|volume 4 * issue 1 * November 1999|
THE PASSING OF DON TAYLOR -Don Taylor, the controversial former manager of Bob Marley & The Wailers, passed away on Monday, November 1st of heart related problems in Miami, Florida. Taylor managed Bob Marley & The Wailers from 1975 until 1980 and in 1995 he published his interpretation of Bob Marley's life in the book Marley and Me: The Real Bob Marley Story Told By His Manager Don Taylor, published by Barricade Books.
Taylor was born on February 10, 1943 in Jamaica and began his career in the music business at an early age. He worked in many different capacities in the music business throughout his career including working with such music legends as Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves, Babyface and most recently managing Gregory Isaacs. No matter what Taylor's reputation is, he did play a major part in bringing Bob Marley & The Wailers to a wider audience by doing such things as booking him in untraditional venues.
In Taylor's infamous book, he details such things as the stormy relationship between Bob Marley and Chris Blackwell, Marley's love life and the December 1976 assassination attempt on Bob Marley. Taylor himself was critically wounded in this attempt and actually pronounced dead before someone checked his pulse, saving his life. He explains in the book how he, unable to speak or move but still mentally conscious, could still hear the attendants in the hospital talking.
controversial book will forever immortalize Don Taylor and his version
of Bob Marley's history as the only other person besides Bob Marley to
witness many of these events. While much of the book has been contested
by many people, it is a great read nonetheless and depicts some aspects
of Marley's life that have never been written about before.
WAILERS RECEIVE JUSTICE -An interesting story hit various music news outlets a few weeks ago regarding the outcome of the lengthy legal battle over the rights and royalties of Tuff Gong records. Bunny Wailer filed a lawsuit in 1992 against the Marley family for not paying royalties to either Bunny or the Peter Tosh estate for using the Tuff Gong trademark. The case was originally settled in May of 1999 but details were only recently released.
In an aptly titled 1994 song by Bunny Wailer, entitled "False Beneficiaries," Bunny comments on just this topic where the Marley family is reaping the benefits of something that they did not create, namely the music of The Wailers. It seems justice was served in the outcome of this case as Bunny Wailer and the Peter Tosh estate each received $2 million from Island Records for royalties owed to them.
You can read the entire story for yourself at Billboard online.
A MAINSTREAM TRIBUTE TO BOB MARLEY -The "all-star" Bob Marley tribute is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 4th at Oracabessa Bay, Jamaica, and the tentative lineup for the event has been announced. The concert is being billed as the "One Love Tribute to Bob Marley" and will tape on the 4th but will air on the TNT cable network on December 19th. Included in the lineup are Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Rita Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Queen Latifah, Seal, Lauryn Hill, Busta Rhymes and Erykah Badu. The last three artists mentioned are featured on the forthcoming "Chant Down Babylon" duets album, produced by Stephen Marley, who is also the co-producer for this One Love Tribute concert.
There are a few "official" websites set up to promote the event, where you can get more facts as well as ticket information to attend the live taping yourself. Both TNT and bobmarley.com have sections devoted to the event.
one look at the lineup, it is clear who the target audience is, mainly
the mainstream MTV/VH1 music audience, rather than the avid reggae fan.
It seems a shame to not include the legendary Jamaican musicians,
including both contemporaries of Bob's and modern Jamaican artists who
were influenced by Bob Marley's music, would make for a much more
enjoyable experience to fans of reggae.
JUNIOR MARVIN: ALBUM AND TOUR -In Junior Marvin news, if you visit his official site, you can now hear sound samples from his forthcoming album "Burnin' Love." The sound clips are in the RealAudio format and you can view a full tracklisting for the album on the site as well.
has just embarked on a tour that encompasses nearly three months in the
country of Brazil. A U.S. tour should follow sometime in the near
future as well as a tour of Europe afterwards. Be sure to keep watching
the Official Junior Marvin page to stay on top of the all the latest
information involving Junior.
A FAN'S DREAM -Wailers fans are you ready? As part of the ongoing "Classic Album" video series, those in charge have seen it fit to choose The Wailers' 1973 gem "Catch A Fire" as the latest installment! The video is entitled "The Making of Catch A Fire" and is directed by Jeremy Marre, the same director of the classic "Roots Rock Reggae" documentary, among other works. Wailers-ologists Matthew Smith and Roger Steffens were gracious enough to inform us of the specifics in what seems to be a project long overdue, so many thanks to them both!
