‘Good Morning Uncle Ness, God Bless You My Son’
The spirit of community is highest form of humanity. Bob Marley
Bob Marley: Photo C.L.A.S.S Magazine circa 1980
Having written so many pieces on Bob Marley over the last 30 years I had sworn, to Jah almighty, I wasn’t going to write any more stories about uncle Ness; I mean, so much of the Marley mystique has been the subject of the keyboards what else is there to say that hasn’t already been written? Bob Marley’s life was passion and prose, the Gong lived his life’s passions and wrote and sang his reality in prose. To ‘Tuff Gong’ Marley life was never a dress rehearsal. The ‘Skip’ took the time to love (hu) I-manity.
When the ‘Gong’ predicted that “reggae music will get bigger and bigger and find its right people’ little did he know that, over the last 30 years, so would he. As Reggae and Gong Marley continue to get bigger and bigger and is still finding its right people I reflect on Bob, the man, who at age twelve I told friends would be the only thing worthwhile to come out of Jamaica. Little did I know!
He said in ‘everyman’s chest there beats a heart.’ The pulse of reggae music’ beats and is felt in millions of hearts because uncle Ness showed us how to love from our rhythmic heart. Jack Haley, the head of Amnesty International, says Marley’s name is synonymous with freedom. Son Ziggy said, ‘Free like you want to be’ A polygamist at heart Bob did what most men dream of and others are too afraid to do publicly. Bob said ‘a women must be respected and live’ and loved them he did. From the Libyan princess, to Pasculine, the daughter of an African head of state he romanced, or Ester Anderson, the movie actress he mesmerized; beauty queens (Miss World and a Miss Jamaica) Cindy and Sandra Kong you were linked to, Anna Wintour, the powerful America Magazine editor, Rita, the famous reggae singer he married, and Anita, Table Tennis champion, with whom he sired a son and the list goes on. He sired 12 children by 8 different women. Bob loved all women, and that made me feel free to love all women. The loyalty he has engendered from these women is what most men dream of but never inspire. It is enviable.
You said we could only love you if we loved your music, 30 years hence our love affair with you grows undiminished. Chalice sang in ‘I still Love You’ ‘ Woke up this morning and found you gone’ We have woken up every morning for the past thirty years and thought you were gone, yet your love, your love still lingers and stays in our hearts and souls.
You said we could only love your music if we love reality. Well as the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson’s definition of the ‘representative man’ and ‘the Lyric Poet of Rebellion’ yet you continue to be refined, delight and bring comfort to billions people around the world in your music of freedom, and liberation, redemption and moral rearmament with protest songs of social injustice. Yet still despite every reason to hate your music contained not one word of hate, only a message of love. Uncle Ness from your grim, hard, contemptuously treated childhood … of poverty and neglect how were you able to dredge up so much loving in your absolutely original music?, I have no idea, I know humanity better because you did what you did. Yes, Uncle Ness they can’t take away those blessing from you not even after 30 years.
Satellite XM Radio Hosts 30th Anniversary Tribute to Bob Marley
NY based SiriusXM Radio’s reggae-music channel program, The Joint, followed Late Night with Jimmy Fallon NBC TV (May 9-13) and hosted a five-day tribute that began on May 11th , celebrating the music of reggae legend Bob Marley. The tribute titled ‘Bob Marley 30th Memorial Special’ that honors Marley and his music is to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his death. Bob Marley died on May 11th 1981.
The 30th Memorial Special will feature five days of Marley’s music including favorites like No Woman, No Cry, One Love and Get Up Stand Up; rarely aired early classics; as well as Marley covers by artistes such as Lauren Hill, Eric Clapton, Rihanna, Sheryl Crow, Trey Anastasio, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Gregory Isaacs, Jimmy Buffett, Annie Lennox, Matisyahu and Lee Ritenour. 7-time Grammy winner and Marley son Stephen Marley will provide remixes of Marley’s work. There will be performances from and interviews with other musicians, his peers and also from current and veteran artistes.
The eldest son of Bob —Ziggy Marley, was scheduled to perform an acoustic set of songs from his new album Wild and Free, release date June 14, in the SiriusXM studios in New York City on May 11. The Joint is hosted on channel 42 and airs on SiriusXM Radio at 11:59 p.m. ET.
The five-day special will also feature stories and testimonies from Ziggy, who will give a rare, intimate interview discussing his childhood with his father, and sharing his personal insights into Bob Marley’s music legacy, music icons and talking about Marley’s significance. Ziggy Marley’s in-depth interview will also include him sharing stories about the mission of his music, his new hardcover comic book Marijuanaman, and the Wild and Free album. The interview will air on Sunday at 11 p.m. ET.
“Bob Marley’s musical legacy and spirit still resonates today, and we have created a multi-dimensional tribute to honor and celebrate his genre-defining music and life,” said Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer, SiriusXM. “We are excited to bring subscribers a special multi-day celebration of Bob Marley in words and music, and the exclusive performance by Ziggy Marley adds a very meaningful element to the tribute,” he continued.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon –Week long Tribute to Bob Marley
Reggae legend Bob Marley will be the spotlight on May 9 on NBC TV weeklong tribute beginning on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in honor of the 30th anniversary of the reggae legend’s passing. Fallon’s late-night show has rapidly grown into the best place to see after-hours performances from some of the greatest names in music.
