BMM: Please, describe your life and yor career.
I am 48 with a beautiful wife and three young kids, I am a professional geoscientist for a large Australian resource company. The name I prefer is FlutemanJohn the Fried Piper, Wailer 2000-2001, but my friends in my local reggae band here call me Flooty.
- You performed with Wailers Band in january 2001: how did you live that experience?
[John Reader] The first time was in Austin in Feb 2000. Second time in Houston Jan 2001. Third time in Austin Feb 2001. I have an open invitation to join them on stage any time. These are the most gracious and friendly people you ever met. I lived the experience with full senses. First time I snuck in early as they rolled in the beer carts, practiced with the horn section in the days, then On Stage with Marcia, Al, Wya, Family, several times, the first time like lightning strike. I lived the experience with the Wailers for three nights in a row, with humble respect and gratitude. After the show, I was alone, no pix, no tape, just the one drop and the base still moving my body and soul, driving home to Houston late, it hit me laughing at the sheer unlikeliness of what had just happened, crying with joy and fulfillment. Jah is truly generous. (Next big stage show we got tapes and pix! Lightnin struck again in the same place!)
- Did you get a chance to talk with them?
Yes, My friend Trevor and I usually spend the most time with Al Anderson, but all Wailers are very friendly and open.
- Please, an adjective for each Wailers:
[John Reader] Al Anderson: Smart, decisive, innovator, inventor, master craftsman Aston Barrett: Gentle, humorous, giving, interested, master craftsman Earl Lindo: Tall, mysterious but prone to smiling, champion bubbler. At shows Earl finds a tall spot and stands like a grandfather clock, wise, blending in, almost disappearing, waiting for the call to arms. master craftsman.
- What is your favourite Bob Marley song and why?
Cyant see dat mon, me love all Ja music. Special in my heart are many many songs of freedom. I play dozens and dozens on my 12 string, new ones every day, ever since.
- What do you think about Rasta faith?
I love the Rasta faith. It is pure and good.
- What’s the future of Reggae music? Now we are seeing a rap-reggae fusion. Where are things going?
Reggae is permeating all forms of musical expression, world wide. I predict it will become synonamous with music before long. The message alone will sweep the world of oppression, because it blossoms in the generations, and multiplies in the voices of the childrens’ children, everywhere. Bob Marley fans don’t always understand English. That is word sound and power. Reggae has already fused with many genres; example Dead and Dread: Subculture Jam band String Cheese Incident makes its first appearance as headliner at Red Rocks Colorado, and who do they bring to open the act, Bunny, Jah Living Wailer. There is new music from Peter Rowan (Author of Panama Red) that is bluegrass / reggae, he calls reggabilly, Also, all the hip hop reggae fusion, Loren Hill. Its all good, when it contains conscious music which is the people’s spiritual food. Conscious rap vs. rude boy rappers, who is gonna win? not them that employ violence upon one another. Nature teaches us that a natural hybrid can be stronger. Reggae will help the other genres it melds with, and will take strength itself from every joining, because it grows wider and stronger.
- What do you think about musicians and producers taking Marley’s voice and remix it and overdubbed it making big money out of it?
[John Reader] Mostly I thought it was Ghetto Youth, and they have every right to their families music. It belongs to the heirs. I support anyone who has the legal right and the technical know how and the respect to do it correctly and with love. In a very real way Bob’s music is universal. He said it was eternal. It is just putting a new frame around a beautiful picture.
- We all know Wailers as a musicians. Can you tell us how they are as men?
[John Reader] I have spent time with them only at short city stops, while they were on long exhausting tours. Offstage they are regular people, nice to people who are nice to them, somewhat private, but always willing to mingle with fans for good vibrations. They all are quick to laugh, happy, but very serious about the task at hand, rehearsing or performing. If I had to describe them in one word it would be “generous”.
- We suppose that Earl Lindo or Al Anderson or Aston talked to you about their relationship with Bob Marley: what can you tell us about it?
[John Reader] The only anecdote like that that I got was that Carley got so mad at Bunny once, he threw a beer bottle at his head, Bunny ducked, just missing getting hit, and ran out. I didn’t ask about Bob. I think its kind of Tacky.
- Do you know that Bob Marley was a good excellent? In the album “Talkin blues” Bob play the flute for few second: what is your judgement, your comment about that?
[John Reader] He plays the flute the whole song man, on Bend Down Low on Talkin Blues. Like Bob, I write on my 12 string, play flute, and love music. Bob got more feel out of the flute in one song than I will ever get in a lifetime. And I’m gonna leave all Judgement to Jah.
- How would you like Bob to be remembered and celebrated?
[John Reader] We are doing good so far. Decades of Bob Marley Festivals world wide, commemmorating the man and his works for freedom and equality. His records will be re-re-released forever. Star on the Walk of Fame, Album of the Century, Lifetime Achievement Award, Order of Merit, video documentary, thousands of websites, and whatever the wild future brings I promise you it will bear the message and the music and the spirit of Bob Marley. The sycamore of reggae music lives long and strong, because the roots are so deep. Give all honor and respect to the roots man. And give all thanks and praises to the higher man.
- If you have any other story or memory about Bob Marley or Wailers, please, tell us.
[John Reader] Well, the first time I was called up to play with them was on the encore at Antones in early 2000. Al Anderson called my up, motioned me to the horns (sax, trumpet, and Nambo on Trombone). Nambo was closest to me, and he turned his mike to me and said, here, take this one, Im so loud with my trombone I don’t need it. So we wailed on No Woman No Cry with Marcia Griffith. I played sweek high harmony runs to her singing, and she looked at me and smiled. The Wailers were in full force, and I was in bliss. The song ended and a guy grabbed me by each are and said You Are Out Of Here Now! They didn’t know it was pre- aranged. I said Fine no problem, lets go. I was thinking that they could take me out back and shoot me, I would die a happy man, having just played one song with the incredible Wailers to a thousand screaming fans. Half way down the stage stairs, Al Anderson got on the mike and said Hey Put him back, he is with us. I sidled back to the horn section and played all through the concert, in excited but calm and very happy. I drove home alone that night wondering if it was maybe just all a big dream.
Thank you very much Rispect, and One Love. Thank you for the opportunity to relive some of the happiest moments I ever had.
BMM: His times with the Wailers and Marleys are described on his home page, which is http://www.home.earthlink.net/~flutemanjohn It is the story of a fan and an amateur jammer who has a dream come true.
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