Robert Nesta Marley Feature Section
BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS: THE LEGEND LIVE CONCERT DVD
A Ras John Pick!
TROJAN RECORDS, IN ASSOCIATION WITH SANCTUARY RECORDS,
ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS: THE LEGEND LIVE
Another view on Bob Marley - the story of LEGEND Live
Features Footage From 1979 Santa Barbara, CA Concert, The Final Recorded Video Performance Before His Death
Also Includes Previously Unreleased Documentary, Prophecies & Messages, And Seven Bonus Songs
Trojan Records, in association with Sanctuary Records, will release a live concert DVD culled from two concerts performed by Bob Marley & the Wailers in late 1979. In stores October 7th, Bob Marley & The Wailers: The Legend Live features the last concert footage taken of Marley before his death in 1981. Filmed in November 1979 at the Santa Barbara County Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA, the DVD also includes seven songs recorded a few days later at The Roxy nightclub in Los Angeles as well as a previously unreleased documentary, Prophecies & Messages, centered around a backstage interview with Marley.
Bob Marley & The Wailers: The Legend Live is a stunning record of Bob Marley’s captivating performance style, tempered with his strong political messages. Every song is met with euphoric response from the Santa Barbara audience, but the show turns spellbinding as night falls and the group bursts into the epic “Exodus.” By the time the concert concludes with the militant “Get Up Stand Up,” the entire auditorium is swaying along and mouthing the repeated lines of ‘Cos I never give up the fight,’ a defiant statement that brings the mesmerizing concert to a powerful close.
The Santa Barbara concert was originally released in VHS format in the early 1980s, but has long since been out of print. With re-mastered picture and audio, the original 70-minute version has been extended for this DVD by guest editor Don Letts to include an additional 7 songs not featured in the original VHS release. The bonus footage was shot a few nights later at the famed Roxy nightclub in Los Angeles, where the band performed at a fundraiser hosted by “Sugar” Ray Leonard. Also included as a DVD extra is another gem from the Trojan vaults: an archive documentary entitled Prophecies & Messages. Running at approximately 51 minutes, this includes 30 minutes of previously unseen interview footage with Marley and the Wailer's keyboard player Tyrone Downie discussing Rastafarianism.
This latest release from Trojan, via Sanctuary Records, is a result of a
comprehensive program orchestrated to re-introduce the music of the legendary Jamaican record company. Since its inception in 1968, Trojan
Records has become renowned for its classic reggae recordings, featuring the work of such celebrated figures as Bob Marley & The Wailers, Lee
Scratch” Perry, Jimmy Cliff, Dennis Brown, and many more. In 2001, Sanctuary Records
Group acquired the Trojan label, with a commitment to maintain Trojan’s position as one of the world’s most prestigious vintage record labels.
More recently, Sanctuary has partnered with Ras Records, a leading contemporary reggae record company. As a result,
Sanctuary now retains one of the largest reggae music archives in the world.
1. POSITIVE VIBRATION
2. WAKE UP AND LIVE*
3. I SHOT THE SHERIFF
4. AMBUSH IN THE NIGHT
5. CONCRETE JUNGLE*
6. RUNNING AWAY
7. CRAZY BALDHEAD
8. THEM BELLY FULL*
10. RIDE NATTY RIDE*
11. AFRICA UNITE
12. ONE DROP
14. SO MUCH THINGS TO SAY*
17. IS THIS LOVE*
18. KINKY REGGAE
19. STIR IT UP
20. GET UP STAND UP
>> *denotes track recorded at The Roxy
>> DVD Extras: Video introduction and sleeve notes by famed music biographer and Marley authority, Chris Salewicz - Fan interviews from the Sugar Ray Robinson Foundation Benefit, Roxy Theatre, LA - November 27, 1979 - Subtitles: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
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BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: THE LEGEND LIVE - The Story of the Tour and More...
The concert contained on this DVD took place at The Santa Barbara County Bowl in the autumn of 1979, when Bob was touring in support of his militant Survival album. And the resulting film is an epochal record of a Bob Marley performance; one that stands up as being easily an equal of the better known Live at the Rainbow show filmed on the Exodus tour in 1977.
For all intents and purposes, the Survival tour had kicked off on September 24 1979, when Bob and the Wailers had played a benefit concert for Rasta children in the National Heroes Arena in Kingston: 1979 was the United Nations’ International Year of the Child. At that ‘Heroes’ Park’ show, Bob introduced the audience to a pair of new songs from the imminent Survival album – “Ambush in the Night,” the story of the assassination attempt on his life by gunmen on December 3 1976, and “Zimbabwe,” in which he expressed his militant support of the freedom movement in the country still known as Rhodesia.
Reggae was gaining international respect; there was a feeling of growth, a
mood that this was the time to seize opportunities. In October 1979, Bob Marley and the Wailers began a seven-week tour of the United States - they were set to play forty-seven shows in forty-nine days, a colossal work rate. The shows ended with an intensely militant trio of songs: “Get Up, Stand Up,” “War” and “Exodus.” On the road Bob was playing with the structure of a new number he was writing called “Redemption Song.”
These US dates began at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. Here, in the venue where Marcus Garvey had preached, Bob and the group played seven concerts in four days. Interviewed by Neil Spencer for the British music magazine NME during those Apollo dates, Bob was asked, “What do you feel happiest about that you’ve achieved so far? That you’ve maybe woken people up?” “Yeah, me feel good that plenty people is aware that there is something happening,” Bob replied. “Man can check it out cos I know Rasta grow. I don’ t see it deteriorate, I watch them and they grow more and more. It might not be in the headlines every day but dem grow.”
