Title: The Marley Manuscript: Bob Marley- The Works and Days of Bob Marley
Author: Deanne Hochstetler Lucey
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: July 31,2013
Last year there were a handful of Bob Marley books that were seemingly published out of the blue with little or no advanced warning-at least for me. The ‘Marley Manuscript’ is one of those books. In fact at first glance it’s hard to ascertain exactly what book’s about but look closer and you realize this is a terrific addition to an already bountiful Marley bibliography. The few available details about it say it was written over a 30 year period and much of it is in Jamaican Patois. Upon receiving my copy of the book, I noticed the details within the book were also slim. Besides the author’s name and a very quick passage about the interviews being conducted following the passing of Bob there’s not much else. No year, no city, no publisher and no page numbers. But what it lacks in bibliographic information, it more than makes up for in content. And no worries, although it is written in Patois, most readers should have no problem overstanding it.
The majority of the contents are transcriptions to interviews conducted shortly after Bob’s passing in 1981 with several of his close friends. It’s a snap shot in time that thankfully the author had the wherewithal to capture for the benefit of us now. The interviewees are Seeco, Tartar, Tommy, Richie, Lipp, Bunny Wailer and Bob’s cousin Sledger, They show a side of Bob that does not get captured in the already well documented story of Bob Marley. Sledger gives us a fantastic glimpse into the world of a young Bob running around Nine Mile being a kid. He shares recollections about their grandfather and what Bob was like growing up. We all know that Bob had nicknames such as Skipper, Skip and Gong but some may not know that Bob also had the nickname of Skabba or Skabee and Sample. Each person’s recollection pass on just a small slice of their Bob Marley memory pie. It’s people like the ones interviewed who have personal memories of Bob that could be told for a lifetime.
There is a nice section on Haile Selassie and Rastafari that I’m glad was included in the book. One part mentioned that Nostradamus made predictions about Selassie, the invasion by Italy and his ignored pleas to the League of Nations.
There is one fantastic photo of Bob that graces the front and back covers. The rarely seen photo of Bob is from a meeting he had with Michael Manley in 1979. It was culled from the Jamaican Gleaners archives. In addition to the interviews and recollections there are song lyrics and poems about Bob by various authors. Deanne Lucey, the author worked at the Jamaican Gleaner and was a visitor to 56 Hope Rd., where she was able to meet and befriend many of Bob’s relatives including the man himself.
All in all, it’s a unique and cool book and is welcomed with open arms into the Marley Truthbrary. The price is low enough that no Marley lover will break their bank buying a copy.
Recently Deanne Lucey took the time to answer a few questions for us at the Midnight Raver Blog.We want to give her a Big Up and thanks.
Deanne, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with all of us here at the Midnight Raver Blog. So where were you born and grow up?
I was born in Iowa and grew up in Hesston, Kansas, a little town. But when I got to Jamaica it became instantly my home. It just felt right. It took me years to learn patois.
When did you first start working for the Jamaican Gleaner?
I started writing for the Gleaner as a weekly columnist in 1990. I also wrote articles for the Gleaner, often about music
When did you first start to notice the sounds of Jamaican music?
I had first noticed the sound of Bob Marley in about 1975 in the Bahamas on a jukebox. It was “Chase those Crazy Baldheads”. The record in the jukebox was warped and the music affected, but there was no doubt I wanted to know more. That’s the first I heard Bob’s music.
You mention on the info page of your book that you used to go by Bob’s yard. What years were you stopping by there?
I was stopping by Bob’s yard from 1979 on.
What was the scene like?
It was a friendly vibe in the yard. There were all these ragamuffins who were important.
Did you have any opportunities to listen in on some of Bob’s reasoning sessions?
I listened in on some of Bob’s reasoning sessions there in the yard.
Do you have any particular fond memories of 56 Hope Rd. that you would like to share with our readers?
One time I was sitting under the mango tree, reading a book and Bob came down the stairs at 56 Hope Road, dressed in his training clothes. I pretended not to be looking. He went a few steps past me, then spun around with a big smile on his face. He looked at me as if to say “I knew you were watching me”. Sometimes Bob would be at the juicy juice stand and I would be there too. He leaned his locks against me and his backbone too. His vibe was so strong! I felt like my knees would give out.
After Bob passed in 1981, it seems you searched out some particular people to interview about Bob. What made you decide to go do that and document their memories?
After Bob passed the yard was just so sad. We all sat there, waiting for that central energy that was gone. So everybody wanted to talk about Bob so I just said I should get this down. All the interviews took place in the yard (56Hope Road) except for Tata and Tommy and I went to Trenchtown to look for them.I wanted the book to be like a Bible, a true account of Bob Marley.
Did you always have the intention of making into a book and when did you finally decided to complete the manuscript and publish it?
I had many things I went through and I was starting to think it wouldn’t ever publish. But in 2013 I decided I wanted to share the memories and completed the manuscript.
Did you always know that you would be putting it out yourself or did you entertain the idea of shopping it around to one of the Jamaican publishers?
I had shopped it around a bit in 1995 and no one was interested.
Well it’s their loss because it’s a fantastic book and one I’m happy to add to my Marley truthbrary. I would think getting the word out about it would be a difficult thing and hopefully something we can help with here at the Midnight Raver Blog. Are you making a push to get the word out or simply letting it spread organically?
I’m glad it’s out now, and I am letting it spread organically. Thanks for being a part of that, respects to Midnight Ravers.
Well thank you for taking the time to chat with us Deanne.