Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bob Marley and Johnny Nash in Peckham


My favourite story in a local paper this year was DID PECKHAM LAUNCH THE CAREER OF THE GREATEST REGGAE STAR EVER? in Southwark News (4 November 2010). Incredibly Keith Baugh, the former art teacher at Peckham Manor School, had come across some never before published photographs of Bob Marley AND Johnny Nash playing at the school in 1972.

The teacher had met Marley and Nash, then both struggling, at the Soho club the Bag o'Nails. According to Baugh, 'During that conversation they were bemoaning the fact they couldn’t get their single in the top 40 as they could not get any national radio airplay. I suggested as a bit of a promotion they should come down and play to the kids at our school, and a few days later they came down and played two 45 minute sets.” The singers also had a football kickaround with some of the students.



They played in the school's gym in Cator Street - I believe that this is now part of the Damilola Taylor Youth Centre in Peckham, the school having long closed down.

I am not sure if Nash and Marley played together elsewhere, at the time they were promoting Nash's version of Marley's song Stir it Up.

Bob Marley Magazine followed up the Southwark News story with an interview with Keith Baugh, where he recalls that the songs they played included Stir it Up, Reggae on Broadway and I Can See Clearly.

Check out Keith Baugh's website for details of his other art/photography projects including his book on New York subway graffiti in the early 1970s

The Catch a Fire tour

The following year Bob Marley returned to Peckham with his band The Wailers (featuring Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer) as part of the tour to promote the Catch a Fire album. In fact the tour was scheduled to start at the Bouncing Ball club in Peckham but this gig was cancelled. Seemingly Bob Marley & The Wailers did play twice at Mr B's in Peckham on this tour on April 29th and May 11th 1973. The tour ended up at Max's Kansas City in New York, where the band played four nights supporting Bruce Springsteen.

This tour information comes from Wikipedia - I believe though that Mr B's and the Bouncing Ball were in fact one and the same venue at 43 Peckham High Street.

(see also previous post on Bob Marley in South London, including at Crystal Palace) .

8 comments:

Cycling Instructor said...

Fascinating post, I found a list of marley tour dates which mentions the peckham gigs http://www.thirdfield.com/new/tours.html

However I remember going to see Bob Marley and the Wailers at the Greyhound in Croydon, which does not seem to be on any of these lists.
paul

JustWilliam1959 said...

I have been a massive Johnny Nash fan since around 1972 and how can anyone not like Bob Marley.

Great story and great post, I have also posted about it on my own blog and obviously given you the credit. I have added you to my Blogroll as well

Keep up the good work!

My post is here

http://justwilliam1959.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/its-been-a-long-long-time-since-ive-got-you-on-my-mind/

The Kool Skool said...

I know KEITH BAUGH quite well, he's a great guy, and he mentioned to me that he had photographed Bob Marley, but had never actually seen the photos.

He has recently published a book about Old School Train Graffiti:
http://thekoolskool.blogspot.com/2009/11/early-new-york-subway-graffiti-1973.html

Very interesting blog!
Kind reguards

Anonymous said...

the photos of Mr Baugh are gems!
the complete story in our web site www.bobmarleymagazine.com where you can find the complete bob marley tour dates from 1962 to 1980and old articles about Bob Marley in London in 1972

Laird Ken said...

I was there, at Peckham Manor School to see Nash and Marley. WE had no idea who Marley was but we all knew Nash. Nash went off at the break for drinkies with the staff and Marley played football with us. Must have been 71 or 72. I was a mere chav of about 14 or 15. It was held at the "Technical Wing" of P.M. school.

Transpontine said...

Great memories Ken, shame the mobile phone with built in video camera hadn't yet been invented!

Anonymous said...

I work for a TV company and I would love to hear from anyone who saw Bob Marley and Johnny Nash perform at Peckham School.
Laird and Ken, please do get in touch. It's such a great story and I think it would make for a really interesting film.
My e-mail address is: will@reallife.co.uk

Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

I work for a TV company and I would love to hear from anyone who saw Bob Marley and Johnny Nash perform at Peckham School.
Laird and Keith, please do get in touch. It's such a great story and I think it would make for a really interesting film.
My e-mail address is: will@reallife.co.uk

Many thanks.