The tribute honor of the late reggae legend Bob Marley began when Bob’s son David ‘Ziggy’ Marley made his a special appearance on the NBC show for the first time. There will also be featured musical guests, Lauryn Hill who will make a rare TV appearance Thursday May 12 , rock artiste Chris Cornell, pop idol Jennifer Hudson, rock singer Jakob Dylan, Keith Richards, ( Rolling Stones) and rocker Lenny Kravitz, who will wrap up the week long tribute on Friday May 13. Each night one of the guests artistes will perform a classic Marley song that will pay tribute to his revolutionary spirit and deep influence on music.
The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles debuted a new exhibit entitled Bob Marley, Messenger. Housed on the museum‘s second floor, the exhibit will focus on Bob Marley as a private, spiritual man, and as a powerful performer who has inspired legions of fans in the 30 years since his death.
Bringing together more than 40 diverse artifacts, rare photographs and more, the exhibit features items from the private collection of the Marley family. “Bob Marley gave the world something no other artist has. Not only did he give us brilliant music, but he also became a heroic figure. His music spread a message of hope and unity. That message is as relevant today as it was three decades ago, and it’s our hope to help share that message with a new generation,” said GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli.
On display, visitors will see a broad array of items, including Marley’s famous Les Paul guitar; an interactive drumming station that allows visitors to learn how to play a reggae beat; more than 40 photographs of Marley both on and off stage; ticket stubs, concert posters, tour books and fan memorabilia.
Additionally, the GRAMMY Museum has conducted interviews with several artists and musicians who have been influenced by Marley and the role that he played not only as the catalyst to the reggae evolution, but also his influence on music and culture. Interview footage will be featured in the exhibit and includes conversations with Blondie, Carlos Santana, Nas and more.
Marley Documentary Footage to be Unveiled at Cannes
Director /filmmaker Kevin Macdonald returned to the documentary filmmaking world following his recent big screen success The Eagle and The Last King Of Scotland. MacDonald directed two of the most acclaimed documentaries of recent years. MacDonald won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature with his 2000 film One Day In September and, Touching The Void. MacDonald will screen about 15 minutes of footage in his much anticipated documentary on reggae legend Bob Marley at the Cannes film festival. MacDonald has purposely chosen the opening day of the Cannes Film Festival to unveil the footage as the date itself, 11th May 2011, marks the 30th anniversary of the day Marley died. The footage will be presented to a select audience of buyers with the movie opening in September 2011.
In February 2011, Macdonald joined forces with the Marley family, Chris Blackwell and Steve Bing to produce in association with Cowboy Films, Tuff Gong Pictures / Shangri-La Entertainment this definitive film about one of the true and most loved international icons of the 20th Century. They put together what they claim to be the ultimate, authorized documentary film on the life, legacy and global impact of a true legend: One of the most influential singers, songwriters, musicians and activists in history.
This marks the first time ever that his family has authorized the use of their own private Bob Marley archives. The film will receive a worldwide theatrical release during the 30th anniversary year after his passing in 1981. His story, music and message of love and redemption has finally been brought to life on film. Bob Marley’s universal appeal, impact on music history and his role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. His music and message transcend culture, language and creed and resonate around the world today as powerfully as when he was alive. Only a handful of musicians have ever achieved such an impact and Bob Marley, though his life was far too short, stands among them.
Filming is taking place in Ghana, Japan, the UK, Jamaica and the United States. The film is produced by Charles Steel of Cowboy Films and co-produced by Shangri-La Entertainment’s Zach Schwartz.
Remembering Bob Marley 30 Years Later
Reggae’s greatest icon, Bob Marley, left us 30 years ago on May 11, 1981, but his music and influence lives on. The Bob Marley Foundation and the Bob Marley museum will be putting on an exhibit to mark the special occasion on Wednesday May 11, 2011.
More emphasis as usual is placed on the commemoration of his birth, however, this year will also incorporate his death, according to manager of the Foundation and Museum, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart.
Stewart said due to the significance of the 30th anniversary special arrangements will be made for the commemoration of the date at the museum located on Hope Road.
Bob Marley passed away at the age of 36 from cancer. He is credited with bringing reggae music to mainstream. But his influence spans far beyond reggae music. His wisdom and message gave him the power to heal a whole nation suffering from political turmoil and poverty.
In the 1970s, Bob Marley was hosting a free concert in Jamaica as an attempt to help heal the political tensions the country was going through. Bob, his wife Rita and his manager were wounded in an attack, leaving him suffering from gunshot wounds to his chest and arm. Nevertheless, Marley proceeded with the free concert a couple days later and, when someone asked him why he was still going through with it, he simply said, “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?”
Bob Marley from the small Caribbean island of Jamaica’s impact on the world is beyond recognition. By the end of the last century he was declared one of the most influential musicians of all time. In 1999 Time magazine dubbed Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Exodus the greatest album of the 20th Century, while the BBC named One Love the song of the millennium.
Bob Marley’s son, Stephen Marley has a simple message to all Marley fans to keep his father’s memory burning. “Spread his message of peace, love and equality,” he said.
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Entertainment Writer, Westindiantimes.net (Norfolk Beach VA)
Music Writer, Jahworks.org (Oakland CA)