|volume 4 * issue 7 * May 2000|
LOOKING FORWARD -Heartbeat Records is about ready to release a brand new compilation of Wailers/Studio One material, with a disc entitled "Bob Marley and the Wailers - Climb The Ladder" (HB 251). This will be the fifth album put out by Heartbeat Records, compiling the majority of The Wailers' output with producer Coxson Dodd. The specifics are still being hammered out, but thankfully Roger Steffens is writing the liner notes and as the title suggests, the track "Climb The Ladder" will certainly appear. "Climb The Ladder" was a 1963 tune with the late Junior Braithwaite on lead vocals.
There has been some negative comments concerning the Wailers/Heartbeat releases recently, stating that the discs are merely scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of Wailers songs at Studio One. These sentiments are simply unfounded, because the discs showcase The Wailers in various stages of musical genres, like doo-wop and ska, and highlight the great, but lesser-heard, talents of Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, and Constantine "Vision" Walker, as well as Bob Marley. If you call yourself a Wailers fan, then you simply must own the first recordings of The Wailers found on these Heartbeat discs.
to Heartbeat Records, the disc is slated to be released later this
summer. We will have more information to share with you as soon as we
receive it. If you want to stay on top of all the latest news regarding
Heartbeat Records, head over to their website and sign up for their mailing list.
WHO FEELS IT, KNOWS IT -The world of Wailers related books is about to get a little bigger, with the addition of two crucial selections from people who knew The Wailers best. First up is a biography of legendary producer/artist/madman extraordinaire Lee "Scratch" Perry, entitled People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee "Scratch" Perry, and is written by David Katz, Scratch's official biographer.
The 384-page bio is available from various online book sellers, which gave an extremely brief, yet straightforwad synopsis of the book, "Lee 'Scratch' Perry is arguably the most influential force in Jamaican music, being the producer who took Bob Marley and the Wailers to international superstar status. Using interviews with friends, family and fellow artists, this book provides an examination of his life." Not only does this book sound like it is a valuable source of information regarding reggae and The Wailers, but it also provides a rare inside glimpse into the mind of Lee Perry.
Crucial is just one of the words that describes the next book, of which Roger Steffens informed us about. Soon to be released is a long-overdue book that Roger is co-writing with Lee Jaffe, entitled Knotty Dread: My Life with Bob Marley and the Wailers. If you think you know the entire Wailers' history, think again, because Lee Jaffe was around the Wailers beginning in the early 1970s and played a pivotal role in the careers of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer. Jaffe's story has never really been told, until now, and thankfully it finally is.
Regarding the book, here is the info straight from Ras Rojah's mouth, "We've been working since last summer. It will have stories no one's ever heard before of Bob consorting with some world famous and outlandish art world characters in Boo Yawk in '73 and lots of behind the Tuff Gong scenes during the "Knotty Dread" and "Legalize It" sessions. Plus about two hundred never before seen pictures!"
sounds absolutely amazing and should definitely shed more light on the
three legends. Jaffe also lived with The Wailers in the 1970s and
contributed to both Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Natty Dread" and also Peter Tosh' s "Legalize It,"
and even took the classic picture of Peter grazing in the grass for the
cover. These little tidbits about Jaffe's experience with The Wailers
touch just the surface and the book will surely deliver so much more.
No release date yet, but we will keep you posted.
WAILING IN SOUTH AMERICA -Bunny Wailer concerts have the potential of being infamous and leave long-lasting memories in the minds and hearts of the concertgoers. This is just the case when Bunny performed live in Suriname, South America on March 31st, and thankfully the "Jamaica Gleaner" had a freelance reporter to cover the event. From the story it sounds like a truly magical day, and those who have seen Bunny Wailer live in concert can appreciate these same sentiments.
Here is the article in its entirety from the April 5th edition of the "Jamaica Gleaner":
Bunny Wailer Thrills Suriname by Andrew Clunis - Freelance Writer
THE GIANT airliner swooned down last Friday on the massive expanse of rain forests like an albatross going to its nest. It taxied down to the terminal at the Johan Adolf Pengel airport, in Suriname, which from the air seemed like a clearing in the middle of a forest.
The airport staff abandoned their jobs and stuck their heads out of windows and doors to see the celebrity alight from the plane.
At the front of the terminal building, there was a band of Rastafarian drummers, Congo Nyah, who playing the kettes with all their heart and soul. Then resounding cheers went up as the diminutive Rastafarian, the patriarch of reggae and defender of the poor, Bunny Wailer, emerged, dressed in army fatigue, embellished with the signature red, gold and green. He was in the country to perform Saturday night at the Anthony Nesty National Indoor Stadium.
