|volume 4 * issue 8 * June 2000|
FAMILYMAN SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT -Aston "Familyman" Barrett recently conducted an interview with the "Black & White" zine, where he commented on everything from his early days in music to being robbed from his just royalties as a member of The Wailers. If you think this is just an ordinary interview, you are in for a great shock, because Familyman holds nothing back in this interview. He aims his disgust at Rita Marley and the Marley children especially, describing how, "Through the cash, they got blindfolded." From the interview you can get a sense of how the people who helped to make Bob Marley & The Wailers what it is today, are now being left out.
The interview is online at the "Black & White" zine's website, which is part of Stubborn Records. It is important that every Wailers fan reads this interview and educates themselves about the fact that the people surrounding Bob Marley are not one big happy family, as is usually portrayed. Instead, people such as Familyman and his late brother, Carlton Barrett, who were longtime Wailers since the late 1960s, are now considered outsiders. As Familyman puts it in the interview about Rita Marley, "She has a lot of dough now and we are the ones who promote the BMW catalog year-in and year-out, non-stop. Not even the family of Bob does that; the kids donŐt promote it, she does not promote it. The Wailers Band does all that."
These sentiments might be new to some people and therefore sound harsh and unfair, yet they have been repeated by many other members who also helped shape The Wailers' sound. Familyman also delivers truth regarding the current state of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, stating, "They donŐt have no culture, they look like roots Rasta but they are in no way praising Jah or the orthodox. They are disguised in Church, some of them fancy clothes and cars and making some big offers in the Church but thatŐs not it." The Marley family, especially the children, now have control over the Bob Marley catalog and it is quite interesting that rather than releasing vaulted material with Bob's original message, they instead choose to only put this material in remixed or remade form under their own names. For instance, the recent "Chant Down Babylon" album is filled with alternate versions and interview segments of Bob Marley & The Wailers, but are smothered with a modern touch. Enough of our ranting, do yourself a favor and read Familyman's interview! We are sure that you will not be sorry because there is so much more vital information contained in the interview.
Respect is due to Familyman Barrett, not only for his tremendous career, but also for being so up-front in the "Black & White" interview. Our Wailers Survey
for the month of June deals with this article and your feelings on it.
Please be sure to answer the poll and if you feel the urge, leave your
comments as well, at either the main page of this site or down at the
bottom of this news page.
JUNIOR MARVIN'S BURNIN' POSITIVITY -Junior Marvin's forthcoming album entitled "Burnin' Love" has recently been remastered by Junior and is nearly ready for release. We have heard the album in its entirety and thought we would share our feelings about the album. The disc brims with positive music, which is to be expected from the many other songs in his long career. The styles of music presented range from roots reggae on tracks like "Love, Love, Love Today" and "A Reggae Reggae (Rocksteady)" to rhythm & blues on "Let Me Tell You Something" and a Brazilian feel on the vibrant track "It's Your Life." The topics covered on the disc range from love, spirituality and family, which all should have fans of nearly any type of music enjoying every second of it.
Junior's voice is in top form and his guitar talents have never sounded better and thankfully are heavily featured on the album. The accompanying musicians read like a who's-who of reggae legends, including drummer-extraordinaire Sly Dunbar, percussionist Harry T, who has been a longtime member with Bunny Wailer's Solomonic Reggaestra, Glen DaCosta on saxophone, and David Madden on trumpet. King Sporty, who you may know as the remixer of the infamous King Sporty Mix of Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Buffalo Soldier," is also among the other talented guests on "Burnin' Love."
heart and soul can be felt on every song and the level of positivity is
a pleasure to experience. It is tough to pick just one favorite song,
because there is something here for every mood and musical taste. Until
the album is released, you can listen to sound clips for every track on
the official Junior Marvin website,
including several full-length mp3 songs. After listening to the
samples, let Junior himself know what you think by e-mailing him at his
very own address, or e-mail them to us and we will be sure to pass them
on to Junior. You can find this information and much more at Junior's
official site as well.
A MONTH WITH BUNNY WAILER -If you want to talk about a great read, check out the Summer edition of the Reggae Festival Guide 2000, for an article written by Roger Steffens called "Old Fire Sticks: My Month with Bunny Wailer and the Making of His Autobiography." The article recounts Roger Steffens and Leroy Jodie Pierson's two-weeks spent with Bunny Wailer in Jamaica working on his autobiography, as well as the work on another Wailers fan's dream, a book entitled Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography.
