|volume 4 * issue 5 * March 2000|
MOVEMENT OF THIS WEBSITE- Hopefully you have noticed that The Wailers News is in the process of moving to our own domain name at www.iration.com. If you have the old address bookmarked or linked, please change them to http://www.iration.com/wailers. At the www.iration.com webpage you can also find the homes to all of the sites that we maintain, including the official Junior Marvin page, the official Joe Higgs Memorial Pages, Earthquake & Fire - it's Hepcat and Junior Braithwaite Remembered. The old address will still work but it will redirect you to the new site.
MAKE ROOM FOR THE COMPLETE UPSETTER COLLECTION- There is a new boxset out on Trojan Records which claims to be the complete works that Bob Marley (and more specifically The Wailers) did for producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. The six-disc set, entitled "Bob Marley & The Wailers: Complete Upsetter Collection," features 110 tracks (and not 113 that the set claims to have) from The Wailers' period with Lee Perry in the late 1960s and early '70s, with a few late 1970s productions thrown in. The packaging is shaped like a cigarette box complete with a flip-top lid. The collection is set to hit stores on March 7th for around $60.
It seems like a stretch for the box to claim to be the "complete" works between The Wailers and Lee Perry because there are some omissions, such as "Cross The Nation," "In The Iwa," "Jah Live," "Punky Reggae Party" and several others. The set is also lacking several rare tracks that the "Complete Bob Marley & The Wailers" collections from JAD Records features, including "Kaya (version 2)" which has scat vocals by Bob and is only available on a promo for Part 2. But it does seem to have many songs that are tough to find.
So the big question is, should people go out and purchase this collection? We have two opinions other than our own, who give their perspective on the set. Wailers fan Jean-Louis Cazaux from France believes that "it's wonderful," but he adds that the set is not for the general public but rather for the more devoted Wailers fan. Jean-Louis describes the sound as "just perfect" and the set as "very well done!" although he points out that there are few liner notes with only six pages in total.
The second opinion weighing in comes from another Wailers fan Björn Ivarsson from Sweden. Björn points out that there are several "new" tracks on the collection, including "What A Confusion" by Dave Barker and Bunny Wailer, "True Love" and "Cloud Nine" both by Carl Dawkins and The Wailers, all of which he says are extremely good. But he adds that the packaging is "typical Trojan stuff -- annoying."
The price might keep some people away, but our personal opinion is that considering most people probably have numerous albums with Wailers/Lee Perry productions, and to have them all in one collection with better sound quality than most, it sounds like this set is something to own. There is some overlap with "The Complete Bob Marley & The Wailers" from JAD, but to get some of the songs that the Trojan set offers that the JAD sets do not, makes it worthwhile to pick up. Another caveat to ponder is that most likely the royalties from this Trojan set will not go to the rightful people, namely the Bob Marley & Peter Tosh estates and Bunny Wailer, as the JAD "Complete Bob Marley & The Wailers" sets do.
Special thanks to both Jean-Louis Cazaux and Björn Ivarsson for their gracious help in the reporting of this story! Here is the complete tracklisting for the six-disc set, courtesy of Jean-Louis:
[key: CA = Charlie Ace, DB = Dave Barker, CD = Carl Dawkins, BL = Bunny (Wailer) Livingstone, JL = Johnny Lover, BM = Bob Marley, PT = Peter Tosh, U = The Upsetters, UR = U Roy, BMW = Bob Marley & The Wailers, W = The Wailers, WW = Winston Wright, and BY = Big Youth]
THE WORLD'S MAN OF THE CENTURY?- There are even more accolades still pouring in for Bob Marley and his music from around the globe. At the end of last year, BBC named "One Love" as the theme of the millennium. Following along with this theme, the BBC is co-sponsoring a One World - One Love Parade which will feature music and dancing free of charge.
