Volume 1: Issue 1: January 2001
Welcome to the first update of wailers.co.uk. Each month we plan to bring you news and opinions of the Wailers and associated affairs, with regular contributors offering articles and reports from around the world.
On this site you can find biographies and tour dates for Bob, Peter and Bunny, album discographies, the Wailing Glossary, which lists alphabetically every song written or recorded by the great triumvirate, and a Wailers picture gallery, which will be changed regularly to feature fresh images.
Please feel free to contribute to this site. We are interested in anything Wailers related, and this can take any form you wish. This site is for the fans of the Wailers, by fans of the Wailers.
The most exciting news for Wailers in the past month has been the announcement of a planned re-issue programme featuring Bob Marley & The Wailers classic Island Records albums.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Bob's passing, Tuff Gong are searching through the vaults to combine unreleased archive material with the original albums. The first release, a new edition of the seminal Live! album recorded at the Lyceum in London in 1975, is expected in the shops sometime in February, with further releases following in batches of three.
Maxine Stowe, who joined Tuff Gong last June as President for Marketing, also stated that a special promotion of the Exodus album, to tie in with it's album of the century accolade, was also in the pipeline.
THE REBIRTH OF TOSH
Balford Henry, Senior Staff Reporter
OCTOBER 28 will be probably the most important date in the posthumous history of the late Peter Tosh. On that date, just over 13 years following the death of this world-famous musician and founding member of the Wailers and a week after his 56th birthday, Tosh's 10 children and their mothers are expected to meet at Belmont, Westmoreland, to discuss the future of his estate.
They will be meeting on the same property on which Tosh's body was buried in a sepulchre in September, 1987. They will probably be happy to realise that at least the grave still stands as a timeless tribute to their great father.
But, the family members should equally be disappointed that the property has fallen into disrepair and certainly not worthy of having his famous bones interred there.
Dave McIntosh, Tosh's second son, who goes by the name 'Dave Tosh', is co-ordinating the reunion. He said it will mark the launch of the future in the critical task of realigning Tosh's heritage with the history of Jamaican music.
According to McIntosh, the intention is to resurrect Intel Diplo, the company Tosh had formed to handle his music after he split from his Wailers' pals Bob Marley and Bunny Wailers in 1976. The new company will perform similar tasks to those being performed by the Bob Marley Foundation for Marley's estate, including controlling the copyright of his music and his image, internationally.
"I am trying to make sure now that nothing new is released unless we give permission. We wouldn't be able to do that ourselves, but we will try to get the right people in the right places to ensure that the estate maximises the benefits of our father's work," he explained.
October 28 will be nine days after what would have been Tosh's 56th birthday and 13 years and seven weeks after his untimely death at the hands of gunmen who invaded his home at Plymouth Avenue, Barbican. It will also mark a period of remembrance in Westmoreland, beginning with a tribute to Tosh at MXIII in the West End on October 19, the birthdate of the reggae icon.
News of Tosh's death flashed on NBC Television in the USA on September 11, as the first item on the 6:00 p.m. news. It showed respect for Tosh's international stature. However, the posthumous effect has been, at least, disappointing.
While Bob Marley has gone on to greater international recognition and platinum album sales, Tosh's estate has gathered comparative crumbs. The main income has come from the recent closure of Tuff Gong Records, the company originally formed by the three Wailers, but which faded into obscurity after the split in the 1970s.
film, 'Stepping Razor: Red X', produced by Jamaican Wayne Jobson and basedo on Tosh's life story as taped by him on ordinary 60-minute cassettes at home in Barbican, as well as a couple of compilation albums which failed to top Billboard's Top 15 Reggae Album chart, represent the new material which have been done since his death.
McIntosh expects that will change within the next few months, with a windfall of about US$2 million from the settlement of the Tuff Gong Records' litigations recently, which could be the basis of the new promotional effort.
He said the family is satisfied with the settlement. The estate's U.S. commitments are currently in the hands of court-appointed administrators in New York, but the family has retained the services of reggae-friendly American lawyer Kendal Minter to oversee the foreign element.
McIntosh said that although he is not too pleased with how the legacy has been handled, he has to share the blame with his siblings for their lack of commitment: "I had my own life to live. But, now I understand the value of the assets involved and I plan to play my part," said the Trench Town-born, Houston-raised accountant.
He believes that, despite how it might appear on the surface, there is general respect for Tosh worldwide waiting to find expression.
"When we establish this entity to promote him and his music, it will reveal how much the public wants to hear and know more about him, but first we need to put in place a plan to do it."
