Distant Drums first appeared in early 1994, the work of Wayne Auchaybur and Glen Lockley. Originally a quarterly A5 sized booklet, with photocopy quality graphics, the publication more than made up for it's visual short-comings with the phenomenal amount of interesting and original written material.
Six issues were published in this format between 1994 and September 1995, each somehow managing to surpass the previous effort, with new releases reviewd, tour dates, and contributions from Roger Steffens among the regular features.
Issue 7 from February 1996 saw a change to A4 format, with much improved graphics and a more professional look - but with no loss of content quality or vibes. The only drawback has been the unregular publication schedule, with the rootszine now appearing more at an annual rate than quarterly.
Distant Drums is a fabulous publication, one fully deserving to celebrate the Wailers legacy. The hard work put in by the editors and contributors shines through, with each issue never failing to reach the high standards set from the very beginning.
Distant Drums is a labour of love for all involved, but the hard work is very much a heavy load for those currently running the publication. To show your support you can offer your services to contribute to this rootszine by contacting the following address:
Cry Freedom Productions
PO Box 23
Subscriptions and back issues are available from the same address.
Here is a review of previous publications:
Issue One (March 1994)The inaugural isssue features an interview with Tony Uter, percussionist with the Rico Rodriguez band, with reminisces on the 1977 Exodus tour. There is a also a look at Wailers bootlegs, the first part of a Bunny Wailer singles discography, the Wailers 1973 tour (complete with Jeff Griffin interview), and a celebration of Carlton Barrett.
Issue Two (June 1994)
Bob's 1975 tour is highlighted with a couple of vintage reviews re-printed. Roger Stefens makes his first contribution, discussing the luke warm reception given to the Never Ending Wailers album, an interview with Israel Vibration, and the continuation of the Bunny Wailer discography.
Issue Three (September 1994)The centre-piece of this isssue are interviews with Junior Marvin, Seeco Patterson, Familyman Barrett, and Leroy Romans. There is also a look at the career of Wailers organist Earl Wya Lindo, the 1976 Rastman Vibration tour and more from Roger Steffens.
Issue Four (February 1995)
Another interview with Junior Marvin, the story of Iya Karna and the Wailers, and a nice interview with the DJ daddy U-Roy. The events preceeding the Smile Jamaica concert are scrutinised, with the 56 Hope Road shooting incident investigated.
Issue Five (May 1995)
Bob's 50th birthday is celebrated, with Colin Leslie and Dennis Thompson interviewed. THe first installment of a Peter Tosh discography looks at the Steppin' Razor's single release between '68 and '72 , and the second part of the Smile Jamaica review recahes it's climax with Bob's astonishing performance at Heroes Park Circle.
Issue Six (September 1995)
Interviews in this issue include Ziggy Marley, the Meditations, Junior Marvin and Wayne Jobson. The Peter Tosh discography covers '73 to '80, and there are more 50th birthday celebrations. The real jewel in this issue's crown is Roger's examination of the famed Mother B bedroom tape, complete with lyric transcriptions.
Issue Seven (February 1996)
Interviews with Ziggy and Andrew Tosh are complimented by discussions with Mad Professor, Junior Marvin and Island's Trevor Wyatt. Bob's Ital chef Gilly Gilbert presents a recipe for Tofu Vege Stir Fry, the Exodus tour comes under the spotlight in Captured Live, and Roger reveals more lost treasures.
Issue Eight (December 1996)
Ghetto Youths United carries Roger Steffens interviews with Steve and Julian Marley, while Majestic Warriors finds Roger in the presence of Cedella Marley Booker. Danny Sims is given freedom to voice his sometimes controversial views on Bob, and there is a detailed disection of the What Goes Around Comes Around single, and it's varying mixes. The trawl through the vaults continues, with a choice selection of unreleased demos and alternates coming under close scrutiny.
Issue Nine (October 1997)
A preview of the upcoming Honorary Citizen box set is complemented by a previously unpublished Peter Tosh interview, with further interviews featuring Neville Garrick, King Sundiata Keita and photographer Adrian Boot. Bob's return to Jamaica prior to the One Love Peace Concert is analysed, with an indepth study of the historic event.
Reviews of the Complete Wailers Volume 1 and Honorary Citizen boxsets, along with a look at the controversial Dreams Of Freedom set. More on the One Love Peave Concert and an interview with Neville Garrick add up to another fine issue.
Issue Eleven (March 2001)
In depth studies of the Complete Wailers Vol.2 and Chant Down Babylon albums, a tribute to the late Junior Braithwaite, plus interviews with Ziggy Marley, Pablove Black & Al Anderson, and Steve Wiliamson and Dennis Rollins. Respect to Franco for this one!