Time Will Tell for Skill Cole: Bob Marley's breddren finally getting justice from Chris Blackwell

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allan-skill-cole.jpg65-year-old Allan "Skill" Cole, who, for decades, has been in a tussle with Island Records cofounder Chris Blackwell over unpaid royalties is cautiously happy that there is finally some sort of agreement.

"We are in the process of coming to an understanding an' settlement over songs not written by Bob, or co-written by Bob," said Cole.

The songs involved are Zimbabwe, credited to Marley on his 1979 album, Survival, but actually written by Donald Leach; War, Johnny Was, Rat Race and Time Will Tell.

Cole is credited as writer of War, from Rastaman Vibration, Marley's 1976 album. Though he claims to have co-written Johnny Was and Rat Race (also on Rastaman Vibration) and Time Will Tell (from 1978's Kaya) with Marley, his name does not appear in the composers bracket.

The albums were distributed by Island.

Cole, who first met Blackwell in the early 1970s, is relieved that there will finally be closure to a bitter issue. He stressed that there is a lesson to be learned from It, especially for upcoming songwriters.

"We an' Bob did have a different understanding... As Rasta wi neva deal wid certain thing," said Cole. "To us, a man word is him covenant."

Considered one of Jamaica's finest footballers, Cole was a key member of Marley's inner circle. They first met in 1969, with Cole acting as manager of Wailers, the group which included Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny 'Wailers' Livingston.

When Marley went solo in 1973, Cole became his road manager.

He was the reggae star's road manager for his final tour in 1980, just months before Marley died from cancer in a Miami hospital in May 1981 at age 36.