JOE’S REGGAE BOOKS

Joe Jurgensen is a lifelong Wailers and reggae fan, lover and collector. Within his collection of Wailers memorabilia, Joe has amassed an almost complete library or rather truthbrary of Bob Marley books. In 2009 after years of compiling Marley books, he published, ‘Bob Marley: The Complete Annotated Bibliography.’ He had help from many of his reggae friends around the world including his longtime Marley Mentor Roger Steffens, who wrote the foreword to the book. The book compiles all details & information including a synopsis and cover photo to over 400 Marley books. Joe’s Marley bibliography work continues on a daily basis and the second edition to his book is scheduled to be published in February, 2015.

In addition to his book, Joe has contributed Marley book related articles to reggae magazines such as The Beat and Riddim’. To date he has collected well over 400 books about the world’s most important musical figure. His book was the first of its kind and one he felt needed to be compiled and published to honor this great musician. In addition to Marley, Joe is also a committed Peter Tosh fan and was involved with Peter’s album ‘Live at the Jamaican World Music Festival’.

Joe can always be reached at joskiejoe@hotmail.com or his fb page 

His book can be purchased here 

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Half the story has never been told….

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#28 The Bob Marley HandbookTitle: The Bob Marley Handbook: Everything you need to know about Bob Marley
Author: a collaborative group of volunteers
Publisher:Tebbo 

Year:April 19, 2013
Pages: 539
ISBN: 9781488501999When you get a gift card for amazon.com and you want to spend it on something you wouldn’t normally spend your hard earned cash on, this might be the type book you go after. But!
It’s actually a pretty cool book. Whoever put it together did a hell of a job and they seemed to really separate the wheat from the chaff and present some solid entries. In a nutshell the book walks through the life and career of Bob Marley along with several (and I mean several) offshoots of his life. Such as sections on Gian Godoy and Lizzie Borden. The book is arranged in alphabetical order and moves along at a quick pace. This is part if a Wikipedia book series so all of the entires are from Wiki. When I ordered it with my Christmas gift card I was expecting some sort of small cheap type book but what I received was not that at all. It’s a rather hefty volume clocking in at 539 pages. So, here are the people that should buy this book; Marley book collectors, people just starting to learn about Bob, those wanting to know a lot more about Bob, those wanting a quick Marley reference guide at their finger tips and any other human who enjoys books.

Buy the book

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#27 Portrait of a Legend and other Folks
Photographer: Lindsay Oliver Donald
Words: Nesta Robert Marley
Foreword: June Walters Aust
Introduction: Carl Gayle / Jahug
Publisher: PoaLaoF
Place: London, UK
Year: 2013
Pages: 300
Binding: Hardcover w/ dust jacket
ISBN: 9780957651807
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I’ve stated many times that Marley photography books are some of my favorites. As long as they are filled with unpublished photos, they can keep publishing them until eternity as far as I’m concerned. So, with that being said this incredible tome is a wonderful new Marley photo book and so much more. Along with many unpublished insider photos of Bob, we get the added bonus of Lindsay Donald’s various other photos. And by various, I mean various. It seems that Lindsay was everywhere capturing perfect photos eight days a week. Not only all the reggae greats but subjects such as Lords, Dukes, bartenders, Muhammad Ali, Roger Steffens, a young Mike Tyson, a 1984 George Bush and many everyday common man. His photos are so varied that I can’t list them all. But, don’t fret my fellow reggae lovers because we are the targeted audience for this book. Lindsay has jam packed this, extremely heavy-in both ways, book with tons of classic reggae photos. We are treated to a heavy dose of all things Marley including several of Bob, Mother B, Rita and many of his children and other relatives. There are several shots of the inside of Mother B’s Miami home, which I find very interesting.  We also have some beautiful shots of Peter Tosh for all the Wolde Semayat fans. To be honest, I can’t even begin to relate all of the photos that fill this book.
The Marley pics are ones that even the most ardent fan will appreciate. From a photo of Bob cutting his 35th Earthday cake surrounded by children to Bob sitting with Ziggy and his young soccer teammates. The intimate shots of Bob that Lindsay was able to capture are priceless.  It’s an incredible body of work and one that Mr. Donald should feel extremely proud of.  He’s a true talent behind the lens. It’s been a long road for him in getting this book published but now hopefully he can ride this chariot of a book on more exciting journeys. Lindsay has travelled many miles around this planet of ours and thankfully has had a camera most of time. He was born in Jamaica but moved to the UK when he was 10. When he turned 19 he went to Sweden where his love of photography was born. He’s travelled to many countries and even spent 5 months in a Nigerian jail after being arrested for being a CIA spy. Of course the charges were eventually dropped and Lindsay was forward on. While back in Jamaica Lindsay befriended Bob in the early 70’s and quickly was granted access to Bob’s inner world. Lindsay spent many an hour at Hope Rd. and also became very close with Mother B.
In addition to the photos we get nice a nice foreword by June Walters Aust and a very interesting introduction by Carl Gayle. Lindsay also included some nice quotes by Bob that fill in the pages. The quotes were culled by Marley lover Tammy Beveridge who translated them from hours of Marley interviews.
The book comes with a hefty price tag but what you get for your money is a quality piece of art that will be enjoyed for years and will become a collector’s book. Each copy is being hand made by Bookbinders of London and it’s all printed on quality paper. Included with my copy were white gloves to keep the finger oils off of the photos and a POALAOF t-shirt. Once the order was placed the book arrived within a week. If you are looking to invest in a fantastic piece of art book that contains years of enjoyable photos, then this is your book.

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#26 The Marley Manuscript: Bob Marley-The Works and Days of Bob Marley

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

Pages: 94

ISBN: 9781491247686

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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.

Buy a copy of the book here 

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#25 12/2013 Remembering Peter Tosh

Title: Remembering Peter Tosh
Author/Compiler/Editor: Ceil Tulloch
Publisher: Ian Randle Publishers; Kingston, JA
Year: 2013
Pages: 134
ISBN: 9789766376512
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                                           2013 has been a very enriching year for Peter Tosh fans.  First we were treated to an exhaustive biography on the Bush Doctor by the esteemed John Masouri. Then, out of the blue (for me), we get the very cool release of Ceil Tulloch’s fantastic book on the Mystic Man. Titled, ‘Remembering Peter Tosh’ it’s written and compiled in a very interesting manner.  Instead of sticking to the typical research/biography format, Ceil reached out to 16 of Peter’s close friends, business partners and associates to get some of  their best and fondest memories of Peter. What we get is a very accurate and tangible sense of who Peter was behind the glasses and stereotypes.  In fact all of the recollections back up the person that John Masouri was trying to portray in his biography ‘Steppin’ Razor; The Life of Peter Tosh’. Unfortunately, during and after his lifetime Peter got the reputation of being a bitter confrontational and hard to get along with guy. But when the people who knew speak about him what you learn is that Peter was the opposite of the misguided reputation he had. In fact the people who knew him say he was incredibly kind, funny and actually could be a rule follower when required of him, out of the respect he had. In my opinion the bad reputation stuff can be attributed to a few journalist who tried to play games with Peter during interviews and leaned heavily on the Bob Marley comparisons almost as if to purposely provoke him. When you read or listen to some of Peter’s interviews, the answers he gives to these foolish questions are much more cordial than the answers I personally would have given. I feel he remained composed and extremely intellectual during all of his interviews. He had some serious clowns interviewing him who almost seemed to come with an agenda or failed to see the insults they were throwing at him.
This book fills a good void in the peter Tosh story. It will be read for years to come by fans and those seeking out some first hand  true information of the great Peter Tosh. Memories are recalled about Peter’s love of kids, animals and cooking to name a few. We hear about his songwriting and performing techniques. We learn about the introduction of his unicycle along with several funny incidents Peter was involved in. The 16 contributors are; Dermott Hussey, Norman O. Richmond, Desmond Shakespeare, Herbie Miller, Jayne Cortez, Dr. Omar Davies, Chuck Krall, Roger Steffens, Doug Wendt, Dick Wingate, Donald Kinsey, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, Fully Fullwood, Dennis Thompson and the Rev. Canon Ernle P. Gordon. At 134 pages it’s a quick read and one I wish were longer.  I could read first hand recollections like these for hundreds of pages. It’s insight like this that is so truly revealing. Simply hearing someone recall one story they fondly remember about Peter is such a delight.
In addition to the stories we are also treated to several lovely photos of Peter many from one of the contributors personal archives. Ceil writes a very nice intro along with other information tidbits to get a newcome to Tosh jump started if this is their first read up. The book also has an interesting foreword by Gary Steckles.
Like my feelings after reading Masouri’s book, works like this only reaffirms my livication and love for Peter Tosh. In fact when I learn more about Tosh I go back to his music with so  much more overstanding and appreciation. He is a true legend in the musical world side by side with Hendrix, Marley, Mozart and Lennon. Fortunately, the price is right and it should last several generations.

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#23 7/2013 Who? Bob Marley  
Title: Who? Bob Marley
Author: Hannah; Illustrator: White Whale
Publisher: Dasan Books
Year: June 15, 2012
Pages: 194
ISBN: 9788963707570
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Keeping with the children’s book theme, here is a pretty cool book I just picked up. It will for sure be included in the next edition of the bibliography and will land in the illustration chapter. In fact this is a very nice illustrated book. The style is very pleasing to the eyes and the story they tell (at least what I can follow in the illustrations) hits all the high points of Bob’s life. Interspersed throughout  the illustrations are pages of photographs and text about different subjects from Marley to Jamaica, Rastafari, partial Island discography,  and different seminal producers. The book is part of a sixty book series this being #60. The book is entirely in Korean so I can’t  decipher what the sections at the back are talking about but there seems to be a place for kids to write notes and other sort of charts. But all in all this is a very nice book for a Marley book collection. As with all illustration books, the drawings can be enjoyed by all even if you can’t read the language. My three year old daughter has enjoyed looking through it. Just a likkle something different for you this time around.
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back cover of book featuring one of the illustrations

a sample from the book to give you an idea of the artwork

a sample from the book to give you an idea of the artwork

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#23 6/2013 I AND I Bob Marley
Title: I AND I Bob Marley
Author/Illustrator: Tony Medina / Jesse Joshua Watson
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Years: 2009, 2013
ISBN: 9781600602573, 9781620140307
Pages: 48
Price: $19.95 (HC), $10.95 (PB)
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If you’ve ever seen a copy of my book ‘Bob Marley The Complete Annotated Bibliography’, you’ll notice that I include a chapter on illustration books. Fortunately, in the world of Bob Marley books there are enough illustration books to fill a entire chapter.  Many are done in a comic book style, some are geared strictly for the youth readers and some are incredible works of art that can be enjoyed by Marley lovers of all ages.  ‘I And I Bob Marley’ is one of those later books. Originally published in 2009 in a hardcover format, the book was well received and praised by Marley fans. The book is the story of Bob’s life written in a poetic style by Tony Medina accompanied by drop dread vivid paintings by the incredibly talented Jesse Joshua Watson. It’s 48 pages of  Bob’s story in very few words and fine paintings on a subject we can’t get enough of. Medina tells the story of Bob Marley through poems which are arranged in a very musical style. I find myself singing many of his words as I read the book. It’s a easy book to find and one I recommend to all readers especially those with likkle ones like the i. ‘I And I Bob Marley’ was published in a paperback edition in March of 2013. The price is right and the contents are priceless. Actually maybe not. Jesse Watson does sell his artwork. I look forward to the day I own a painting by him. His talent is immense. The duo of Medina and Watson is a match made in Zion.
Hardcover on left Paperback on right. There is a slight size difference of about 1/4"

Hardcover on left Paperback on right. There is a slight size difference of about 1/4″

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#22 5/2013 On the Road with Bob Marley: Mark Miller a White Knight in Babylon

Title: On the Road with Bob Marley: Mark Miller a White Knight in Babylon

Author: Mark Miller; Translation to French by Bruno Blum and German by Helmut Dierlamm

Year Published: France 2007, 2010; Germany 2011; U.S. 2013

Publishers: Scali 2007, Le Castor Astral 2010, hannibal-verlag 2011, Mark Miller/Theiconicimages.com 2013

Pages: 221, 208, 208, 220

ISBN: 9782350121666, 9782859208264, 9783854453499, 9780615760964

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For nearly the past five years English readers have been deprived of a very revealing and important book in the Marley catalogue. Mark Miller, along with Dennis Thompson were the roadies, instrument techs, stage and sound managers for Bob Marley & The Wailers. Dennis worked the stage monitors and sound including the set-up of Carly’s drums while Mark handled all of the other instruments and amps including Bob’s guitar. After much thought (and prodding by friends and family including his son Harrison), Mark finally penned his story for book form. The first tour stop for publishing it was France in 2007. With the help of reggae authority Bruno Blum in France, Mark’s book was put into print and Wailers lovers have been fortunate ever since.  The only problem for a guy like me and many others is that it was only published in France (twice) and once in Germany over the past five years. Although I’ve had all three editions in my truthbrary since publication, I’m unable to read them and therefore could not enjoy and experience the incredible journey Mark went on for nearly three years.  The photos included in the book are fantastic but I always yearned to read the text.

