Volume 1: Issue 2: February 2001

Welcome to the second 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.

The most comprehensive and ambitious reissue program ever for the recordings of Bob Marley, extending for more than a year and spanning more than 18 albums, will be kicked off March 27, 2001, with the release of a special expanded 2 CD edition of his groundbreaking Catch A Fire (Island/UME). One of the two CDs comprising the Catch A Fire: Deluxe Edition will be the original, previously unreleased, version of the album recorded in Jamaica in September 1972, including two songs, "High Seas or Low Seas" and "All Day All Night," not included on the other CD, a new digital remaster of the U.K. remixed and overdubbed 1973 album which became Marley's crossover breakthrough. (credit: Julian Shmidt)

Throughout 2001 and 2002, Island Def Jam and Universal Music Enterprises (UME) will release Bob Marley music featuring new packages and remasters. The latter will feature complete original artwork plus, in many cases, additional photos and liner notes.

February 6th marks the official 56th birthday of Bob, and to commemorate this event we asked a few of our friends what influence he has had on their lives, and what he means to them.

Riccardo Marchionne explained how Bob had touched his life:
"Bob taught me a lot: honesty, generosity, simplicity of life and not to give importance to money and power. Babylon teaches the opposite. I'm a white man living in Babylon. Thanks Bob to help me in not falling into his traps.
Happy birthday, great and immortal man."

Danny Hurson from Ireland told us how much Bob means to him:
Bob Marley has turned my life around in so many ways, first I'll tell you a bit about myself. When I was about 12, (I am now 23) I was diagnosed with a disability which gradually results in loss of balance co-ordination etc, when I was 19 I finally needed a weelchair to get about in. I remember when I was 20 I first started listening to Bob Marley, I could really understand a lot of things he was saying. Finally when I turned 22 in Sept I picked up the will power to get myself to Jamaica to see where this great man lived, it was the best thing I've ever done.

I remember clearly sitting round the back of Bobs house in Nine miles, with a spliff that a Rasta made for me, and just smiling thinking of where I was and how I got there, just from listening to Bobs words "were theres a will theres a way, when one door closed many more is open, turn your dreams into reality, you can't run away from yourself, every man thinks that his burden is the heaviest," I could go on........

I have been living on my own now for 2 years, with Bob Marley playing half the day, and I just cant imagine not having his music play while I'm on my computer etc. Like Bob sang "Why should I bend down my head and cry" Since going to Jamaica 18 months ago, I've been to Boston 3 times where I have a sister working, the 1st time I went was mainly to see Ziggy Marley play, like father like son, I hear the words of the higher man....Jah keep I strong.
THANK YOU BOB.........

James Wilson from England paid this tribute:
From the moment I first heard the Uprising album 7 years ago I knew that I had found what I had been looking for. Bob's music and message of hope, rebellion, equal rights and self-determination continues to have a massive impact on me and the world today. His music has no barriers.

There is a Bob song for every emotion, his songs have a feel good vibe, it is impossible not to break out in a huge smile when listening to one of Bob's songs. If I am sad I pull out the first tape that comes to hand and this immediately picks me up. "Forget your troubles and dance".

Bob's music has had a real impact on my life, "when I'm down he picks me up, when I'm empty he fills my cup". He has taken over my life, not a minute goes by without listening to Bob. Thanks to Bob I journeyed on the trip of a lifetime last year when I travelled to America to meet up with fellow Marley fans. That month was the single most happiest month of my life, just being in the company of fellow Bob fans that really understood him and his message, listening to Bob all day long and learning more about the great man. "Who feels it knows it".

If it wasn't for Bob I wouldn't have had the chance to have travelled to the US or have met up with such great friends. Thanks to Bob I have made some of my closest friends on-line and every day I have the chance to reason with them and learn more about Bob.

Bob has left behind a huge wealth of music and I feel very blessed to have the chance to hear this great music. I can only hope that someday Island (Universal) will realise just how powerful this music is and will do the right thing and release some of these unreleased recordings. The world needs to hear them.

