Update No. 23
Volume 3: Issue 5: June 2003

Bob Marley & The Wailers in Lenox, Massachusetts, 1978

25 years ago the Kaya tour was winding it's way through the United States of America, when an extra special stop was made in the town of Lenox, Massachusetts.

The Wailers arrival in Lenox was long over-due. The performance had originally been scheduled for the 1976 Rastaman Vibration tour, but the date never materialised On the following year's Exodus tour, the concert was set for August, postponed because of Bob's toe injury until September, and then ultimately cancelled along with the rest of the tour.

The show finally took place on June 18th 1978, as part of the opening weekend of the Music Inn, which had recently expanded to include an outdoor venue for live performances. The ampitheatre was a small hill surrounded by an 8 foot wooden fence, and although the capacity crowd was legally only 5, 000, it is suggested that nearly twice that number showed up to see Bob Marley and the Wailers perform.

The show that they witnessed has gone down in Wailers folklore as one of the most astonishing performances that the band gave at any point in their careers. In what appears to be have been an attempt to compensate the Lenox concert goers for previous cancellations, the band's set-list was radically altered to include a number of rarely performed songs in an extended show.

The set opener was Sun Is Shining, a sultry update of the classic Perry produced cut that was played only a handful of times on the 1978 tour, on which Junior Marvin offered some splendid guitar licks between the pointed rhythm. The set then seemed to return to a standard show, with Positive Vibration. Them Belly Full and Concrete Jungle appearing as expected.

A meditive medley of Running Away/Crazy Baldhead finds Bob switching back and forth between the songs, with each number given lengthy instrumental mid-section grooves. Is This Love makes a surprisingly early appearance in the set, and this also seems to catch guitarist Junior Marvin off guard slightly, as he appears to briefly play the opening lick of I Shot The Sheriff.

Further surprises followed furtherdown the set-list, with a stunning live rendition of Time Will Tell, rare live outings for Exodus tracks One Love/People Get Ready, Natural Mystic and So Much Things To Say before a unique live performance of Who The Cap Fit.

A throbbing version of Rat Race showcased the muscle of the Barett brothers rhythm section before dropping directly into Roots Rock Reggae, forming another unique medley. Moments like this highlight just how hard the Wailers worked at their art; the ability to break out of the confines of a standard setlist and flawlessly perform a show with so many impromptu moments is simply stunning.

The big hits I Shot The Sheriff, No Woman No Cry and Jamming all featured before a final set took in Easy Skanking, Punky Reggae Party, Get Up Stand Up and Exodus.

It took a long time for the Wailers to get to Lenox, but for those in attendance, the wait must surely have been worth it.

A previously unheard track by Peter Tosh will be featured on the new album by remix artist Junkie XL.

Best known for his world-wide hit remix of Elvis Presley's A Little Less Conversation , the Dutch artist/producer, real name Tom Holkenburg, has remixed the song as Don't Wake Up Policeman for inclusion on of his Radio JXL album that features a host of guest artists, including ex-Specials frontman Terry Hall, Solomon Burke and Gary Numan.

Sleepy Policeman originated from an (incredibly) ureleased session with Sly & Robbie and the Wailers' backing singers, which may never have seen the light of day were it not for Junkie XLs intervention, reports the Roadrunner Records website.

"A friend of mine did a recording in the seventies in Jamaica," explains Tom. "He said, 'You might have a look in my studio, I still have like six multi-track tapes with Peter Tosh, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. I thought, 'You must be kidding' I really wanted to create this really summery, groovy track and in the end it turned out so naturally. It almost seems like he actually sung on that track."

The credits for the song are C. Hinze and keytone music, so it may come from the sessions Peter did with Chris Hinze on his Bamboo Reggae album from 1980, which interestingly featured a tile called Sleeping Policeman.

An e-card is available at http://www.roadrunnerrecords.co.uk/junkiexl

Thanks to Bart Hekman and Wez at Way To Blue

Review by Andy Clayden

There are many books tracing the life, music and influence of Bob Marley. What many of those works lack however, is an intimate knowledge of the subject. Marley has long since transcended the mortal flesh that created the legend, and it is painfully obvious that some retrospective works fail to get close to the real man.