These were moments of tremendous poignancy as members of his touring party struggled to hold back the tears. They were witnessing a welcome they had never seen in all their years of travel around the world. As the Rastafarians continued drumming and chanting and the crowd grew in size, Bunny Wailer stood among them, a picture of humility, his hands sealed in the sign of the trinity.
He later told The Gleaner that he had never received such a welcome before and he was very happy, although thoughts of his deceased colleagues crept into his mind.
"I wish I could have shared this with Peter and Bob. I am so happy to know that the struggle has been carried on and reached so many people. To see the Rasta business which started in the dungle of Trench Town blooming so lovely in these parts is really nice. This again shows you that it is only in a man's country that he has no honour," said the articulate Wailer.
The people cued up to present him with craft emblems and for photo opportunities. Friday evening, TV crews and reporters descended on his hotel for a press conference. The local TV station also carried Bunny Wailer live as he played in a Coca Cola football skills challenge to support a local female football team.
The following day, he visited the city centre of the capital Paramaribo. As the bus drove along, there were constant shouts of 'King Bunny', 'Mr. Wailer', 'Selassie I', coming from the windows of homes and from consumers in the streets.
The local shopping mall was teeming with activity as thousands of teenagers gathered, waiting for an autograph opportunity. Before leaving the mall, another Rasta band drummed from across the street and Bunny Wailer jammed with the crowd which stood in the broiling sun.
Later that day, he stopped at an emporium in the most depressed area of the city. Scores of children rushed to him and descended on the store, choosing goodies of all sorts which were billed to the charitable dread.
By mid-day Saturday all tickets had been sold out and people were busy shopping for new clothes for that night's concert.
He took the stage at about 11:00 p.m. and for over two hours, the primarily Dutch-speaking people danced to the beats of the most famous reggae practitioner to have come their way. There was nothing Bunny Wailer, his band the Solomonic Reggaestra and background vocalists Psalms could have done wrong that night. And when they had completed the set, thousands of people remained inside the venue, waiting for more. When this was not forthcoming, many rushed to his dressing room, before security cut off the flow.
Bunny Wailer left Suriname Monday with a promise to return soon.
Wailer already has two dates scheduled for the upcoming months, so you
will hopefully have your chance to see him live. To stay alert of any
new dates, keep checking the "2000 tour" section at the left.
THE MAKING OF CATCH A FIRE -What would you say if we told you that one of the greatest films ever made about The Wailers was just made available to a wider audience last month. "Classic Albums: The Wailers' Catch A Fire" documents the making of the group's first major label record in 1973. Directed by Jeremy Marre, it is available on DVD for well under $20, with eventual plans to release it on VHS and TV.
simply cannot say enough great things about this Wailumentary, because
it presents so much information in such a short time (60 minutes).
Interviews, rare footage, home videos, and a chance to see Bunny Wailer
sing several Wailers' songs with an acoustic guitar, all make this item
an absolute must! We feel so strongly about the greatness of this
Wailumentary that we tried to break down and examine it piece by piece,
and you can find this information by following the link at the left
named "Catch A Fire DVD."
ANDREW SINGS TOSH, LIVE -A few weeks ago Andrew Tosh performed a live show in California, and thanks to Carlos Culture of the Reggae News Network, you can read an excellent review of the show. As you can see from the review, Andrew discussed his forthcoming tribute album to his father. Andrew also gave a livication at the show to the father of reggae, and Wailers' mentor, Joe Higgs.
Andrew Tosh: April 27th, 2000 - Brick By Brick in San Diego, California by Carlos Culture - www.reggaenewsnetwork.com
Andrew Tosh, son of the late great Peter Tosh, gave a very spirited performance at Brick by Brick in San Diego 4/27/2000 . The show was opened in fine style by San Diego's own original roots reggae band The Revelations and The Makers, a Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead tribute band from Santa Barbara picked by Andrew Tosh himself.
The Soul Syndicate Band featuring Fully Fullwood and Tony Chin who were original members of the Peter Tosh band backed Andrew putting down the familiar riddims perfectly. The four piece band also included Jawge Hughes, who has his own new album "Come on Back" on keyboards and Odel Johnson on the skins from "Messenjah".
Andrew "Original Man" Tosh kicked off the show with a sweet version of "Pick Myself Up (I Try)" quickly getting the massive on their feet skanking. He kept the vibes rootical with his most popular tune "Original Man". He was all over the stage dancing and interacting with the crowd who loved it. He went on to announce the coming of his new album and sang the title track "He Never Died". The new release is scheduled to be out later this summer 6/13/2000.