The article is written so well that it is almost as if the reader is accompanying Roger and Leroy on their journey. Roger tells the story through journal-like entries and describes stories such as Bunny Wailer having already written the song "Pass It On" in 1962 and would have went with Bob Marley to record this song, when Marley recorded "Judge Not," but Bunny could not get out of school for the day and therefore the song eventually ended up on The Wailers' "Burnin'" album.
Some of the other highlights in the article include the many day-long sessions of Bunny retelling in great detail, his history as well as that of The Wailers'. Roger mentions in the article that Bunny's autobiography should be out sometime in 2001 and Bunny hopes that it will be accompanied by an album to "illustrate his autobiography." There is a lot of information packed in the article and what is revealed is quite mouthwatering for all Wailers fans.
You can pick up Reggae Festival Guide 2000 in better stores near you, or you can get more information on their website at: www.reggaefestivalguide.com.
The magazine is filled with mostly U.S. reggae festivals taking place
over the next few months, but also features articles on ital foods,
Mumia Abu-Jamal and much more.
THE LONG VOYAGE TO SEE THE WAILERS BAND LIVE -We received a glowing review of a Wailers Band performance from April 12th at SOB's in New York City. This review is all the more special because it was written by Oren Makmil, who traveled from Israel to New York, and caught the concert. Many thanks to him for sharing his feelings and experiences!
Wailers Band - Live at S.O.B's in New York City, New York by Oren Makmil
I have been in New York for the last 45 days and I got to see something that I have been waiting to see for six years: The Wailers, live at S.O.B's in downtown Manhattan. First it took me time to relax after I heard that they were going to perform.
When the show had started, I was all excited and I saw The Wailers start coming on stage, they were: Al Anderson, Earl "Wire" Lindo, Richach Abongy, Marcia Griffiths, plus, I don't know the names of the second girl who sang harmony (she was young just like the young talented girl on drums) and the keyboard player, and of course the most legendary of them all, Aston "Familyman" Barrett. The lead singer was the great ruff talent, Gary "Nesta" Pine, who had the audience right from the start of the show when he sang "No Woman, No Cry," showing everybody his true love for Rastafari and Bob Marley.
Songs like "Want More," "Roots, Rock, Reggae," "Bend Down Low," "Buffalo Soldier," "Lively Up Yourself," "Rat Race," "Positive Vibration," "War-No More Trouble," and many many others were filling that night with conscious reggae music that were written by the king himself. One of the highest moments was when The Wailers did "The Heathen;" Al Anderson's guitar was tearing apart the place (he was so great all the time), and when the band got into the dub part, Nesta Pine started to take his time and talk to the drooling audience by giving his special thanks to Familyman for this song's riddim (as we know, used by various artists). You could see Aston standing behind Pine and giving his best bass riddim with the drummer, while the band was standing firm and listening to Gary Pine's conscious talking over this amazing dub riddim.
In conclusion, I think I was blessed to see The Wailers live, which is something that I've been waiting to see many years and finally it was worth it. I want to say that each of the band members was sharp and great, Nesta Pine is very Bob-like and giving his special ruff and conscious way to Bob's songs (even after the departure of Junior Marvin, Gary took his place on the great side). It is also amazing to see Wire Lindo playing his organ as a pro, just like it was the '70s; the beautiful Marcia Griffiths giving her outstanding voice for Bob songs; Al Anderson who was sharper then ever, and Familyman who took me into shock to see this man as the simple great musician on earth keeping the fire burning for The Wailers, from 1969 until today.
To make it short, I am giving thanks and praise to the Almighty Father who gave me the opportunity to see those great talented musicians.
WAILERS RELATED VIDEOS RELEASED -FiWi Productions, a New York based media company, has just released two videos that not only feature some of The Wailers' family, but also document the rich history of Jamaican music in general. "Jammin' In Jamaica," originally released on television in 1996, examines a benefit concert put together by the legendary Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, to raise money to rebuild Jamaica after a 1988 hurricane. The concert features the likes of the late saxophonist Roland Alphonso and trumpeter Johnny "Dizzy" Moore. The documentary also includes a performance by Rita Marley, as well as an appearance by producer Coxsone Dodd.
The second video, "It All Started With The Drums," also produced by FiWi Productions, documents the varied Caribbean musical styles, and features performances by The Wailers, Lord Kitchner, Roland Alphonso, and many others. Both videos run around 60 minutes in length, and can be ordered from FiWi's website.
videos seem to be very interesting, and great additions to any reggae
collection. To see footage of legends like Dizzy Moore, Roland
Alphonso, and Coxsone Dodd, is a very special, and rare treat!