McIntosh criticised the Government as "hypocrites and parasites," in terms of how they have approached Tosh's heritage. But he sings the praises of Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Omar Davies, for supporting Tosh's legacy:
"I heard that he was going to lecture on Tosh at the University and I ducked in through a side door to listen. I was really overwhelmed by what he had to say about him."
McIntosh said the first thing the new Intel Diplo company will have to work on, is repairing the Belmont property."The sepulchre is here, but the property is in a deplorable condition," he said. The family hopes to develop the site into another tourist attraction in the western part of Jamaica.
Western Bureau: DAVE Tosh, son of former Wailer, Peter Tosh, is pleased with the order granted by the Supreme Court to wind up Tuff Gong Records, the company jointly founded by reggae legends Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh.
Dave Tosh, one of Peter's 10 children said: "It (the court issue) has been going on for a long time so an amicable settlement was always in the best interest of all concerned."
With monies from the court settlement expected to come to his family soon, the young Tosh is quite confident that the unfinished theme park to honour his father's memory, which has been in limbo for some time, will now be completed.
"Work should resume on the theme park soon because as a family we are totally commitment to erecting a suitable monument to my father's memory," said Dave
"As a family, we fully recognised the greatness of our dad and we want to see his memory preserved."
In his bid to keep his father's life and work in the forefront, Dave (Tosh) has now become an active partner with promoter Worrell King in the staging of, 'Tribute To Peter Tosh," which is set for the MXIII Lawn, Negril, on Saturday, October 21.
"I really appreciate what Mr. King has been doing to honour the man (Peter) and I am not only endorsing the project this year, I am also working alongside him to ensure its success," said Dave. His grandmother, Alvira Coke and his son Andrew - a reggae singer like his dad, have both been active supporters of the project since its inception.
In regards to the line-up of artistes for this year's 'Tribute', the young Tosh said he was extremely satisfied. According to him, while he is not directly involved in the music industry, he has a fairly good understanding of his father's music and the type of music he would appreciate.
"My father was a man who sang among injustice and was always seeking to strengthen the oppressed," said Dave. "The artiste on the tribute line-up all carry a similar message so naturally you could say they are the ones carrying on the work he (Peter) started.
"I don't think my grandmother will be there because she is getting on in years," said Dave, of his dad's 80 odd years old mother. "My father is her only child and over the years she has always paid an active role in 'tribute.'
BLACKWELL INDUCTED INTO HALL OF
Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, has been selected as one of this years inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Blackwell began his Island label in Jamaica in the early '60s before relocating to England, where he established it as a leading distributor of Jamaican music to the growing West Indian community. He was one of the first people to attempt to market reggae as a serious commodity, rather than just a novelty muisc, and the resulting Wailers album, Catch A Fire, catapulted the group to international stardom.
BOB ALBUM IN VH1 TOP
VH1 recently compiled a list of the top 100 Rock & Roll albums of all time and Bob' s 1977 Exodus weighed in at number 26. The top 10 was as follows:
1. The Beatles, "Revolver" (1966)
2. Nirvana, "Nevermind" (1991)
3. The Beach Boys, "Pet Sounds" (1966)
4. Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On" (1971)
5. Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Are You Experienced?" (1967)
6. The Beatles, "Rubber Soul" (1965)
7. Stevie Wonder, "Songs in the Key of Life" (1974)
8. The Beatles, "Abbey Road" (1969)
9. Bob Dylan, "Blonde on Blonde" (1966)
10. The Beatles, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (1967)
MARLEY AT THE GRAMMY AWARDS Bob Marley will be awarded a special, posthumous lifetime achievment award at next months Grammy awards. As well as this long overdue recognition, Bob is up for the Pop Collaboration with Vocals award for Turn Your Lights Down Low with Lauryn Hill.
The contenders for the Pop Collaboration with Vocals award are: "Thank God I Found You," Mariah Carey Featuring Joe and 98 Degrees; "The Difficult Kind," Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLachlan; "All the Way," Celine Dion (and Frank Sinatra); "Turn Your Lights Down Low," Lauryn Hill (and Bob Marley); "Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't (My Baby)," B.B. King and Dr. John.
The nominees for the Reggae award are: Pato Banton (Life Is A Miracle), Beenie Man (Art & Life), Dennis Brown (Let Me Be The One), Gregory Isaacs (Private & Confidential), and the Wailing Souls (Equality).
