With Roger Steffens & John Masouri
Global Beats & Irie Heights present a seminal event -‐ Roger Steffens and John Masouri -‐ two of the world’s most acclaimed reggae writers in conversation for two-‐ hours of unique insights into the life and times of Bob Marley and the Wailers. The show includes rare and unreleased film and audio recordings of Marley, plus anecdotes and insights drawn from the speakers’ own experiences and knowledge of Jamaica, it’s music and culture.
Both have made regular trips to Kingston and written extensively on Bob Marley and The Wailers, charting their lives and legacy in numerous articles and books. Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records stated that “Roger Steffens has done more to preserve the myth of Bob Marley than anyone in the world”, whilst David Rodigan described John Masouri as “the world’s foremost reggae journalist”.
After their debut appearance in Brighton earlier this year, DJ and radio presenter Martin Sinnock described the event as “a great evening presented by two affable and knowledgeable Jamaican music historians.”
Each show is scheduled to last two hours. This includes a short intermission around the halfway mark, followed by a Q & A session. Both authors will then sign copies of their latest books.
*** Two celebrated storytellers, fired by inside knowledge and experience… ***
In his introduction to So Much Things To Say, Linton Kwesi Johnson describes Roger Steffens as “a writer, broadcaster and photographer; a respected scholar of reggae and renowned archivist specialising in Bob Marley recordings and ephemera.” Yet the truth goes deeper than that, which is why Carlos Santana said that “If Bob Marley is Jesus in these times, Roger Steffens is Peter.”
Roger is Godfather to Marley’s global following, and he’s devoted most of his life to furthering people’s appreciation and understanding of the reggae legend. His “Life of Bob Marley” live multi-‐media presentation has toured all over the world and been hailed as “the definitive history of the reggae king” and “the next best thing to seeing Bob Marley live.” Meanwhile, back in his hometown of Los Angeles, Roger’s internationally acclaimed Reggae Archives contain the world’s largest repository of Marley memorabilia, and include hundreds of hours of unreleased video and film. “Every show I do is different,” says Steffens. “I’m constantly learning new things about this extraordinary man who I consider to be the Artist of the Century.”
Chief among such clips are the earliest known (black and white) footage of Marley in rehearsal, before his locks had grown and he became internationally known; stunning moments from unseen live concerts, filled with once-‐in-‐a-‐lifetime performances; a long-‐suppressed documentary on the assassination attempt on Marley’s life in 1976; the raw footage of revealing and intimate interviews; and Marley’s final rehearsal in 1980.
Roger enjoys a parallel career as an actor and voiceover artist, and he’s appeared in innumerable films and television shows over the years. He was co-‐founder of US reggae magazine The Beat, and co-‐host of the award winning radio programme Reggae Beat. He also served as chairman of the Reggae Grammy Committee for many years.
He’s lectured worldwide on Bob Marley at hundreds of different venues, including the Smithsonian and the Rock & Roll Hall of fame. He’s also the author of several books on Bob Marley including the “Definitive Discography,” “Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer,” “One Love: My Life with Bob Marley and the Wailers” and the award winning “Reggae Scrapbook,” co-‐authored with Peter Simon. His latest title is “So Much Things To Say: The Oral History Of Bob Marley” -‐ a landmark of reggae literature of which Marlon James says, “there has never been and will never be anything quite like this: reggae’s chief eye witness, dropping testimony on reggae’s chief prophet with truth, blood and fire.”
In 2015, he was heralded as “an important voice in counterculture documentary photography of the 1960s and ‘70s” with the publication of “The Family Acid” -‐ a family photo album with a difference, compiled over several decades and featuring what the BBC World News described as “candid shots of one of the most captivating lives in American history.”
John Masouri is a British author, journalist, reviewer and research consultant specialising in reggae music. As a journalist with Echoes Magazine, he’s written about reggae music in all its forms for almost thirty years and interviewed many of its greatest and most influential figures, from ska and sound-‐system giants of the 60s to current hit-‐makers Chronixx and Vybz Kartel.
In addition to Echoes, he remains a key contributor to Riddim Magazine in Germany and Reggae Vibes in France. He’s also written for Mojo, Music Week, the Guardian, Observer and NME, as well as magazines in the US, Holland, Italy, Japan (RM) and the Caribbean, whilst his liner notes have graced reggae albums for decades.
In addition to numerous book readings and festival appearances, he’s contributed to several radio and television documentaries commissioned by the BBC, Channel 4 and the BBC World Service. He also appears in Menelik Shabazz’s film “The Story Of Lover’s Rock,” released in 2011. He is currently working on Maxi Priest’s autobiography and an anthology of his writings entitled “Reggae Chronicles.”
His latest book is “Simmer Down,” written about the formative years of the original trio of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston, which completes a trilogy of books based around the Wailers. A “thoroughly gripping read from start to finish,” it traces the story of Jamaica’s most influential group, from their early days in Trench Town to their swansong, performing in front of 20,000 people at Kingston’s National Stadium, supporting Stevie Wonder.
Previous titles include “Steppin’ Razor: The Life Of Peter Tosh” (“fascinating, detailed, tragic yet uplifting -‐ couldn’t put it down” according to one reviewer) and his first book “Wailing Blues: The Story Of Bob Marley’s Wailers” -‐ an authorised biography of the Wailers written in collaboration with bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett during countless reasoning sessions in England and Jamaica, and during the band’s tours throughout the US and Europe. Published by Omnibus Press in 2008, “Wailing Blues” was described by Roger Steffens as “exhaustively brilliant,” and “a fan’s dream come true.”
So Much Things to Say – The Life & Times of Bob Marley & The Wailers UK Tour starts in May 2018.