|volume 4 * issue 12 * October 2000|
SENDING OUT EARTHDAY WISHES- October 19th brings about the earthdays of both Peter Tosh and Constantine "Vision" Walker. Peter Tosh would have been 56 years old this year and Vision will turn 49 on this special date. Peter Tosh's genius is of course appreciated by most and is continually revealed by his music, yet it is still important to pay homage to him. Vision Walker, on the other hand, is unfortunately not as well appreciated for his musical contributions, and we feel that his light has only begun to shine and will be much brighter in the future.
We would like to extend our greatest thanks for the musical gifts that these two people have shared with the world, as members of The Wailers and in their solo pursuits. To celebrate their earthdays, we suggest you give some playtime on your stereo to re-experience the wealth in greatness of any Peter Tosh album or song. You can hear Vision singing along with his fellow Wailers on the recently released "Climb The Ladder," "Destiny: Rare Ska Sides From Studio One," "Wailers and Friends," as well as the much overlooked "The Never Ending Wailers" album on RAS Records, which features Vision on several tracks, as well as the reunion of Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Junior Braithwaite, and Vision himself.
As a way of celebrating their earthdays, we have put together a little photo collage of both Peter and Vision together as they appeared live in concert in 1983, as well as some other pictures of them both. Click --HERE-- to see the collage. You can read a brief biography of Vision in the "lives" section of this page, and see that he continues to wail and brings with him a career that is continuing to bear treasures.
Ziggy Marley also celebrates his 32nd earthday on October 17th. Ziggy and his brothers and sisters, just finished up a lengthy tour as the opening act for the Furthur Festival, which toured the U.S. in August and September. Happy earthday to them all!
TOGETHER AGAIN- On October 7th, an event will take place that has not happened in nearly 25 years. This event is a Wailers' reunion of sorts, with a Wailer, Tosh, and Marley all uniting on one stage, in one place. The Boulder One World Benefit Jam will take place on October 7th and 8th, at the Boulder Reservoir in Boulder, Colorado, with the first day featuring Andrew Tosh, Ky-mani Marley and Bunny Wailer. From what we understand, the three have agreed to unite at some point in the show, live on stage. The last time a reunion took place with a Marley, Tosh and Wailer, was at the Wailers/Wonder Dream Concert in Kingston, Jamaica in October 1975, also 25 years ago this month.
Bunny Wailer has played with one or the other at different times live on stage, but never have all three been together live in front of an audience. This should be quite an event! If you are not able to attend this performance, Bunny Wailer has an extended "tour" taking place during the month of October, with four other dates all in California. Here are the dates for this short "tour":
You can also see Bunny's tour itinerary as well as that of Andrew Tosh, Ky-mani Marley, and all of the other Wailers' family, in the "2000 tour" section.Bunny Wailer - Communication Tour (with The Solomonic Reggaestra) October 7 - The Boulder One World Benefit Jam - Boulder Reservoir - Boulder, Colorado October 8 - Santa Barbara County Bowl - Santa Barbara, California October 10 - Sun Theatre - Anaheim, California October 13 - Palookaville - Santa Cruz, California October 14 - Maritime Hall - San Francisco, California
THE EVENT OF A LIFETIME- Perhaps one of the biggest events throughout the history of reggae music, has got to be the One Love Peace Concert, which took place on April 22, 1978 in Kingston, Jamaica. For many reasons, including the amount of talent performing at the show, both in singers and players, as well as the phenomenal performances by both Bob Marley & The Wailers and Peter Tosh on that night.
You can now buy Peter Tosh's entire performance at the concert on CD, but to find an account from someone who was actually in attendance at the show is quite rare. Thankfully, we received an e-mail from Elizabeth Barraclough who was only in her early 20's when she attended this life-changing show. Here is her account of the One Love Peace Concert and especially focusing on Peter Tosh's performance:
I was at the One Love Peace Concert and flew down to Jahmaica with my good friend Kate Simon (and also Marshall Chess, son of the great Leonard Chess, founder of Chess Records). [Kate Simon is the photographer who took probably the most famous photo ever of Bob, the "Kaya" album cover.]
Yes, much has been written about the concert, but nothing short of being there could compare or perhaps 'capture' is a better word, the true vibration of what the event was like.
Mick Jagger was also around but, let me tell you, none of these above-mentioned people were to be seen in the audience when the music started. No, they all stayed backstage (Kate of course taking pictures, is understandable). As festive as the vibration was, it was also very dangerous. I knew this when I chose to embark alone into the crowd with my Sony tape recorder on my shoulder. For me, a blond, white girl in a turquoise New Mexican fiesta dress, it was a true test. I knew I had REGGAE to rely on --- my heart was pure --- we had already been accosted by two gunmen in Vivian Goldman's hotel room. Civil War was rampant in the streets, there was no food on the supermarket shelves.