STEFFEN'S REGGAE ARCHIVES ON
Global Treasures presents
THE WORLD OF REGGAE AND BOB MARLEY
an exhibition featuring
TREASURES FROM ROGER STEFFENS' REGGAE ARCHIVES TO OPEN JANUARY 20, 2001 AT THE QUEEN MARY IN LONG BEACH
Thousands of artifacts from the rich history of Jamaican music and the legendary career of Bob Marley, the King of Reggae, will go on display in a unique exhibition to be housed in two buildings of the English Village at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, beginning January 20. Selected from the internationally renowned collection of reggae authority Roger Steffens, the exhibition covers forty years of Jamaican musical creativity.
Beginning with the birth of ska in the early 1960s and moving through the eras of rock steady, reggae, dub, DJ (rap), lovers rock, two-tone and ska revival, dub poetry, and through the present ascendancy of dancehall and raggamuffin, The World of Reggae and Bob Marley is a stunning aural and visual experience, immersing the visitor in a barrage of sensations that will be sure to illuminate and entertain.
Presented by the exhibition management company, Global Treasures, and designed and created by the Pasadena-based Curatorial Assistance, the exhibition showcases nearly 1,000 individually mounted album covers and a large number of 7" vinyl singles, most of them autographed by the respective artists. As visitors explore some two dozen areas, musical spotlights fall on the major performers. Hundreds of posters from around the world are interspersed along with original photographs, fliers, t-shirts, post cards, magazines, books, banners, bumper stickers, buttons, and scores of other memorabilia from reggae's most famous figures.
In the introductory area a film depicting the mini-history of the various styles of Jamaican rhythms will be running. In the second, larger structure, a spiraling series of displays leads viewers into a row of bleachers from which they can view a film on the life story of Bob Marley, whose album Exodus was recently chosen by Time magazine as "The Best Album of the Twentieth Century." On an adjacent wall, 144 albums depict the various images by which Marley's music has been presented to the world. Nearby, two columns are filled with 160 singles by Marley and his former partners in the Wailers-Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.
The spiritual underpinnings of Bob Marley and many other reggae musicians is the way of life known as Rastafari, named in honor of the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I. To its adherents, Selassie is a divine incarnation, and has become an object of veneration worldwide. A repository of near-priceless objects has been loaned to the exhibition by one of the world's premier collectors of Rasta relics. These include examples of all the medals worn by His Majesty on His Golden Jubilee, items from the Imperial household in Addis Ababa, decorations and orders, paintings, photographs, newspapers and magazines from the coronation ceremonies in 1930 and the subsequent Italian invasion, autographed pictures, and contemporary items utilizing Selassie's image in popular culture.
Another area of the exhibition surveys the internationalization of the irresistible beat of reggae, with items from France, England, Japan, Poland, Nigeria, Brazil, Israel, Sweden, South Africa, and other nations in which the music has gained a foothold. There are even entries from the Hopi and Havasupai Indian nations of North America, cultures in which Marley is regarded as a prophet.
An interactive installation features computer terminals in which Roger Steffens' video interviews with various artists-including his conversations with the Wailers, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley's mother, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer, and others-can be readily accessed.
Throughout the year, there will be many special events with Steffens as host. These include several two-day affairs on the Queen Mary that will combine a Friday evening seminar with a Saturday afternoon outdoor concert in the Queen Mary park. Themes include Ska, Reggae Art, Women in Reggae, and a very special weekend to be held on May 11 and 12, the 20th anniversary of Marley's death. The year 2001 will also witness Marley being presented with the music business's ultimate honor, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on February 21, in addition to a star on Hollywood Boulevard on February 6, the 56th anniversary of his birth.
Never before has there been an exhibition anywhere in the world like The World of Reggae and Bob Marley. Steffens feels that his three-decade-long, self-described "reggae obsession" is finally paying off. "I've always wanted to share the six rooms of my house that are jammed full of this incredible history with the world at large. I am really grateful to Global Treasures and the Queen Mary for providing me with the fulfillment of this dream of a lifetime."
MARLEY FESTIVAL IN
As usual, since this is so early, the lineup is subject to change. Advance ticket prices for each day are as follows:
The backing band for both days is Skool.
Day 1 February 17-Saturday
Buju Banton, Capleton, Ghost, Mr. Vegas, Red Rat, Baby Cham, General Degree, Chakademus and Pliers
Day 2 February 18-Sunday
Shaggy, Bunny Wailer, Culture, Wailing Souls, Kymani Marley, Ras Michael
The lineups for San Diego and San Francisco will be chosen from the above artists.