Fortunately 2013 saw the first English publication of this page turning story. Mark has published the book himself and we are now able to get a front seat on the tour bus through Babylon.  Mark recalls first meeting Bob and the rest of the band on a sunny July morning in 1978. He talks about going from show to show, setting up the stages and all that goes with it. This is the first time we BMW fans have been brought into that world and given a front row seat. We’ve had a manager, wife, friends and mother’s account, journalist’s recollections and interviews, and fantastic memories recalled by photographers but this is the first account by a tour insider who would have been involved in nearly day to day operations and dealings with Bob. Mark does a great job of guiding us through the 124 concerts he worked from July 14, 1978 through Sept 23, 1980. Mark gives his opinions and observations of how Bob and the other band members interacted and how life on the road was. Unfortunately, like so many other things in the world of Bob Marley it all got chaotic after Bob passed in 1981.

Along with his story Mark has packed this 15 chapter book with lots of other fantastic inclusions. Throughout the book are photos of Mark in various stages of work and lots of other photos of Bob and band members.  The book also includes two interviews Bob did in 1980 including one of his last with Anita Waters at the Essex Hotel while in NYC with The Commodores. Both are excellent interviews that ask quality questions and get some really special and interesting answers by Bob.   The book contains a discography which includes a large chronological list of the Marley “bootleg” CDs that have been produced by the dozens over the years. I actually find it interesting as I drift in and out of collecting those discs (the dime-a-dozen Lee Perry era CDs NOT live show bootlegs). Mark includes scans of several of his tour itineraries which are fascinating to read. Hey what can I say, we Wailers lovers and collectors want it all! The new English edition has a interesting interview with Mark by someone who seems to be from Germany. I don’t see the interview in the German edition but the German edition does contain the set lists from a few of Bob’s last shows. The French editions contain a short interview of Mark and interviews of Joe Strummer,Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff and Lee Perry by Bruno Blum.

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In comparing the four editions it seems they all contain the same content as far as Mark’s story but each edition has its own uniqueness and completely different layouts. The basic layout follows Mark from the beginning of his affiliation with BMW through the Stanley Theater show and beyond. He had stepped back into the fold working with The Wailers Band for several years after Junior asked him to come aboard. The book then goes into all of the fascinating final chapters.

As a reader, the most impressive part of the book is Mark’s brutal honesty.  Mark gives his thoughts on each band member which is certainly an interesting part of the book. He says it exactly as he saw and experienced it. This honesty is what allows the reader to get a better feel for what was going on and the personal dynamics that existed within this group of virtuoso musicians.

Bottom line is that this a great book and must have addition for you Marley book collection. Go buy a copy!

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Mark was kind enough to take some time and answer some questions for the Midnight Raver Blog. We want to send him a BIG Up and many thanks and praises! A great sign of thanks in return would be to purchase a copy of his book (it’s very inexpensive) and go on a fantastic tour. I’ll link to places to buy copies after the interview.

Thank you so much Mark for taking the time to chat with us. After all of these years what was the tipping point to make you decide to put pen to paper and tell your story with Bob and The Wailers?

“Well, for a long time it just never occurred to me that I had something to add to the mystery of Bob Marley. My kids just used to think I was Santa Claus as I went away on tour for up to nine months a year, and came home every so often with a bag of presents.. So after they grew up my younger son Harrison said to me, “Hey dad, with all these books about Marley, none of them tell what is was like inside the camp, or on the bus, so why don’t you write about it”… That kind of clinched it, as I had a lot of my friends over the years telling me I should do it too. Et voila, here it is, “On the Road with Bob Marley” is what came of it all, and I’m kind of happy with the way it turned out. I’m a very straight and honest guy, so I shared with readers my story, myinsights, and my heart as to what it was really like being part of Bob Marley & the Wailers crew. I can tell you there are some brutally honest things in the book, and some of the band might not appreciate it but it is all extremely revealing, and brutally honest.”

How did the association with Bruno Blum in France come about? So, did Bruno take your manuscript and translate it into French?

“Bruno and I have known each other for many years, and he’s always been around a lot of the shows I work at. He was another inspiring soul who pushed me into doing the book. Bruno added a lot to my manuscript and yes, he did do the translation. He also added some sections at the back of the French Edition which while I understand why he added them, I was not entirely happy with the result as it seemed to take away from the thrust of my story, but that is not to say it made it any less interesting. Quite the contrary.”

Do you speak or read French?  Were you ever able to read your own book or even review it?

“My wife Florence is French, and I do speak a little of the language and also understand a lot more than I can speak it. However, to answer your question, no, I did not read the French version ( I looked at all the pictures we put in it!) and with the German edition I’m able to understand the translations a lot more. To be honest, the book took a lot of soul searching and there were a lot of interested publishers asking for the ‘dirt’ on Marley, i.e. about drug use or girls.. And I would not, ever, talk about anything but the positive things Bob did to further his cause, and his music.”

A second edition was published in France in 2010.  How did it come about that another publisher wanted to publish the book?

The world is a big oyster.. There are people in France who wanted to read it, and in Germany too. So I went with the best people we could find. In the USA, I’ve just published the book in English myself. It’s pretty good now, although there are some typo errors which unfortunately the editor did not catch and I did not proof it.. Writing the story was hard enough. We are now talking to some Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian and additional language publishers. Marley is still the biggest reggae star there is, and this book is the only one so far from someone inside the group willing to say what it was really like..”

It seems to me that the foreign book publishers put a lot of love into their books and publish quality books. How was it dealing with your three foreign publishers? Do you feel like you were getting a fair deal with the publishers?

“In the current economic times, I gave myself the same advice I give to my music artist clients. Finding a deal is tough enough, and when you do find one, work hard, deeply and honestly to get what you need. You might not get what you want, but you can always find what you need.. Otherwise, the story, and a lot of artists CDs would be sitting in a box somewhere waiting to see the light of day…”

I can’t imagine the book has a huge distribution outside of France (if any) so I’m curious to know how well the book sold in France.  How many French readers are out there who will buy a book of this nature?

“You would be surprised… There are a lot of Marley and reggae fans in France..”

Did Bruno help put all of the memorabilia photos together or did you have a lot of those ready for inclusion?

“80% of the material came from me, plus stuff from friends of mine like Alberto Baschieri, Emmanuel Parata, and Ivan Serra..”

Those are three great guys and friends. They do incredible work in the world of Wailers documentation. The first edition of your book used the concert poster from the July 18, 1978 show in Santa Cruz but the second French edition of your book utilized the iconic photo of Bob back stage in California taken by Roger Steffens. How did it come about to use Roger’s photo?

“Roger and I have known each other since 1979. He is one of the most wonderful people on this earth. He and I try to get together whenever we’re in the same city, and when I asked him for a photo to use, he gladly gave permission for that photo. It’s on the second edition French version, the German version and now on the English version too…”

I could not agree more about Roger. He is a dear friend and an incredibly kind soul. A legend himself in the reggae world. So, how did the German issue come about?

“I was introduced to Monika Koch who is the head of Hannibal Publishing in Germany by a friend of mine named Peter Sehm. Monika took one look at the story and said “we have to have this!”… The rest, well, you’ve seen the great job they did on the book. Personally, so far I think the best version is this German one, next to my own English version of course!”

Do you know how well it has sold?

“Depends on where you are asking about.. In France I think it did okay, in Germany, Switzerland and Austria we’ve already cleared the advance so they must be doing things right, and we’ve just released the English version at www.reggaefestivalguide.com/marleybook this past week.”

It’s great to know they sell so well. As a Marley bibliophile that makes me extremely happy. I know I’ve been pestering you for the past few years on the publishing of an English edition.  I’m sure others have as well.  What finally happened to make an English edition available?

“I could not wait any longer as too many people were asking when the English version was coming out, so I got up off my arse and published it myself!”

When you put out the English edition did you use your original manuscript or did you try to translate back into English what had been translated into French and German?

“We used my original English manuscript, and added extra images and memorabilia to make it the “Special Edition” for all the English readers..”

I can’t say it enough, it’s a great book. I have a lot of books about Bob and yours is way up there fe sure. Are there any future plans for the book as far as book signings or things of that nature?

“I’ve just signed a new deal with a major digital publisher and we’re in the midst of discussing this exact subject. I love to go around the world anyways so I’ve told them I’m up for anything and everything we can do to promote the book, including book signings, TV shows, radio etc”

Good News! Is it nice to know that there is a large audience who loves to learn more about Bob and especially his shows?  There are several fans who have livicated their lives to documenting everything they can about as many shows as possible.

“Yea, there are some really ‘deep’ people out there who have to know everything there is to know about Bob.. Well, I’ll share with you and them there is some stuff in this book thatnobody outside the camp knows..”

Is it strange to see how Bob has become an almost godly figure to so many people?  You knew him when he was just a struggling artist going from gig to gig trying to spread his message.

“When I joined on July 14th 1978, the group was just beginning to do bigger shows, bigger halls and venues. By the time Bob got sick and we had to cancel the last American tour on Sept 23 1980 in Pittsburgh, we were doing football stadiums and filling them. So you can guess how things took off. Bob’s music and message will never die. It will never stop. It is something like the words from a Bible which will never ever die until time stops…”

Would you be surprised by the attendance of some shows?

“The only time I think we all were really surprised was in Italy when about 180,000 kids turned out for the show.

Did Bob ever discuss attendance or the type of audiences he was attracting?

“No direct words were spoken that I can remember but to be honest, the Marley audience as is the reggae audience of today are mainly white, middle class, disaffected kids..”

Did you ever get involved with actual tech stuff as far as working on Bob’s guitar etc. or was it mainly all speakers and stage set-up?

“ I was responsible for Bob’s guitar while we were on the road as well as most of the stage equipment. Dennis Thompson handled all the monitors and front of house sound set up while I took care of the stage..”

Since you handled Bob’s guitar did you change his strings?

Yes, I was responsible for this. 

Do you recall what strings he preferred and possibly the gauge?

After all these years, to be honest I do not remember exactly the type, but they were probably Ernie Ball strings. And the way Bob got the great  ‘scratch’ sound you all hear, was the strings were like piano wire! The low E was something like a .49 gauge string or something like that. I don’t recall the exact sizes but the guitar was strung very heavy on the string gauges. I probably could find some old paperwork in the boxes in my cellar to give you the sizes, but suffice to say the strings were all very heavy gauge. And he used to hold the pick and use the side of the pick to pull it across the strings, giving you the real “chuck a chucka” sound on all the records… A very unique way of playing I can tell you…””

Would his Les Paul always come back with him to his hotel room or did Bob bring a hotel room acoustic guitar?

“Yes. I would take the guitars always with us wherever we went. And in regards to the acoustic question, it was not until he got the Ovation acoustic in l980 that he carried one. That Ovation is the guitar I first heard him play “Redemption Song” on. We were at a rehearsal in Miami just before starting a tour and a German film crew came to film an interview. Bob came into the rehearsal room carrying this brand new Ovation and they all started talking. the film crew set up, and Bob pulled up a chair, sat down, and began singing Redemption. This is a piece of history that the German’s actually have in an interview on film.. It was the very first time we all heard that track.”

I think about Bob being on the road for so many days and nights with all of those little kids at home. Did he ever talk about missing his kids or anything of that nature?
“Never heard anything about this, as on numerous occasions Ziggy and Stevie Marley came on tour with us..”
Did Bob travel with a wardrobe or how did he pick out what clothes he was going to wear for the day and the shows?
“ I think he had a keen eye on what he wanted to look like, and perhaps it was Rita who helped him with this..
Did he travel with a lot of tennis shoes or just a pair or two and some boots?
“Boots and football boots…Never saw any tennis shoes…”
Did Bob ever talk about the assassination attempt with you or did you ever hear him discuss at all with anybody?

“Only in heated discussions when he would refer do ‘dem who tried to kill me, dem not succeed, God not let dem succeed’..

