When Neville Livingstone aka Bunny Wailer invited his stepbrother Robert Marley, and close friend Peter Tosh to form a band called The Wailing Wailers, no one could have envisaged that it would become the most important band in the history or Reggae Music. The main reason for this was it was 1963, and the music genre of reggae had yet to be invented.
Fast forward a decade to 1973, and the trio now known as The Wailers were embarking on their inaugural tour of Britain, to promote their first album for Island Records, Catch a Fire. It was followed up a few months later by the album Burnin‘.
Both albums were mixed and finished inside the studios of Island Records in Basing Street. It would be the last albums the trio recorded under the original line up. Four years later with a change of personnel, with Bob now at the helm, and new name – Bob Marley and the Wailers – the seminal album Exodus was recorded at Island Studios.
The album would eventually become voted by Time Magazine as the Best Album of 20th Century.
To celebrate the musical life and achievements of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, a Blue heritage plaque is to be installed on the former Island Studios in Basing Street.
The installation ceremony will take place on Friday, 4th October at 6:30pm in the evening, and will be attended by special guests and famous personalities from all over the world. The unveiling will be followed by a special reception/after party at the Mau Mau Bar, 265 Portobello Road, W11 1LR (from 8pm until midnight), where there will be musical tribute to Bob, Peter and Bunny delivered by various guest and celebrity DJs.
Where: 8-10 Basing Street, Notting Hill, London, W11 1ET (formerly Island studios)
Date: 4th October 2019
For information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
George Seth Ramocan, Jamaica High Commissioner to the UK, said: “I am pleased that three iconic Jamaican musicians, the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley, OM, the Honourable Peter Tosh, OM and the Honourable Neville O’Riley ‘Bunny Wailer’ Livingston, OM, founding members of the internationally renowned Wailers are being honoured with a Blue Heritage Plaque in London. Without a doubt, the global awareness and impact of reggae music is largely due to the musical creativity and the missionary message of liberation and upliftment promoted by Bob Marley and the Wailers. It is therefore a fitting tribute to these pioneers who helped to promote Jamaica’s culture, heritage and language to the world”.
Trevor Horn, renowned producer and owner of SARM West studios said: “I am Very pleased to see a blue plaque going up on the side of the old SARM West studios. So much great music was made in the building, while Is was open for over 50 years as a recording studio. This plaque commemorates my late wife who was a long term supporter of the local Jamaican company, she would be happy to see the community being recognised for the music culture brought to the local area.”
Dr Jak Beula CEO of the Nubian Jak Community Trust, said: “In October, 2006, with the support of Rita Marley and the Mayor of London, we unveiled the first blue plaque to Bob Marley in Europe. At the time I said about Nubian Jak that “this could be the second trumpet”. 47 plaques later, 2 statues, a board game series with app, and a new groundbreaking documentary in the offing… it still might be!”
Anthony Wall, Director of BBC documentary Arena: Exodus 30 Years On, said: “The Wailers are honourary Londoners, they changed the world and their legacy has massively enriched our city. It’s so right, so right that they’re to be celebrated with this plaque and truly apt that it should be at Basing Street, home to so much great music from Island Records.”
Kwaku, BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress (BBM/BMC), said: “Although the genius of reggae started in Jamaica, I’m glad that we are recognising the London site where the Wailers’ first albums for Island Records were enhanced and mixed, and also the contribution of the British record company that made the Wailers, and Bob Marley in particular, world superstars.”
Piers Thompson, DJ and Director at Portobello Radio, said: “As the authentic voice of Ladbroke Grove, Portobello Radio is delighted that there will at last be a blue plaque celebrating the deep connection between Portobello and The Wailers. We are honoured that Nubian Jak has asked us to be involved in bringing our community together to honour the contribution that Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer made to the history of music right here in W11. We will be there, streaming the whole day live on www.portobelloradio.com.”
Notes for editors:
The Wailers “One Love Community Plaque” is sponsored by Aaron Horn of SARM West Records. His father and renowned producer, Trevor Horn, will be unveiling the plaque.
Portobello Radio will be live streaming the installation and the after party inside the Mau Mau Bar.
Fans of Marley, Wailer and Tosh are welcome to gather at Basing Street in Ladbroke for the official unveiling of the only blue plaque in a public space in London dedicated to The Wailers. The free club night of Wailers music at the Mau Mau Bar will consist of Kwaku BBM playing the radical tracks, Nubian Jak & Owen playing cover records, Nzinga Soundz will focus the well-known and hit records, whilst Joey Jay will focus on a roots and culture set. Expect guest DJs from the Ladbroke Grove area