggae Roots & Culture written by Stephen Foehr on Sanctuary Publishing Limited books. The book examines Jamaican music and culture, especially reggae and Bob Marley. This 240-page book presents Stephen Foehr's journey through Jamaica, interviewing musicians, Nyabinghi drummers, controversial figures and everyday people. His examination of Mortimo Planno is interesting, sometimes expanding his status as godlike. It is nonetheless an educating read and is worth adding to your library. You should be able to find Jamaican Warriors at better bookstores near you.
THE "STIR IT UP" RIDDIM
You might not have realized it, but a Wailers' riddim has been recently tearing up the Jamaican charts for many weeks. Several artists have been using The Wailers' classic "Stir It Up" riddim, including Junior Kelly's "If Love So Nice" on VP Records; Anthony Cruz & D'Ville's "One More Time" on Bean Stalk records (Anthony Cruz is Garnett Silk's nephew); and Lisa Dainjah's "If You Really Care" also on Bean Stalk. Junior Kelly's version has topped the charts in Jamaica for many weeks and will be featured on Kelly's upcoming album "Standing Firm," scheduled to be released on VP Records on February 23rd. As Bunny Wailer told Roger Steffens in a recent edition of Roger's "Ras Rojah Reggae Ramblings" in The Beat magazine, discussing this very topic, "So Wailers' is still fresh!" You can purchase the singles from online. This month's Wailers Survey question deals with artists using Wailers' riddims, so please head to the bottom of the page or the main page of this site, and leave your response.
MARLEY BROS. - "IT WAS WRITTEN" SINGLE
The Marley Brothers are at it again, as they have just released another single featuring Damian and Stephen, together with Capleton and Dragon, on a song entitled "It Was Written" b/w "It Was Written Dub." The 7" single is on the Ghetto Youths United label, and should also be featured on Damian's upcoming "Half-Way Tree" album, to be released very soon. You can pick up the single, as well as many other Ghetto Youths United releases online.
JAMMING: BLUEGRASS CELEBRATES BOB MARLEY
If you did not believe that Bob Marley has had an influence on many different musical genres, then a new release should change your mind. There is some preliminary information about an upcoming all-bluegrass tribute to Bob Marley, entitled "Jamming: Bluegrass Celebrates Bob Marley" scheduled to be released on March 27th on the C.M.H. Productions label. It looks as if many bluegrass artists will contribute to the album and will include 12 covers of Bob Marley & The Wailers' most well-known songs. Here is the tracklisting:
GAY JAMAICA INDEPENDENCE TIME
There is a new collection available featuring some early rocksteady songs from some very big names. The collection is entitled "Gay Jamaica Independence Time" and features 13 songs, including two from Earl "Wya" Lindo, before he became a Wailer. The tracks are "Wear You To The Ball" and "White Rum," both of which Wya takes lead on, playing his organ. Jet Set is releasing the compilation, as well as a string of other collections, all featuring some early ska and rocksteady tunes. You can also order this disc online.
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WAILERS SHORTS -Stephen Marley recently took part in a benefit concert put together by Wyclef Jean, for his Wyclef Jean Foundation. The event took place at Carnegie Hall in New York on January 19th, and also featured Third World, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Macy Gray and others. Stephen Marley joined Wyclef on a lively version of "No Woman, No Cry." You can read more about the event by reading "Stevie Wonder, Marc Anthony Surprise At Wyclef Jean Benefit" and also "Wyclef Takes Carnegie" both from the Yahoo! News site.
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WailersNet -If you head over to the Jammin' Reggae Archives website, you can now listen to sound samples from Tony Chin's debut solo album called "Music & Me" which we detailed in last month's issue.
If you want
to find out about the latest happenings with the newly reformed Bob
Marley Foundation, now headed exclusively by five members of the Marley
family, pay special attention to the last article.
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WAILERS SURVEY -The results are in for January's Wailers Survey, asking Will you purchase the forthcoming Universal reissues of Bob Marley & The Wailers' Island albums? There were some very interesting results indeed!
Here are the complete results for January's poll:
This month's question asks, "Do you think it is a positive step for modern artists to use Wailers' riddims for their own songs?" If you have additional comments about this question, please leave them when you answer the question. We will have these results next month as well as an all new question! All responses are anonymous and thanks for taking the time to answer the survey!
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GOT THE NEWS FROM A WHISPERING TREE -Have you joined The Wailers Reporter yet? If not, you've already missed over 50 e-mailings, packed full with reggae news, new reggae web pages, tour dates, and much more! But it's never too late to join, so fill in your name and e-mail address below to become one of an irie list of people! It's 100% free, and we won't give/sell/trade your name to anyone else!
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