By Hayden Wright
Audio from Bob Marley’s London and Paris sets (1974-1978) was lost for more than 40 years, until they were discovered in a “damp” London hotel basement. When found, experts thought they were water damaged beyond repair, but an ambitious restoration brought them back to their former glory.
A friend of London businessman Joe Gatt found the tapes in the Kensal Rise section of London, in a dilapidated hotel where Marley and the Wailers stayed on tour. Gatt, a Marley fan, helped bring them to public attention. Ten of the 13 reel-to-reel tapes have been fully restored—two others were blank. Altogether, the project was completed at a cost of $31,200.
“They were (in an) appalling (condition)… I wasn’t too hopeful,” Martin Nichols, a sound engineer at the White House Studios, told the BBC. The tapes include live versions of “No Woman No Cry,” “Exodus” and “Jamming.” No word yet on how and when these recordings will make it to fans’ ears.
Today would have been Bob Marley’s 72nd birthday.