Bootleg City: Bob Marley in New York City, May ’76

I don’t know much about this Bob Marley character, but if his performance on the “Welcome to New York” bootleg is any indication, he was a real hack: a quarter of his set is devoted to covers of Eric Clapton (“I Shot the Sheriff”) and Johnny Nash (“Stir It Up”) songs, and he doesn’t even play his best number, the immortal classic “Red Red Wine.” When I discovered that he ripped off the theme to the Saturday-morning cartoon The Banana Splits for his song “Buffalo Soldier,” I was even more convinced he’s no “legend.” Not even his hilarious performance in the Robin Williams comedy Club Paradise could erase the damage that had been done.

Speaking of TV theme songs and outright lies, I received an overwhelming response to my request for bootlegged TV themes last month. That is, if you count one response as overwhelming. This week, in addition to Mr. Marley and the Wailers’ concert, I offer you J.D. Souther’s first-season-only theme song for the Richard Lewis-Jamie Lee Curtis sitcom Anything But Love (1989-’92), the radio-ready version of Lee Majors’s theme to The Fall Guy (1981-’86), and two versions of the theme song for Glenn Gordon Caron’s dearly departed Now and Again (1999-2000), performed by Ariel Ryder and Narada Michael Walden.

Thanks to “Friends of Popdose” Ken (who got the ball rolling on this idea in January) and David for the Anything But Love and Fall Guy themes, respectively. Gentlemen, please keep in mind that your new FOP status entitles me to ask for donations whenever I please. Say, that reminds me — if anyone can explain why I’ve never seen Lee Majors’s first TV hit, The Six Million Dollar Man, in syndication or on DVD, Ken and David will pay you six million dollars.

I was surprised to learn that The Fall Guy ran even longer than The Six Million Dollar Man; for some reason I thought it only lasted two seasons at the most. Now that I’m older, I admire the “meta” qualities of “The Unknown Stuntman,” the show’s theme song. See, on The Fall Guy Majors was a TV actor playing a stunt man who put himself in harm’s way for movie actors, and for the theme song he’s an actor pretending he can sing so he can fill in for a real country singer! His voice isn’t bad, though, and the wink-wink mention of “Farrah” at the beginning of the song adds another self-referential layer. Fall Guy, you were deeper than I thought. Then again, I was in single digits at the time — I just wanted to see you blow stuff up real good.

Bob Marley & the Wailers, Beacon Theatre, New York City, 5/1/76
Trenchtown Rock
Burnin’ and Lootin’
No Woman, No Cry
Kinky Reggae
Stir It Up
Lively Up Yourself
I Shot the Sheriff
Get Up, Stand Up

random TV theme songs
J.D. Souther, “Anything But Love”
Lee Majors, “The Unknown Stuntman” (theme to The Fall Guy)
Ariel Ryder and Narada Michael Walden, “Gimme a Sign,” version #1
Ariel Ryder and Narada Michael Walden, “Gimme a Sign,” version #2
(themes to Now and Again — a full version can be heard here)




  • David_E

    Please, don't blame that J.D. Souther track on me.

    I have standards. Standards Lee Majors could sail over, but standards nonetheless.

  • ozarkmatt

    The things I do remember about “The Fall Guy” was the opening montoge had a killer shot of “the other hot Heather from the 80's” in a pink bikini and thinking it was the longest damn show opening song ever.

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com rwcass

    I used the word “respectively” to absolve you of all wrongdoing.

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com rwcass

    My sister-in-law is also named Heather Thomas. According to Wikipedia, after the other Heather Thomas quit her acting career in 1998, she “tried her hand at screenwriting, and after writing some 40 screenplays finally sold a script called School Slut to Touchstone Pictures for a six-figure sum. Touchstone didn't make the film, however, and Thomas acquired the rights to produce it herself. In April 2008, Thomas' first novel, Trophies, was published by William Morrow.”

  • robert

    You certainly do not know anything about Bob Marley. So why flount your ignorance? Marley wrote “I Shot the Sheriff” and Clapton covered it. Marley”s “immortal classic” Red, Red Wine was never sung by him; it's a Neil Diamond song, with the most popular reggae version done by UB40. Does fact mean anything to you

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that your friends tend to stop telling jokes when you come around. Am I right?

  • robert

    I didn't realize this was comedy central. It is kind of a joke to write about music without knowing anything about it. Of course confusing Jimmy Cliff in Robin William's film, for Bob Marley who was five years dead when the film was made, is understandable, maybe. They're both black and Jamaican, after all.

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    Yeah, I was right. Thanks for the confirmation — but a simple “yes, I am a humorless douche” would have sufficed.

  • ozarkmatt

    Damn! Fantastic. I'm gonna go with “Who-Is-Named-Roger- And-Doesn't-Read-English-Well” for $500 Alex.

    But hey, he brought up Jimmy Cliff! (Of course I think you guys also did a little while ago, but still – JIMMY CLIFF!!!!

  • ozarkmatt

    Or was that Jimmy Smith?

    No no, it was Jimmy McGriff.

    Either way, none of them are any Mark Barkan. (Thanks Wiki!!!)

    Yes I'm screwing around. I'll stop now.

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com rwcass

    It's all in good fun, Robert, but sarcasm doesn't always translate. I do know that Marley wrote “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Stir It Up” and that “Red Red Wine” is a Neil Diamond song that isn't the same as the Replacements' song of the same name. And Johnny Nash isn't Johnny Cash, though I kept waiting for Joaquin Phoenix to break into “I Can See Clearly Now” in “Walk the Line,” all to no avail.

    I also know that Bob Marley isn't Jimmy Cliff. I am a very white American, but I can tell the difference between two famous Jamaicans. Enjoy the music if you haven't heard this particular bootleg before, and thanks for writing.

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com rwcass

    “Speaking of TV theme songs and outright lies …”

    For the record, I thought that was a dead giveaway.

  • Be Real

    WOW!!!

    To Robert Cass

    There is a saying that goes “If you ain’t got nothing good to say about anything or anyone then don’t say anything at all”

    Maybe before you posted whatever you posted you should have done some research on who originally wrote and sang the songs I shot the Sheriff and Stir it up. It is certainly not who you think. Both those songs were written by Bob Marley.

    Since you couldn’t simply Google that info, please buy the actual CD’s by Eric Clapton and Johnny Nash and read the credits to find out who wrote those songs.

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    It was a JOKE, you moron.

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com rwcass

    Thanks for (not) reading!

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com rwcass

    Thanks for (not) reading!

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com rwcass

    Thanks for (not) reading!

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  • john

    Before you go dedicating a page to something you claim to know about i can tell now your one of them people who has always to be right and even if it's grey you see it black eric listened to bob marleys album burning and took a shine to i shot the sheriff and rung bob up to see if he could cover it he was also writting songs for danny sims and johnny nash which include stir it up they kept a contract on him and fell out thats why certain songs such as no women no cry are credited to others and red red wine lol thats the one that got me as the common sense people said it is a song written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond, that was then covered by Tony Tribe and more famously by UB40 Bob Marley was a man who had hundreds of poor people knocking on his door while he handed them cash someone motervated by life love and peace and what he wrote were facts not stuff we dream up like ur story here

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com rwcass

    Period.