Some thoughts on Bob Marley from Perry Henzel
My first memories of Bob Marley are of a youth who used to hang out around Mortimer Planno, who used to visit him when I was doing research for the "The Harder They Come" in Trench Town, Tenth Street I think it was, and the last time I saw him was in concert just before he died. And I saw him at pretty much every important stage in between -- working with Johnny Nash and Danny Sims at Graham Heights, his first big concert with Marvin Gaye at the stadium in Kingston when Don Taylor first came onto the scene. I remember when he came to Boston and triumphed in the first big concert outside Jamaica with Peter Tosh and Bunny, tapping the power in the audience that "The Harder They Come" had built up over the eighteenth months playing continuously at the Orson Welles theater near Harvard Square. Five hundred viewers per show three times a day for a year and a half, all wanting to hear and see more of this brand new music. So the concert took off like rocket, expanding the audience for the film -- the film and the concerts, bouncing a growing crowd between them in city after city, country after country, round and round the world.
I remember when the Wailers first started recording at Basing Street, how great those sessions in that studio were, and how during the mixes it became so clear that Bob knew exactly what he wanted, that he was hearing it. I was on my way to see Bob when he was shot, and witnessed that greatest of all his performances when he triumphed over the people who'd tried to kill him by standing up in front of a crowd of thousands, daring them to try again. What a talent! What a life!