He said he takes performing on stage very seriously and pulled out the classic "Rastafari Is." Charging it hard, he reminded everyone that no matter where you come from your an "African." This part of the show was in a medely style stringing together "African" into "Equal Rights and Justice" and then "Downpressor Man" which was a big hit with the crowd of about 200. He went on to say that even if there was only the man in the wheel chair he would sing for him.
After the medley, Andrew stopped to honor one of his father's and the Wailers teachers and mentors Joe Higgs. He championed that Joe Higgs is one of the God Fathers of Reggae Music getting a nice round of applause. Andrew went into another vintage classic "Steppin Razor." One could not deny how much Andrew sounds like his father with a such strong singing voice.
LA's Ja Fada, the MC, came on stage and hyped the crowd asking if they wanted more and more. Without hesitation San Diego let Andrew know they were ready for more classics. Andrew trod forward on stage asking where is his pound of ganja and the police to stay outside for a little while longer as the clouds of smoke filled the stage. The ganja anthem "Legalize It" blazed as he and the band rocked it. Andrew called out for Eek-A-Mouse, San Diego resident, who was puffing back stage. The 6-foot-6 rodent obliged and chimed in "Biddi Biddi Bong...Legalize It" whooping-up the place. It was a great surprise and a wicked combination! Eek and Tosh traded the mic like two good friends would do sparring line after line. Eek-A soon went forward in to the mouse hole.
Firing hot, Andrew jammed "Johnny B. Goode" keeping the audience skanking and rocking. It was during this tune that he payed respect to his father's band members. Later, he said I know many of you listen to other music than reggae and did a short piece of Teddy Pendergrass' "I'll Hold You, Touch You" and then closed the show with a long version of "Get Up Stand Up."
LARRY MARSHALL WITH THE WAILERS -Motion Records out of the UK has just issued a previously unreleased dub album of legendary Jamaican singer Larry Marshall, entitled "I Admire You In Dub." The album includes 14-tracks, two of which are cd-only bonus versions, and features the likes of King Tubby's engineering, and Wailers' associates Aston "Familyman" Barrett on bass, guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith, Carlton Barrett on drums, and Peter Tosh on guitar as well!
The album also highlights so many other great Jamaican musicians, as well as the song "Watergate Rock," which is considered the first recorded dub song, and King Tubby's first credited song. It is only available as a UK import for now, and can be purchased online. There is also a vinyl version of the album available, with completely different cover art, making each quite the collectible. Here is the tracklist:
1. Watergate Rock 2. Thelma Dub 3. Fire in Town 4. Is Whey Deh Money Dub 5. Dub Is My Woman 6. Still In Pressure 7. Locks of Dub 8. Come on Baby 9. Give Thanks To Jah 10. Downtown Rock 11. Oh Jah Dub 12. You Lie Version CD Bonus Tracks: 13. Heavy Heavy Load (extended version) 14. Oh Girl Dub
ONE LOVE WITH PETER TOSH -JAD Records keeps the rarities coming with its forthcoming Peter Tosh disc, capturing his complete live performance at the One Love Peace Concert, recorded April 22, 1978 in Kingston, Jamaica. Roger Steffens reported about the disc in his latest version of his unbeatable Beat magazine column, "Ras Rojah's Ramblings," and also told us that it should be out sometime in June. The tracklist should look something like this:
Get Up, Stand Up
Roger tells us that the disc will also include Peter's diatribes that he gave throughout his set at the legendary concert.
you have never heard this concert, they you are in for a real treat ,
because it is classic Peter Tosh from beginning to end. For an
excellent and detailed look at the massive concert, which also featured
Bob Marley & The Wailers, Jacob Miller, the Mighty Diamonds, among
others, track down issue number 9 of the Wailers fanzine Distant Drums,
from October 1997. In the 13-page spread on the event, the magazine
reviews the entire show plus interviews with Adrian Boot, who took the
famous photographs of the concert.
WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY -Not to be outdone by previous Bob Marley remix albums, Cleopatra Records has released yet another, with "Mystic Mixes." The 13-track disc features some rarely remixed tunes in comparison with the other Wailers remixes of late. However, the disc just does not work and the new riddims are added on top of the standard Wailers' songs, making it sound quite claustrophobic. Unless you absolutely have to own every Bob Marley & The Wailers album ever released, avoid "Mystic Mixes."
