By Larry Kahaner
(This article first appeared in ExtraNewsfeed)
Acting on a tip from a former member of the reggae icon’s band, music historian Alvin Papell has spent the last 12 years collecting evidence that Bob Marley was overly optimistic about the future when he sang ‘Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright.’
Now, he has proof.
“It wasn’t my goal to besmirch the Bob Marley legacy but truth is truth, especially when it comes to catchy, melodic songs, like Three Little Birds, Papell said, during an interview from his home in an undisclosed location surrounded by an electrified, ten-foot fence, topped by razor wire and mean dogs that will bite you. “It’s my job as an honest-to-god music historian to follow the evidence no matter where it leads,” he said, sitting in shadows and using a ridiculous voice-changing machine.
Papell, who gained never-before access to Marley’s private letters and leftover rolling papers with scribbled lyrics said it was clear to him that the musician was obsessively sanguine about the future. “It bordered on Pollyanish positivity,” the researcher said. He conceded that confidence in the future is something we can all use a little more of, especially these days, but that the song pushed unrealistic expectations and “presented his millions of fans worldwide with a false sense of hope and security.”
What was particularly destructive,” the music expert added, “is how many times he repeated the head-in-the-clouds phrase during each performance of the song. Smoking large amounts of ganja can make you forget what you’ve already said.”
Papell, who keeps a pistol in every cabinet and drawer for protection, said: “I cringe every time I watch videos of concerts with rabid fans singing along to these distortions of reality. Most of these young people don’t yet know that life will stomp you down to nothing as you get older especially when you receive a worthless diploma from some on-line university that just takes your money, and then your wife leaves you.”
Not everyone agrees with Papell’s appraisal of the song’s message. Ziggy Marley, son of the reggae legend, said in a prepared statement. “It’s just a song, man. Chill the fuck out.”
The music historian, who is also examining whether the Rhapsody was indeed Bohemian and if Uptown Funk really gave it to you, has also received credible information that perhaps Baby hasn’t got Back. “Again, I’m not trying to take away anyone’s good time, but we need to weed out the dangerous falsehoods and misrepresentations that have characterized the music industry for decades.”
At press time, Papell also revealed that contrary to popular belief Jimmy Buffett was not wasting away in Margaritaville. “All empirical data point to the Trop-Rock singer having only a slight beer buzz,” the heavily-armed historian said.