The BBC is also working on a documentary based around the life of Bob Marley & The Wailers and reggae music. According to The Jamaica Observer, the film will feature interviews with Coxson Dodd, Bunny Wailer, Edward Seaga, among others. The documentary will eventually air on BBC and PBS in America. As this is an ongoing project we will keep you posted on any further developments.
Thanks to the gracious Wailersologist Matthew Smith, we can add a few more accolades to the evergrowing list. Bob Marley has also been named as Jamaica's "Man of the Millennium," which is quite a feat thinking about some of the people who have come out of Jamaica, including Marcus Garvey. In a sick twist from these honorable recognitions though, Matthew tells us that Red Stripe beer, in paying so-called homage to "Exodus" being chosen as Time magazine's "Album of the Century," has an ad that depicts "Bob's lyrics written in the Red Stripe font in a mock imitation of the 'Exodus' album cover reading: 'One Love. One Beer. Let's get together and feel alright.' In the corner of the shot is a baldheaded man in a suit grinning with red stripe in hand." It seems that the 'one love' idea that The Wailers and Bob Marley were talking about is diametrically opposite from the message that the Marley family now puts forth: the first was for the unity of all peoples and the latter for the one love of money.
Matthew Smith also let us know about a recent episode of VH1's "The List" television show, which gathers five people from the entertainment business to list and vote out their choices on various categories, all leading to one final winner. Bob Marley was the winner of the "Greatest Singer/Songwriter of All Time" amongst the choices of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Sting and Kurt Cobain. Matthew said of the show, "A huge roar of applause came from the audience when it was announced at the end of the show and "Redemption Song" began playing on the speakers inside the studio."
It seems as if reggae music, or at the very least Bob Marley, has truly begun to capture the globe's attention on a much larger scale.
NEW FAM'S REISSUES- We were pleasantly surprised when we picked up five freshly reissued FAM'S 7" singles, featuring some classic Wailers and Wailers Band material. The FAM'S label is of course that of the great bassman Aston "Familyman" Barrett, and has just recently been revived since its initial releases in the 1970s and '80s.
The five singles are all being distributed by Tuff Gong International Records out of Kingston, Jamaica and include, with all titles exactly how they appear on the singles:
Family Man/Rebel Arms - Special Inspiration b/w Wailers Serenade [sic] Wailers Band - Cobra Style b/w Version Family Man/Rebel Arms - Distant Drum b/w Wailers All Star - Version Wailers Band - Well Please b/w Wailers All Star - Version Wailers Band - Trouble Dub b/w Wailers All Star - Version
We cannot recommend these vinyl singles enough for any Wailers fan! A few of these songs can be found on the recent "Cobra Style: Productions from The Wailers' Musical Director" on Heartbeat Records, but the others can only be had on hard-to-find and costly original singles. If you have not heard these songs, they are all classic Wailers material.
You can purchase these singles from the Natty Rebel mail order by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
FANS' REVIEWS- We received a few reviews of recent Bob Marley tribute shows from around the globe and we thought others would benefit from reading them. The first is a Wailers Band review from Theora in Eugene, Oregon and the next comes from Toby Gohn's thoughts from the Bob Marley Birthday Celebration in Jamaica. Many thanks to them both for taking the time to share their opinions.
I was there and the spirit of Bob Marley was so strong it nearly tore the building down. Vivid images remain: Earl [Lindo] looked at me with large expressive eyes and motioned me to get up and dance...for the Wailers. I was back stage as a guest of the sound man. So I danced to the most intricate and emotional and motivating music I have ever danced to in concert. The Wailers keep the strength of the nation growing from a bottomless reservoir of their own calm and deep devotion to the cause. For them, it is deep commitment to spreading the realm and their music digs deeper and flies higher because of the depth of mind and heart they impart and all who listen get it. I know many rasta and reggae musicians and the Wailers are simply the best of them all. These people simply fill the house with good, clean, upliftment and take all who are there with them. Jah Rastafari.