Is there a memory from your time with Bob that you would like to share with us?

“Bob Marley was one of the most genuine, talented, kind and respectful men I’ve ever met. And in this crazy reggae business I can tell you there are not a lot of people who even come close.. I work with a lot of artists now, and luckily I am in a position to be able to choose artists. And I choose them on the model of Marley. By this I mean these artists now have an honesty, grasp of business, talent, and drive that Bob had. I’m now managing or representing artists like Lucky Dube’s daughter Nkulee Dube, Warrior King, Don Carlos, Turbulence, my “Tosh Meets Marley Tour’ with my pal Fully Fullwood. These are the type of people like Bob. No ego crap. Just hardworking musicians with a message and music.. Be positive, that is what it is all about… “

If you had to describe what kind of a person Bob was off the stage and with no journalists or photographers around, how would you describe him?

“Fun loving football player.. jahaahaahaaah MM”

Where is the best place for our readers to buy a copy of your fine book?

www.reggaefestivalguide.com/marleybook

Thank you so much Mark for taking the time to chat with us and our readers here at the Midnight Raver Blog and for putting your very important story into print.  It’s another aspect of Bob’s life that needed to be documented.  Is there anything else you would like to add?

“Love and bless always to all your readers, and thanks for keeping the music alive…Love and bless, MARK”

 Love and Blessings right back at you Mark!

Below are the links to purchase Mark’s book. I encourage everybody to buy a copy. The price is extremely affordable and once a major publisher picks up the English edition, Mark edition will become an instant collector’s item.

English Edition BUY

German Edition BUY

2nd French Edition BUY

1st French edition (one copy available at this link-hardest of them all to find) BUY

A nice Interview of Mark by Ivan Serra for Bob Marley Magazine.com HERE

Interview of Mark by the Wailers News. This is the interview that’s in the French editions HERE

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4/2013

“Not I, but the Most High in I”

One of my favorite books is ‘Joseph A Rasta Reggae Fable’ by Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah. The third edition of the book has just been published and Barbara was kind enough to take some time and discuss it with the Midnight Raver Blog. Barbara is a Jamaican author, journalist and filmmaker.  She has written several books on topics that include  Rastafari, reggae and home schooling.  Barbara was an instrumental leader in Jamaican home schooling making history with her own son who was appointed Youth Technology Consultant to the Jamaican Government at age 13.  Following the interview is a profile of the book and plenty of links for Barabara.

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First off Barbara, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us here at the Midnight Raver Blog and to share your story with our reggae loving readers.

It’s both a pleasure and an HONOUR to be in touch with Midnight Raver. I don’t know how come we are just meeting, given the mutual interest we share in our beloved brother, Bob Marley, but everything in its own time, so JAH say.

Well it’s nice to finally link up. Where were you born In Jamaica and where did you grow up?

I was born in Kingston to a well-off Black Jamaican father, a magazine editor, and grew up there. Went to a very posh high school in the country first, then back to Kingston to graduate around the time of Jamaican Independence. Worked with my Dad as a journalist, then as a PRO in an advertising agency.

I understand you moved to the UK in 1964 then back to Jamaica in 1972 and that’s when you found the way of Rastafari.  Before you left Jamaica, were you aware of The Wailers and their burgeoning career at Studio 1?

When I left Jamaica, I knew little about Jamaican music. It was the time of rock-n-roll and my musical heroes were Fats Domino, the Platters and the white pop stars like Elvis, Pat Boone, Bobby Darrin.  I was very ‘Uptown’ and the early music was considered ‘Downtown’ and not for ‘nice young ladies’ like I was supposed to be.

While in England I got to know my Jamaican music. I knew some of the people around Chris Blackwell in the early days of Island Records, people like Millie Small, the actress Esther Anderson and Sally Densham who married Perry Henzell. I once went to the airport with a friend to pick up Jimmy Cliff just arriving in England to work with Island.  While I was working in PR in London, I remember my English secretary asking me to translate the words of Desmond Dekker’s “Double O-Seven Shantytown” and I could hardly overstand the words! I was really removed from my culture, didn’t even know it existed.

While in the UK during the late 60′ and early 70’s do you recall hearing any of The Wailers music?

I didn’t hear any Wailers music till I got back to Jamaica in 1972. My first real exposure to reggae was in 1971 with the movie.THE HARDER THEY COME. I was working as an Assistant Producer on the BBC-TV show ‘Man Alive” and we had just come back from doing a documentary on the Cannes Film Festival, when Chris Blackwell called and asked me to be the PRO for the launch of Jamaica’s first feature film.  I sat and watched the film and heard the treasures of reggae pounding under the most incredible story about a side of my own country I didn’t know, and it blew my mind. Here was some beautiful, unique, original, spiritual music, and I could hardly dance to the beat! It wasn’t until I had seen the film several times and heard the music, that I finally found the ‘one drop’ beat in Toots song “Pressure Drop”. That was the first time I overstood myself as a JAMAICAN.  It made me want to leave England immediately and re-connect with my country, so I did just that. I packed up and left England for good.

Before you left, do you remember hearing about Bob Marley and Johnny Nash in 1971 or the Wailers in72′ when they would have been playing select shows in England?

Never went to a Marley show in England. These happened after I came home.

What made you check into Rastafari when you returned to Jamaica?

Even before I came home, I was checking Rastafari.  I had lived in England during the conscious-raising Sixties, when the Beatles made Swinging London, Angela Davis ran the Black Power Movement, the Hippies led anti-Vietnam-war movement of “Make Love Not War”. They had all influenced my growth, so by the time I saw THE HARDER THEY COME  and the Rastafari culture in it, I could see Rasta as the logical progression of my socio-spiritual education and life.

In your first book ‘Rastafari: The New Creation’ you have a fantastic chapter on your relationship with Bob. You first met Bob and the band in 1972 and got better reacquainted in 74′. Do you remember noticing a change in Bob in those two years?

When I came home at the end of ’71, Blackwell asked me to take some US music journalists on a tour of Kingston and to meet a new group he had just signed. I went up to 56 Hope Road and was introduced to Bob Marley by my old friend Esther Anderson, who was his girlfriend at that time. The Wailers had had some local hits and were known locally, but this was the early years before Bob’s locks grew and he became world famous.  Bob never changed, ever. That’s why it’s sometimes amusing, and always shocking to see how famous this ordinary man, our friend, became.  He always was the same man, humble, funny, strong, warrior, thoughtful, spiritual, down-to-earth. Never changed.

You recall a time when a group of you were hanging outside of Hope Rd. and Bob started to sing and sing. Can you please tell us more about that moment? Was Bob laying down on his car or sitting? How long did this last? Was he singing songs you were familiar with mixed in with new songs or improvised lyrics?

I worked at the Office of the Prime Minister in the 70s, which was two steps away from 56 Hope Road, and I lived within walking distance, so I would stop at Bob’s on my way home some evenings. It was one such evening and Bob and his bredrin were around the back reasoning and smoking and enjoying life. Bob just picked up his guitar – Dermot Hussey was there – and said: “See some new songs I am working on…” and just started to play, song after song, music after music, some complete, some just snatches, like water flowing from a river.  When we all just marvelled, Bob just smiled and shrugged of the praise, saying: “Not I, but the Most High in I”.  It’s a phrase I’ve never forgotten and used often since then, because it says exactly where anything worth praising comes from. I don’t know which songs they were, or if any of them ever became songs we know. It was just a very special moment as the dusk shadows dropped on a beautiful Rasta evening.

It’s an amazing story and experience, thank you for sharing it with us. Were you ever present for any band rehearsals? If so do you recall any specifics or special moments?

Once I was in the Hope Road studio while he and Rita and the band were recording “I’m A Black Survivor” and he was finding the lyrics for the lines: ‘Some people got hopes and dreams, some people got ways and means.’  When he was satisfied, he decided to take a rest, so he lay down on the ground in front of the stool I was sitting on. He slept for a while, when Neville Garrick came up to me and started talking. Bob woke up, and I got a feeling like a little lion had jumped out of my lap and stood up. I remember it clearly, like he had put his spirit to rest in my lap as he slept.

When was the last time you saw Bob?”

I had a job as PR for the City of Kingston and had suggested, among other things, that the Keys to the City be given to Harry Belafonte, Ranny Williams (a beloved actor/comedian in his last days) and Bob.  The answer came back: “Yes to Bob Marley if he will cut his hair and stop smoking ganja.” I sadly had to give Bob their answer, because I had come to him before to ask if he would accept the Keys if I recommended him. He had agreed “Jus’ because is you ask me, Barbara.” It was the last time I saw Bob. He had some visitors (a famous musician who was in awe of meeting Bob — forget his name). Then he played some football, Bob as usual against the rest of the men on the field, and Bob as usual the BEST player on the field. Then he sat down to rest and read from the autobiography of Emperor Haile Selassie. “You read this yet, Barbara?” he asked. I had not. “What?” he was astonished, but smiling. “You fi read it, Sis.”  When I had to leave, he called someone and told him to drive me home. “Carry her whichever part she wan’ go!” were his instructions to the man and the last words I heard from Bob.

Did you also get to know Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer or any of the other band members?

I got to know Peter after he left the Wailers. I lived close to him up in Red Hills above the City, and sometimes he gave me a ride down hill. But Peter was a very closed person, especially after his beautiful girlfriend died in a car crash – driver going the wrong way down a one-way street. Peter was devastated for more than a year, then he just grew very sad, other than when he was performing. He wasn’t easy to be close to, like Bob was. I didn’t get to know Bunny till in these late years.

You second book (and the one we want to really spread the word about here) is ‘Joseph-A Rasta Reggae Fable’.  I won’t give the story away to our readers but in a nutshell it is a fantastic fable about Joseph,a Third World reggae star who gains worldwide fame and then fades off into the African sunset. Marley fans will easily recognize the parallels between the book’s character and the life of Bob Marley. Except for the end unfortunately.  What made you decide to write a book of this nature as opposed to a more intimate Marley biography based on your own experiences with Bob and reggae? 

A lot of people have written Marley biographies and assessments of his work, but I haven’t read any that show the Rasta side of Bob. They can show lots of red,gold and green icons, Bob’s photos, performances and interviews, but they can’t explain what it was that made this Rastaman so enormously successful. Dylan and Springstein have had hits and become famous, but none have overtaken the world as this dreadlocks Black Rastaman. Only a Rasta can explain it. As Bob says, “Who feels it, knows it.”

The Rasta side of Bob is the secret of Bob’s success.  When you are Rasta, you know how the knowledge gives you access to great powers, great spiritual awareness, and out of that, great success.  People outside Rasta can only look on and marvel, but it’s necessary to come within to fully OVERstand Rasta.  So I decided to write a book about Bob from inside a Rasta mind. Each Chapter begins with a Bible verse, not just to refer to what is coming and what inspired the chapter, but to bless it and to make sure I kept the fullness of Rastafari within it.

I also wrote it because I WISH Bob’s life had gone more like the story.  I wish Bob had made a pilgrimage to Lalibela, even to Ethiopia in his lifetime. He would still be alive, I think. And I wish Bob had been taken to warm, healthy, herbal Jamaica to recover, rather than to icy cold, dark Germany (not my favourite European country!) and to a former Nazi scientist a.k.a ‘doctor’. He would definitely still be alive.  It seems to me, looking on from the start in 1972 to today, that Bob’s life got taken over by the merchandising department, consisting of people who knew nothing whatever about Rastafari, only about money.  All the Rastafari power that could have protected his life, was removed from around him and in its place were the weirdest assortment of hangers-on persuading Bob to follow the Babylon road of sex, drugs and rock-n-reggae. I say in the livication to my book that it is ‘… what could have been, and what should have been…”

How long did the writing process take?

I started writing it just after my son was born, writing by pencil and lamplight, hoping it would become a best-seller and provide me income to be the stay-home Mom I intended to be.  It took me about 4 years to complete, from handwritten, to typed on paper, to finally text on a computer.  And It hasn’t yet become a best seller, but it has fed us a few meals 🙂

How did you decide to publish it through your own company as opposed to shopping it around?

I tried to get a publisher in Jamaica, but no one was interested. This was in the days before the internet where you can look for international publishers, or even make a digital copy. So I got the money to pay the printer, and lo! JOSEPH came to life!!

The second printing was published in 1992 and had a completely new cover.  Why was the choice made to create a new cover?

I found that potential buyers didn’t overstand the lettering or artwork of the first cover although I loved it. Then I got Tekla Ab (Thorold DeMercado) to do illustrations for the second edition, and decided to use one of them as the cover.

