Al Anderson Bio
When Bob Marley went solo in 1974, on the brink of
international stardom, he surprised the Kingston music community by
choosing as his lead guitarist a soft-spoken American named Al
Anderson. Anderson already had impressive credentials as a result
of his studio work in London and America, and playing with such
notables as Remy Kabaka and the Detroit Emeralds. But it was his
stunning lead work on such classic songs as "No Woman No Cry,"
Belly Full," and "Curfew (Three O'Clock Road Block)" that
instant converts of Jamaica's reggae fans.
Anderson has gone on to play with some of the biggest names in
the business, including the Rolling Stones, but it is the years
with the reggae master that provided some of his most magical
moments. "We started from scratch in 1974, and went on to huge
successes internationally," recalls Anderson, speaking from his
current base in Los Angeles. Among his high points are the riotous
Zimbabwe Independence celebrations in April of 1980, where Anderson
and the Wailers played to more than 100,000 ecstatic people. A
similar-sized crowd awaited them two months later in Milan, in a
soccer stadium where the Pope had appeared the week before. The
Wailers outdrew the Pope!
On Marley's 1978 tour, recorded for the double album Babylon By
Bus, Anderson remembers "Bob telling me, 'Now you can fly. Go for
it!'" The result was one of the most tumultuously vital and ground
breaking live albums ever, a landmark not just in reggae, but in
pop music as well, with dueling lead guitars soaring to heights of
passion and bringing tens of thousands of fans to their feet in a
state of rapture. That album, in addition to all the others that
Anderson played on with Marley, went gold, and still continues to
Over a billion dollars' worth of Marley's music, featuring Al
Anderson's evocative guitar, has been sold worldwide. Legend,
Marley's 1984 greatest hits anthology, has passed the fourteen
million sales mark, and the recent Songs of Freedom 4-CD box set
has already sold a million copies, a figure matched only Led
Marley's former partner in the Wailers, Peter Tosh, lured
Anderson away for his Legalize It and Equal Rights tours in the
mid-'70s. At the time of Tosh's murder in 1987, Anderson was
preparing a new group to accompany Tosh on a world tour. During the
'80s, Anderson was an intermittent participant in the tours of the
Wailers Band, but found more satisfaction working with the likes of
Inner Circle. The fall of the Berlin Wall found Anderson jamming
with James Brown at that historic site. He has also played with
Stevie Wonder, Steel Pulse, Third World and Stanley Clarke. German
fans recognize his melodious work with Heavy Roots and Papa Winnie.
He brings a tasteful elegance to everything he plays, often helping
lift ordinary music to an entirely different level.
On the occasion of Bob Marley's 50th Birthday Anniversary, Al
was invited to return to the Wailers for a series of special
events, including a huge celebration in Kingston that united the
Wailers Band with the I Threes and Ziggy Marley & the Melody
Makers. A highly-praised major tour of Europe followed in the
summer of 1995.
Anderson is excited to be working with products as highly
regarded as yours, and promises to give full credit to them on any
solo albums and world tours he undertakes.