The Wailers Band - February 6, 2000 Top of the World - Eugene, Oregon by Theora
I was at the the celebration in Nine Mile, JA this past Sunday for Bob's birthday. Stephen, Damian and Julian all performed long into the night. And Chinna was up in the front of the crowded stage to pick his guitar parts. Their set lasted about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, I suppose. The Marley sound system (I don't know what it was really) pumped out dancehall favorites hours before the show started, and were still blasting when we left, around 3:30 am. I don't really remember what songs they performed (the whole night is a little hazy) but I know they did "Crazy Baldheads," on which Damian did some nice toasting, and "Jamming." There was a very good turn out for the celebration, a few thousand in my estimation.
Bob Marley Birthday Celebration - February 6, 2000 Nine Miles, Jamaica by Toby Gohn
JUNIOR'S BURNIN' MOVES- Junior Marvin recently joined Roger Steffens on some of his "Life of Bob Marley" video tour dates, performing acoustic sets and also providing added insight for Roger's presentation. Of the handful of shows that Junior did with Roger Steffens, all have met with high acclaim from attendees. As an added highlight, Junior also joined Steel Pulse on stage during their Bob Marley birthday tribute show in Washington, D.C. on February 6th.
If you have not visited the official Junior Marvin page yet then you have missed all of this information and more. The site is constantly being updated and now includes four full-length mp3 songs from Junior's soon to be released "Burnin' Love" album. Give the site a visit!
WAILERS BAND UPDATE- We have some updated line-up information regarding the current Wailers Band. It seems as if Vin Gordon and Glen DaCosta are no longer touring with the band and have been replaced by Nambo Robinson on trombone, Chico Chin on trumpet, and Everton Gayle on saxophone. Matthew Smith informs us that Earl "Wya" Lindo is also out due to an illness and has been replaced for the tour as well. The line-up still sounds like a top outfit and definitely one not miss, and still includes Familyman on bass, Al Anderson on guitar, Marcia Griffiths as one of the female vocalists, Ian Burrell on keyboards, and Gary "Nesta" Pine on lead vocals.
RECOGNITION FOR THE TEACHER- If you check out the latest issue of The Beat magazine you will be hit with a striking Joe Higgs tribute written by Roger Steffens. The article, entitled "A Life of Contradiction: Joe Higgs in His Own Words," actually features portions of Higgs' autobiography which he was working on with Roger up until Higgs' death. To accompany the outstanding text are some photos of Joe decked out in a bright orange suit from a 1997 concert performance. With one read of the article, it is clear that Higgs has always been overlooked for his immense contribution to reggae and Jamaican music and it is just now that this greatness is starting to be rewarded. Joe Higgs taught the Wailers, Wailing Souls, Derrick Harriott and others, yet it is these artists who receive the focus, whereas Joe is usually forgotten. This issue of The Beat also features Carlos Santana on the cover as well as a lengthy interview with him, where he selects Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Exodus" album as one of his "Desert Island Discs." You can also read Roger Steffens' "Reggae Ramblings," filled with all kinds of incredibly valuable Wailers related news.
Kingston, Jamaica was the scene of a recent Joe Higgs Memorial, attended by Edward Seaga, Judy Mowatt, Anna Fisher, among other distinguished guests including some of Joe's family. The event was very well attended and certainly brought more attention to this great man.
The Official Joe Higgs Memorial Pages will have more information about this event and a whole lot more, so please come and check it out. You can order a subscription to The Beat by e-mailing GETTHEBEAT@aol.com.
BUNNY AND THE PRINCE- If we told you that Prince Charles and Bunny Wailer met in Trench Town, Jamaica, you probably would have a hard time believing it. Well this is exactly what happened at the end of February, when Prince Charles visited Jamaica, while on a tour of the Caribbean. The Associated Press reported that Bunny Wailer, Rita Marley, and other Kingston residents, greeted the Prince upon his arrival in Jamaica.