How did the idea come about to include those illustrations by Tekla Ab?

By the time I published JOSEPH, I had published “RASTAFARI – THE NEW CREATION and found that people loved it because it had so many illustrations.  I remember when books of old used to have illustrations that gave you pictures from the story, so I decided to do that. I still think that’s the best edition of the book.

Do you recall how many copies of the first edition and second printing were made?

I printed 500 copies of each edition. I personally went around the island trying to get it into shops.  Then Novelty Trading Company, the island’s only book distributor, took some copies as they were starting up a section for books by Jamaicans to go with their Jamaica postcard section, so they took copies and put them in their outlets in tourist resorts and the airport. Most people bought copies at the airport or their hotel, but copies were sold at the leading local pharmacies and bookstores.

At the time did it catch the attention of any media in Jamaica or abroad?

I got a review in the GLEANER, which was then the only newspaper, and a photo of one of my book signings at a local hotel. Other than Rasta message boards, the book went virtually unnoticed outside Jamaica.

Fast forward 14 or 15 years and MacMillan Education approaches you I assume, to publish a new edition of the book.  How did that come about?

Novelty was impressed with the sales of both my RASTAFARI book, and now JOSEPH. It was they who recommended the book to MacMillan, who publishes most of the Caribbean’s school textbooks, as well as some literature.

What was is like to be contracted with a large publishing company like that?

It wasn’t a good experience. First of all, it took them 3 years from signing the contract to publication. I regretted the time wasted just as interest in the book had been building up. Then, worst of all, they published the book with a cover I had not approved.  Approval of the cover was in my contract and they sent me artwork which I approved. Then they sent the finished book to me with a cover I had not even seen! They had removed the pictures of the Emperor and the flag from the artwork, splashed white paint in the center and – worst of all – changed the dreadlocks man’s hair into the hair of an Asian man. It made the book look like a cheap, amateurish rip off book by someone trying to capitalize on Rasta and I knew the book would not sell well with that cover.

I protested, but MacMillan said IF the 2000 copies they had printed sold off, they would change the cover for the next printing. Needless to say, by the time my contract with them was over, more than half of their print run had not been sold. I think they pulped the rest, I know they got Jamaica to send them back any remaining copies. Needless to say, I could not afford to sue them, so I have just had to suck it up and wish them a reward of their evil.

The cover I originally approved is the cover I am using on this new edition.  Since they never used it, there’s nothing stopping me. I rather hope they sue me, so I can bring out the whole story in court and get compensated.

So here we are in 2013 and you just published the third edition of this great book back again on your own imprint, Jamaica Media Productions. What made you decide to publish it again through JaMedia Productions?

I have been a writer all my life, made my living all my life from the things I have written. My books are the only remnants of that life, and the only pension I have in my old age, so I will continue to re-publish and market them as my main source of income – however small it is.  They are also the legacy I leave to my son and his children, so now that books can be published digitally so easily, it’s time to upgrade all my publications and make sure they are available for people to read.

How do you feel right now about the state of Bob Marley’s legacy and the publishing of your book at this particular moment?

I hope my book reminds some people of what the Red, Gold and Green culture used to be like in the early days, in the glorious Rasta Reggae Seventies. I am sad that Bob is not remembered today as a Rasta pioneer for Black repatriation to Africa (EXODUS) and  as a teacher of the Rastafari faith (HAILE SELASSIE IS THE CHAPEL).  Instead he is remembered as the man who asked Blacks and Whites to love one another because he was both Black and White – a good message, but not as complete as the strength of the Rasta message he brought to the world – JAH LIVE.  Bob is now little more than a merchandising symbol to sell Babylon products and albums of his more uncontroversial songs. You hardly ever hear “Johnny Was a Good Boy” or “Three O’Clock Road Block” or “Small Axe” played these days. Only “One Love” and “No Woman No Cry”. “Small Axe” is one of the most revolutionary songs to ever come out of reggae. Peter Tosh now seems to be rememered for more Rasta Psalms than Bob (IN THE BEGINNING, CREATING SOLDIERS FOR JAH ARMY, VAMPIRES, etc) because of the songs now being played. Peter’s revlutionary spirit is not being hidden by his management.

Bob was a revolutionary to us while he was here, he was a Steve Biko, a Malcolm X and a Huey Newton, so it’s sad to see a life-size picture of Bob in a Niagara Falls convenience story selling energy drinks beside the condom rack.  I would have expected the Million$$$ he left behind to be funding an international Rasta bank, Rasta businesses, Rasta resorts, Rasta books, Rasta schools, Rasta travel agencies….  But instead, Bob is just another brand name now, a business, and it diminishes his status as a Black Hero and Rasta teacher. Yes money is good, but Rastafari already showed I&I to avoid Babylon’s money trap that Bob is sunk in now.  Bob’s money was his blessing from JAH for the world, not just for his children’s children, or for the music business moguls to become billionaires.

There is a trailer for a movie of JOSEPH on youtube (the link is below after the book profile). Can you tell a little more about it?

People have said JOSEPH should be made into a movie, and as a film maker, I would love that to happen. I got some funding to make a trailer in the hope of interesting investors, and the script is ready for such a blessing.  I have Lennox Lewis, Earl Chinna Smith, Tarrus Riley among other, ready to star in it, so I hope there is an interested producer reading this.

I can say is that JOSEPH is one of Roger Steffens favorite books, it’s one of mine and I know many others who absolutely love it. So on behalf of all our readers here at the Midnight Raver Blog and Marley book lovers worldwide we thank you for your time. We also thank you for writing and publishing this great story. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers or a place where they can find out more information about you and your works?

I have a personal Facebook page, and also a page each for my books RASTAFARI – THE NEW CREATION’, ‘GROWING OUT – Black Hair & Black Pride’ – my autobiography about early life and years in England, and ‘HOME – THE FIRST SCHOOL’ advice and information gained from homeschooling my son Makonnen.

I am totally humbled to know that my book is so highly regarded by you all at Midnight Raver.  I can’t thank you enough for the exposure here and now, and the encouragement that the work was well done. Giving nuff Thanks and Praise, as Bob would say, “Not I, but the Most High in I.”

JAH BLESS

#21 3/2013  Joseph A Rasta Reggae Fable

Title: Joesph- A Rasta Reggae Fable

Author: Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah

First Edition: 1991, Jamaica Media Production, ISBN: 9768091118

Second Printing: 1992, Jamaica Media Production, ISBN: 9768091118

Second Edition: 2006, Macmillion Education, ISBN 140506143x

Third Edition: 2013, Jamaica Media Productions, ISBN 1482678896

First Edition

First Edition

Most Bob Marley books fit into one of the standard categories such as biographies, photography or songbooks. But fortunately one in particular that creates its own category is ‘Joseph- A Rasta Reggae Fable.’  As the title suggest it is a fable about Joseph, a “fictional” reggae musician from the Third World who rises up to worldwide fame only to ride off into the African sunset.  Sound somewhat familiar? Written by the wonderful Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah and first published by Jamaica Media Productions Ltd. In 1991 this book has had three editions published to date.  The first edition and second printing were both published by Jamaica Media Productions and each has its own beautiful artistic cover.   Macmillian Education out of Oxford, England published a second edition in 2006.  Jamaica Media Productions has just published the third edition. It is now an easy book to find and one I highly suggest to all Marley lovers.  After my first read, it instantly became one of my favorites. For those that know the Bob Marley story the fable will flow right along but Barbara will always throw in a few surprises for you.  It’s a happy ending and one I wish could have been a reality.

Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah is a Jamaican author, journalist and filmmaker.  She has written several books on topics that include  Rastafari, reggae and home schooling.  Barbara was an instrumental leader in Jamaican home schooling making history with her own son who was appointed Youth Technology Consultant to the Jamaican Government at age 13 years.

L-R first edition, second printing, second edition

L-R first edition, second printing, second edition

 

Buy book and learn more about Barbara

Movie Trailer

Rastafari The New Creation facebook page

Growing Out FB page

Home-the first school fb page

Photo Gallery

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GREAT POSTERS AVAILABLE!
Here’s a great opportunity to purchase some great Bob Marley posters.  These are collector’s items not posters you find at the mall or on ebay. These are the real deal designed by Colleen Cannon. Read about how she designed the original for a Bob Marley concert and how you can now own a copy. I have 2!
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#20 2/2013 Bob Marley: Reggae King of the World by Malika Lee Whitney and Dermot Hussey
Title:Bob Marley Reggae King of the World
Authors:Malika Lee Whitney and Dermot Hussey (Foreword by Rita Marley), Layout and design by Troy Caine
Publishers: Kingston Publishers Limited, , E.P. Dutton, Pomegranate, Plexus, LMH Publishers, Daiei, Minotaurus Projekt
Years:1984-2013
Pages:200; 2013 edition has 208 pages. 
ISBNs: see below
2013 LMH Publishers Jamaican edition

2013 LMH Publishers Jamaican edition

Are you in search of a essential Bob Marley book from Jamaica loaded with tons of Jamaican flavor?  I thought so. Well, you probably already have a copy but if not, the book for you to get is ‘Bob Marley Reggae King of the World’ by Malika Lee Whitney and Dermot Hussey.  First published in 1984 by Kingston Publishing, it has been licensed to publishers in the U.S. (E.P. Dutton, Pomegranite), UK (Plexus), Japan (Daiei ) and Germany (Minotaurus Projekt).  The publishers have published several different editions and printings over the years but all (besides Japan) have kept the original look. The cover, spine and contents have been identical.  Until now!  LMH Publishing (formerly Kingston Publishers) has put a new look to this classic book in addition to new content. The book with the new look just hit the shelves on Feb 18th and may only be “easily”  available in person in Jamaica for the time being. Hey, great excuse for a trip to Yard. You can also order the book online through LMH’s website (see link below).

Now about the book for those of you who have never seen a copy.   It’s a great book that has always been heralded as a classic.  It contains tons of photos of Bob, Jamaica and roots in general. The book includes several photos from Bob’s state funeral as well as live and candid photos. The bulk of the book centers around original interviews of Bob, Rita, Mother B, Family Man, Neville Garrick, Cindy Breakspeare, Skill Cole and Judy Mowatt The interviews are all informative and interesting. The other tidbits included in this book also help to ensure it’s classic status such as a map of BMW tour routes, a Island/Tuff Gong album recap, short bios of the major figures of The Wailers band, sample of album and single output and a nice 10 page newspaper and magazine article section. One of the highlights of the new addition is an exchange of Halie Selassie I photos. On page 106 of the old edition a grainy photo of the Emperor on a coach is used, the new edition puts in a crisp clean incredible photo by the Jamaican Gleaner of H.I.M. walking in front the Jamaican Army……Army? a photo of Skill Cole is also added. In addition to the photos, a page on Bob’s children who are working in music or the world of Marley is added.  A cool addition is a nice shout out to another great book. Noted at the bottom of the Discography page in the book is; *Refer to Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography for the complete works of Bob Marley and the Wailers.

The cover you will most likely see.

The cover you will most likely see.

The publishing goes like this……First published in 1984 in Jamaica and the U.S. by Kingston Publishers Ltd. (ISBN: None listed) and E.P. Dutton (ISBN: 0525480889) respectively. Then Plexus in the UK published the first UK edition in 1989 (ISBN: 0859650685). A second edition was published in 1994 in the U.S. by Pomegranate Artbooks (ISBN: 156640987x). Pomegranate published a second edition, and third total U.S. printing, in 1998 (ISBN: 156640987x). LMH Publishing Ltd. supposedly published an edition in 2001 (ISBN: 976625060x) but I’ve been unable to locate a copy. Their new 2013 edition does not cite a 2001 edition only the 1st 1984, 2nd 1994, 1998 reprint and it list 2013 as the third edition.While waiting to obtain a copy of the new edition, I encourage you to grab a copy of any of the other editions.  Most editions are easy to find and more than affordable clocking in at $10 or below. The 1995 Japanese edition (ISBN: 4886825885) will be harder and much more costly to find as well as the 1984 German edition (ISBN: 3921982200) but nice to obtain if you can. I’ve never been able to locate a German edition. All editions (besides an interesting library copy I own) are paperback books. The Japanese edition does have a dust jacket on top of the paperback book.
Note, I’m spelling Demott with two ‘T’s’ as it’s printed in the book (even the new edition with the new cover design has two T’s) but he spells it with one ‘T’ on his facebook page and Sirius Satellite channel.
Japanese edition

Japanese edition

Interesting hardcover library binding edition I have.

Interesting hardcover library binding edition I have.

