Bob Marley and The Wailers were one of the most influential acts of the last 50 years. The songs are still as popular as ever and The Wailers are still touring with founder members Junior Marvin, Donald Kinsey and Aston “Familyman” Barrett.
The Wailers are to play two Yorkshire gigs in March: Leeds o2 Academy on 3 March and Sheffield o2 Academy on 8 March.
They will play the Legend album live on stage in its entirety including the hits Three Little Birds, Jamminand I Shot The Sheriff amongst other big hits.
On the eve of the tour I interviewed Junior Marvin. He proved to be a friendly interviewee.
The tour comes to the UK in March, what can we expect?
I am looking forward to coming back to the UK very much. I actually grew up in the UK and only left the country when I was 9 years old. I went to school there, I didn’t realise it at the time but the education system there is great, the teaching is of a high quality. You only realise this when you go elsewhere. As for the show we will be performing the Legendary album in full, there are a lot of great songs in there.
We played Leeds when we were last over there, the tour was sold out, it will be good again I’m sure.
Why do you think the Bob Marley songs are still popular?
It is because they connect with people; when people are depressed, are feeling low they listen to songs such as Don’t Worry About A Thing and it lifts them up, it gives people hope. There will always be problems in the world and people’s lives and many people will always struggle to survive, but Bob’s songs still have a meaning and they give people hope.
Can you hear the influences in today’s music?
I do yes but with the music it is not all about being a rock star, it is being motivated, as we saw with Bob it is not where you come from but what you do with your life. You can do it if you put the time and effort into it.
Do you still suffer jetlag?
We all still do. When we come over to the UK we come over a few days early and usually sleep to get used to the time difference, no partying for the first 4 days! After the first 4 days our bodies have adjusted to the time difference but yes, it is very hard to control jet lag, that 5 hour time difference between the east coast of America and England makes a big difference.
You grew up here, do you miss anything about the UK?
People in the UK are well educated, as I said previously the standard of teaching in the UK is very high. There are all nationalities living in the UK and people get on well with each other. Although America is one of the richest countries in the world and run by one of the most powerful men in the world, people over here are now paranoid. Trump told the electorate that he would put money in their pockets, so they voted for him, but it is not all about money -it is about respecting each other and getting on together, if people did that the world would be a better place.
Where do you go after the UK tour?
We go over to Australia to play the Byron Blues Festival, it is the premier live music festival over there, then we go over to New Zealand – it is one of my favourite countries to visit as the scenery is beautiful and there are no mosquitoes there, no snakes and it is perfect for going hiking, climbing and I find the whole country very British. I suppose that is why a lot of British people like to go there. I would like to go to Hong Kong, it would be my dream to go there, it is a different culture but most people speak English.
Are you still excited about making music?
Definitely, I still listen to a lot of new artists but Stevie Wonder is still a favourite, but over here in America at the moment it is hip hop that seems to be making a big return, but to me the beats etc is just James Brown’s music with talking over it!
For us though it is time to rebuild the Wailers brand. When Bob was alive we all got paid, then when he died the money stopped coming in. The lawyers came in and with all the litigation that involved, there were so many loopholes. There is no shortage of fans who like his music. At the shows we see parents, grandparents and children. Bob made it in the UK first before anywhere else and his dad was from the UK.
We are all looking forward to seeing as many old and new friends when we come over there, we always have a good time.
Original article posted at: http://www.yorkshiretimes.co.uk
Article by: Graham Clarke