05-11-2011, 03:00 PM #1
JAH - 30 years ago today: reggae's brightest star Bob Marley died
Another of those "ya know, it just doesn't seem possible" anniversaries: Bob Marley died thirty years ago today, on 11 May 1981.
For some, Bob Marley might be the only reggae performer they've heard of. He's certainly the best-known of the many great artists in the genre.
Reggae is a music I love, and, though Marley came close, I heard it before I heard him - Desmond Dekker's great single "Israelites," on Top 40 radio in 1969.
But then Bob Marley and the Wailers came to rule the first years of the 1970s and in the years to follow became the first breakout Jamaican performers to cross over and find a U.S. market. It's with a great deal of thanks to him that I and others remember him on this, the 30th anniversary of his death.
Bob Marley playlist: From global hits to Tom Jones covers (Guardian)
At the 30th anniversary of his death, Bob Marley has become a more iconic figure than he was during his lifetime. His music is heard less, at least on the radio, though it seems that every tourist hotspot across Europe has a resident dreadlocked busker strumming Buffalo Soldier for small change.
Yet Marley's visage, whether smiling genially, imperiously screwfaced or pulling on a snowcone-sized spliff, beams out on badges, T-shirts and posters across the globe. In the way of James Dean, the diminutive dread from Trenchtown has become an instantly recognisable signifier of cool; like the bereted Che Guevara he represents rebellion and militant nobility, like John Lennon he stands for hope.
05-11-2011, 04:31 PM #2
In memory of Bob Marley and another great reggae artist and fellow Wailer
My last Border Collie was named after a Wailer song, KayaEngland's dancing days are done...
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