Aside from a few guys trying to lift my Sony and others taking my chair when I stood up to dance, I felt mostly protected, but when Tosh came onstage, the atmosphere changed into one of violence. I felt for my life and it was scary and it was heavy and it was real.
It is for this reason I hesitate to glorify and in fact will not glorify Tosh's performance that night. Physical violence is never warranted and when Bob came on it was past midnight, it was the 23rd of April and I was in fact 23 years old at that very hour and I then felt anything but threatened --- I rejoiced in the fact that Jah had put me there, 23 on the 23rd, with a full moon rising over the Blue Mountains and Bob Marley and the Wailers on the stage for the very apex of their time together on the earth. I danced and rejoiced before heaven and earth. I was blessed and will always be blessed, holding that night and time sacred in my heart.
Come to think of it, you can't have one without the other --- night without day or white without black --- so why should it be any different when it comes to violence and love, Tosh and Bob?
So there you have it, one perspective on this tremendous event. Many thanks to Elizabeth for sharing it!
TEMPTATION PREMIERE- Just in time for Peter Tosh's earthday, comes the premiere of the excellent short film Temptation, directed by Richard Mitrotz. The film will premiere on www.ifilm.com on October 9th, and features Peter Tosh's "No Sympathy." As we reported last month, the film tells the story of Jesus being tempted to give up his faith in favor of what looks to be an easier life. However, he stays strong and is better for it in the end.
Temptation is a non-profit film, which will be shown free-of-charge on the www.ifilm.com website. For a full review of the film, see last month's news (click on the "back issues" link), and to view the film for yourself, visit www.ifilm.com after October 9th and tune in, you will not be disappointed! The film premieres on October 9th, but you can tune in any time on or after this date.
ROGER STEFFENS AND THE QUEEN MARY- Wailers/reggae historian Roger Steffens is set to exhibit his extensive reggae archives at the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach, California. The exhibition will be featured in over 4,000 square feet on the dock of the ship, and the grand public opening will take place on December 14th. It will feature both reggae, and of course Bob Marley/Wailers items from Roger's vast archives, including films, videos, and is sure to feature other items that Wailers fans would love to see.
The Queen Mary is one of the most famous ships in history, because of its use in World War II, as well as the fact that it transported millions of passengers during its voyages from 1936 until 1967. The ship is now both a hotel and museum. We should have much more information about Roger's exhibition in the near future, but needless to say, it should be quite an event! You can find more information on the Queen Mary by visiting www.queenmary.com. You can also read more about this exhibit in an interview that the online zine "Black Hole" conducted with Roger.
BUNNY RULES BERMUDA- Bunny Wailer performed his first ever concert in Bermuda on September 2, as part of the Reggae Kings In Action II show at Clearwater Beach in Bermuda. The concert also featured other great reggae acts like Yami Bolo and Charlie Chaplin and was broadcasted live on the internet via www.dread-baha.com. "The Jamaica Gleaner" recently featured a review of the concert, detailing the highlights, including the fact that nearly 10% of Bermuda's population were in attendance. Here is the complete article:
Bermudans Flock To Wailers' Concert by Andrew Clunis
Two months of anticipation was quelled last Saturday night as Bermudans got their first chance to see reggae legend, Bunny Wailer in performance.
The concert which was postponed due to inclement weather in July, was held at the Clear Water Beach and attracted about 6,000 patrons, just about 10 per cent of the tiny island's population.
Bermudan regulations require that a 2:00 a.m. curfew be enforced for public concerts, but Bunny Wailer was allowed to perform until almost 5:00 a.m., as dancing patrons kept their ground.
His message was dominated by revolutionary tomes, as he plucked at the hearts of a people in cultural and political transition. he was invited to the island by Dread and Baha promotions, a group of young black Bermudans who were instrumental in electing the first black premier on the island a few years ago.
The concert was part of an ongoing effort to appeal to the social psyche of black Bermudans, who largely comprise the economic minority. Bunny Wailer entreated them to "rise up and respect Africa. A nation without knowledge of its past cannot know where to head, to avoid going back to the past."
As shouts of 'Jah Rastafari' echoed into the starry skies, Bermudans devoured the musical potency of the man they had waited four decades to see. With his goat-skin bass drum at his feet, he launched into an evangelistic version of "Rastaman Chant," after rain came for two hours and the show ended.
Bunny's entourage included Charlie Chaplin, who received a resounding ovation from Bermudans. He earned an encore after delivering a spiritually provoking set which he closed with the big hit Cry Blood. He's a favourite among Bermudans.
Yami Bolo showed his class, taking his time about his routine. He delivered his hits which were familiar to Bermudans, among them "The Puppet Master" and "La Isla Bonita."