LMH website
Buy older editions
Dermot Hussey info
Malika Lee Whitney info

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#19 1/2013 Bob Marley: Catch a Fire by Timothy White

Title: Bob Marley Catch a Fire
Author: Timothy White
Publisher: Several but main ones are Henry Holt/Owl (U.S.) and Omnibus (UK)
Year Published: 1983-Present
Pages: Most clock in around 500 + pages
IMG_3496
Happy New Year!
What can I say about the book Catch a Fire by Timothy White that has not already been printed numerous time?  Really not too much. In my opinion it’s a fun biography.  I read it the first time my Freshman year of college in 1993 and again in 1996 on my way to Barbados. I have browsed through it numerous times since then and recently re-read it for this overview.  There are things I like and don’t like about it.  I like some of the details and the way the story moves fast.  Sometimes too fast though.  I don’t like the way White writes in a style that makes you think he was actually there or received facts about how things went down.  Much of the book is simply him conjuring up scenarios of what Bob might have said or what his grandfather might have said or done at a certain time. It’s simply make-believe to help fill in the story. There are errors throughout the book. Not only grammatical but more importantly factual. You would think by the 5th revised and updated copy they would correct things that have come to light since the first publication but all of it has stayed the same. More or less the only revisions that each edition would get were updates on the current Marley Estate shituations.
Two examples of the typical Catch a Fire's that you will see. The copy of the right is the U.S. 2006 edition with the new cover.

Two examples of the typical Catch a Fire’s that you will see. The copy of the right is the U.S. 2006 edition with the new cover.

It is indeed a must read Bob Marley book. I encourage everybody who would take the time to read it to also take the time to read the bios by Stephen Davis, John Masouri, Chris Salewicz, Viv Goldman’s recounting of the Exodus era and several others. They all compliment each other nicely.  I assume the reason so many people have read it is because it is by far the biggest selling Bob Marley biography and it has been published more times in more countries than any other Marley book. In light of that we will then focus on all of the different publications.
The spines of the foreign editions of Catch a Fire.

The spines of the foreign editions of Catch a Fire.

For many readers of the blog, one of the 5 U.S. editions published by  Owl/Henry Holt will be the copy you’ll read. Although The last edition published in 2006 after White’s death states it is the fourth edition, it is in fact the fifth edition. And within those five edition there are numerous printings, well over 20 for some editions. The main UK publisher has been Omnibus. They have published three editions but took over from Elm Tree Books who published the first edition in 1983. In edition to those, Corgi published two editions in 1984 and 1989. Besides the Corgi editions and the 2006 Owl edition all printings look the same using the Bob drawing by Daniel Maffia for the cover. The spines and slight cover changes are the only real differences.
From left to right: Brazil, Poland, Spain

From left to right: Brazil, Poland, Spain

The great thing about Catch a Fire is that it’s been published all around the world. Italy has published the most with 7 editions/printings/covers. Really that makes no sense but basically there are seven different copies of the Italian Catch a Fire’s that you can find. Germany has published three, Poland two, Brazil one, Spain one, Czech Republic one and Japan one. Oddly enough there has never been a French edition. Similarly there has never been an Italian edition of Stephen Davis’ bio but there has been numerous French editions. Odd. To me at least.
A sample of Italian editions

A sample of Italian editions

The Japanese edition and the first U.S and UK editions have been the only three hardcover editions of the book. All others have been paperback, although the ones from Brazil, Spain and Poland are high quality paperback. Copies can be found for literally pennies and every Marley library should contain a copy. It does contain a discography in the back of the book that I’m sure more Marley lovers have referenced more than once.  Timothy White was a writer and editor for Crawdaddy, Rolling Stone and Billboard Magazine. It was through these positions that he landed the job of interviewing Bob.  He contributed to The Beat magazine early on for their annual Marley issues.  White died in 2002 from a heart attack. His widow Judy Garlan added additional text to the 2006 editions.
The three German editions

The three German editions

Japanese & 1st Polish edition

Japanese & 1st Polish edition

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#18 12/2012 Bob Marley: The Man & His Music  editors Eleanor Wint & Carolyn Cooper
Title: Bob Marley: The Man & His Music
Editors: Eleanor Wint & Carolyn Cooper
Publisher: Arawak Publications, Kingston, JA
Year: 2003
Pages: 112
Paperback
ISBN: 9769504793
002
This unique book, that was published in 2003, collects several essays from the 1995 Bob Marley symposium. It was held in Jamaica to celebrate Bob’s 50th earthday and to acknowledge his incredible contribution to the world of music and the human race in general. The essays were compiled and edited by Eleanor and Carolyn who are both senior lectures from the University of the West Indies. The symposium was sponsored by the Bob Marley Foundation and the International Reggae Studies Centre at UWI.  It gave Bob a chance to be openly discussed amongst the scholars of Jamaica and beyond. Great for a man who got little respect from many of the upper crust of Jamaican society while he while he was alive.
The book collects nine essays by a variety of speakers, teachers and scholars. The topics range from politics, the range of Bob’s songwriting to Bob’s output and capitalism.
There are opening greetings  by the Hon. Burchell Whitman, Prof. Rex Nettleford and Maureen Rose. Followed by an overview of the book and introduction by Wint and Cooper respectively.
The included presentations are “Roots in the Airways: Popular Culture in a Global Context” by Dick Hebdigs, “Positive Vibration? Capitalist Textural Hegemony and Bob Marley” by MIke Alleyne, Jamming Down Under: Bob Marley’s Legacy and Reggae Culture in Australia and New Zealand” by Brent Clough, Romance, Rebellion, Religion: Marley’s Musical Mix” by Garth White, Bob Marley: Religious Prophet?” by Janet DeCosmo, “Bob Marley and the Politicks of Subversion” by Keisha Lindsay & Louise Lindsay, “Political and Cultural Context of Rasta and Rudeboy in the 1960s” by Rupert Lewis and “The Marley Legacy Betrayed?” by Habte Selassie. Although all essays are on different topics and touch many themes, several, to me, are just too foreign to the simple natural heartbeat of the roots reggae vibe. The essays do remind us all of the amazing gift Bob had and the works he left us with.
 The book is available on amazon.com and is a nice addition to any Marley book collection.  Click below to see the book and to buy a copy.
Photo Gallery
Buy the Book
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#17 12/2012 Bob Marley The Future Is The Beginning  edited by Gerald Hausman
Title: Bob Marley The Future Is The Beginning: The words and wisdom of Bob Marley
words by Bob, edited by Gerald Hausman, artwork and photo adaptation by Mariah Fox, introduction by Cedella Marley
Harmony Books, NY 
Year: 2012
Pages: 109
Hardcover boards with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780385518833

Gerald Hausman, his daughter Mariah and Cedella Marley have been collaborating on nice Marley books for the past ten years or so. This latest one, spearheaded and edited by Gerald, has taken their format to a whole new level. Their previous lyric/quote books have been collections of one or two segments of Bob’s lyrics or a quote. This one on the other hand collects a plethora of much longer passages. All culled from interviews Dad and daughter collected at 56 Hope Rd. while on a mission.  What was once Bob’s house and rehearsal space is now the Bob Marley museum and many of the walls are plastered in newspapers,magazines and promotional posters. All done by Neville Garrick to preserve these documents for all who pass through. Through their collaboration with Cedella, Gerald was able to transcribe interviews and articles for days on end while Mariah took photos, several of which thankfully grace the book. (see photo gallery).  What we get, years later, is this wonderful book. Gerald picked out some incredible word’s of Bob, mostly from interviews throughout his years. Many have him talking on a level not generally promoted in his every day legacy. Mariah blends in her trademarked artwork throughout the book in the form of beautifully decorating photos of Bob.  She also adds some Ethiopian folklore drawings, that compliment the passages well. . Cedella contributes an introduction and Gerald provides an interesting editor’s note. A really nice new book and one I highly recommend for the Marley library. The price is right and worth every penny.

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#16 11/2012 Every Little Thing (based on the song “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley)

adapted by Cedella Marley with illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Year: 2012

Published by chronicle books

ISBN 9781452106977

Hardcover pictorial boards with dust jacket

One of the great things about having little kids is getting the opportunity to read books to their class. I’ve had the opportunity with two of my three kids so far and I’ve managed to work in a Marley book every time. Although up until Cedella Marley’s two most recent books, it was difficult. Most the juvenile Marley books are for kids a little older than my lions who are all under 8.

The latest one is called ‘Every Little Thing.’ As you can guess, it’s based off of the lyrics of ‘Three Little Birds.’ It’s in the same format and style of Cedella’s last book ‘One Love’. ‘Every Little Thing’ is filled with 26 pages of glorious illustrations by Brantley-Newton and good lyric working by Cedella. The story reminds the kids that even when times get a little tough, you need not worry because every little thing is gonna be alright.

I recently read the book to my son’s kindergarten class and then we all sang the song together while I played the guitar. Due to Ziggy’s recent video of the song that got lots of play on the kids t.v. networks, several of the kids knew all the words. It was a blast and the kids loved the book.

Me reading the book to my son’s class

Then all of us singing ‘Three Little Birds’

Buy Book

Cedella’s Facebook Page

Vanessa’s website

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#15 11/2012 Bob Marley: Songs of Freedom by Chris Salewicz and Adrian Boot

Title: Bob Marley Songs of Freedom
Author: Chris Salewicz, Photographer: Adrian Boot (Executive Editor and Introduction by Rita Marley)
ISBNs: (All four English editions) UK Hardcover 074751853x,  UK Paperback 0747523568,  U.S. Hardcover 067085784x,
U.S. Paperback 0140241131
Year Published: 1995 (1998 second U.S. edition)
Pages: 288


Published in 1995 by Viking Penguin in the U.S. and Bloomsbury in the UK, Songs of Freedom is the authorized biography of Bob Marley.  It’s really two types of biographies in one, half text by the seasoned Chris Salewitcz and half photos through the amazing lens of Adrian Boot. It’s a coffee table biography that goes way beyond your average coffee table book. Since it contains a nice condensed history of Bob and his musical output, along with numerous photos of memorabilia, handwritten lyrics and Boot’s photos, this a favorite book of many Marley fans. It is indeed, a top 5 must have Bob Marley & The Wailers book. Fortunately for many, there has been editions published in five different languages. UNLESS, you know of any additional edition not listed here. If you know of one please contact the Midnight Raver or myself.

This is basically, the official Island Records/Marley family biography of Bob.  The original publication was on the heels of a photo exhibit by Adrian Boot. It also coincided with the Island Records release of ‘Natural Mystic, Legend 2’ album. Boot was an official photographer of Bob’s and because of that access to the Gong, we get treated with dozens and dozens of incredible photos. The book opens with the funeral of Bob (the end) and moves from there through his career, Rastafari, Island output, Peter Tosh, touring and ends up at the final Madison Square Gardens shows and the final show in Pittsburgh. Through interviews with dozens of people who were closely associated with Bob, we get first hand accounts of history. So we got that going for us, which is nice.

All foreign editions were published in a hardcover format. In fact, it’s the same dust jacket, boards and gilt for all seven hardcover editions from around the world. It’s appears as if they were all printed by the same company at the same time for each publisher. The only difference is the language on the cover and text. In addition, the French edition changed the title to ‘legend rasta’ and the German edition added the subtitle ‘Die Bildbiographie’ . The second U.S. edition was published in a trade paperback format and is the only edition to feature a different cover. Although the cover of the UK paperback edition did add a peculiar small rectangle palm tree picture and added the blurb (‘The definitive account of the great man’s life.’ Q Magazine), to the bottom of the cover.

The foreign additional editions are:

Japan: Published in 1995 by Blues Interaction, ISBN: 4938339153

Netherlands: Published by Gravenhage in 1995. ISBN: 9055010782

Germany: Published by Wilhelm Heyne Verlag GmbH in 1995. ISBN: 3453087054

France: Published by Seuil in 1995 and 1998. ISBN: 2020218291

There were so many copies of this book printed that it is very easy and inexpensive to find an English edition. Check amazon.com, ebay, used book stores etc. and copies will turn up. At least in the U.S.  The most common edition I see for sale would be the Penguin paperback copy which many times sells for under $5.00 U.S..

Chris Salewitcz has been documenting reggae and pop culture for over three decades. He authored several music books including a biography of The Clash’s Joe Strummer.  Most reggae lovers know him for his writings for the NME and/or his books such as his recent Marley biography ‘Bob Marley the Untold Story’, ‘Rude Boy: Once Upon a Time in Jamaica’ or for most, the book we are profiling, Songs of Freedom. Chris also wrote another, difficult to find, Marley book published in 1998 titled ‘Rock Lives: Bob Marley’.

