Once The Wailers signed to Island Records in 1972 for the Catch A Fire album, they needed a band to go on the road with them as well as to record, and Fams, Carly, Seeco and Wya were crucial parts of the team. Junior Marvin became part of the band by the Exodus album, his rock lead lines helping to broaden the sound. Wya returned for the One Love Peace Concert in April 1978, and to do overdubs on the Kaya album, the twin-keyboard format added another element of musical complexity, as heard more clearly on Survival. This is the lineup that remained with Bob Marley right to the end, making the Wailers Reunion project a truly historic one.
For the first time since the death of Bob Marley, all of these players, except for Carlton Barrett, who was tragically murdered in 1987, shall come together again to make another display of musical unity. Family Man will be joined by his son, Aston Junior, on drums, along with Seeco, Wya, Tyrone, Donald Kinsey and Junior Marvin. It is the moment so many reggae fans have always dreamt of, despite the many obstacles that might have been in the way.
In a time when the world is in such dire straits politically, when the music industry has lost its way and reggae has been obliterated by gangsta rap, techno, and apolitical dancehall, the Wailers Reunited project will provide a huge amount of inspiration to reggae fans all over the world. Creating a Buena Vista-styled documentary that can capture the moment when these great friends and musical peers, separated for so many years by physical distance and the fallout generated by Marley’s death, will yield a document of great historic importance. The world needs to see what happens when these great musical icons join together again, and also needs to understand the incredible hardships each member has gone through in the interim; despite being responsible for the music on some of the most popular recordings of all time, many band members are destitute and each has what can be described at best as a precarious existence.
Ultimately, the Wailers Reunited project shines a beacon of hope during these trying times. It shows the power of music to overcome obstacles, and highlights the close camaraderie and exceptional musical abilities that made The Wailers Band so legendary.