Pop's, March 10, 2001
About 3 weeks ago I heard the Wailers were coming to St. Louis for the 1st time ever. Didn't really think too much of it. I'm a purist and in my opinion it just doesn't seem really right in a way for a group to play Bob Marley covers. Then I started to think that if any group was entitled to do it, it would be with Family Man on bass, Wya Lindo on keyboards and Al Anderson on guitar. I mean, at least they were there back in the day. It's not like some band with no roots going out and playing Bob Marley tunes.
Anyway, I had my radio show last night from 7 til 10 and played some Wailers music. I couldn't bring myself to play any with Bob Marley, but I played some tunes where the Wailers were backing musicians. "Top Control" by Israel Vibration, "Jerusalem" by Alpha Blondy, "Hail HIM" by Burning Spear and some tunes w/Family Man on bass. Then a guy called and said he saw them 2 years before in Florida and they knocked him out. So that kind of psyched me up a bit. So at 10 o'clock I rolled to the show (it was only about 10 minutes away).
When I got there the Wailers had just taken the stage. Nice crowd getting into the groove. Family Man was tucked in the back right (like always) just laying down some wicked rhythms. Al Anderson was right up front stage left and Wya was back in the right corner. They played all Marley tunes. Early on I had mixed emotions as I'm thinking how incredible it must've been to have seen Marley back in the day with these same musicians (and of course all the other Wailers). Then I had a few brews (-: and told myself to just take it for what it is and enjoy it. The lead singer was ok. "Nesta" Pines. Must be a tough job to sing Marley tunes. Rough-sounding voice but I found myself on the floor skankin and singing along with everyone else. Tunes that really knocked me out were "Survival" and "Lively Up Yourself." There were 2 young harmony singers to the right who were good. Contrary to someone's post, Marcia Griffiths wasn't there. Also had a horn player and a few others in the background.
They played for around 2 hours and I'm glad I checked it out. I wouldn't necessarily travel to see them, but since they came in my own backyard it was cool.
After the show I saw Al Anderson behind the barricade (TONS of Security around). I motioned to him and he came over. Talked for a sec and he said to come back. So I'm outside the dressing room door and after a few minutes someone walked in there so I kinda flowed right in. Family Man's sitting right in the corner rolling a monster spliff and drinking some cabernet in a plastic cup! It was funny. I tell him what an honor it is to meet him and I end up sitting down and talking for 20 minutes! It was incredible. Only wish I was smart enough to have brought my recorder. Oh well...
He is a cool guy. Friendly and warm. Talked about everything. His days in the Hippy Boys, working with Lee Perry, moving over to the Wailers with his brother, and just his constant touring from 1969. And Bob Marley stories. It was just a magical moment.
Reporting from the Midwest
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