The dates at the Harlem Apollo had been specifically requested by Bob.
He was concerned, even distressed, that the black American audience remained elusive; this tour had specifically targeted that market. In Chicago he paid a long visit to Johnson and Johnson Publications, the publishers of Essence and Ebony magazines; despite this, nothing appeared in these publications about Bob Marley. Black radio program directors still considered reggae to be ‘jungle music’ and that it didn’t fit into their formats. Kaya, the predecessor to Survival, had deliberately been a commercial album, in order to allow for albums like Survival to follow.
In the United States, however, getting the message across continued to be a struggle. Still, Bob relentlessly plugged the Wailers on every local radio station he could get to visit. He was also disguising the fact that for much of the time he was operating in a state of sheer exhaustion, so much so that keyboardist Tyrone Downie would accompany him on press interviews to answer the more mundane questions on Bob’s behalf.
By the end of this tour, many of those traveling with Bob were extremely worried about his health. Earlier that year in Kingston, I had seen for myself that Bob looked terribly tired and strained; conducting an interview with him in his yard at 56 Hope Road, I felt a measure of guilt for taking up so much of his precious time, even though then I didn’t realize how precious and finite it was. Bob looked terribly tired and strained. During the Prophecies and Messages section of this DVD, you can see for yourself how drawn and thin Bob looks, as in one such press conference he expounds on matters Rastafari. All the same, he glows as he expounds on the truth > about Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, as he reminds his listeners that Marcus Garvey, the great Jamaican prophet of black consciousness, had said that we must look for a king from the east, and then in 1930, His Majesty was crowned. “It’s just the truth, you know,” smiles Bob. “Christ is always a lion, a lionheart.”
The articulate Tyrone Downie offers an explanation of why it is that
white people rather than black in the United States have been attracted to Rastafari: he claims that this is because their higher standard of living permits them the time to peruse such matters. But Bob bemoans the fact that black people are not working together; they have wisdom, knowledge and ‘overstanding’, he emphasizes, but they must unite, which was part of Bob's intention behind playing this tour.
Bob Marley had first played the beautiful natural amphitheatre of The Santa Barbara County Bowl in the late Spring of 1976. He was then promoting his Rastaman Vibration album, the Tuff Gong breakthrough record in the United States, a Top Ten hit, and a record that was almost as militant as Survival.
And this film begins with that song, a stirring rendition beneath the backdrop posters of Haile Selassie and Marcus Garvey. However, there are a bunch of tunes from the new record: “Ambush in the Night,” “Africa Unite,” “One Drop,” “Zimbabwe,” and “Ride Natty Ride,” that last song an addition to the original video of the show, released in the early 1980s but long missing from the retail shelves. In fact, there are six additional numbers, pieced together by Don Letts, who oversaw this project, pulled in on account of his knowledge and friendship with Bob: as well as “Ride Natty Ride,” there’s “Is This Love,” “Wake Up And Live,” “Concrete Jungle,” “Them Bellyful,” “So Much Things To Say,” and a bonus track of “War” which segues into “No More Trouble;” although this last tune is only covered by one camera, this hardly diminishes at all the evidence that Bob Marley is performing at the peak of his powers.
Credit is due to the entire group: as the show begins in the bright Southern California sunlight, you see that there are a dozen musicians onstage; such long-time stalwarts are there as Seeco Patterson, the percussionist from Trench Town who had helped instruct Bob in the art of music-making as a youth coming up; by contrast with his traditional burru drum sound are the rock guitars of Junior Marvin and Al Anderson, heard to especially fine effect on Crazy Baldheads; meanwhile, the whole is driven along by the looping rock-steady beat of bass-player Family Man and his brother Carlton Barrett’s drumming. Every song is received rapturously, but the show takes a quantum leap as night falls and Bob and the Wailers burst into the masterfulness of “Exodus,” a work of epic poetry, replete with suitable lock-swirling from the Gong. By the time the show is concluding with the militant “Get Up Stand Up,” the entire auditorium is swaying along and mouthing the repeated lines of “Cos I never give up the fight,” a defiant statement of intent that brings this inspirational concert to a close.
A couple of days later, Bob and the Wailers played a benefit concert at the Roxy on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, ninety miles to the south of Santa Barbara; the show was in aid of the foundation run by Sugar Ray Robinson, the former heavyweight boxing champion, to give grants to assist sporting and artistic endeavors in schools in deprived sections of LA. An additional feature on this DVD are the thoughts of fans congregating outside that show; and from it you derive a sense of the impact Bob was creating at that time in the United States. “This is the most positive spiritual message on this planet,” says one girl.
And it is a message that lives on. Less than a year later Bob collapsed whilst jogging in Central Park with his friend Skill Cole, and was diagnosed as suffering from cancer. But although Bob himself may have passed on, his work indubitably has not: in the furthest backwaters of this planet, you can always hear a Bob Marley tune.
Written by Chris Salewicz
Marley Story Part One Marley Story Part Two Bob Marley Feature - R&R Hall of Fame Marley Feature Part Four (Roger Steffens Chronology) Perry Henzel's Interview with Bob Bob Marley - LEGEND LIVE Reggae Road Bob Marley Main Page
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