Monday, December 5, 2016

Jamaica Inn

Did you know that Bob Marley’s band, the Wailers, was in town last week? Read one of our staff’s reposted blog posts to see how things went down in Jamaica Inn–surrealportland.

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This past week was surreal to say the least. I got to relive history and participate in an event never to be had again: the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley’s Legend album. And I didn’t even know it.

My roomate and I had gone dancing for her birthday, and we started talking about our salsa dancing buddy, Manuel, who we hadn’t seen in a while. We were discussing how he would love the club we were currently at, the Goodfoot, a pub/gathering spot for dancing, concerts and open mic nights, because on Fridays they held a soul and hip-hop night. We thought Manuel would be keen to come, so I texted him inviting him over.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t, but he told me that the Wailers were in town the following week. Would I want to go to see them? Now, even though I am a dreaded woman–in terms of my hair ;)–I’m not always hip to Rastafarian culture. My brother, who is more entrenched in the lifestyle/religion is slowly educating me. But I knew enough to know that going to see the Wailers, the band that played with Bob Marley and together put reggae on the map, was a big deal. How could I say no?

It was crazy, I only payed $20 for the concert, and the venue was just down the street. It was perfect. Manuel informed me that there weren’t any of the original members in band, rather it was about the trademark name. I was a little disappointed, but still excited to get my groove on, and the band had played for some big name acts, like Santana and Jason Mraz, apart from Marley. I decided to text my brother and tell him where I was, just to make him jealous, which he was. It was during the concert that I learned 1. it was the 30th anniversary of the Legend album and the band would play all the songs contained therein, and 2. my brother informed me that the bass player was Aston “Family Man” Barret, who had played with Marley. He was an original member of the Wailers. He was definitely the oldest of the band and had dreads so long, he wore them like a turban on top of his head. He was cool and unassuming, but still a legend in his own right.

Original album (1984)

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Original release Length
1. Is This Love Bob Marley Kaya (1978) 3:50
2. No Woman, No Cry” (live) Marley, Vincent Ford Live! (1975) 7:08
3. Could You Be Loved Marley Uprising (1980) 3:57
4. Three Little Birds Marley Exodus (1977) 3:00
5. Buffalo Soldier” (7″ edit) Marley, Noel Williams Confrontation (1983) 2:33
6. Get Up, Stand Up Marley, Peter Tosh Burnin’ (1973) 3:17
7. Stir It Up” (edit) Marley Catch a Fire (1973) 3:38
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Original release Length
1. One Love/People Get Ready Marley, Curtis Mayfield Exodus (1977) 2:52
2. I Shot the Sheriff” (edit) Marley Burnin’ (1973) 3:46
3. Waiting in Vain Marley Exodus (1977) 4:16
4. Redemption Song Marley Uprising (1980) 3:48
5. Satisfy My Soul Marley Kaya (1978) 4:30
6. Exodus” (7″ edit) Marley Exodus (1977) 4:16
7. Jamming” (7″ edit) Marley Exodus (1977) 3:17

The band was kicking, playing songs like “Is this Love?,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “Buffalo Soldier,” and of course, “Exodus.” Young and old, different shades swayed and threw up their fists to the music, singing along to every song. It wasn’t a difficult task to get us pumped or high as kite. I thought to myself I don’t need drugs. This music is already taking me to another plane. I don’t think I stopped moving the entire time. It was a heady experience packed in that little theater, listening to music that revolutionized the world with legends.

And it did. The power of Bob Marley’s music is undeniable, synonymous with love in movement. It was such an honor to be swept up in the fervor even if for a moment. I touched one degree of separation from Marley in Portland of all places. This city and it’s people never cease to amaze me.

Here’s one of the songs from the album. An oldy but a goody.