A Ras John Concert
Compilation of Bob Marley and The Wailers recorded in New York City, Paris,
Berlin and Kingston, JA.
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Bono's (U2) Bob Marley Induction Speech to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"I know claiming Bob Marley as Irish might be a little difficult, but bear with me. Jamaica and Ireland have lots in common¦ Chris Blackwell, weeds, lots of green weedsâ€¦ religion¦ the philosophy of procrastination (don't put off till tomorrow what you can put off till the day after), unless of course its freedom. We are both islands, we are both colonies, we share a common yoke¦ the struggle for identity, the struggle for independence. The vulnerable and uncertain future that is left behind when the jack boot of the Empire has finally retreated¦ roots¦ the getting up, the standing up¦ and the hard bit, the staying up¦ in such as struggle, and often violent struggle, the voice of Bob Marley was a voice of reason; one love, ONE LOVE! So when I first heard Bob Marley, I not only felt it, I felt I understood it. It was 1976; in Dublin we were listening to punk. It was the Clash and Eric Clapton's cover of "I Shot the Sheriff" that brought him home to us. Bob Marley and the Wailers had love songs you could admit listening to, songs of hurtâ€¦ hard but healing. Tuff Gong. Politics without rhetoric.
Songs of freedom where that word meant something again. New hymns to a dancing God, redemption songs, a sexy revolution where Jah is Jehovah on a street level, not over his people. Not just stylin¦ Jammin! The Lion of Judah down the line of Judah from Ethiopia, were all began for Rastaman. Were everything began¦ well maybe. I spent some time Ethiopia with my wife Ali and everywhere we went, we saw Bob Marley's face¦ bonal, wise. Solomon and the Queen of Sheba on every street corner; there he was dressed to hustle God. "Let my people go", an ancient plea¦ Prayers catching fire in Mozambique, Nigeria, Lebanon, Alabama, Detroit, New York, Notting Hill, Belfast¦ Doctor King in dreads, a third and first world superstar.
Meant to slavery and were imagination begins. He was the new music rocking out of the shanty towns born from calypso and raised on the chilled out R&B beamed in from New Orleans¦ lolling lopping rhythms¦ telling it like it was, like it is, like it shall be¦ skanking. Ska, bluebeat, rock steady, reggae dub and now ragga, and all of this from a man who drove three BMWs! BMW?! Bob Marley and the Wailers! Rock-and-roll loves its juvenilia, its caricatures, its cartoons, the protest singer, the gospel singer, the pop star, the sex god, your more mature messiah types. We love the extremes and we're expected to choose... the mud of the blues or the oxygen of the gospel, it hellbound on our trail or the band of angels. Marley didn't choose. Marley didn't walk down the middle, he raced to the edges, embracing all extremes and creating a oneness. His oneness; One Love.
He wanted everything at the same time and was everything at the same time: prophet, sole rebel, Rastaman, herbsman, wild man, a natural mystic man, ladies man, island man, family man, Rita's man, soccer man, showman, shaman, human, JAMAICAN!"
1995 was the third year of "the festival of choice", Reggae Sumfest. Summerfest Productions Limited's Godfrey Dyer and his talented and hard working team created a spectacular music festival that secured the support of a great group of sponsors, the MoBay business community and Reggae Music fans from around world.
On Wednesday, August 9, REGGAE SUMFEST '95 moved to Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre for the first of four nights. This first night, VINTAGE/SOCA NIGHT, was a tribute to the life and music of Delroy Wilson. Featured performers included the legendary Ken Boothe, John Holt and Leroy Sibbles & The Heptones. Go to Reggae SumFest 1995 Night One - CLICK HERE
Thursday night, August 10 is Dancehall Night, livicated to living legend, U ROY. The night featured Beenie Man, Spragga Benz, Sanchez, Papa San and Lt. Stitchie. Go to Reggae SumFest 1995 Night Two - CLICK HERE
Friday night, August 11 is International Night I. This show was a celebration of the life and music of Garnet Silk. Featured artists included Dennis Brown (who replaced Beres Hammond), Buju Banton, Tony Rebel, Frankie Paul, Freddie McGregor and Chalice. Go to Reggae SumFest 1995 Night Three - CLICK HERE
The festival had a grand finale on Saturday night with International Night II. It was a Roots Rock Reggae spectacular in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the birth of Bob Marley. Featured performers included international superstars, Steel Pulse along with Ini Kamoze, Shinehead, Carlene Davis, Sayoka (from Japan), Leejahn (from Canada), Cidade Negra (from Brazil) and a special performance by Julian and Damian Marley. Go to Reggae SumFest 1995 Night Four - CLICK HERE
Robert Nesta Marley was born February 6, 1945 in rural St. Ann's Parish, Jamaica; the son of a middle-aged white, British military officer father and a local teenaged black mother. Bob had little exposure to his father but got loving care from his mother Cedella and his Grandfather who was known as an obeah man... a kind of shaman or medicine man who had considerable influence on the young Bob. At age 14, he left home to pursue a music career in Kingston, becoming a pupil of local singer and devout Rastafarian Joe Higgs.
He began recording in 1962, debuting on a ska-tempoed song called "Judge Not". Looking back, it seems very fitting that the song's lyrics were firmly routed in a moral and social dimension. He formed a vocal trio with some childhood friends, Neville "Bunny" Livingston (later Bunny Wailer) and Peter McIntosh (later Peter Tosh). They took the name the Wailers because they were ghetto sufferers who'd been born "wailing." As practicing Rastas, they grew their hair in dreadlocks and smoked ganja, believing it to be a sacred herb that brought enlightenment.