My biggest regret is not having the chance to see Bob in concert, I would give anything just to have been able to have been in the audience for one show. This is not possible, but thanks to generous fans all over the world I have the chance to hear some of these amazing concerts and can listen to the shows and imagine what it would have like to have been present, the atmosphere must have been electric with Bob giving his all on stage, dancing fast and singing hard.

Bob will forever be a big part of my life and his music and message just keeps getting bigger and bigger. His music is as relevant and current as it was when it was first recorded. If the world were to heed Bob's message then it would be a much brighter place.
Thanks Bob.

Andy Clayden writes:
No other major artist comes close to matching Bob's understanding of everyday life. In his songs you can find situations that people all over the world have been through, or will go through, whether they be in the ghettos of Jamaica from where he himself emerged, or living in what he described as "Babylon".

Unlike anyone before him, his music crossed cultural boundries because it was reality. You can relate to the lyrics of Bob's songs, unlike the words recorded by the likes of the Beatles, Presley or todays superstars such as Madonna or Michael Jackson.

Bob Marley was no saint, neither was he some kind of "superhuman", he was a mere mortal like the rest of us, and as such we can hold his astounding achievements up as an example to us all. We may not have his talent, or scale the heights of success that he did, but we can follow his example of commitment, faith and tenacity to better ourselves in our own lives.

Bob Tribute mp3
You can now hear the Minds Eye tribute to Bob by following this link:

Bob Remembered On UK TV
Once again, Bob's birthday was commemorated on the BBC's "Top Of The Pops II" programme on January 31st. TOTPII, as it is known, shows archive performances from the UK's premier chart show, and often celebrates artists birthdays by showing their performances with additional captions. This is the third year running Bob has been featured, but unfortunatley the show just repeated the Satisfy My Soul clip from Legend that was also used last year. In 1999 they used Bob's only TOTP appearance, a unique rendition of Exodus.

Here's a quick round up of happenings celebrating Bob's birthday:

February 6, 2001 - Bob Marley's Birthday Sunset Show, MXIII, Negril, JA
Expected appearance by Bunny Wailer.

Saturday, February 17 - NATURAL MYSTIC 2001 FESTIVAL - MIAMI, FL
This 8th annual event produced by Movement Of Jah People will be held at the Bayfront Park Ampitheatre and will benefit the Food For Live Network. Artists scheduled to perform include Ziggy Marley & The Melodymakers, Hootie & the Blowfish, Damien Marley, Julian Marley and more!

Saturday-Sunday, February 17 & 18 - BOB MARLEY DAY FESTIVAL - LONG BEACH ARENA, CA
Bob Marley Day Festival at Long Beach Arena, CA. Check the festival web site for maps and directions, artist line up, and ticketing info. Scheduled artists include Ky-Mani Marley, Culture, Wailing Souls, Ras Michael and more.

Monday, February 19 - Annual Bob Marley Day Festival 2001, San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, CA
Special guest to include Toots & The Maytals, Don Carlos, Mutabaruka and others.

Saturday-Sunday, February 24 & 25 - BOB MARLEY: A TRIBUTE TO FREEDOM - ORLANDO, FL
Venue located at CityWalk at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. Citywalk is hosting a Reggae Festival including a performance by the I-Three.

The often discussed controversial subject of a conspiracy theory behind Bob's death has once again reared it's ugly head. On January 31st, author Alex Constantine spoke on James Whale's Talk Sport radio show about his new book The Covert War Against Rock, and mentioned Bob's treatment at the hands of Joseph Issels in Bavaria.

"6 months before he died, he was visited by CIA officers. He was tortured toward the end of his life, the last 6 months of his life he was in the hands of a Nazi doctor. In fact, Dr. Issells, who was supposedly treating Marley may have saved his life if he was a legitimate doctor, was in fact starving him and shoving long needles through his body, and that kind of has nothing to do with cancer treatment. That's the bahviour of an SS officer, and that's what the doctor was."

Mr Constantine obviously only selected the parts of Bob's final days that he could fit to match his theories. He fails to mention that other opinions gave Bob no chance of seeing the end of 1980, yet he lived until May 1981. If Issells was torturing him, surely, given his weakned state, Bob would have succumbed sooner, rather than live longer than anyone had expected. It would also serve no purpose for the CIA to have Bob tortured when he was already terminally ill, and Issells exact involvment with the nazi's in world war II has also been a matter for conjecture.

