Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Bunny eyes Wailers tribute By Howard Campbell

Bunny Wailer has launched an initiative to build a statue in tribute to The Wailers, the legendary group he co-founded 55 years ago in Trench Town. A maquette depicting him, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh was displayed last week in Kingston. The maquette is done by sculptor Paul Napier whose work includes a bust of National Hero Marcus Garvey that sits at Liberty Hall in Kingston. Maxine Stowe, Wailer's manager, told Jamaica Observer's weekly Splash that the singer/songwriter approached Napier about a possible project in February, when Napier unveiled a bust of Wailer. “It's really to support the identity of The Wailers. What we are doing is moving forward to get funding, which is what the launch was about,” said Stowe. She did not give details about possible sponsors but said the Government has been approached for support. Once completed, Wailer plans to mount the monument at Bournemouth Beach Park Complex in east Kingston.
Wailer, Marley and Tosh are the most famous members of The Wailers which had a number of hit songs during the 1960s. Their career started at Studio one where they did memorable ska songs, including Simmer Down and the jazz ballad, I t Hurts to be Alone. They also cut rocksteady songs for various producers such as Danny Sims and Leslie Kong, as well as their Wail 'N' Soul label. In the late 1960s, they linked with Lee “Scratch” Perry who produced a series of stripped-down reggae sides, including Duppy Conqueror and Small Axe which caught the attention of Island Records' Chris Blackwell. The Wailers did two albums ( Catch a Fire and Burnin') for Island before Wailer and Tosh left in late 1973 for solo careers. A statue of Marley, done by Alvin Marriott, faces the National Stadium in east Kingston. The Marriott piece was commissioned by the Jamaican Government and mounted in 1984, two years after a bronze depiction by Christopher Gonzalez was rejected by the Administration of Prime Minister Edward Seaga and the Marley family. Marley died in May 1981 at age 36. Tosh died in September 1987 at age 42. Wailer, who is 71 years old, used last week's event to launch Wail, a label committed to producing music by upcoming artistes.

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