Fri. Oct. 22, 2021

Bob Marley – War / No More Trouble

This Beat Is Mine! (*) Bob Marley & The Wailers – War / No More Trouble (Live) (Island)

Like it or not, in the great majority of cases, you’ll just be getting what you give. And despite this reality, not to mention the countless reminders of our elders, we keep on behaving the same. And, as a direct consequence, reaping what we sowed.

“War / No more trouble…”, used to sing Bob Marley along with The Wailers. Ironically, there was nothing new at his time. No more than it would be nowadays, lookin’ as to how some of our leaders keep on reacting.

So pathetic when referring to the words of the Bible… “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians, ch.6, verse 7). But we keep on and on, reproducing the same mistakes out of which we’re getting the same results from a generation to another. With the words of Bob Marley‘s ‘War / No More Trouble’ resonating as another reminder. “And until there’re no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation. Until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colours of his eyes, I’ve got to say war.”

Meanwhile, I could keep on with the ones of our own Fela Kuti on ‘Roforofo Fight’. Or the ones of Gil Scott-Heron on the memorable ‘Gun’… “Brother Man says he’s ‘fraid of gangsters. Messing with people just for fun, he don’t want to be next. He got a family to protect. So just last week he bought himself a gun. Everybody got a pistol, everybody got a .45. And the philosophy seem to be, at least as near as I can see. When other folks give up theirs, I’ll give up mine…”

These men just spoke good sense. But none of the majority of our political leaders seems to be hearin’ them. No more that us at the end who keep on voting for them. Therefore, getting what we give.

No more trouble… That’s just all we want. Don’t we? With warm thanks for sharing the fruit of my thoughts in regards to the trouble times we keep on livin’ in…

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To the ones of you who might wonder about the presence of Bob Marley on these shores, we’ll try to make it as simple as possible…
First, the man happened to be a messenger. Being to his art, people and country what Fela Kuti and Gil Scott-Heron happened to be to their respective ones. But also because, like all the bass-driven forms of music, Reggae happened to be groovy. As a matter of fact, let’s not forget as to how Reggae got some inspiration from the latest R&B from American radio stations whose broadcasts reached Jamaica, and eventually the new Ska music.

That’s pretty much where one could find Marley. This by the time he relocated from his native Nine Mile to Kingston, Trenchtown. Most likely sharing most of his life at the time with Bunny Wailer who was like a brother to him. Then eventually finding themselves in a vocal group with Peter Tosh, Beverley Kelso and Junior Braithwaite. With Joe Higgs of the Higgs and Wilson fame eventually teachin’ Marley how to play guitar.

In 1963, Marley, Wailer, Tosh, Braithwaite, Kelso and Cherry Smith were called the Teenagers. They later changed the name to the Wailing Rudeboys. Then to the Wailing Wailers, at which point they to the attention of record producer Coxsone Dodd, and finally turned themselves into the Wailers. Their single – ‘Simmer Down’ – for the Coxsone label became a Jamaican #1 in February 1964. Meanwhile selling an estimated 70,000 copies.

Regularly recording for Studio One, the Wailers came to collaborate with famous Jamaican musicians. From Ernest Ranglin to keyboardist Jackie Mittoo and saxophonist Roland Alphonso.
By 1966 though, Braithwaite, Kelso and Smith left the Wailers. Therefore leaving the core trio of Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh keepin’on pushin’ the flame…

The life of Bob Marley pretty much reflects the history of Jamaica musicwise and its political evolution. This to an extend one couldn’t be extracted from the other and vice versa. With the man givin’ voice to the specific political and cultural nexus of Jamaica. His biggest classics including ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, ‘Get Up, Stand Up’, ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and ‘Could You Be Loved’. But also ‘Stir It Up’, ‘Jamming’, ‘Redemption Song’ and ‘One Love’. If not ‘War / No More Trouble’, ‘Lively Up Yourself’ and ‘Sun Is Shining’.

Suffering from an acral lentiginous melanoma (a skin cancer) since 1977, Bob Marley sadly died at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami, FL,  on May 11, 1981. He was 36.

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