Constantine seems to suggests that somehow the CIA gave Bob cancer, an often told fairy tale that has sadly passed into Marley folklore. The truth is that Bob died of a Melanoma - skin cancer, which cannot be caused by smoking, neither can it be injected into the victim. Constantine suggests that Marley was visited 6 months before by CIA officers, and then fell seriously ill with cancer, forgetting the fact that cancer had already been discovered in Bob 3 years earlier in 1977.

Bob was not the only musician to be targeted by Constantine. Also on the show he told stories of Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones, the latter in which he claims to have 4 eye witness accounts to the late Rolling Stones murder. During the discussion, a telephone caller asked why some other artists had not been featured in the book, and tellingly Constantine revealed that if this book does well, he will feature them in a follow up.

While the James Whale show was on air, we e-mailed the station to point out some of the facts behind Bob's death. Unfortunately by the time we made contact, the phone link with Constantine had ended, but Mr.Whale was kind enough to read out our message as the debate continued.

Alex Constantine Responds..

Since publishing The Covert War Against Rock, I have periodically been assailed by reckless know-it-alls who have not bothered to actually read it. You are one of these blind-siders, among the most poorly informed, and like others you make silly errors of fact yourself, errors you might have avoided if youıd bothered to consult the text. If you had, youıd have known that

This was not a book review, but a report on what was discussed on the James Whale show.

Marley WAS tortured the last six months of his life a fact reported by a highly credible eyewitness, Bob Marleyıs own mother, Cedella Booker Marley, in her biography of the reggae singer. Yet you deny it. The torture is detailed in three horrific chapters of the Cedella Booker volume (it's evident that you didn't read this one, either),

Evident? This is not obvious at all, I have read the book. The treatment that Bob received in Bavaria was unorthodox and at times undoubtedly rough on him, but this doesn't amount to torture. You seem to be using this rough treatment, (and many forms of cancer therapy are physically stressful), as evidence of a nazi-CIA plot to assasinate Bob.

In the book in question, Issels is portrayed as an inconsiderate individual, and the main incident you mentioned was when Bob had a needle plunged painfully into him. I've read the book several times, but still cannot draw the conclusion that this amounts to torture inthe context you wish to use it.

yet you chide, "If Issels was torturing him, surely, given his weakned state, Bob would have succumbed sooner, rather than live longer than anyone had expected." Obviously, you claim, "Mr Constantine ... only selected the parts of Bob's final days that he could fit to match his theories." I have no "theories." Marley was tortured, according to Marleyıs mother and others who visitied him at the Issels clinic, a fact discussed at length by Roger Steffens, in my taped interview of him, and others.

If you have a problem with the eyewitness reports, take it up with Cedella Booker and the members of the Wailers who witnessed the torture. Prognosis is not a dictate to disease. Cancer does not progress on an even line to termination, but progresses in stages with intermittent periods of remission. That Marley lived past 1980 is a testament to his will, not the barbaric "treatment" he received in Bavaria.

Even after this paragraph, my comment is still valid. I never denied that cancer has intermittent periods of remission, but merely made the suggestion that his will and constitution would have been weakened if he had been tortured. Marley had a period of remission that allowed him to take hikes in the mountains and even play football again.

I did not, as you claim, suggest during the interview conducted by James Whale that ³CIA officers² killed Marley. The book reports that Marley was visited by a single individual with solid CIA ties one week after a death squad attacked him on Hope Road in November 1976. Marley, according to Devon Evans, a musician then playing with the Wailers, was "accidently" stabbed in the foot with a needle planted in his boot. Six months later, Marley's sickness began. Again, this is detailed in Covert War. The cancer took hold in 1977, as I reported, yet you claim I set the date at 1980, a ridiculous assertion.

This was a genuine misunderstanding, for which I do apologise. When this was mentioned on the radio, it did not come across clearly that you meant 1976 and not 1980.

Given the political situation in Jamaica at the time, it is no surprise that the CIA were involved, and this has been well documented for many years.