Adrian Boot is a distinguished photographer whose work has appeared in many Bob Marley books, Rolling Stone magazine and the photo exhibits that have displayed his photos and stories. He was the official Island photographer for Bob and captured many historic photos before and after Bob’s passing.

Chris and Adrian also worked together on the ‘Reggae Explosion: The Story of Jamaican Music’ book which was published in 2001. Of which one edition featured Marley on the cover and therefor appears in the Complete Annotated Bibliography.

Photo Gallery (click on next photo to see additional pics)

Buy the book

A nice website with info about the authors and books

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 # 14.  10/ 2012 Bob Marley / Peter Tosh Get Up! Stand Up! Diary Of A Reggaeophile

by Fikisha Cumbo
Foreword by Roberta Flack
CACE International, Brooklyn, New York
2002
322 pages
ISBN: 0972445706

This is easily one of the best books published on Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. In addition to author’s recollections and fantastic interviews of both greats, the photographs she took are some of the best we’ve been privy to.

The book starts with short biographies on Bob and Peter then moves into the heart of the contents. Fikisha had the pleasure of seeing Bob Marley & The Wailers at the Schaffer Music Festival in Central Park in 1975 and meeting Bob after the show. From there, like many of us, she got swept into the rapids of upper Niger otherwise known as reggae. Only she soon enough found herself going to Yard and linking up with Peter and other greats.  She recalls going to 56 Hope Rd. during a Wailers rehearsal and cramming into the small hot practice space. She tells about Bob calling out for ‘So JAH Seh’, the same song she told him was her favorite (and mine too). These are stories that we are fortunate enough to have been captured and shared. What’s great about Fikisha’s recollections are the details she shares with us.  The shirt Bob was wearing, the boots he wore, how the tongue of the boots hung, what was sitting where in the room etc.

A great aspect of the book is the amount of ink  Peter Tosh gets. Fikisha really got to know Peter well and from that she shares with us many great memories and moments.  This book is a true delight. There is only one downside to it.  It’s out of print and can be difficult to find a reasonably priced copy. I originally bought my copy from Fikisha directly in 2004.  She has since informed me that the First edition has sold out.  It is truly a book that needs to be in print again.

If there are any publishers out there looking for a wonderful book on Bob and Peter done from the heart, then this is your gem. It’s all packed up and ready to go.  But, keep your eyes open. Check the websites as the book does come up for sale from time to time.

Fikisha Cumbo is not only a great lady and reggae lover, she is the director or Chief in Charge of CASE International. CASE Int. has produced all sorts of audio,video and written works in the name of spreading unity and positivity.

Click on Fikisha’s site below to find out more.  Check out the CASE International t.v. on You Tube for all kids of great videos including a fantastic episode at Roger Steffens reggae archives.

Review by Midnight Raver Blog’s Joe Jurgenson.

Photo Gallery (click next photo to see more pics)
Fikisha’s Website (with info and reviews of the book)
 
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#13 7/2012 No Woman No Cry My Life With Bob Marley (Russian Edition) Rita Marley with Hettie Jones

No Woman No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley
Rita Marley w/ Hettie Jones
Russian Translation by Khetti Dzhous
Published by Amphora out of Saint-Petersburg, Russia
2008
304 pages
ISBN: 5367007716
In addition to the major biographies about Bob, there are three books I think  all Marley readers should read.  They are the books by Don Taylor, Bob’s mom and this one by his wife Rita.  Although none of them provide any sort of definitive biography on Bob, all three do offer a piece of the Marley story that no other books do or can offer.  There has been numerous publication of Rita’s book all over the world.  I will post them on this page  to let you know of their existence and highlight their beautiful covers.  Covers like these are the reason I would love to have my next bibliography published in color. They are so vivid and artistic that black and white photos do them no justice.  So, we will start with the Russian edition. It’s a hardcover book with pictorial boards (no dust jacket). Like many of the other Rita books from around the world this one was not easy to track down.  It usually involves lots of back and forth translated emails, Western Union checks then lots of waiting and finger crossing. As far as the book itself, this is Rita’s biography and her memories of the life she and Bob had together. She tells of her early life, her memories of Bob and journey they had together. Is it earth shattering and ground breaking? No. Is it yet another piece of the Marley story that needed to be presented? Yes. It’s a short book. Could have been much longer and more in depth, but…it is what it is. As far as English editions there has been 3 UK and 2 U.S. editions published.   

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#12 10/2012 Stir It Up: The CIA Targets Jamaica, Bob Marley and the Progressive Manley Government by David Dusty Cupples

Stir It Up: The CIA Targets Jamaica, Bob Marley and the Progressive Manley Government

David Dusty Cupples

397 Pages

Published in 2012

ISBN: 9781477519899

 

Two day before Bob Marley & The Wailers were to perform at the Smile Jamaica concert on December 5, 1976, gunmen swarmed his home and rehearsal space at 56 Hope Rd. in Jamaica and shot Bob along with others in an attempt to kill him. The questions have always been; why and how did these young ghetto gunslingers pull off this assassination attempt and who put them up to it. “Oh not the brothers, but the ones, who set them up…”  These are questions that people have been asking since the incident and although many theories have been developed and tossed around over the years, no definitive answers have ever been offered.  Although we still have no definitive answers, with the publication of ‘Stir It Up’ we now have what is probably the most likely scenario of  the events leading up to the shooting, why the shooting took place and who was behind it all. All presented in an a very unique and original way.

 

This book may be disturbing to some, a confirmation of beliefs to others and a real eye opener for many.  The author, David Dusty Cupples, did some thorough research in order to lay out a very concise scenario of not only what was happening with Bob Marley at this point in history but also Jamaica, the entire Caribbean community, the Cold War and the attitude many on the right including the CIA had. The book is a true page turner and how Cupples moves the story along is quite impressive while also very entertaining.

So basically this novel portrays fictional and actual characters.  The main character is Scott Mitchell, an American teenager who is dragged around South America and eventually Jamaica by his CIA employed father in the mid 70’s. Although his dad always tells him that he only works the Visas in these countries, for some reason whenever they arrive in a country chaos ensues. After arriving in Yard, Scott soon forms a friendship with Bob and unknowingly becomes intimately involved with the shooting. It’s only after help from a California psychologist after four years of burying the memories that Scott is able to tell about his days in Jamaica and what he discovered after the shooting.

Without giving the story away, I will say, this is by far the most in-depth likely scenario presented as to who shot Bob, his wife Rita and manager Don Taylor and why. For years there has been a conspiracy theory put forth by Alex Constantine that link the Smile Jamaica shooting and Bob dying of melanoma cancer and tumors nearly four and a half years later.  I’ve never thought of the scenario that Constantine presents as plausible and Cupples never mentions anything about the theory in this book. The book instead focus’ on the continued injuries  inflicted on Bob’s toe over the years and the melanoma that developed under his nail bed.The theory that Constantine came up with is that somehow, Carl Colby Jr (son of an ex CIA director), who was hired by Island Records to film the concert, brought Bob a pair of boots after the shooting embedded with a wire treated with cancer that poked Bob’s foot as he tried on the boot.  The cancer was then injected into Bob and that’s how he got cancer.  Even if it possible to inject cancer cells into a human body and the body not reject them, the theory put forth by Constantine is just too full of holes to hold water. Carl was at Strawberry Hill with Jeff Walker from Island Records. I don’t believe Jeff has collaborated Alex’s story but Carl Colby Jr. says he absolutely did not bring Bob any boots as a gift. He’s shocked and insulted that he would even be accused of such a thing. Especially against Bob a man he loved. What this novel is about is the CIA and their involvement in the bullet ridden assassination attempt on Bob. A novel, yeah right!

I recommend this book to all Marley fans who are seeking answers to the assassination attempt on Bob as well as those interested in the CIA, left and right wing politricks and the tactics employed by deranged lunatics. This is a welcomed addition to any Bob Marley book shelf stocking the must haves.

 

Buy the Book

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September 11, 2012  For the great Peter Tosh, gone way too soon

Peter’s 1983 Australian Tour Program

Back cover of Australian Tour Program

Promotional Poster for ‘Captured Live’ album

EMI promotional beach ball from 1987

Promotional advert for 83′ Australian Tour dates

1st time ever seen photo of Peter from 1982 September 8 at the Northrop Auditorium in Minnesota. Obviously not the best quality pic but…

Promotional poster for Wanted Dread & Alive

a couple of pages from the Australian Tour Program

Wanted Tour Program
Anybody know who’s signature that is?

Promotional Poster for ‘Equal Rights’ Photo by Kim Gottlieb-Walker

Me, Karl Pitterson and Roger Steffens in Mimai, Fl 2001 as I hand over the master reels to Peter Tosh’s epic sunrise performance at the 1982 Jamaican World Music Fest

the album that resulted from those two reels, release by JAD records in 2002.

I don’t know the origins of this pin, but I’ve always assumed it is an official promo pin made by the record label. Peter wore the same pin on his beret in a photo shoot with Kim Gottlieb-Walker.

promotional item put out by Rolling Stones Records made of a plastic type material & made to look like stamps

advert

advert

advert

back of Equal Rights album signed by one of the mixologist involved Karl Pitterson

Freedom Time CD from the Complete Wailers 76-72 set

Equal Rights advert

glossy promo from ‘Catch a Fire’ press kit

glossy promo from Catch a Fire

8 track tapes

Tosh live bootleg LP

Tosh CDs

7″ picture sleeves

glossy promo for ‘Equal Rights’ album. Photo by Kim Gottlieb-Walker

French Wailers book by Roland Monpierre

The great Peter Tosh & Bob Marley book by Fikisha Cumbo. ‘Get Up! Stand Up!’

this was a book that was slated to be written but never materialized. Fortunately for all of us, John Masouri was signed on to write the book and we are now patiently waiting for a soon come release. Any day now

an Italian lyric book from 1980

Bush Doctor color advert

Legalize It advert

show adverts

postcard from Peter’s Mausoleum park in Westmoreland, JA

promo poster for the great Stepping Razor Red X documentary

promo button

promo button

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#11 9/2012 Marley by Luke Crampton, Dafydd Rees and Wellesley Marsh
Title: Marley
Authors: Luke Crampton, Dafydd Rees and Wellesley Marsh
192 pages
Published in 2009 
Publisher: Taschen, Koln, Germany
#1 ISBN 9783836511 #2 ISBN 9783836511292 #3 ISBN 9784887834064 
Now this is a cool book.  Not only does it contain succinct accurate info accompanied by vivid color photos, each edition is done in three different languages. Although the Tashen website lists two editions, there has in fact been three editions printed. The first one (#1) is in English, French & German. The second is in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish and the third is in Japanese, English & French-and was printed in China Smile. This book is part of the Taschen Music Icon series.  They basically loaded up these smaller books (5.75″x7.75″) with approx. 150 great crisp photos along with concise text to tell the story. In addition to photos of Bob and The Wailers, pics of memorabilia and other goodies fill the book. A nice surprise at the end is Bob’s chart history from 1975 to 2005.
This unique book was written by Luke Crampton, Dafydd Rees and Wellesley Marsh with the assistance of Roger Steffens and a host of others.  It’s really a great Bob Marley book to own and an affordable easy one to find. Taschen is known for only publishing top notch quality books and this series is no exception.  In fact a nice large hardcover limited edition printing would be a treat for fans.
Check out the photo Gallery, there are pics of all three editions and a sample page to show how they do it in three languages.
Photo Gallery  Click of next photo to see more pics
Taschen Website (with a great photo of Bob playing soccer by David Brooks)
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#10 9/2012 Junto a Los Rios De Babilonia Biografia De Bob Marley   by Josetxo Mintegi Irazusta
 
Title: Junto a Los Rios De Babilonia Biografia De Bob Marley
By: Josetxo Mintegi Irazusta
236 pages
1995
ISBN: 84-8218010x
 
 
A nice Bob Marley biography for Spanish readers to get a hold of would be Josetxo Mintegi Irazusta’s. Titled ‘Junto a Los Rios De Babilonia Biografia De Bob Marley’ (Along the rivers of Babylon biography of Bob Marley) and published in 1995 by Vosa out of Madrid, Spain it’s a beautifully put together biography.
It tells of Bob’s story from Nine Mile to Miami and a little Prophet Gad to wrap it up. It includes plenty of lyrics transcribed into Spanish as well as a black and white photo section at the back of the book. It also includes a nice discography section (which is shown in the gallery) It’s a book that if you are living in Spain,circa 1995, and wanted to read a well written biography of Bob in your native language, this would be the book for you. If you read Spanish, it is still a nice biography on Bob to obtain.
 
