Earl “Wire“ Lindo, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ keyboard player, died in a hospital in London, UK on September 4th. He was 64.
Back in march 2017 he was part of The Wailers UK-Tour with Aston „Familyman“ Barrett & Junior Marvin.
News of Lindo‘s passing was met with an outpouring of tributes on social media, as family, friends, artist, and fans expressed their grief:
“There is only one Earl “Wya” Lindo, and today he went home to join Bob, Peter, & Carly for a mystical jam session in Zion…this teenage musical genius, producer & visionary was the first invited to join Bob, Peter & Bunny when his reputation & talent reached Bob‘s ears… We are so proud that Wya joined us in March 2017 for our UK tour…keeping The Wailers music & message alive…his contribution to Reggae and the music industry on a whole will never be forgotten… We love you brother Wya, and you shall never be forgotten, you are forever in our hearts… once a Wailer, a Wailer forever…”
Culture Minister Pays Tribute to the Late Earl ‘Wire’ Lindo
Mr. Lindo, a keyboard player for Bob Marley and the Wailers, and who was considered one of the more versatile musicians of his generation, died in London on September 4.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, has joined the growing list of persons paying tribute to the late Earl ‘Wya’ Lindo.
According to Minister Grange, Lindo was “an exceptionally gifted musician who played a pivotal role alongside Bob Marley and the Wailers in the global success of Jamaica’s Reggae music”.
“Jamaica has lost another giant of the music business,” the Minister said in a statement. “Wya was one of the best keyboard players that the island has produced. I offer my condolences to his family and friends in this time of bereavement,” she added.
For his part, Lindo’s Manager, Paul Ching Hue, told JIS News that the world has lost one of the true musical greats.
“I was stunned when I heard the news. We had a lot of plans in the pipeline, including an upcoming album titled ‘Earl Lindo Presents Bob Marley in Classical’. This is truly a tremendous loss,” he said.
Born in 1953 in Kingston, Mr. Lindo spent his early days working at Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One, where he played on innumerable recordings with almost every upcoming and proven star on the reggae scene.
He joined the Wailers in 1972 and had been a permanent fixture, even after Marley’s death in 1981. He also played and collaborated with a number of reggae icons on the international scene, including Burning Spear.
b. Earl Wilberforce Lindo, 7 January 1953, Kingston, Jamaica. Lindo began his musical tuition at the Excelsior High School playing classical piano and bass, and he began listening to the jazz sounds of Lee Dorsey and Jimmy Smith.
His initial foray into the reggae industry came when he played keyboards for Tommy McCook And The Supersonics; a notable hit from the period was ‘The Ball’, credited to Lindo With The Supersonics. He then performed in the Meters alongside Bobbie Kalphat and Bobbie Denton.
During their brief existence the group supported Bob Andy, Peter Tosh and Dennis Brown. Following the dissolution of the Meters, Lindo joined the Now Generation, supporting Sharon Forrester through her association with Geoffrey Chung. Lindo’s earlier association with Peter Tosh resulted in him being recruited on keyboards on a US tour alongside brothers Carlton and Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett.
Lindo was later recruited to join the Wailers for Burnin’; although not actually credited, his image is clearly featured on the original artwork.
By 1974 Lindo left the band to perform on keyboards with blues artist Taj Mahal. They recorded, among others, ‘Black Man Brown Man’, which was later recorded and released by Judy Mowatt. In 1977, Lindo returned to Jamaica where he recorded with Big Youth, Culture, I Roy and Al Brown.
During his respite from the Wailers he also released two solo hits, ‘No Soul Today’ and ‘Who Done It’. Lindo rejoined the Wailers in 1978 and his playing skills are featured on Babylon By Bus, Survival and Uprising.
Lindo also appeared on the famed JBC film of Bob Marley’s solo acoustic performance of ‘Redemption Song’. Following Marley’s demise in 1981 the band continued to perform as the Wailers Band, performing Bob Marley hits alongside the group’s own compositions. He remains with the group to the present while also pursuing solo projects.