1973's Catch a Fire, the Wailers' Island debut, was the first of their albums released outside of Jamaica, and immediately earned worldwide acclaim; the follow-up, Burnin', launched the track "I Shot the Sheriff, " a Top Ten hit for Eric Clapton in 1974. With the Wailers poised for stardom, however, both Bunny Livingstone and Peter Tosh quit the group to pursue solo careers; Bob then brought in the I-Threes, which in addition to Rita Marley consisted of singers Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt. The new line-up proceeded to tour the world prior to releasing their 1975 breakthrough album Natty Dread, scoring their first UK Top 40 hit with the classic "No Woman, No Cry." Sellout shows at the London Lyceum, where Marley played to racially-mixed crowds, yielded the superb Live! later that year, and with the success of 1976's Rastaman Vibration, which hit the Top Ten in the U.S., it became increasingly clear that his music had carved its own niche within the pop mainstream.
Bob Marley's musical impact and spiritual message spreads around the globe and continues to expand. In his homeland of Jamaica he is a National Hero and the government that is often very tough on the youth and the rastas and even feared the power of Marley, have honored his life and works with two Jamaican postage stamps. Not only was Marley a key figure in maintaining peace in his homeland at several crucial times during his life, he also has been as important as the country's largest banks and corporations in supporting Jamaica's position in the world economic community. Robert Nesta Marley's life and works continue to spread the joy of the riddum and life, the message of inity and overstanding and a continually blossoming prosperity.
Marley family photo - Bob, Rita, Sharon (oldest), Cedella (3 yrs younger than Sharon), David (ZIGGY) (a year younger than Cedella), and, in the baby carriage is Steven (6 years younger than Ziggy).
Bob Marley unites JA at the One Love Concert, April 22, 1978 in Kingston, Jamaica
So influential a cultural icon had Marley become on his home island by mid-decade that Time magazine exclaimed, "He rivals the government as a political force." On December 3, 1976, Marley was scheduled to give a free "Smile Jamaica" concert, aimed at reducing tensions between warring political factions. A couple of days before the show, he and his entourage were attacked by gunman. Wounded but not killed, Marley electrified a crowd of 80,000 people when he took the stage that night - a gesture of survival that only heightened his legend. Two years later he symbolically united the nation by bringing the rival political party leaders together on stage at the One Love Concert with Marley, Jacob Miller, Peter Tosh and more...
Bob and Cindy Breakspeare at the Essex House, NYC
1980 loomed as Marley's biggest year yet, kicked off by a concert in the newly-liberated Zimbabwe; a tour of the U.S. was announced, but while jogging in New York's Central Park he collapsed, and it was discovered he suffered from cancer which had spread to his brain, lungs and liver. Uprising was the final album released in Marley's lifetime -- he died May 11, 1981 at age 36. At the state funeral there were readings from the Bible by Jamaica's Governor General, and by Michael Manley, the Leader of the Opposition Party. Edward Seaga, the Prime Minister, eulogized The Honorable Robert Nesta Marley. The Wailers, with the I-Threes backing them up on vocals, performed some of Bob's songs. The Melody Makers, a group consisting of four of Bob and Rita Marley's children, led by their eldest son Ziggy, also performed in his honor. His mother, Mrs. Cedella Booker, sang "Coming In From the Cold", one of the last songs Bob wrote. Bob Marley and the Wailers - Catch A Fire This documentary, Bob Marley and the Wailers: Catch a Fire, returns to Dynamic Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, shedding light on the development of the album, the thought process of Bob, Peter, and Bunny, and the importance of the music on a song-by-song basis. The story of Catch a Fire is presented through interviews with the band members, studio musicians, and former head of Island Records Chris Blackwell. Throughout are raw studio rehearsal footage, BBC TV footage, and home movies that include performances of "Concrete Jungle," "Slave Driver," "Stir It Up," and "Stop That Train." The documentary wraps up with rare black-and-white footage of the Wailers' tour in Edmonton, London, in 1973 with an electrifying performance of the Burnin' song "Get Up, Stand Up."
Old pirates yes they rob I
Sold I to the merchant ships
Minutes after they took I from the
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the almighty
We forward in this generation triumphantly
All I ever had is songs of freedom
Marley PostcardWon't you help to sing these songs of freedom
"Cause all I ever had redemption songs,
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
"Cause none a them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look
Some say it's just a part of it
We've got to fulfill the book
Won't you help to sing another song of freedom
'Cause all I ever had, redemption songs
All I ever had, redemption songs
These songs of freedom, songs of freedom.
by Robert Nesta Marley
Listen to song from final concert 09-23-1980
A song that says so much about Bob and his music, it was one of the last songs he was ever to play in concert... after an amazing show at NYC's Madison Square Garden, he had collapsed while jogging in Central Park the next morning. Rita Marley and some of the band had wanted to stop the tour but Bob wanted to continue... none the less, the next show on September 23, 1980 would be Bob's final concert. It took place at the Stanley Theater, Pittsburg, Pa., USA - the recording of "Redemption Song" from that night can be heard on the "Songs of Freedom" Box Set
Nine Mile, situated high in the mountains of Jamaica, is located in the midst of a vast magical and beautiful part of the island that remains greatly untouched by the modern world and the thriving tourist industry of the island. It is a small village in the parish of St. Ann. Nine Mile was his birthplace and this small house (pictured below) is the final resting place of the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley.