A new documentary on the life of reggae legend Bob Marley is scheduled to open April 20 in the United States. Directed by Scottish director, Kevin Macdonald, Marley will be distributed by Magnolia Pictures.
According to the Hollywood Reporter publication, the documentary will be shown in theatres, and will be available in Video On Demand and digital format. It will be first shown during this week’s Berlin International Film Festival.
MARLEY… documentary on entertainer for Berlin film fest
Its first showing will be at the March 9-17 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
“Bob Marley is a fascinating, towering figure in musical history, and Marley is the biography that he deserves,” Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles is quoted as saying. “Kevin Macdonald has once again shown himself to be a master documentarian with this eye-opening, entertaining, beautifully crafted film.”
Macdonald won an Academy Award in 1999 for directing One Day In September.
For Marley, he used rare footage, archival photos, performances and interviews with family, friends and bandmates for fans and persons who know little of the singer/songwriter to get an authentic portrayal of his life.
Steve Bing of Shangri-La Entertainment and Charles Steel co-produced Marley while Marley’s oldest son, Ziggy, and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell are executive producers. Island distributed several of Marley’s best albums.
“This documentary is the ultimate revelation of my father’s life,” said Ziggy Marley. “The family is proud to be able to have the world finally experience this emotional journey.”
The Marley documentary has been the subject of much speculation.
High-profile film-makers such as Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme were rumoured to be potential directors before Macdonald was offered the job.
Marley, reggae’s most enduring figure, is best known for songs like No Woman Nuh Cry, One Love and Exodus, died from cancer in May, 1981 at age 36.
Author: Howard Campbell
Stephen Marley, the son of reggae legend Bob Marley and seven time Grammy Award winning producer, and entertainer has announced his ‘Revelation’ European tour dates. The first tour date will be Thursday, August 4 in Faverges, France. The reggae arstist will be seen on tour in the following Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Holland, and Poland.
Malrey released his third solo album ‘Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life’ in late March 2011. Since its release the album has held the #1 position on the Billboard Reggae Charts, #2 on the iTunes Reggae Chart, and #2 on Amazon.com. Stephen holds the honor of being the first member of the Marley family to debut at #1 on the Billboard Reggae Album chart three times in a row. His prior two albums Mind Control and Mind Control Acoustic both debuted at #1. Both albums also won Best Reggae Album at the Grammy Awards.
Marley’s highly popular single “Pale Moonlight” is taking root as a feel good hit. The song is being played in radio stations throughout the Caribbean, the United States, and the United Kingdom with heavy rotation.
Catch Stephen Marley at the following venues:
THUR AUG 4: FAVERGES, FRANCE
@ ROOTS REGGAE OPEN AIR
FRI AUG 5: AVENCHES, SWITZERLAND
@ FESTIVAL ROCK OZ’ ARENAS
SAT AUG 6: ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
@ ROTE FABRIK
SUN AUG 7: CISSAC MIDOC, FRANCE
@ REGAE SUN SKA
TUE AUG 9: NICE, FRANCE
@ THEATRE DE VERDURE (OPEN AIR W/ DUB INC.)
WED AUG 10: GROSETTO, ITALY
FRI AUG 12: OUDENAARDE, BELGIUM
@ FEEST IN THE PARK
SAT AUG 13: ASCHAFFENBURG, GERMANY
SUN AUG 14: OSTRADA, POLAND
@ OSTRADA REGGAE FESTIVAL
TUE AUG 16: PARIS, FRANCE
@ GLAZART (OPEN AIR)
WED AUG 17: MARSEILLE, FRANCE
THUR AUG 18: BENICASSIM, SPAIN
@ ROTOTOM SUNSPLASH
SAT AUG 20: BIDDINGHUIZEN, HOLLAND
For Father’s Day, Bob Marley’s eldest son, Ziggy Marley—whose new album, ‘Wild and Free,’ was released June 14—reflects on their boxing matches, his father’s aggressive, tough-love approach, and his last words.
“Bob was a very active person and, as kids, whether it would be a pickup soccer game or on the beach to run, he would take us with him. But Bob also grew up tough, in the ghetto, so he was a fighter. He had to fight and was capable of defending himself.
“I remember me and him boxing, and he hit very hard when he boxed. He just loved sports. So one day, me and him went a round. There was no ring, it was outside on the concrete at Hope Road, Bob’s headquarters. He was just boxing with his friends and everybody was there. I don’t remember how I ended up having gloves on my hands. He gave me a few body blows. For me, it was bad, but I’m sure it could have been harder. It didn’t knock me down, but you feel it, and you get more scared at that point because you know you’ll get more. I didn’t get any hits on Bob because he was fast. He was known for speed and footwork. Of course, he won. He didn’t cut you no slack. No headgear, just gloves. He toughened us up, you know? He always wanted us to be tough, so he gave us that tough treatment.