Photo Gallery (make sure to click next photo for more pics of the book)
Here are a handful of small book reviews from the archives
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#9 8/2012 Bob Marley: Music Myth & The Rastas by Henderson Dalrymple
 
Bob Marley Music Myth & The Rastas
by Henderson Dalrymple
1976
77 Pages
ISBN: None
Size: 8.25″ x 5.75″
 
ADDITIONAL EDITIONS: 1977 Trinkot Verlag, Germany; 1993 Raymond Martin Verlag, Germany; 1983 Apopira Publications, Greece
 
 

Although hundreds of articles had been penned on Bob Marley up to this point, this is the first actual biography published on him.  It was written by Henderson Dalrymple and published by Carib-Arawak Publishers Ltd. out of the UK in 1976.  It’s a short 77 page bio but includes some beautiful b & w photos as well as several Marley lyrics transcribed. It was done from the heart and is a beautiful example of an early biography about a revolutionary musician.  In addition to the Marley info, the book also includes a few chapters about Rastafari and its history.

 
This book has had several additional editions published besides this one. It was published a year later in Germany and again in 1993 as well as four Greek editions.  Look in the photo gallery for photos of those editions.
 
Copies are scarce and hard to come by but if you ever see one grab it.  The original price printed on the back of the book was 50p, but every example I have seen of the book has that priced marked out in ink. It’s a two stapled book with a heavy cardstock cover.
 
Photo Gallery   Make sure to click on next photo to see more pics
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#8 August 4 (my wedding anniversary) 2012  Solid Foundation An Oral History of Reggae by David Katz
David Katz
Bloomsbury USA 2003
396 Pages
ISBN 1582341435
* New Revised and expanded edition will be available by Jawbone Press in November of 2012.  Pre-Order
TODAY!
    
If you want to get a 396 page crash course on the first 30 years of reggae music and most of the seminal figures involved then David Katz’ ‘Solid Foundation An Oral History of Reggae’ would be an excellent start. Well known to reggae readers worldwide, Katz has a knack for providing a massive amount of details in a story telling way. In this case though he had a lot of help. In fact, as the title states, the very people this books is about tell their own story. That’s what makes this book unique and provides a necessary perspective to present this information.
From the Jamaican soundsystems to Cocoa Tea, this book gives the reader a page by page blow on the birth and development of reggae. Although the book provides a massive amount of details and names it moves along at a brisk pace. The reader never gets bored as Katz keeps the stories rolling. Dozens and dozens of seminal Jamaican musicians and producers get a chance to tell their side of their story including such greats as Burning Spear, Big Youth, Coxsone, Culture, Ken Boothe and many man more.
Since Stephen Davis and Peter Simon’s ‘Reggae Bloodlines’ was published in 1977 numerous books have been written on the subject of reggae.  Many give a brief overview or go into details about specific performers but none do what this book does.  Anybody who is beginning their love of reggae and are thirsting for knowledge grab a copy of this book.  Even seasoned reggae lovers will enjoy the stories and background info this books contains.  It would be near impossible not to. Katz’ Notes at the end of the book provide another treasure trove of information.
The book is currently slated for a new updated and revised edition in November of 2012. According to Jawbone Press, the publisher,….”This fully revised and updated edition brings the story into the 21st century with new chapters on the key performers of recent times and extensive additions throughout.”  The new edition inlcludes 2 new chapters on dancehall and all early chapters have been thorougly revised and corrected.  In addition to the revisions and new chapters, the new edition will have much better images (although the original images were fantastic). Garnishing a great new cover this book will serve as a standard read for all reggae loving humans.
David Katz is a long time reggae writer and lover. Born in the U.S. but a long time England resident, Katz has penned two additional great reggae books, ‘People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee Scratch Perry’ and ‘Jimmy Cliff, An Unauthorized Biography’ He has also contributed to the ‘Rough Reggae Guides’,The ‘Tapestry of Jamaica’ and has penned several album notes.  He has also contributed to several reggae magazine articles and was instrumental in ‘The Upsetter’ magazine which profiled the prolific life and music of Lee Scratch Perry.  In addition to writing David has also released an album and has been a long-time reggae radio host. His books are always heavy on details and he attempts to leave no stone unturned.  Once he’s finished with a subject many readers will feel like they have learned all they need to know.

Photo Gallery (Click on next photo to see additional pics)
Buy Solid Foundation
Buy People Funny Boy
Buy Jimmy Cliff
Pre-Order new edition of Solid Foundation

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#7 July 17/18, 2012  Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography, Full details on every recording by Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer & Bob Marley

 
By: Roger Steffens and Leroy Jodies Pierson
2005
Rounder Books USA, LMH Jamaica
177 Pages
Rounder ISBN: 1579401201
LMH ISBN: 9768184752

How about we profile a book that your average Bob Marley book buyer may never think of purchasing? What book is that you ask? None other than ‘Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography, Full details on every recording by Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer & Bob Marley’ by Roger Steffens and Leroy Jodie Pierson. Why do I think the average Marley fan might bypass this this book? Well, because it’s a discography. If one reads a synopsis of the book and see’s that it’s full of song and album details, a fan looking for more biography type info on Bob might think it’s not for them.  They couldn’t be more wrong.  Although this is the definitive discography on Bob, Peter and Bunny and the only “true” discography on the three, the book provides much more than song details to the reader.  In fact the book’s intros by Roger and Leroy are worth the purchase price alone ($17.95 U.S.).  Add in three succinct biographies on Bob, Bunny and Peter and you have the makings of a MUST HAVE Bob Marley and The Wailers book. In fact, without a doubt, this treasure trove is a top 5 must have book for all Marley libraries.  In addition to the intros and biographies, the reader is treated to a marvelous 12 page color spread of some of the most sought after (and PRISTINE) vinyl labels the Wailers have to offer.

But the glory of the book is the incredibly detailed look at nearly every recording by The Wailers (group & solo releases). With studio, musician, track and release info on every song, this book is indispensable to any Wailers collector.  It is arranged chronologically starting with the genius ‘Judge Not’ by a 16 year old Marley and ends with the 2004 spoken word boxset released by Bunny. In-between, you get essentially all the information ones needs to track down any song or album by the three.
This book was years in the making by the two authors and one that every Wailers fan should be grateful for being published.  Although the book took the help of numerous Wailers fans from around the world, the dedication and perseverance goes to Roger and Leroy. After many years and hundreds of hours interviewing and working with Bunny Wailer on his biography, the two would learn that the bio would never be.  Fortunately, the interviews with Bunny would provide much of the needed information regarding numerous Wailers recordings.  With that, the final push was made by the duo to publish the Definitive Discography.  Many thanks goes out to Rounder Books out of Cambridge MA for stepping to the plate and  publishing this book. An addition thanks on behalf of all the Caribbean fans goes to LMH Publishing Limited out of Jamaica for publishing a “Collectors Edition”.
The book is simple to find and many deals are out there on copies.  A copy can be obtained for the price of a tube of toothpaste and a stick of deodorant but it will last you a lifetime.
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#6 July 7, 2012  Wailing Blues The Story of Bob Marley’s Wailers
 
John Masouri
Omnibus Press, UK
2008
ISBN: 9781846096891
582 pages
It should come as no surprise that so far in my blogging career (this is blog #6) that I’m writing about my favorite Bob Marley books. As of 7/7/2012 there has been well over 400 books published about ‘The Sage Of Nine Mile’, as Roger Steffens so eloquently put it.  The books come from all over the world. From Japan to Brazil, Turkey to Mexico and America to France. All four corners of the world have produced fascinating Marley books.  As I stated in the introduction to my book, I feel that every tour stop Bob and the Wailers made, they planted a seed.  These books are the result and fruition of those seeds. Bob made it his mission (or Selassie I the First ‘s mission) to play in Denmark, Japan, New Zealand, Hawaii, France, Italy, Canada, Germany, U.S., Jamaica,  Holland, UK etc…   Bob had to visit these countries to play and perform for the people.  I feel that Bob truly knew he had a short amount of time on this earth to fulfill his mission.  Remember that “Dready got a job to do and he must fulfill that mission”, Bob knew what he was dealing with. That’s why he wrote so much, that’s why he recorded so much, that why he rehearsed the band so much, that’s why after a show he would talk to Carly if he played too fast during “Road Block”.  Bob was dreadicated and devoted to his mission.  And how right he was!  He knew.  He knew exactly what he was doing and what it would do to the world.  He said it plenty of times himself.  This music will get bigger and bigger and bigger. Bob knew he was Bob Marley.   Bob knew he had an extra charisma chromosome that only a select few get.  You can see it in interviews and in the photos.  You can hear in with your ears like when Bob says to “don’t have no doubt, this Bob talkin’ to ya”.  Pure natural charisma, or maybe pure Natural Mystic.?
 
Whooaa…where am I’m going? This is usually only the stuff that goes through my mind. I don’t verbalize these opinions. But where am I going? I say all of this to point out the Divine nature in which Bob Marley graced this earth. I feel that Nesta Robert Marley, born February the 6th, 1945, was put on this earth to write, record and sing the extremely special songs he wrote.  I feel that Bob is so far beyond any other songwriter in history that most  don’t even come to close to holding a candle to Bob’s musical manifestations. Bob never wrote a bad song. With a catalog of over 500 songs, he never wrote a bad one. No other songwriter in history can make a claim like that. No honest fan of other songwriters can make a claim like that. …. well Joe, what about ‘Milkshake and Potato Chips’? …..  aahh, give that one to Jimmy Norman my friend.
 
So, once again my point is that as talented and special as Bob was he had an incredible band behind him planting the roots. Want more of my opinions?  Ok, I feel that not only is Aston “Family Man” Barrett the best bass player of all time but his brother Carly is the best drummer of all time. Not just reggae but all genres of music. I’m not naive enough to realize that calling any musician ‘the best” is silly and factually impossible. But at the same time I can whole heartily state that Fams and Carly are the best. The bass line that Fams came up with to accompany the most simple of chords is beyond musical genius. And the finesse that Carly had on his hi-hats and snare has never been duplicated. Not even close!
 
To honor these two musical geniuses and all the other incredible musicians that backed Bob, John Masouri got the honor to present their side of the story.  In 2008, Omnibus Press out of the UK published one of the greatest books on Bob Marley & The Wailers. Titled ‘Wailing Blues The Story of Bob Marley’s Wailers’ it proved to complete a large part of the story that had yet to be told. The book details the Barrett brother’s upbringing and their association with Bob and being the foundation for the Wailers sound.  The book also had the pleasure, or displeasure, to provide a detailed recap of Family Man’s lawsuit again the Marley Estate and Island Records. As many know Fams lost his court battle for a small piece of the pie and was cast aside as a hired gun and nothing more. Of course any semi-competant Wailers fan knows that Fams and Carly were so essential to Bob that Bob himself would scoff at such an accusation.
 
At a nice and hefty 582 pages this book is sure to please all devoted Wailers fans. Since the initial hardcover publishing in 2008 a subsequent paperback edition had been published. This is one of the five books any serious Wailers fan should have in their library.  It is that good and that essential.  Only drawback, no index. Seriously no index.  Come on Omnibus!
 
John Masouri has been a longtime reggae lover and documenter. In addition to writing for Echoes magazine, John has written numerous album liner notes and is currently finishing up work on the definitive biography of Peter Tosh. He is considered a Wailers authority and that title is well deserved.
 
The book is so easy to find that if you don’t own a copy you should buy one and have it in your hands by next weekend.
 
 
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#5  July 5, 2012 THE WORLD OF REGGAE featuring BOB MARLEY  TREASURES FROM ROGER STEFFENS’ REGGAE ARCHIVES

 Roger Steffens

Global Treasures, Beverly Hills, CA, USA
ISBN: 0970791305
96 pages

2001 was a great year for Marley bibliophiles, at least for this Marley bibliophile.. Why? Because that’s the year Roger Steffens exhibited the cream of the crop of his reggae collection on the Queen Marley ocean liner. And along with the exhibit came one of my all-time favorite books. Not just Bob Marley books but all books. ‘THE WORLD OF REGGAE: FEATURING BOB MARLEY AND TREASURES FROM ROGER STEFFENS’ REGGAE ARCHIVES’ was published by Global Treasures to catalog a ‘best of’ sampling from the exhibit. It’s basically a treasure trove photo book of items from Roger’s collection. It features hundreds of album cover most of which are signed by the key players. My favorite chapters feature incredible memorabilia from Haile Selassie, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, I-Three and the Marley children. An incredible assortment of memorabilia grace the pages such as books, magazines, buttons, 8-track tapes, posters and the rarest of rare vinyls. (See photo gallery below for sample photos) The book’s photos are accompanied by Roger’s text which only enhances the book.