Fikisha Cumbo's book, accurately sub-titled "Diary Of A Reggaophile" , thankfully captures that missing ingredient, casting not only Marley in a seldom captured light, but also illuminating his co-Wailer and friend Peter Tosh.

Born and raised in Texas, Fikisha first met Bob Marley in 1975, just a few weeks after having heard his music for the very first time at a friends apartment in Brooklyn. This brief initial meeting, backstage at the Shaffer Music Festival, led to an interview at the Barbizon Plaza Hotel that is one of several transcribed conversations that make up this book, alongside biographies, tributes, annecdotes and many previously unpublished photos.

Highlights of the book include an intriguing chapter centered around the Wailers rehearsals for the "Dream Concert" in October 1975 (the last show Bob, Peter & Bunny perfomed at together), that graphically captures the magical atmosphere that must have been present that night at Island House.

There are 4 chapters devoted to meetings with Peter Tosh that reveal a seldom seen, down to Earth character, that is often hidden behind his militant image. Chapter 13 relives a weeklong "adventure" in the company of Peter in Spring 1977, that follows the Stepping Razor and author through the Kingston highways on a photo assignment, captured perfectly by the accompanying black & white shots.

There is also a rare insight into the ethics of the I-Threes, via a 1976 interview that touches on their introductions into the music business, being away from the children and the tour arrangements that divided the male and female entourage. Add to this interviews with Bob and Peter's mothers, quotes from art director Neville Garrick and tributes from a whole variety of Wailers associates and experts, and you have a fantastic volume of great depth. A total treasury of Wailers memories.

Get Up Stand Up features over 240 previously unpublished photographs, featuring Bob and Peter on and off stage, with a 16 page glossy colour "Roots Gallery" centrespread. It's true to say a few of the images could be of better quality, and there are a few grammatical and layout mistakes. But these minor flaws are often found in privately published books, and in this case the superb content more than makes up for any of these gripes.

Fikisha Cumbo's book offers a unique window into the Wailers world, and her stories are told in a captivating and honest manner. From the heart to the heart.

To order visit: http://www.amazon.com/seller/fikisha

Hot on the heels of the recentley re-issued Crucial Roots Classics and Retrospective compilations on RAS, Bunny Wailer issues another collection via his own Solomonic label. The album, entitled World Peace features the first CD outing for the classic mid-seventies cut Arabs Oil Weapon

Track listing:
Cease Fire
Peace Talks
Trouble In The World
No More Trouble
Trigger Happy Kid
Trouble On The Road
Power Struggles
Arabs Oil Weapon
Total Destruction

Meanwhile, RAS Records have revealed that they intend to release a Bunny Wailer documentry DVD later this year, which will tie in with their remarketing of his albums previously released by US label Shanachie.

Bunny Wailer will headline the "Reggae with the Rootsman show" at this years Montreaux Jazz Festival. The show at the Miles Davis Hall will feature Bunny and the Solomonic Reggaestra, Queen Omega, Mafia & Fluxy, Junior Kelly and Stone Love sound system.

Bunny Wailer dates:
3rd July 2003: Muffathalle, Munich, Germany
4th July 2003: Montreaux Jazz Festival, Montreaux
12th July 2003: Bristol Academy, Bristol, England

Reggae legends Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths have re-united for a very special appearance on BBC television, according to the Trojan Records website.

Bob and Marcia will perform their classic pop-reggae version of Young, Gifted & Black on the Later with Jools Holland show. The song was a UK hit for the duo in March 1970, reaching No.5, and was tailed into the chart the following year by Pied Piper.

Previous Updates:

Number 23, May 2003    Number 22, April 2003

Number 21, March 2003    Number 20, February 2003

See side links for full on-line www.wailers.co.uk archive.

Please visit these Wailers/reggae sites:

The OFFICIAL Wailers website: www.wailers.com

www.bobmarley.freeserve.co.uk     Django! Ska, Rocksteady & Reggae

http://robertnestamarley.free.fr     http://intelligentdiplomat.free.fr

www.melodymakers.de     bobmarleyshop.com

www.caceinternational.com     The Wailers News

Bob Marley Magazine     http://go.to/bobmarleyshows

www.mentomusic.com     http://membres.lycos.fr/semayat

Contact: jahlight@wailers.co.uk