“You’d get a spanking or a good whipping with the belt if you didn’t listen carefully. I used to jump my fence and go check my friends across the street. I remember one time he told me, ‘Don’t leave the yard.’ As soon as he drove out, I left the yard and went over to my friend’s. On his way back down, he saw me in one of the yards, he caught me, and gave me a nice belt beating. It’s nothing to cry about, either. That’s how we do it in Jamaica. It’s no big deal. He taught us discipline, ruggedness, and survivability. We have that makeup. We have to protect ourselves and do what we have to do.
“The last time we spoke, he called me and he said, “What’s up Young Bob. I have a song for you.” And his song was, “On your way up / Take me up / On your way down / Don’t let me down.”
“One time, we went to Zimbabwe, and it was guerrilla warfare at the time because they were still under colonial British rule. When Bob went over there to play for the independence concert, he took me and my brother Stephen with him. I was about 11. The guerrillas came to visit him because Bob was a revolutionary, and his music was used for revolution. So, the guerrillas came and they started talking, and then one of the guerrillas took out one of these old World War II grenades, and he was showing Bob how to use it. As a kid it was like, ‘Wow! A grenade!’ It didn’t scare me, but it tested me.
“I was 12 when my father passed, so I didn’t have a father during my teenage years. I grew up doing stuff on my own, learning from my mistakes. But Bob was a strong person even in the hospital when I saw him a few days before he passed away. I was staring at him through the window of the door at the ICU, and I don’t think he liked me seeing him that way. He told me, ‘Move from the window. The last time we spoke, he called me and he said, ‘What’s up Young Bob. I have a song for you.’ And his song was, ‘On your way up / Take me up / On your way down / Don’t let me down.’ That’s all he said. And then I used that for a song called, ‘Won’t Let You Down.’ ”
Author: Marlow Stern
After a Business Observer story reporting that Marley Coffee was worth US$235 million, prompted a co-host of a popular morning radio programme to ask what does coffee have to do with Rasta. Rohan Marley, one of the lead investors in the project, was quick to respond.
“That’s because of a lack of knowledge. My father’s first song was One Cup of Coffee,” said the 40-year-old son of Bob Marley. He did not make mention of it, but in the same vein there is another song widely acclaimed as one of his father’s first two recordings that could also provide an answer. That song is called Judge Not.
Historians say that the Ethiopian ancestors of today’s Oromo people were the first to discover and recognise the energising effect of the coffee bean plant. Coffee beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees in over 70 countries, cultivated primarily in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
It is from that African-centred perspective that the fourth oldest offspring of the late reggae king remains steadfast to his Rastafari roots, arguing there is no conflict with his faith and his business venture.
“I don’t limit myself to anything,” said Marley. “Ask dem if dem know where coffee come from. You identify Rasta with Ethiopia, right. So nuh Ethiopia coffee come from.”
Marley said he got into coffee farming after his brethren Iqulah introduced him to his (Iqulah’s) property. “When we decided to buy the land we realised that the land had coffee. So I got into coffee,” he said of his foray into and his love affair with the product which led to the establishment of his international coffee brand, Jammin Java.
Rohan Marley was born May 19, 1972 to Janet Hunt and Bob Marley. He is perhaps the only son of the late reggae icon with the least interest in music, even though, he admitted, he flirts with the drum and guitar.
The 1991 graduate of Miami Palmetto Senior High School played American football for the University of Miami. He also played pro football in Canada for the now defunct Ottawa Rough Riders.
Now the co-founder of the privately owned coffee company, Marley is a passionate entrepreneur and visionary, combining his creativity and business acumen to create a self-sustainable and certified organic coffee farm which aims to help preserve Earth’s natural balance.
“My thing is more the coffee thing. But I do play instruments, a little bit. I can play the drum a little, and I can play couple songs on the guitar,” he told the Observer in an interview at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston on Wednesday, May 11, the 30th anniversary of his father’s passing.
Typical of his father, he was in the yard playing football when he was interrupted by this reporter to share some of his reflections on his dad’s passing.
“The only thought I have today is only just a slight remembrance of where I was on this date 30 years ago. That’s the only thought I have today,” he said. “It was same place where I am today, which is 56 Hope Road. Yes, I was right here in the yard doing the same thing that I’m doing now, which is kicking the ball. I was about to be nine years old.
“May 19 is my ‘Earthstrong’ (birthday), and I was just playing ball and when I got the news I kinda just smiled first like they were joking,” he said. “Then of course, it finally hit home. Then later I saw Steve (Stephen Marley) and Steve said Daddy said don’t cry. Steve was in Miami and I was here. He was there with Daddy, so when he came he brought the message — from a father to a son.”
He’s been dubbed the Master Blaster Jammer, the Black Moses, the Reggae King, modern day prophet and other fitting tributes.
These accolades only serve to confirm Robert Nesta Marley as undoubtably the most important figure in Jamaican and 20th century music. Unlike mere pop stars, he was also a religious figure and a major international record seller, a Rastaman whose Vibrations have shaken the world with tremors that will long outlive his short life.