You claim to have "no theories", yet you say:

Marley, according to Devon Evans, a musician then playing with the Wailers, was "accidently" stabbed in the foot with a needle planted in his boot. Six months later, Marley's sickness began.

Is this not a theory that Bob had the sickness injected into him? Whoever you wish to quote, this is stil only a theory.

"Constantine seems to suggest that somehow the CIA gave Bob cancer." If you knew anything about the CIA, or Marley, you would know that the Agency, which has a store of toxic agents on hand, threatened to kill him. After the Hope Road assault, Marley openly defied the CIA and declared "War." Toward the end of his life, Marley softened his statements, but by then it was too late. Timothy White's fine biography of Marley documents numerous incidents of covert operations designed to stop the Rastafarian movement and Bob Marley. That the Agency should murder a vocal proponent for change is no surprise to anyone who has studied its homicidal past. Do the names Patrice Lumumba or Martin Luther King ring a bell?

Of course those names are familiar to me. What has this to do with this discussion; I'm well aware of the stories of those individuals, but to use a completely different part of history as proof of another is flawed. I do actually believe that there may have been clandestine operations by agencies such as the CIA in the past, but that doesn't have any bearing on this case.

You insist that Marley had "skin cancer." Is this so?
Yes, melanoma.

The cancer was not a mere surface lesion. It was internal. It began in a toe, and the fist sign of it came when the bone in his toe, broken during a soccer match, would not mend. Are you making it up as you go along? The cancer was not a mere surface lesion. If so, it could have been easily treated. But Marleyıs condition was more severe. By the time he was diagnosed, biographer Tim White notes, "cancer tissue was detected in his liver, lungs and brain."

Bob Marley had melanoma, that appeared on his toe. This matasticised through his blood stream into his brain, liver and lungs. Cancer cannot be injected into the body like some other diseases and viruses. The human immune system would prevent against the foreign cells spreading.

In fact, your entire ³review² is polluted with assertions that anyone familiar with Marleyıs life will know as false and often malicious. You do not serve Marley's memory by comforting yourself and others with ignorant, unwarranted statements concerning the facts of his demise, or by smearing the messenger.
Alex Constantine

We just accept that Bob died tragically young; your argument does not gives us any cause to reconsider, as we've heard this story several times over the years; you have stil not tied Bob Marley's illness to any form of foul play.

If your interested in learning more of Alex's opinions, please investigate his book. Alex Constantine has a website at alexconstantine.50megs.com .
You can read some facts about melanoma cancer on James Wilson's site: www.bobmarley.freeserve.co.uk

Darren Bate recently picked up the new issue of Uncut magazine that features Bob on the cover, inside the magazine there is a large overview of his career including several unseen photos. February's issue of Uncut magazine is on the shelves now. www.uncut.net

Taken from www.jamaica-gleaner.com 1/8/2001 By Barbara Ellington, Staff Reporter

THE TUFF Gong Clothing Line was unveiled over the weekend at the Bob Marley Museum, 56 Hope Road, Kingston and the event took the form of a promotional party. Unfortunately, guests were kept waiting for sometime for the event to begin.

The line, according to Stephanie Marley, daughter of Bob Marley, includes custom-made shorts, jackets, wraps, patchwork denim skirts, jeans, crochet clothing and bags. But the cream of the collection was the line of men's shoes which is manufactured by Casual Bootwear, the makers of the world-famous Clark's shoes.

Displayed on shiny joints of bamboo for the occasion, the range of styles is trendy and the colours go from black and brown to tan and mustard. And, the big red, green and gold boxes in which the shoes are packaged are excellent for storing Bob Marley memorabilia.

"We are remarketing and restructuring the Bob Marley Group with a focus on the local population. We have renovated the complex and Cedella (Marley's daughter) has worked with designer Javi from her factory in Florida where she resides, to create the pieces," Stephanie told The Gleaner.

The brightly coloured Marley T-shirts are no longer manufactured by Sun Island, but by Zion Roots Wear and the new men's line is under the 'Catch A Fire' label. There are also bath salts, soaps and body oils, as well as CDs, wraps and caps in the inventory.

The denim clothing features trendy gold and silver studs, leather and other trimmings. Some ankle-length skirts have godet-shaped panels in patchwork designs, while there are trendy cropped jeans and denim jackets.

