by Robert Wilkinson
Today marks the birthday of Robert Nesta Marley, a genuine prophet of the religion known as Rastafari. While not the first one to bring reggae music to Babylon and the rest of our world, he was certainly the first Jamaican superstar, capable of moving millions. I had the blessing of getting up close when he performed in Austin about 30 years ago, and have never forgotten that concert for all kinds of reasons. Today I have some really great video of live performances from several different eras of his career, easily distinguished by the length of his dreads.
The Wailers, composed of Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh, set the all-time standard for Reggae music. After the Wailers dissolved, each had major solo careers, and set styles into motion that influenced countless artists for generations to come.
In a strange twist of irony, February 6th is also the birthday of Ronald Reagan. As I cannot imagine two individuals more disparate than Bob Marley and Ronald Reagan, I'll have to file this as just one more of those cosmic jokes in history, along with Jimi Hendrix, Caroline Kennedy, and "Buffalo Bob" Smith of Howdy Doody fame all sharing November 27th.
Anyway, I have some great videos of Bob in concert, so on with the show. First, the live performances!
One of the marching songs of all time! Bob performing Get up, Stand up live in concert.
Here's the song Eric Clapton made into a hit that awakened even more of the world to the power of Bob Marley's music. Bob Marley live in concert performing I Shot The Sheriff.
The powerful Africa Unite.
Here's great footage of Bob performing at the One Love peace concert in 1978. This was a major concert that tried to bring harmony and reconciliation to Jamaica's political process.
We now move on to a couple of non-performance music videos with stills.
Jah Rastafari! Happy Birthday, Bob. You would have been 64, and died way too young, but I suppose that's one element in the legend of many immortals.
© Copyright 2009 Robert Wilkinson