Rastafarian drummers also performed while Charles was in Jamaica, to "witness the work of community groups seeking to improve conditions in the sprawling Kingston slum that nurtured some of the world's greatest reggae artists but long had a reputation for violence." The Trench Town Community Center was the meeting site, and the Prince was also given a "Rastafari tam with black hair sewn into the fabric. Urged on by reporters, Charles awkwardly donned the hat -- putting it on the wrong way with the artificial locks falling across his eyes," the article reported.
It was in April 1980 in Zimbabwe that Bob Marley also had contact with the Prince, whilst both were there to celebrate the independence of the country. It is unclear whether or not the Prince is a reggae fan, but judging from the way he placed the tam on his head (see photo), probably not. It seems like this recent meeting of Jah B and the Prince is a strange meeting for sure.
TOSH ON THE SILVER SCREEN- Stan Smith of the Riddim Report website (www.12thhour.com) has some interesting Wailers related news tidbits. It seems as if Wayne Jobson, the producer of Peter Tosh's bio-pic Stepping Razor Red X: The Peter Tosh Story and also worked on the recent Peter Tosh VH1 "Behind The Music," is currently working with the former president of Warner Bros., Bill Gerber, on a possible Peter Tosh movie based on Peter Tosh's life.
The site also states that the actor Leon, from such films as "Cool Runnings" and the recent Little Richard television movie, is "being considered to play reggae star Peter Tosh." We are not too sure how this movie would relate to the Bob Marley movie, which is also in the works. We do have one suggestion though, why not combine the two movies and those people working on them, into one large film about The Wailers.
If you want to read more about this story and much much more, visit the Riddim Report website.
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NEW RELEASES- Be on the lookout for the American DVD release of Classic Albums: Bob Marley & Wailers: Catch A Fire on April 11th. Image Entertainment is behind this release, which runs approximately 60 minutes and will cost roughly $20. Here is what the press release from Image had to say:
The songs and story of Bob Marley's reggae music masterpiece. The Wailers, featuring the legendary Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, became the most influential band in the history of reggae music. "Catch a Fire," their first Island album, released in 1973, introduced them to an international rock audience. Here the principal figures in the creation of "Catch a Fire" tell the story of how this record was designed to "cross over." The DVD features a unique interview and performance by Bunny Wailer, rare archival interviews with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, and contributions from many of those who performed on the record. Featuring home movies of the Wailers in Jamaica, previously unseen footage, and unique performances of many album tracks such as "Stir It Up," "Stop That Train" and "Kinky Reggae," this is a documentary that will endlessly fascinate the viewer."
Like you, we anxiously await this release! However, we do not know when or if the VHS will become available anytime soon.
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Wailers Shorts- The March 2000 issue of Inked, a "tattoo magazine for black skin," features a five-page layout based around Roger Steffens' encounters with individuals who have Bob Marley tattoos on their bodies. The intriguing and well-written article, written by Michael Kuelker using the pseudonym of Elias Rathbone, analyzes the close attachment and devotion people have for Bob Marley in order to permanently ink themselves. The article is also supplemented with numerous photos from Roger Steffens' collection of Bob Marley tattoos. The issue should be on newsstands near you!
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WailersNet- There is a live internet music channel with updated reggae videos by such artists as Linton Kwesi Johnson, Ziggy Marley, and others. The RootsReggaeTV.com website allows anyone who has the Windows Media Player (which is free to download) to view these videos. The content is ever changing so be sure to visit often.
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WAILERS SURVEY- The people have spoken (well, at least some of them) and the results from February's Wailers Survey are in. The results to the question "What are your feelings regarding artists releasing their music via the internet through mp3 (ie. Andrew Tosh's "Payday")?" reveal that 61% of those people who voted, felt that releasing music over the internet is a great way to get the sounds out. Here are the rest of the results:
This month's question asks "What person/force/inspiration got you into the Wailers' music?" If you have a Java capable browser you can respond to the question. We will have these results next month as well as an all new question! All responses are anonymous!
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