Director Jeremy Marre collected many of the orignal musicians involved in the making of "Catch A Fire," including guitarist Alva "Reggie" Lewis, bassist Aston "Familyman" Barrett, keyboardist Earl "Wya" Lindo, producer Chris Blackwell, and none other than Bunny Wailer.
If you have ever seen other installments of the "Classic Albums" series, such as Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the Key of Life" or Jimi Hendrix' "Electric Ladyland," than you know that the specific album's engineer and producer, and sometimes the original musicians themselves, go track by track telling how each song came together. Roger Steffens comments about the "The Making of Catch A Fire" that, "Chris Blackwell and the original engineer pull out the old tapes, and play individual parts - instruments isolated, harmonies by themselves - to show how they overdubbed the albums."
video also includes interviews with the above musicians, and features
acoustic versions performed by Bunny himself!
The only drawback to this documentary is that it is nearly unavailable
in the NTSC VHS (the standard format in such places as the United
States, among other countries) format. You can purchase it on DVD and
PAL video format as an import from Europe, but the NTSC format if you
can track one down will cost around $60 U.S. Hopefully, just as its
predecessors, "The Making of Catch A Fire" will be aired on television
(VH1 and PBS aired other "Classic Albums" over the past few years). The
NTSC VHS price should drop and become more available as time goes on,
and when it does, it sounds like it is one not to miss! And if you have
a DVD or PAL capabilities, then you should get it right away!
WAILERS REMIXED -Keep a look out for a new album of Bob Marley & The Wailers remixes, entitled "Remix Revolution Greats" on the Cleopatra record label. The disc features remixes of the Wailers' 1971 "Soul Revolution" album, originally produced by Lee Perry. This release continues Cleopatra's string of Marley remix material, the first being the "Sun Is Shining" single recently hitting charts in England.
Here's the tracklisting for the album:
1. Keep On Moving (Interface Remix) - Julian Synne 2. Put It On (Astralasia Remix) - Swordfish 3. Soul Rebel (Pistel Remix) - Mark Pistel 4. Kaya (Bass Up) - Kevin Haskins 5. African Herbsman (Meeks Remix) - Meeks/Mad City Productions 6. Mr. Brown (Spahn Ranch Remix) 7. African Herbsman 8. Don't Rock My Boat (Sheep On Drugs Remix) 9. Fussing And Fighting (David Harrow Remix) 10. Don't Rock My Boat (The In Dub Remix) 11. Mr. Brown (Electric Sky Church Remix) 12. Brain Washing (Filter Section Remix) 13. Sun Is Shining (Silverbeam Remix) 14. Riding High (Fear No Art/Monto Phonics Remix)
what we've heard of this disc, the mixes are pretty unique and add a
new feel to some already classic Wailers' songs. The album should be in
stores now and is definitely worth checking out.
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HIT ME WITH MUSIC - NEW RELEASES -The first single from the forthcoming Bob Marley duets album "Chant Down Babylon" is in stores now. The single is The Marley Brothers & the Ghetto Youths Crew's version of "Kinky Reggae," in both CD and 12" vinyl formats. It features several mixes of the song including a Ragga Mix and Kinky Mix and should be available in any good music store. The cover features an interesting drawing of the Marley kids and Bob Marley himself (see picture at left).
And speaking of the "Chant Down Babylon" album, it is due to hit stores on November 16th on the Island DefJam label. Check out last month's issue to see the complete tracklist for the duets album, and at the right is a picture of the front cover. You can also hear sound clips for each track on the album, and view an exclusive "making of" video that features the guest artists in the studio recording their specific songs, so visit sputnik7.com to get all of the details!
book looks to be a great historic attempt at capturing something that
is seldom written about, yet seems so crucial to the music.
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WailersNet -You can view some concert photos of Ky-mani Marley from his October 26th performance in New Haven, Conneticut by heading over to www.reggaephotos.com. Ky-mani is well into his U.S. tour with opening act Lavaska, and you can view the remaining tour dates by visiting the "1999 tour" section.
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WAILERS SURVEY -The people have spoken (well, at least some of them) and the results from last month's Wailers Survey are in. It looks as if Bob Marley's name will sell anything, no matter what the product being pushed is. As to last month's question of "Will you buy the new Bob Marley "Chant Down Babylon" duets album?," the majority of the voters (59%) responded that they would purchase the new album without even having heard it beforehand. Here are the results from the poll:
This month's question asks "Do you consider the recent slew of Bob Marley remix material worthy of carrying the Bob Marley name?" 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!
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