IN WITH THE FULL WATTS -The newest edition of the Full Watts reggae-zine is out now, and if you are a fan of Marcia Griffiths, this issue will be of special interest to you! Marcia Griffiths, who is currently on tour with The Wailers Band, is not only featured on the cover, but also has 14 total pages devoted to her, including a massive discography, as well as plenty of photos of her. The article also features an interview with Marcia that details her life and her career as the "First Lady of Jamaican Song." Marcia was of course a member of The I-Threes, along with Rita Marley and Judy Mowatt, and within the interview Marcia discusses this experience. "Even the way Bob [Marley] looked at us and the way he saw us as his three little birds, he treated us just the same. And we really reminisce day after day and we will always cherish those moments and we are still together as three sisters who love each other. Nothing is gonna change that."
This issue, volume 4, number 1, also features a very lengthy and valuable discography of Leroy Smart, and an interview with Lloyd Knibb, the ska beat originator. The issue, and zine in general, is definitely one that every reggae fan should pick up! You can find more information at the Full Watts' website, or by e-mailing the zine's creator, Steve Milne, or by writing to:
10819 Freeman Road
Wilton, CA 95693-9778
The next issue of Full Watts will come out sometime in the Summer of 2000, and will feature the great Sugar Minott. Do not miss it!
AUGUSTUS PABLO HONORED -Augustus Pablo, one of the most important figures in reggae music, who passed away on May 18th, 1999, will be honored with an all-star tribute concert. The event will take place on Saturday, June 17th at the Countryside Club in Kingston, Jamaica. Among the many featured artists will include Earl "Chinna" Smith, Sugar Minott, Dean Fraser, Derrick Harriott, Yami Bolo, Junior Reid, Leroy Sibbles, and many others.
show will benefit the Augustus Pablo Foundation, which funds music
scholarships in Jamaica. According to the press release, which can be
read at the Jammin' Reggae Archives,
"It was Pablo's vision to assist the many musically talented youths who
are less fortunate in educating themselves." Augustus Pablo, who is
even today not given the appropriate recognition that he truly
deserves, ranks among the most talented and versatile players in all of
reggae music. This concert sounds absolutely amazing and for an
incredibly worthwhile cause, so hopefully some of you have the
opportunity to attend!
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NEW RELEASES -July 25th will see the release for the historic Peter Tosh disc, entitled "Live At The One Love Peace Concert." The album captures Peter's entire performance from April 22, 1978 in Jamaica, and is being released by JAD Records. We will have more information as the release date gets closer, so stay tuned!
The album has been released in Africa on Showbiz! Records, but the band is currently looking for worldwide licensing. E-mail Mark Miller for more information about the band, the album and how to book the group.
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WAILERS SHORTS -In the works is a compilation disc which appears to be quite a historical project, bringing together Carlos Santana doing a remake of Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Natural Mystic." According to the press release, found again at Yahoo! News, the Oneness Project, which is a non-profit group livicated to promoting cultural unity, is releasing the compilation, due out sometime in the near future. The Santana remake will also incorporate singer Dionne Farris' "Human" song into the mix. Other artists slated for the compilation include Chaka Khan and Brian McKnight. Stay tuned for more information on this intriguing blend of Santana doing a BMW song!
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WailersNet -On May 6th, a symposium and musical tribute to Don Drummond was held in Mona, Jamaica to honor The Skatalites' late-great trombonist. The event was attended by everyone from Coxsone Dodd to Dermott Hussey, and even Branford Marsalis, and featured performances by Ernest Ranglin, "Deadly" Headly Bennett, Vin Gordon (aka Don Drummond, Jr.), and many others. You can get more information about the event, including listening to the tribute online, at the Afflictedyard.com's Don Drummond tribute concert page.
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WAILERS SURVEY -The results are in for May's Wailers Survey, asking "Do you think The Wailers, as a group, deserve to be inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame?" In total, 579 responses were given and the results reveal that 81% of those people who voted, 471 people in all, agreed that The Wailers as a group deserve to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Only 24 respondents or 4% of the total, believed that they should not, while 14%, or a total of 84 people, said that The Wailers should be inducted separately.
Here are the complete results for May's poll:
This month's question asks, after having read the Familyman Barrett interview, "Do you agree with most, if not all of what Aston Familyman Barrett spoke about in his interview?" If you have comments about this question, 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!
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