Inspiration, of course, came from the late reggae king, Bob Marley and while touring the complex last Friday evening, several young grandchildren frolicked or moved to the icon's rhythms.

The Robert Marley Foundation was established as a non-profit, charitable organisation in 1991 and the Marley Group of companies comprises: Music Manufacturers Ltd., Rita Marley Music Inc., Ghetto Youths United, Tuff Gong International (Miami), Tuff Gong International (New York), under the umbrella of Tuff Gong International. The Bob Marley Theatre and Gallery, Queen of Sheba Restaurant, Bob Marley Reference Library and Souvenir Shops are located at the Bob Marley Museum.

Andrew Clunis, Freelance writer

Rita Marley, widow of reggae legend Bob Marley, is one elated woman. Her first-born son Ziggy, who leads Melody Makers, is to perform with Bob's daughter-in-law Lauryn Hill live at the Grammys (February 21st). They will present Turn Your Lights Down Low, a Hill and Marley combination, which appears on the gold-selling album Chant Down Babylon produced by Bob's youngest son Stephen. Turn Your Lights Down Low has been nominated for a Top Pop Award.

In addition, Bob has been selected for a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award and is to be given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 6.

"When I heard the announcements, I started to cry. I began missing Bob so much. They have sent me a special invitation to be present at the Grammys and I am really looking forward to it," she told Showbiz.

In the 15 years since the recording academy has decided to honour reggae music with its prestigious golden gramophone, the Reggae Grammy has never been presented live on stage during the televised segment. And for many years, Jamaicans have berated the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for their 'fourth cousin' treatment of reggae.


Rita belives the time has come for reggae to hit the Grammy spotlight.

"If it doesn't happen now, it will in time. As long as Bob Marley's music is out there, them ago tired fe see we face."

But former artiste manager, now JLP spokesperson on social development and welfare, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, who lobbied for reggae to be included in the Grammy, does not feel reggae's time has come for the live gig.

"I don't think we have reached the stage for it to be considered to go live. There are other categories that sell far more records than we do, coming out of the American experience that don't get carried live," she said.

"We can lobby, but we have a lot to do in taking the reggae music industry to a point where it reflects the earning power and the political clout which will allow us to gain recognition to the extent where that category is carried live. I have no intention of putting down our music or our creative people, but we have a long long way to go," she said.

High time

Patrick Roberts, who manages nominated artiste Beenie Man, believes it is high time the reggae Grammy is announced on the big stage.

"Maybe it's going to take some lobbying but we need it. The Government, through the ministry responsible for entertainment needs to take on the task of lobbying and ensure that reggae gets the spotlight it deserves," he said.

Crooner Freddie McGregor is a strong advocate for live presentation. He feels, however, that more Jamaicans should get involved in the Grammy process in order to influence the decisions that are taken.

"We need to have a lobby group even if it means some good old placards and let people see that we are serious," he said.

Nominees for this year's Reggae Grammy award are Art And Life - Beenie Man - Virgin Records America; Let Me Be The One - Dennis Brown - VP; Private And Confidential - Gregory Isaacs - VP; Life Is A Miracle - Pato Banton - Surfdog Records; and Equality - Wailing Souls - Musicblitz Records.

Taken from www.jamaicaobserver.comby Dennis Howard

The popular American cable station VH1 has been doing a 'best of all time' series over the past two years. The only Jamaican on these lists is Bob Marley. He is in the Top 30 of the Best Artistes of Rock and Roll; his No Woman No Cry is on the list of the Best Songs of Rock And Roll and Exodus is in the Top 30 of the Best Albums of Rock and Roll.

No other Caribbean national made any of these lists which is a testament to the power of Marley and his music.

Why is Marley so honoured by music fans all over the world? His music was universal and his lyrics revolutionary and poignant; Bob was also a striking figure, the camera loved Marley and his image is one of the most famous in popular culture. We must never underestimate the look of an icon. Just check out some of the other famous images: Che Guevara, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. They all had one thing in common -- striking movie-star looks.

The latest accolade for Marley will come with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 4 and the Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammy Awards on February 21.

