Blue Plaque for former Wailers home

Blue Plaque for former Wailers home

Simone Morgan

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

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THE London house where The Wailers lived in the early 1970s was recognised with a commemorative Blue Plaque on September 8. The ceremony was attended by reggae personalities and activists who knew the band.

Grenada-born academic and activist Professor Gus John of the University of Strathclyde, called for the group's work to be part of the British schools curriculum.

"History was was made by the struggle of ordinary working-class Jamaicans in this humble house, not in some castle in the country," John noted.

The building, located in Neasden, was home to Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny 'Wailer' Livingston, Aston 'Family Man' Barrett and his brother Carlton Barrett in 1972. They were in England doing promotional dates with American soul singer Johnny Nash.

They eventually signed with Island Records which released their groundbreaking Catch a Fire and Burnin' albums the following year.

Among those who attended the event were singer Delroy Washington and producer Bunny Lee.

Washington, who spearheaded the project through his Federation of Reggae Music, said "the simplicity of Bob Marley was the attraction". Lee also shared his personal recollections about the reggae king.

"We had some fun memories, some good and some bad. You didn't get on Bob's wrong side, he didn't take foolishness," he said.

Other guests included Marley's son Julian, who was born in England; Locksley Gichie of the Cimmarons band, who helped back Marley on his first shows in Britain; singers Little Roy, Brenda Lawson and Dave Barker, and original Steel Pulse member and Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra founder, Michael Riley.

According to the website, this is the third in a series of markers to celebrate reggae's contribution to the British capital's cultural history. In 2006, a Blue Plaque was erected for Marley's former residence at Ridgemount Gardens, and in April this year, a similar marker was placed at Dennis Brown's home in Harlesden.

Blue Plaques have been placed at the homes of famous personalities who lived in Britian, since the 19th century.

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