May 11 this year marked the 30th annniversary of his death at just age 36 and WE Magazine today pays tribute to Marley with the excerpts from an article by Barbara Campbell featured in the 2010-2011 edition of the UK magazine Black Heritage Today.
There are some events in life that people will always know where they were when the shocking or heartbreaking news broke. From Martin Luther King’s assassination and Princess Diana’s car crash, to the Twin Towers in New York and the king of Rock and Roll, Elvis, passing. Such was the momentous moment when it was announced that Bob Marley had died.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the reggae icon’s demise, yet his music lives on to the point where even the youngest generations know his records. This is probably helped by the fact that no party is complete without Could You Be Loved, Redemption Song, One Love or Three Little Birds, plus many of Marley’s recordings are often used in many popular television adverts.
The rhythm guitarist and lead singer of ska, rocksteady and reggae band The Wailers, Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley (6 February 1945 to II May 1981) remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited with helping to take reggae music out of the socially deprived areas of Jamaica, onto the international music scene and, ultimately, a worldwide audience.
Born in the village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish, Bob’s father, Norval Sinclair Marley, was a white Jamaican of English descent whose family came from Essex, England. A captain in the Royal Marines as well as a plantation overseer, he married Cedetta Booker when she was just 18 years old. Whilst Norval provided financial support for his wife and child, he seldom saw them as he was often away on trips. In 1955, when Bob was ten years old, Norval died of a heart attack aged 60.
Marley left school at the age of 14 to make music with Joe Higgs, a local singer and devout Rastafarian. At a jam session with Higgs, he became friends with Peter McIntosh (later known as Peter Tosh) who had similar musical ambitions to him and another friend, Neville “Bunny” Livingston (later known as Bunny Wailer).
After forming a group called The Teenagers in 1963, they changed their names to The Wailers and when they were discovered by record producer Coxsone Dodd a year later, they became The Wailers.
After they broke up in 1974, reportedly after a disagreement with Dodd and because each of the musicians wished to pursue a solo career, Marley became known as Bob Marley and the Wailers, but singing with a trio of female backing singers called The “I” Threes – Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths and Rita Anderson. Rita became his wife in 1966.
Although Marley, a member of the Rastafarian movement, recognised his mixed ancestry, because of his beliefs he self-identified as a black African, following the ideas of pan-African leaders such as Marcus Garvey and Haile Selassie.
When faced with questions about his own racial identity, he once reflected, “I don’t have prejudice against meself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don’t dip on nobody’s side. Me don’t dip on the black man’s side nor the white man’s side. Me dip on God’s side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white.”
A central theme in Marley’s message was the repatriation of black people to Zion (Africa). In songs such as Babylon System and Blackman Redemption, he sings about the struggles of blacks and Africans against oppression from Babylon (the West).
Marley had his international breakthrough in 1975 with his first hit outside Jamaica, No Woman, No Cry, which was a great hit with UK audiences. This was followed by his breakthrough album in the United States,Rastaman Vibration (1976), which spent four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.
No-one who had ever experienced a Bob Marley concert could say they had sat still throughout. His energetic performance had people jumping up, singing along and dancing in the aisle. He brought a different element to the term “singer”. Whilst on stage, he spoke about things that mattered to him and engaged with the audience, dropping philosophical lyrics such as one song delivered message, “While you talk about me, someone else is judging you. God never made no difference between black, white, blue, pink or green.”
Marley’s philosophy was that everyone has the right of freedom and that “you should fight against the system” to achieve freedom.
He was a freedom fighter who fought against oppression in hopes of gaining freedom for himself and his followers, and was regarded as a symbol of freedom throughout the world, especially Third World and underdeveloped countries.
However, closer to home, a storm of dissention was brewing in his Jamaican community as politics of the country reared its head. In December 1976, two days before “Smile Jamaica”, a free concert organised by the Jamaican Prime Minister, Michael Manley, in an attempt to ease tension between the two warring political groups – Marley, Rita and manager, Don Taylor, were wounded in an assault by unknown gunmen who invaded Marley’s home.
The shooting was thought to have been politically motivated, as many felt the concert was really a support rally for Manley. Nonetheless, the concert proceeded and an injured Marley performed as scheduled to a crowd of 80,000, just two days after the shooting with members of a group called Zap Pow, which had no radical religious or political beliefs.
When asked why he performed, Marley responded: “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?”
Marley took a month-long sojourn to the Bahamas to recover from the assault and to write more lyrics. He then moved on to England where he spent two years in self-imposed exile. It was in the UK that he recorded what was one of his most famous and vibrant hits, Exodus, which stayed on the British album charts for fifty-six consecutive weeks. The singer’s album included four UK hit singles – Exodus, Waiting In Vain, Jammingand One Love.
Bob Marley died at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami (now University of Miami Hospital) on the morning of 11 May 1981 at the age of 36.
His final words to his son, Ziggy, were, “Money can’t buy life.” (BC/SS)