This is a great achievement for the man from Nine Miles, St Ann and the concrete jungle of Trench Town. Jamaica should make every effort to capitalise on these remarkable milestones.

The world should know that Marley came from Jamaica and made the majority of his music here at studios such as Harry J, Randys and his own Tuff Gong. We must never let them forget that Marley lived most of his life in Jamaica and was a resident here when he was at his peak.

A big Jamaican contingent must be present when Marley receives both awards. Tourism officials, media bosses, musicians and the Jamaica Federation of Musicians, not to mention the people who were a major part of Bob's life.

From a music perceptive, the awards could signal a rebirth of reggae in Jamaica and on the international scene with the Marley clan leading the way. Reggae has enjoyed worldwide popularity but has not yet been able to get the respect of major record labels in the United States. No major investment has been made in the music by these power-brokers and we say it's about time. However, we will not see this in our lifetime if we do not put our own money where our mouths are. We need our entrepreneurs to realise that music is as viable as coffee, bauxite and trading. We need to develop more Chris Blackwells with the vision to invest in the music and pave the way for more superstars.

Jamaica is in need of record companies that will develop talent to break through internationally. We have done this in the past through institutions such as the Alpha Boys School and Studio One but these were limited in scope as they concentrated on the talent aspect while ignoring the business and work ethic sectors.

Tourism should make a concerted effort to make the most of the Marley magic. We need a reggae theme park for Marley in Kingston, also live show strips in Kingston and other towns. The reggae museum must have international funding to make it a place where tourists and musicologists can visit for enjoyment or research. All Marley landmarks should be made national sites; the Japanese, for example, have been touring these spots for years; it is time Jamaicans make money from these efforts.

The Marley legend is still growing, and the benefits are not just for Bob's heirs but for all Jamaica.

The entertainment industry honors Bob Marley on his birthday with the unveiling of his star on Hollywood Boulevard. The ceremony will take place on Tuesday, February 6th at 7080 Hollywood Blvd. off La Brea Ave. at 11:30 a.m., hosted by The Bob Marley Foundation, Universal Records, and Golden Voice Productions.

In late June Bob was among 23 "stars" who were given the honour of having a star in their memory on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bob is one of over 2,000 showbiz star's to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Other celebrities on the Walk include Stevie Wonder, Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon.

Matthew Smith informed us that that PBS' "American Masters" series whichfeatures Bob will air on February 14th. It is actually the same Jeremy Marre film that was aired in the UK last August under the title, "Rebel Music" with presumably additional footage. It is not to be missed!!

PBS has an interesting page dedicated to the upcoming episode which features a tribute essay written by Roger Steffens and an interesting interview with filmmaker Jeremy Marre who states that he actually filmed a lot of footage of Bob for his highly-acclaimed "Roots, Rock, Reggae' doc. in 1976, but that at the last minute the footage was pulled due to some financial wranglings with Bob's then manager Don Taylor (would be fascinating, to say the least, to see that footage). Marre also gives interesting insight into the trials and tribulations he had to trod through in order to get this film made. You can get it all at the following link.

A DVD and Home Video will be released in the U.S. by Palm Pictures early Spring.

According to amazon.co.uk, these 2 albums are to be packaged together in the near future for the price of one CD.
Mama Africa/Bush Doctor
Tosh Peter
Price: £11.99
Audio CD Number of Discs: 2
Label: Unknown Label;
ASIN: B00004Y6EA
Catalogue Number: 724352924226

Stephen Marley was one of the many stars on show at the Wyclef Jean Foundation Benefit at New York's Carnegie Hall. Stephen performed his fathers classic "No Womn, No Cry" in the company of the events organisor and MC for the evening Wyclef Jean. Also on the bill were Third World, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Whitney Houston, Mact Gray, Mary J. Blige, Destiny's Child and, showing the eclectic nature of the event, Charlotte Church.

As reported in last months update, reggae archivist Roger Steffens has opened up parts of his huge collection to the public in an exhibition at the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

40 years of Jamaica's musical heritage are covered in the exhibition, which features rare records, photos, memorabilia and videos, and now you can visit a website dedicated to the event:

You can read more about the event, along with some visitors reviews HERE.

Previous Updates:
Number 1, January 2001