It is clear that the record company recognizes that people will buy anything with the Marley name on it, and the prime example is this disc. Here is the tracklisting and cover for the album:
1. Satisfy My Soul Babe (Strange Desire Mix) 2.. Natural Mystic (Ital Mix) 3. Treat You Right (A Changed Mix) 4. Stand Alone (A Lonely Dub) 5. Redder Than Red (A Dreader Mix) 6. Mellow Mood (Inna Go Go Mood) 7. Rainbow Country (Red Gold And Green Version) 8. Caution (A Slippery Mix) 9. Hammer (Ram Them Down) 10. Chances Are (Sorrow Version) 11. Touch Me (Easy Skank) 12. How Many Times (A Lovers Version) 13. Soul Shakedown Party (Vibration Mix)
you think we are being biased against remixes, this is not our intent.
Like many Wailers fans, we welcome remixes, when they are done right,
and actually add to and not hinder from the original song. There are
well done remixes out there! You can hear several tracks off of this
album for yourself at online.
ADDITIONS TO PREVIOUS STORIES -There is some updated information to report regarding the Trojan Records' Peter Tosh collection, entitled "Arise Blackman." The disc will be out in the U.S. on May 16th and you can see a picture of the cover below. It seems that not all of the tracks are actually from Peter Tosh, but rather a few are from the Hippy Boys, who later went on to become some of The Wailers, including the Barrett brothers and Glen Adams. This mix-up is in usual Trojan Records fashion, combined with some inaccurate and mislabeled songs.
The majority of the songs on this album have already been collected on the "Bob Marley & Friends: Roots of a Legend" double-disc set from 1997, also on Trojan Records. The remaining songs not found on the 1997 collection are not even Peter Tosh, but if you are that Wailers purist who must have everything, these few songs still have the Wailers link to them and are similarly important. Here is the complete tracklisting for the album, including the cover:
1. Brand New Second Hand 2. Maga Dog 3. Skanky Dog 4. Boney Dog 5. Maingy Dog 6. Fat Dog 7. The Crimson Pirate 8. Rightful Ruler 9. Moon Dust 10. Four Hundred Years 11. Ambitious Beggar 12. Memphis 13. Rudies Medley 14. The Return Of Alcapone 15. Them A Fe Get A Beaten 16. Reuben 17. Stop That Train 18. Sun Valley 19. Nobody's Business (aka Leave My Business) 20. Selassie Seranade 21. Downpresser 22. Pepper Seed 23. Arise Blackman 24. Romper Room 25. Brand New Second Hand (version)
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NEW RELEASES -Coming May 30th is the release of "One Love: The Bob Marley All-Star Tribute" on DVD and VHS from Palm Pictures/Polygram. The tribute concert, originally recorded on December 4th, 1999 in Oracabessa Bay, Jamaica, and aired on the TNT cable network in late December, featured the likes of The Wailers Band, Jimmy Cliff, Queen Latifah, and the Marley family, among others.
This release will include the entire TV version (minus the commercials) plus the DVD will include an hour's worth of additional footage, such as behind the scenes interviews with the performers and music cut from the original broadcast. There is also a Bob Marley discography and photo gallery included on the DVD version.
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WAILERS SHORTS -Ky-mani Marley is featured on the soundtrack to the new movie "Whaever It Takes," with a tune entitled "Emperor," which can originally be found on his "The Journey" album. The movie looks to be a teen romance movie, and the soundtrack is out now on Hollywood Records.
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WailersNet -A great little website entitled "Bob Marley Magazine" is online and has been putting out some very interesting articles in the past months. The newest installment includes an exclusive interview with Bernard Purdie, who worked with The Wailers in 1968, as part of the group's sessions with JAD Records, trying to break the group into the American market. Purdie is better known as the drummer for Aretha Franklin, and has also worked with the likes of James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, and King Curtis. With the recent release of "The Complete Wailers" box sets on JAD Records, Purdie's work with The Wailers is finally brought to light. Head over to "Bob Marley Magazine" not only to read this interview, but also to read an interview with the wife of Josef Issels, the Nazi doctor who treated Bob Marley's cancer. You will find much more on the site, as well as the interviews in both Italian and English -- very cool!
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WAILERS SURVEY -Wow! Were we surprised at the overwhelming response to April's survey, asking "Do you think Bob Marley is the artist of the century??" In just under one month, a total of 680 responses were given and the results reveal that 92% of those people who voted, 631 people in all, agreed that Bob Marley IS the artist of the century. Only 49 respondants believed that Bob Marley is not the artist of the century.
We asked this question to ride on the heels of The Beat magazine's upcoming Bob Marley issue with the theme of Bob Marley being the artist of the century. Roger Steffens tells us that the issue asks this question to people like Santana and others. Be on the look out for The Beat's annul Marley tribute issue coming soon.
Here are the complete results for April's poll:
This month's question asks "Do you think The Wailers, as a group, deserve to be inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame?" 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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