Carl Livingston, co-executor of Bunny Wailer’s estate, has stepped in, purportedly as a voice of reason, and made an appeal for calm among younger members of the Livingston clan, calling for them to "wake up and smell the coffee".
In an interview, Bunny Wailer’s older brother told Loop News that: "Abijah and his siblings need to settle down and decide to come together and do the necessary things to get his dad situated, then after that you can do all the bickering, talk and the side shows."
Jah B sired 13 children, 12 girls and a boy.
"Jah B doesn't owe any of his kids anything. He paid for all of them to go to school, learn this and sent them to tertiary institutions, so whole heap of the things they are bickering about is unnecessary. They should look into themselves and say what more could my father do for me... than give me an education and a chance to earn money at a later date?
“He left royalty, property, and instead of burying him, dem deh there ah fight and a... people name. They need to wake up and smell the coffee. I am going to make him continue to talk until him get tired of talking," added Carl Livingston.
Earlier this week, Abijah Asadenaki Livingston, also a co-executor of Bunny Wailer’s estate, issued a statement on Facebook in which he denied that the family has any objection to any deal with VP Records regarding the completion of a licensing deal that would allow the family to settle an outstanding hospital bill for Jah B.
The outstanding bill of $5,275,763.61, has to be settled for the family to obtain a death certificate and be able to go ahead and plan the burial. Adasenaki expressed the belief that the family is being pressured into signing a deal that would damage his father's legacy.
“My siblings and I are not against any deal with VP records. However, with the responsibility that my father has entrusted me as an executor, I cannot blindly sign any agreement concerning his intellectual property without reviewing the details of the contract, especially knowing how protective my father was of his works,” the statement said.
But Carl Livingston said prior to his death, Bunny Wailer had discussions with his lawyer and his manager, and "made arrangements before he died that VP Records was supposed to issue x amount to pay for hospitalisation, the doctors and whoever."
He urged calm and an end to the public bickering since the reggae legend’s death.
"Abijah is a young youth. His father just died recently. He take it up on his head, along with sisters, and he is saying and doing things to start bickering in the community and the Jamaican Diaspora. The older Livingtons, including me, Abijah's uncle, we can't do what Abijah is doing. Bunny worked all his life to achieve whatever he wanted to achieve, and time has come, he has passed, and we want to put him away," he said.
New York-based attorney, David Baram, who is representing Solomonic Productions Limited, said a commitment was made with the administrators at the Medical Associates Hospital for the outstanding bill to be settled from the proceeds of a music licensing deal with VP Records.
Baram believes that the commitment will be honoured if a deal can be hammered out at the 11th hour between the board members of Solomonic Productions.
“The money necessary for the hospital bill to be paid will have to come from the licensing agreement which was made with Solomonic Productions and VP before Bunny passed,” Baram said.
“It is still possible (for the deal to happen), however some members of the board of directors are not comfortable going forward. The record company is anxious to move forward, but until there is a consensus with the board, then the deal is in limbo,” elaborated Baram.
Abijah, who is one of the board members, has voiced serious concerns about the state of his father’s financial affairs, and claimed that the family has been stonewalled in their repeated requests for copies of the contract with VP.
“After several requests, neither I nor my attorney has received a copy of the contract for review. While VP Records patiently awaits a resolution, other parties involved have been trying to pressure me to sign an approval document without seeing the contract. This seems to be a calculated plot with the looming importance of burying my father and avoiding public humiliation,” he asserted.
Members of the family plan to meet this week to discuss the contract in full.
Bunny Wailer, who passed away on Tuesday, March 2, was originally scheduled to be interred on April 10 at his Dreamland Farm in Portland.
In the meantime, Gary Himelfarb, otherwise called ‘Doctor Dread’, founder of RAS Records and the Grammy winner’s former manager and music publisher, said the reputation of a devout Rastafarian, a legendary singer and activist of Bunny Wailer’s calibre, should not be sullied by public arguments within the family.
“I am upset and I know that Bunny Wailer would have been upset too. He was a private person and didn’t want people knowing his business. He would have been #&*@$#%*#% people right and left. They need to put aside all the… and let Jah B be buried with grace and dignity, and show the man the respect he deserves and put aside their differences,” said Himelfarb.