Today marks 30 years since the death of reggae icon, Bob Marley. I remember how shocked I was when I heard the news. I had no idea he had even been sick.
I saw Bob perform once, in Montreal. My boyfriend at the time and I drove from Ottawa for the mid-week concert.
I don’t remember who the opening act was but when Bob finally came onstage, the crowd went wild. Around midnight, we decided to leave. My boyfriend had to work the next morning and we had a two hour drive ahead. (I would never had done that now!) I never got another chance to see Bob perform and always wondered how the show ended. Within a year or so after that show, Bob was dead.
As with some celebrities, Bob has become bigger and more popular in death than in life. More than anything else however, he was instrumental in putting reggae music and Jamaica on the map internationally.
In 1977, when I lived in Barcelona, I went to the student office on some matter that I now can’t recall. I handed over my passport to the gentleman at the office. He looked at it, looked at me and said, Bob Marley. But his English accent was so Spanglified, I didn’t understand. He must have seen the confusion on my face and said it again. Finally, I got it: Bob Marley! We had a good laugh and talked for a good while, in Spanish, about Bob. He even hummed some of his favorite songs.
It was then that I realized that Bob was not just ours, he was also the world’s.
I have many favorite songs but this one, Could You Be loved, has been playing in my head since I woke up this morning so I thought it would be the one to share.
What’s your favorite Bob Marley song?
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- Bob Marley (amairgin.wordpress.com)
- Remembering Bob Marley, 30 Years Later (theroot.com)
12 comments on “Bob Marley, 30 Years Later – Larger in Death”
Love this piece.Unlike you, I used to see his performance, regularly, in Jamaica. Went to the viewing of his body at the National Stadium in Jamaica, too. Was amazing how many people turned out and how people respected him.
My favourite songs, “Could you be loved”, “Rastaman Vibration”. ” Jamming” is the best.
I’m so jealous, I can’t believe you got to see Bob Marley live! I saw the Marley Brothers at Glastonbury 4 years ago which was amazing, but to see the man himself, Wow!
Looking back now, Tony, I realize I was very lucky – especially because that was probably one of the last few concerts he did. But I didn’t know it at the time…I guess I should probably see the sons, right? I can still remember the moment he came on stage. Still awesome!!!
Sorry you didn’t get to see him,
Had forgotten these, Cheryl. Love them too. See, it’s hard to pick.
Just returned for a talk with Chris Blackwell and they played Kaya and Time Will Tell. Had forgotten how beautiful they were.
Thanks, Cheryl. I wish I had seen him more. But listening to his music always take me back.
I think the library was sold out tonight — even Harry Belafonte was there.
He was one of my favorite musicians and I still listen to his music…
He was the best! 😉
Bob Marley – our favourite travelling music.
My 5 year-old can sing all of Buffalo Soldier. And it has been a great opener for teaching the boys about the history of slavery.
I know a young mum who rocks her baby to sleep with Bob Marley music.
He’s a very versatile fella!
That’s a pretty cool way of teaching, especially for boys who learn so differently than girls.
The website rockabyebabymusic.com has some lovely lullabies of Bob’s and other songs. I love listening to them — they’re very soothing.
Yup, he appeals to young and old.
I agree, Elizabeth. His music is always fresh.
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