Thirteen reel-to-reel analog master tapes of reggae superstar, Bob Marley, found in the damp basement of a modest hotel in Kensal Rise — long since closed down — where he and the Wailers used to rest during their European tour in the 1970s, have now been successfully cleaned and restored.
The tapes, referred to as “the Lost Masters,” were live recordings of the reggae singer's concerts in Paris and London between 1974 and 1978, thanks to “the only Mobile 24 Track Studio Vehicle available in the UK at the time, loaned out Bob Marley and the Wailers by The Rolling Stones,” reported the Telegraph.
They include some of his most famous songs like, “No Woman No Cry,” “Jammin,” “Exodus” and “I Shot The Sheriff,” recorded live at the Lyceum, London in 1975, the Hammersmith Odeon in 1976, the Rainbow in 1977, and the Pavilion de Paris in 1978.
Joe Gatt, a long-time Marley fan, found the tapes after receiving a phone call from a friend.
“I received a call from a friend telling me that he was doing a building refuse clearance that included some old discarded 2" tapes from the 1970’s,” he said. “Being a big music fan, who ironically, was actually in the audience for those historic Lyceum Marley dates, I couldn’t just standby and let these objects, damaged or not, simply be destroyed … so I asked him not to throw them away.”
The tapes were then handed to business partner and jazz singer Louis Hoover before sound technician specialist Martin Nichols started restoring them. Nichols said that he “spent hours on hours, inch by inch, painstakingly cleaning all the gunge off until they were ready for a process called ‘baking,’ to allow them to be played safely.”