For nearly the past five years English readers have been deprived of a very revealing and important book in the Marley catalogue. Mark Miller, along with Dennis Thompson were the roadies, instrument techs, stage and sound managers for Bob Marley & The Wailers. Dennis worked the stage monitors and sound including the set-up of Carly’s drums while Mark handled all of the other instruments and amps including Bob’s guitar. After much thought (and prodding by friends and family including his son Harrison), Mark finally penned his story for book form. The first tour stop for publishing it was France in 2007. With the help of reggae authority Bruno Blum in France, Mark’s book was put into print and Wailers lovers have been fortunate ever since. The only problem for a guy like me and many others is that it was only published in France (twice) and once in Germany over the past five years. Although I’ve had all three editions in my truthbrary since publication, I’m unable to read them and therefore could not enjoy and experience the incredible journey Mark went on for nearly three years. The photos included in the book are fantastic but I always yearned to read the text.
Alpha Blondy’s 1988 album ‘Jerusalem’ is an absolute stunner. The album, recorded at Tuff Gong, features Alpha Blondy backed by the Wailers band, including Junior Marvin on lead guitar, Chinna on rhythm guitar, Tyrone Downie, Wire Lindo, and Touter Harvey on keys, Carlton Barrett on drums, Family Man on bass, Scully and Sticky on percussions, and the Wailers brass on horns. The album was released in the US on Randall Grass’s Shanachie label.
What do you get when you put the Ivory Coast reggae superstar in the studio with the tightest band reggae has ever known?
Here is a nice mix of early Wailers tunes circa 1967-1972. Great, rarely heard tunes here. Also included is an article from Melody Maker which talks about a rare Wailers performance in 1974. Also, an announcement of a Wailers show scheduled for December 6, 1973 at the Lyceum Strand. This show was cancelled for reasons I am not sure of.
Here we have 2 articles that appeared in the July 19, 1975 issue of Melody Maker. The first describes a handful of reggae superstars descending on San Francisco, CA for a reggae festival. The second, is a review of The Wailers’ performance earlier in the week at San Francisco’s Boarding House. There is an audio recording for this show and the quality is just phenomenal!
Bob Marley and the Wailers Live at the Boarding House, SF
July 7, 1975
01. Trenchtown Rock (4:53) 02. Burniní & Lootiní (5:32) 03. Midnight Ravers (5:50) 04. Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) (4:19) 05. Rebel Music (7:35) 06. No Woman, No Cry (7:13) 07. Kinky Reggae (6:31) 08. Stir It Up (4:55) 09. Lively Up Yourself (10:40) 10. Get Up, Stand Up (8:01)
I WAS REMINDED THAT THIS SHOW HAS BEEN RELEASED OFFICIALLY, ALTHOUGH I CAN’T REMEMBER WITH WHICH ALBUM IT WAS RELEASED. SO, NO DOWNLOADS HERE.
It has been 40 years since Eric Clapton famously covered Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff,” and I guess we owe him some thanks because who knows how this whole reggae thing would have fared had he not spotlighted Marley’s undeniable talent as a songwriter. He obviously holds a very deep respect for Marley and the original Wailers, and he has related this fact in interviews. Growing up in the UK, he is also a lifelong devotee of Cecil Bustamente Campbell, better known by the stage name Prince Buster. Buster is regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of ska and rocksteady music. The records he released in the 1960s influenced and shaped the course of Jamaican contemporary music and created a legacy of work that reggae and ska artists still draw upon.
Nevertheless, it is surprising although refreshing to see that he covers “Till Your Well Runs Dry” on his new album ‘Old Sock.’ A ska version of American Willie Bell’s signature tune was recorded by Peter Tosh And The Wailers in 1965. Later a reggae version of “You Don’t Miss Your Water” was recorded by Tosh alone for his 1976 debut album, Legalize It. His version of the song, which lasts for over six minutes, is highlighted by a guitar solo midway through the track. The lyrics and music were rearranged from the original, William Bell version by Tosh and Wailer.