Robert Nesta Marley is the most famous figure this country has produced. (Though Usain Bolt might be usurping him in places like China and India.) Mention Jamaica, and foreigners who scarcely know in which hemisphere the country is located will cry in recognition, "Bob Marley!" He is increasingly becoming to Jamaica what Robert Burns is to Scotland - most famous son, national bard, and symbol of cultural identity. The parallels between the two great Roberts are uncanny. Both were born to humble circumstances in a small country with a few million inhabitants. Both were free spirits who praised the intoxicating pleasures of ganja and whisky respectively.
Where are you?
I'm in Miami at the moment. It's about 5pm. I'm just rising. I record all night and sleep all day. It started because you're excited about the music and you want to stay up longer, but over 15 years it's become a habit. In my circle I think a lot of musicians operate like this. When the place is quiet you're more creative. I have plenty of people I can call at 4am and know they'll be up. The Marleys had a family base here even before I was born, but everyone's developed families now and my brothers and sisters live in the surrounding blocks from me. It's become a home away from Jamaica.
Prince Charles may have had the Bob Marley song, Lively Up Yourself, on his mind during his last two trips to Jamaica. The heir to the British throne certainly soaked up the reggae culture while visiting in 2000 and 2008.
Charles donned a Rasta tam and attempted some reggae moves while touring sections of Marley's old stomping ground, Trench Town, in February 2000.
Reggae is a complex Afro-Jamaican twentieth-century musical phenomenon that has profoundly influenced global popular musical culture. As a genre of modern black cultural production, reggae music dates from the 1970s, when it emerged from the musical confluence of ska and rock steady, two forms born in early postcolonial Jamaica. As a cultural practice in Jamaican postcolonial society, reggae was closely tied to subaltern representations of slavery, colonialism, history, and Africa. As a consequence in many instances reggae became a counter-hegemonic practice critiquing the formal Jamaican Creole nationalist project of political independence.
Ska was a 1960s musical synthesis that ruptured the Jamaican musical form known as mento, which emerged from the encounter between European colonialism, racial plantation slavery, and the slave African population. Mento adapted and morphed the harmonic structures, instrumentation, and melodies of European musical styles into indigenous sounds.
Bob Marley was a hero figure, in the classic mythological sense. His departure from this planet came at a point when his vision of One World, One Love -- inspired by his belief in Rastafari -- was beginning to be heard and felt. The last Bob Marley and the Wailers tour in 1980 attracted the largest audiences at that time for any musical act in Europe.
Bob's story is that of an archetype, which is why it continues to have such a powerful and ever-growing resonance: it embodies political repression, metaphysical and artistic insights, gangland warfare and various periods of mystical wilderness. And his audience continues to widen: to westerners Bob's apocalyptic truths prove inspirational and life-changing; in the Third World his impact goes much further. Not just among Jamaicans, but also the Hopi Indians of New Mexico and the Maoris of New Zealand,
The Legendary Reggae Star Would Have Turned 66 on February 6th. Radio Specials, Streaming Parties, Video Premieres and more planned Bob Marley was born on February 6th, 1945. The legendary reggae star, best known for such exceptional hits as "Could You Be Loved," "One Love" and "Three Little Birds" would have celebrated his 66th birthday this year.
Universal Music Enterprises and Tuff Gong Records team up to present Bob Marley & The Wailers – Live Forever: The Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA, September 23, 1980. This never before released 2 CD concert was recorded 30 years ago while Bob was touring in support of his famed album, Uprising. Live Forever features many of Bob's most cherished songs.