The late Garnet Silk was a big hit in Bermuda, when he visited there several years ago and his brothers found the same kind of reception. Omar Silk and Lijamlak demonstrated the great promise they hold in reggae music, performing several originals as well as Garnet's big tunes "Mama Africa" and "Slashing Dashing Restless Sea."
Ricky Chaplin was in good knick. He based his performance on a scripture from the Bible and won instant approval.
Several Bermudans performed as well, highlighting the tremendous impact reggae has on that country. Singer Ras Georges was joined by expatriate Jamaican DJ Ninja Cutty and they got their people to rock. There was also the dub poet Ras Mykal who had socially stirring words to offer.
A Bermudan band, Justice, opened the show. They are a competent reggae outfit, although there isn't a Jamaican in the group. They walked on to applause when introduced by Bermudan emcee Andrew Phillips.
The event was called Reggae Kings In Action II and was broadcast live on the internet at www.dread-baha.com.
The live broadcast of the concert had a fee of $5.95 to tune in, but from several people we have heard from, the broadcast was poor to non-existent. Despite this, according to Theora, it looks as if everyone who tuned in, will not be charged.
WAILERS WELCOMED IN ENGLAND- The Wailers Band performed live in Brighton, England in late August to an enthusiastic and welcoming crowd, and thanks to Tim Gwynne, here is an excellent review of the show:
I couldn't believe it when my friend called me to say that The Wailers were playing in Brighton (East Sussex, England) the following night. THE Wailers? As in Bob Marley and THE Wailers? He immediately ran to the record shop to buy tickets. I've been a lifelong reggae fan since the age of six when I heard Milly sing "My Boy Lollypop."
The venue was the recently opened Concorde 2, down on Brighton seafront, in what was previously a café popular with bikers. There were no motorbikes in sight when we turned up at 09:00 p.m. but otherwise all of human life was there. The place was rammed. And I was pleased to attend a gig where, for once, I was not the oldest member of the audience. The age range seemed to be from teenagers to sixty-somethings.
By 10:00 p.m. there was no sign of the band but inside the club it was hot enough to grow orchids. An elderly man in front of me fainted and was carried outside. Then a roadie appeared on stage with a large pile of towels, which he left on chairs round the stage. Perhaps, we thought, it's going to be a German tribute band - Das Wailers?
Finally at 10:30 the band shuffled onto the stage. Drummer, bass player, guitarist, keyboard player, trombonist, saxophonist and trumpet player. Despite the Saharan temperatures the bass player was wearing an overcoat. And it's definitely Aston "Familyman" himself!! After one minute of aimless tuning up, the bass player and the drummer exchanged a glance, and without a word, launched into a groove locked tighter than the Tower of London. A dub version of the "Mission Impossible" theme tune. The audience went mad.
After 4 or 5 instrumentals Marcia Griffiths was introduced and sang for another half an hour. The audience went berserk. She looked as amazed by our reaction as we were by the band's presence in Brighton. Then a young singer came on stage and the band played "Get Up, Stand Up" as if their lives depended on it. The audience went orbital. Everyone danced up and down in whatever small space they could find. It seemed that English reserve had been screwed up and thrown in the bin. The small party of sixty-somethings in front of me danced themselves into a state of ecstasy. I concentrated on the bass lines and sang my heart out with everyone else. I couldn't speak for a week.
They played for two hours - everything you'd want to hear: "Stir it Up" ("for the ladies of Brighton"), "Concrete Jungle," "Exodus," "Jammin," "Rastaman Vibration," "War," "Them Belly Full," "I Shot the Sheriff," "Three O'Clock Roadblock," and more and more until a highly emotional "No Woman, No Cry." When they reached the refrain "Everything's gonna be alright" I achieved a state of epiphany. Back for an encore that included a storming "Buffalo Soldiers" and then they were gone leaving us dazed but happy wondering how to wind down at 01:30 a.m. in the morning. I was too excited to sleep. I can't wait to see them again. Next time, everyone I know wants to come too.
WAILERS SURVEY RESPONSES- As you probably know, each month we have a Wailers related survey on the site, and felt it was important to go more in-depth for September's question, as it produced some interesting comments. The question asked "Do you think the CIA or other governmental agencies were involved in the death of Bob Marley?" and here are some of the wide-ranging comments that people left:
Bob died of a melanoma, how could the government be responsible for that?
I don't think Marley was a threat to the CIA or other governmental agencies
Get serious!!! Melanoma cancer cannot be implanted in someone, it's impossible... Bob was not a threat to the US at all, the CIA kept files on everyone
Robert died because he had a cancer...and that is a sad fact.. but his music and soul lives forever
I say yes because of the racism that went on back then was horrific
If he had not died of cancer, I'm sure they would have found another way to take him out
Any time someone speaks from their heart, concerning world and revolutionary views, he/she dies. Period. Who would do that?
