Bunny Wailer ADD

A Foursome Tribute... Bunny Wailer, U-Roy, Robbie Shakespeare & Lee Scratch Perry

01/24/2022 by Gardy Stein

A Foursome Tribute... Bunny Wailer, U-Roy, Robbie Shakespeare & Lee Scratch Perry

A Foursome Tribute... Bunny Wailer, U-Roy, Robbie Shakespeare & Lee Scratch Perry

“Life will never be the same again” writes Gerry McMahon about the passing of Lee Scratch Perry in his farewell - a statement that can be extended to the other musical masterminds we’ve lost in 2021: U-Roy, Robbie Shakespeare and Bunny Wailer. While every dead leaves a hole in the lives of his loved ones, the impact of these four artists went far beyond a limited circle of family and friends. They were global players who influenced, no, molded a whole genre, leaving indelible traces on the music we know as Reggae today. In the Yearbook tribute feature, you’ll find our humble homage to these masters of their craft.

Starting with Neville O'Reilly Livingston, OM aka Bunny Wailer, we’ll present rare passages from several interviews that Roger Steffens (author, lecturer, editor and reggae archivist, who treasures the world’s biggest Reggae and Wailers collection in his Los Angeles archives) and Leroy Jodie Pierson conducted with the artist also known as Jah B. You’ll find out about the Wailers’ early promotional activities in Kingston and what Bob Marley’s favourite donkey was called, for instance!

While the subsequent article about Ewart Beckford ,OD aka U-Roy looks back on his colorful life filled with tremendous musical achievements, the excerpt of Copeland Forbes’ upcoming book Reggae My Life Is sounds like a thriller. Or did you know that, back in 1988, Robbie Shakespeare had an almost-encounter with death during his Taxi Connection tour?

Turning to Lee "Scratch" Perry in the final section, the personal appreciation of Gerry McMahon looks back on his memorable encounters with The Upsetter, sharing many behind-the-scenes anecdotes and impressions. Of course, this short article is in now way exhaustive to describe a man of such magnitude, but it paints a warm and vivid picture of the kind and roguish person behind the performer.  

As you can see, many stories remain to be told about these great souls. We'll honor their legacy with the information collected in this feature and continue to blast their songs through our speakers, because, as Lee "Scratch" Perry once said:

"Without music, you are all dead; with music, you are alive. There is nothing music can't do."