Today I share a profile of Bob Marley by writer Robert Hilburn which appeared in the L.A. Times on May 16, 1976. The profile, titled “Third World Theme of Bob Marley”, is published as a run-up to Marley’s now historic show at the Roxy on May 26, 1976. I also share a review of the show by Hilburn.
The show is now available as an official Island Records release. It is truly one of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ best performances ever recorded, and we are lucky to have this pristine recording now as an official release.
The show is historic for several reasons. Although Marley played a host of shows at the Roxy in 1975, this show at the Roxy is attended by the Hollywood and Rock & Roll music elite.
As you can read in the concert review, guests at this show included John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond, Robbie Robertson, Bernie Taupin, John Bonham, Linda Rondstadt, Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Art Garfunkel, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty…and the list of celebrities goes on.
Second, the band, set list, and atmosphere were perfect that night. The author of the review calls Marley “the most important new arrival in rock since Bruce Springsteen.”
There is no doubt, the notoriety and acclaim that Bob Marley and the Wailers received as a result of this show made them more palatable to the American audience. In my opinion, this is the show that broke them in the States.
An interesting note on this story that I received from journalist and renowned Marley historian Roger “Rojah” Steffens:
“I was on my way to Jamaica when this historic concert took place. When I came back home to L.A., the show was in wide circulation on cassette tapes, as it had been broadcast by local rock station KMET, and I immediately fell under its spell. Many years later Rolling Stone magazine asked me to select what I thought was Bob’s finest performance, and I recommended this one. It became one of the magazine’s Top Live Shows of All Time (25 or 50, I can’t remember which right now). Today I’d say it has to be Smile Jamaica, the most extraordinary live popular music show of the 20th century. But that’s another story.”
Click here to read profile titled “Third World Theme of Bob Marley”.
Click here to read concert review titled “Bob Marley Has Arrived”.
Since Bob Marley and the Wailers: Live At The Roxy is an official Island Records release, I am unable to share the audio files with you. However, click here if you would like to hear a sample track.