I think he died because Jah needed his help up there
All-in-all, the survey brought up some interesting points on both sides and presented an interesting dialogue on this topic. You can see the actual results at the bottom of this page, as well as answer this month's question. Whatever side you are on, it is pretty clear that there are good arguments on both sides.
(return to this month's features)
NEW RELEASES- Reggae veteran Ras Midas, has a brand new album out now entitled "Confirmation" on JML Records. The album features several reworkings of songs that have appeared on previous Ras Midas albums, including "Can't Stop Rastaman Now" and "Kude-A-Bamba," as well as brand new material. Among the many guest musicians on the album include Earl "Wya" Lindo, Sly & Robbie, The Tamlins, Dwight Pickney, Ansel Collins, Dean Fraser, and Marcia Griffiths. For more information about Ras Midas or his new album "Confirmation," visit the Clutch Productions website.
You can hear sound clips from the album, and find more information about the album and band, on the Elektra Records' website for Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers. The last track, "I Know You Don't Care About Me" is actually a studio track that the group recorded in response to the Amadou Diallo shooting. You can read more about this track in the "WailersNet" section below. Many thanks to Shauna for this tip!!
This release is truly a fan's dream, and would be an incredible idea to do for The Wailers. Getting together the remaining Wailers and possibly even their children, and having them choose their favorite Wailers songs, combined with audio interviews for why they chose the songs, would make not only a perfect greatest hits set, but also quite a collectible!
(return to this month's features)
WAILERS SHORTS- As a follow-up to last month's story about The Wailers' song "In The Iwah." The track is available on several albums under the title "In The Iaah" and the band is usually listed as The Upsetters or Lee Perry & The Upsetters. Some of the albums that you can find the song on include the Trojan Record releases of Lee Perry's "Double Seven" and "Upsetter Compact Set," and also the compilation "Reggae Time." Thanks to both Dan Hyam and Andy Clayden, both of the U.K., for their help in letting us know about these releases. So now it will be a lot easier for you to listen to a Wailers song you probably have not heard before and well worth searching out.
Bob Marley (Feb. 6, 1945 - May 11, 1981)
According to Timothy White's Catch A Fire: The Life Of Bob Marley (Owl Books), Robert Nesta Marley predicted that he would die at 36 - telling friends his "One Love" mission would commence at 33 and that three years later he would be gone, "jus' like Christ." Having dodged more than one bullet in his time, he probably envisioned a quick, violent exit, not a slow surrender to cancer. Marley's remains rest in one of the most out-of-the-way sites of any dearly departed musician. His mausoleum, a small tropical hut, stands in the hills of Nine Mile, Jamaica, two hours from Kingston.
A photo of the mausoleum also accompanies the text, which you can see at the right. You should be able to find the issue on newsstands everywhere, just look for issue #2.
Gary can also be heard on the Easy Star Records' compilation called "Easy Star All-Stars Volume One," with the song "Fighting For The Right Thing." One final note is that some people think he is a relative of Bob Marley and some even believe that he is even one of Bob's sons, yet despite their similarities in both vocals and appearance, he has no relation to Bob Marley, other than both leading The Wailers at different times. Hopefully this will give you a little bit of background into the man who now fronts The Wailers Band.
(return to this month's features)
JUST A PASSING GLANCE- If you have read this section of the site over the past few months, then you will be aware that the television show "WKRP In Cincinnati" has a tendency to show references to Wailers related figures. Once again on yet another episode it happened! This time, just as the cool Venus Flytrap was leaving his shift from the DJ booth, he was carrying Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Natty Dread" album. As he left, Les Nessman took over the mic, the last few seconds of the song "Lively Up Yourself" could be heard playing.
(return to this month's features)
WailersNet- The International World Music Festival is a special event that is currently touring the United States, and features three great world music acts, including Yelen, from the Ivory Coast, Djambi, from Brazil, and Andrew McIntyre, from Jamaica. McIntyre was a longtime member of The Wailers Band, who is now on solo pursuits. Yelen's album "Secret," which we mentioned a few months back on these pages, features the likes of Aston "Familyman" Barrett and George "Fully" Fullwood. You can find more information about the tour, including dates, biographies, sound clips, and much more by clicking --HERE--.
(return to this month's features)
WAILERS SURVEY- The results are in for September's Wailers Survey, asking Do you think the CIA or other governmental agencies were involved in the death of Bob Marley? Some very interesting results indeed!
Here are the complete results for September's poll:
This month's question asks, "Do you think that Bob Marley's "Legend" album fittingly represents Bob Marley as an artist?" 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!
(return to this month's features)
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!
(return to this month's features)