Iconic artist manager Copeland Forbes, former manager of Peter Tosh, who in the past administered the musical affairs and tours of some of reggae’s biggest icons, has announced that his long-awaited memoir titled Reggae my life iswill be out in a few weeks.
The book, which has been in the works for more than a decade, is the first ever to be published under the auspices of Downsound Books, the new book publishing arm of businessman Joe Bogdanovich’s Reggae promoters Downsound Entertainment. Sumfest.
“I am privileged and honored to have my first book published by Downsound Music publishers. Joe (had) approached me and said listen, you have the stories and you should kick off the launch of my publishing house” , said Forbes, who could be described as a walking encyclopedia of reggae.
“So we’re going to have a local launch in the next month, and then at Sumfest you’ll have the book ready, all autographed. And then we’re going overseas in August to celebrate Jamaica 60 with a book launch in London, and to the Rototom Sunsplash where they’ll be having an international book launch and we’ve set up a showcase to travel with the book launch and it is led by Sly Dunbar and the Revolutionaries. And more artists to come,” added the Jones Town native.
Reggae My Life Is, which is a play on the song by Peter Tosh Reggaemylitehas been in preparation since 2008.
In October of that year, Forbes reported that the book, which charts his musical career and growth, was nearing completion, but was in the process of being split into two volumes due to the vast amount of information that it contained.
The book, expected to be one of the most insightful literary forays into Jamaican musical culture, is expected to offer readers a unique insight into Forbes’ experiences with reggae icons such as Bob and Rita Marley, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer, Gregory Issacs, Chris Blackwell, Mick Jagger, among others.
Forbes also told The Gleaner in 2008 that the publication, which was written by Shocking Vibes executive Clyde McKenzie, was going to be “very interesting and unusual” and that he felt compelled to write the book. based on his years of experience in the industry.
“It’s going to be like an encyclopedia, like a reference for people in the industry to find information about artists and their history, how to negotiate contracts and the kinds of structure we need in the industry to be successful. It will also show what can happen if you don’t do it right,” he explained at the time.
He had also said that there was a strong possibility that a film would be made based on the book, as he had already received two offers.
Forbes’ time in the Jamaican music industry has been described as “long and colorful”.
He entered the music industry at the age of 16, as part of the Harmonicats, then formed the Coasters, a vocal and dance group in 1967, which later toured the United States and Canada. .
He later became the lead singer of the band Mighty Mistic and toured with the band for several years.
His biggest breakthrough came when he took part in the amateur competitions at the Apollo Theater in New York and met American singer Johnny Nash, who asked him to be a dancer on the popular Soul Train, which he done for a few years.
Forbes put his performing career on hold when he got his first real managerial opportunity in 1972 as a road manager for The Wailers.
Three years later, in 1975, he ran The Mighty Diamonds, then became a personal assistant, then became road manager, tour manager and ultimately manager of reggae legend Peter Tosh, who he described as one of his greatest experiences.
Forbes then directed Jimmy Cliff, Black Uhuru, Sly and Robbie, Third World, Dennis Brown, U-Roy, Marcia Griffiths, Frankie Paul, Morgan Heritage, I-Three and Luciano.
He was also a tour manager for many other big names in reggae including Sizzla Kalonji, Ziggy Marley, Andrew Tosh, Freddie McGregor, Beres Hammond, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Junior Reid, Sugar Minott, Mutabaruka, Half Pint and Maxi Priest .