Over one dramatic decade, a trio of Trench Town R&B crooners, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley, swapped their 1960s Brylcreem hairdos and two-tone suits for 1970s battle fatigues and dreadlocks to become the Wailers - one of the most influential groups in popular music. Now one of our best and brightest non-fiction writers examines for the first time the story of the legendary reggae band.
Charting their complex relationship, their fluctuating fortunes, musical peak, and the politics and ideologies that provoked their split, Colin Grant shows us why they were not just extraordinary musicians, but also natural mystics. And, following a trail from Jamaica through Europe, America, Africa and back to the vibrant and volatile world of Trench Town, he travels in search of the last surviving Wailer.
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In Grant's hands life in Trench Town in the 1960's is energetic and theatrical, rich in comedy and tragic irony... Grant's original and stylish second book... This brilliant book is not just about Jamaica, but about ourselves, no longer the country of The King's Speech but a post-imperial nation many of whose citizens have a buried history. Read it also for Grant's acute descriptions of its characters - Guardian
Grant has approached a well worn topic in a lively and different way... Ever alert to Jamaica's adage that 'there is no such thing as facts, only versions,' he gives space to the ambiguities surrounding the Wailers' story without forcing conclusions, which bestows a rich sense of the mix of truth and fiction constantly at play in Jamaica... The bigger picture is painted in rewardingly colourful, often revelatory detail - Metro
There are illuminating details and fresh revelations - Independent
This intelligent study...offers something more than the usual story of rags-to-riches and ganja-fuelled Rasta-speak. This book is full of...insights and revelations - Times Literary Supplement
Utterly riveting - Sunday Times
Vivid biography...This brilliant book is not just about Jamaica, but also about ourselves, no longer the country of The King's Speech but a post-imperial nation, many of whose citizens have a buried history of slavery - Guardian
Colin Grant is a historian and BBC radio producer. He is the author of Negro with a Hat, a biography of Marcus Garvey and I&I: The Natural Mystics, a group biography of the original Wailers, Marley, Tosh and Livingston. Grant's memoir, Bageye at the Wheel, was shortlisted for the PEN/Ackerly Prize. The son of Jamaican emigrants he lives in Brighton. The son of Jamaican emigrants, he lives in Brighton.