I would consider this a fairly easy book to find online. The original price was $25 and I still see them for sale in that price range. If you have the opportunity to grab one, do so, you will not regret it.  It’s perfect for a coffee table, the bathroom, next to your bed or on a book shelf like mine. It will provide hours and years of enjoyment. Or at least it has for me. I’ve been flipping through it for 11 years now and still love it and discover new things.
For those of you who don’t know who Roger Steffens is just google him. In a nutshell, he’s a great guy with a great knowledge and collection of reggae history. He, along with his sweet wife Mary, house a six-room collection of a Wailers and reggae memorabilia. This includes thousands of video tapes, audio tapes, cds, vinyl records, books, posters etc… You name it and it can probably be located somewhere in the archives. Roger has been instrumental in helping spread the message of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh throughout the world. He’s been traveling the world with his  Life of Bob Marley presentation to exhilarated audiences everywhere. For years Roger opened his house and audio collection to reggae fans so that free tape trading could take place and gems could be shared amongst friends. Roger is a generous man and a tremendous asset to the reggae world.

 

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This was posted on the http://www.reggae-vibes.com website. It’s a great summary of the exhibit.

THE WORLD OF REGGAE AND BOB MARLEY
Global Treasures presents THE WORLD OF REGGAE AND BOB MARLEY an exhibition featuring TREASURES FROM ROGER STEFFENS’ REGGAE ARCHIVES TO OPEN JANUARY 20, 2001 AT THE QUEEN MARY IN LONG BEACH

Thousands of artifacts from the rich history of Jamaican music and the legendary career of Bob Marley, the King of Reggae, will go on display in a unique exhibition to be housed in two buildings of the English Village at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, beginning January 20. Selected from the internationally renowned collection of reggae authority Roger Steffens, the exhibition covers forty years of Jamaican musical creativity. Beginning with the birth of ska in the early 1960s and moving through the eras of rock steady, reggae, dub, DJ (rap), lovers rock, two-tone and ska revival, dub poetry, and through the present ascendancy of dancehall and raggamuffin, The World of Reggae and Bob Marley is a stunning aural and visual experience, immersing the visitor in a barrage of sensations that will be sure to illuminate and entertain.

Presented by the exhibition management company, Global Treasures, and designed and created by the Pasadena-based Curatorial Assistance, the exhibition showcases nearly 1,000 individually mounted album covers and a large number of 7″ vinyl singles, most of them autographed by the respective artists. As visitors explore some two dozen areas, musical spotlights fall on the major performers. Hundreds of posters from around the world are interspersed along with original photographs, fliers, t-shirts, post cards, magazines, books, banners, bumper stickers, buttons, and scores of other memorabilia from reggae’s most famous figures.
In the introductory area a film depicting the mini-history of the various styles of Jamaican rhythms will be running. In the second, larger structure, a spiraling series of displays leads viewers into a row of bleachers from which they can view a film on the life story of Bob Marley, whose album Exodus was recently chosen by Time magazine as “The Best Album of the Twentieth Century.” On an adjacent wall, 144 albums depict the various images by which Marley’s music has been presented to the world. Nearby, two columns are filled with 160 singles by Marley and his former partners in the Wailers—Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.

The spiritual underpinnings of Bob Marley and many other reggae musicians is the way of life known as Rastafari, named in honor of the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I. To its adherents, Selassie is a divine incarnation, and has become an object of veneration worldwide. A repository of near-priceless objects has been loaned to the exhibition by one of the world’s premier collectors of Rasta relics. These include examples of all the medals worn by His Majesty on His Golden Jubilee, items from the Imperial household in Addis Ababa, decorations and orders, paintings, photographs, newspapers and magazines from the coronation ceremonies in 1930 and the subsequent Italian invasion, autographed pictures, and contemporary items utilizing Selassie’s image in popular culture.

Another area of the exhibition surveys the internationalization of the irresistible beat of reggae, with items from France, England, Japan, Poland, Nigeria, Brazil, Israel, Sweden, South Africa, and other nations in which the music has gained a foothold. There are even entries from the Hopi and Havasupai Indian nations of North America, cultures in which Marley is regarded as a prophet.

An interactive installation features computer terminals in which Roger Steffens’ video interviews with various artists—including his conversations with the Wailers, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley’s mother, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer, and others—can be readily accessed. Throughout the year, there will be many special events with Steffens as host. These include several two-day affairs on the Queen Mary that will combine a Friday evening seminar with a Saturday afternoon outdoor concert in the Queen Mary park. Themes include Ska, Reggae Art, Women in Reggae, and a very special weekend to be held on May 11 and 12, the 20th anniversary of Marley’s death. The year 2001 will also witness Marley being presented with the music business’s ultimate honor, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on February 21, in addition to a star on Hollywood Boulevard on February 6, the 56th anniversary of his birth.

Never before has there been an exhibition anywhere in the world like The World of Reggae and Bob Marley. Steffens feels that his three-decade-long, self-described “reggae obsession” is finally coming to fruition. “I’ve always wanted to share the six rooms of my house that are jammed full of this incredible history with the world at large. I am really grateful to Global Treasures and the Queen Mary for providing me with the fulfillment of this dream of a lifetime.”

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#4 June 24, 2012  Rebel Music Bob Marley & Roots Reggae by Kate Simon

Genesis Publications Ltd.

ISBN 1399473799

2004

256 Pages

(Regular Edition shown above)

Some books about Bob Marley are extremely informative in nature, some are merely eye candy and some go beyond the norm of books and enter into the world of book art.   What exactly am I trying to say?  I’m not sure but my point is that Kate Simon and Genesis Publications put out a tome that goes beyond anything previously published in the Marley book world.  The book is titled ‘Rebel Music Bob Marley & Roots Reggae’ and was published in 2004 by Genesis out of the UK.  This is a massive book that has only seen a very limited printing.  In fact only 2000 copies were printed and of those 2000, 350 were published as deluxe editions.  Both editions were housed in wooden boxes and were signed by Kate.  The deluxe edition features a full leather cover, hinged housing box (as opposed to the slip case style of the normal edition) and is signed by both Kate and Eric Clapton.  The regular edition features a leather spine and hessian type of cover. Both books contain identical content.

‘Rebel Music’ features nearly all of Kate’s incredible photos of Bob and The Wailers as well as numerous other reggae pioneers.  The photos are accompanied by delightful text from 24 contributors including, Roger Steffens, Family Man, Junior Marvin and Chris Blackwell.  Being the work of art that it is, the original price tag was quite hefty.  I believe I paid somewhere around $500.00 U.S. for the normal edition and remember the deluxe edition being in the $700-$900 range.  I still see copies coming up for sale quite frequently and those prices seem to still be relevant.   This is the only downside I currently see with this book.  The price and availability is much too steep for your average Marley fan.  This is such an incredible volume that it needs to be perused by all Marley loving eyeballs.  I initially predicted (without any facts) that the book would soon see a much friendlier priced package.  About a year or two ago some sprinkling of hope was spread that that might be a reality but to date nothing has been published.

With all of that said, I can only reiterate how awesome this book is.  The photos are beautiful, especially those that come from Bob’s 1977 short lived Exodus tour.  Kate, along with her friend Vivian Goldman, was able to penetrate Bob’s inner circle and capture some incredible intimate moments.  Many of the photos have been used throughout the Marley world for years but many more are seeing the light of day for the first time. The candid shots from Jamaica are snapshots from an extremely special time in musical history.  This is photo documentation at its best.

Kate Simon captured many iconic photos over the years of musical giants.  From Marley to the Sex Pistols to Led Zeppelin, she had an eye for great shots and we all can be thankful for that.  She continues to work hard and many of her photos are available for purchase.  Check out her website and make contact with her.  If you ever gather the funds needed to purchase ‘Rebel Music’, try your best to do it.  Even at the high prices it demands, the book is worth every single penny.

Kate’s Website

Genesis Publications Website (Buy Book Here)

Photo Gallery   Click on next photo to see more photos of the book

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#2   May 24, 2012

Bob Marley And The Golden Age of Reggae 1975-1976
Kim Gottllieb-Walker with Jeff Walker, Roger Steffens & Cameron Crowe

Hardcover with Dust Jacket
Pages 160
Publisher: Titan Books (UK)  Hors Collection (France)

Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae

There are several categories that I separate Bob Marley books into.  One of my favorite categories is photography books.  It’s no secret that at one point in his life, Bob was one of the most photographed people on earth. Maybe it was his status as a popular musician, his charisma or simply his unfamiliar dreadlocked look. Whatever the reason, we have the pleasure of being left with a vast amount of incredible photos.  Some of the photo books are collections of random photos but most are the works of a particular photographer. One of the most recent and welcomed additions to the photography category is Kim Gottlieb-Walker’s impressive book ‘Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae 1975-1976’.  Kim is not only an amazing photographer with a natural born eye, she is a sweet lady and kind soul.  This book only deals with Kim’s reggae photos. In addition to these she has photographed countless people from all genres of the arts.

In late 2010, Kim’s fantastic reggae camera work was finally put into book form by Titan books out of the UK.  This volume features some of the best and most intimate images of Bob.  With Bob’s approval, Kim was able to capture him in moods and settings that few photographers ever had the chance to.  From 56 Hope Rd. to Los Angeles motel rooms, Kim captured some iconic images of Marley.  Many of her photos were used for Island Records promotional posters and virtually all of their publicity photos for their reggae artists. One of her most famous shots of Bob graced the cover of High Times Magazine in 1976. Kim has said that this was the happiest Bob ever was to pose for a photo. Many of the photos are from Kim’s trip to Jamaica in 1975 and Bob’s trips to California in ’75 & ’76. Also included in the book are Kim’s photos of numerous other reggae greats including Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Toots. This is a book that any mid 70’s roots lover will enjoy not just Wailers fans.  It’s packed with early photos of many a reggae giants.

In addition to Kim’s photos, we are treated to play by play commentary by Kim’s husband Jeff Walker.  Jeff was a publicist for Island Records and was responsible for the very important Smile Jamaica documentary. We also get interesting commentary by Cameron Crowe and the always delightful Roger Steffens.
This is an easy to find book and one that should be found on the bookshelf of every Marley and Wailers fan. It’s worth every penny you will pay for it.  A French edition was published by Hors Collection in 2011 with the ISBN 9782258090224.
‘Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae’
Kim Gottlieb-Walker with commentary by Cameron Crowe, Roger Steffens and Jeff Walker
Titan Books 2010
ISBN: 9781848566972
Hors Collection
ISBN 9782258090224
Kim’s website:  www.lenswoman.com

Photo Gallery

Buy English Edition

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#1   May 17, 2012

Bob Marley’ by Stephen Davis
Paperback: 286 pages
Publisher: Schenkman Books; Revised edition (June 1988)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0870470442
ISBN-13: 978-0870470448
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches

I often get asked what the best book on Bob Marley is. My answer can vary depending on who’s asking and what they are looking to learn about Bob. There is such a variety of Marley books from biographies to photo books to children’s books that there is something for everybody.

If one wants to start fresh and gain a solid foundation on which to build upon then my recommendation would be Stephen Davis’ seminal, and never out of print, biography. First published in 1983 by UK’s Arthur Baker Limited, the bio was simply titled ‘Bob Marley.’ The 248 page book was published in a hardcover and trade paperback format. A second mass-market UK paperback edition was published in 1984 by Panther Books and added the subtitle of ‘The Definitive Biography of Reggae’s Greatest Star.’

Double Day Dolphin published the first U.S. trade paperback edition in 1985 and kept the original title of ‘Bob Marley’. Next in the U.S., Schenkman published a 2nd edition. In total, the book has seen over 12 different editions published worldwide and numerous printings. The English edition of the book is currently being published by Plexus Publishing Limited out of the UK which recently published their 4th edition of it. It has seen several French publishing’s as well as a Korean and Japanese edition.

Davis wrote a straightforward, fast moving biography which will give any new or seasoned Bob Marley fan a comprehensive fact filled look into his life. It has stood the test of time and is considered by many to be the definitive biography of Bob Marley.

Stephen Davis is a long time reggae and music writer and journalist. In addition to his reggae related books, Davis has written the definitive biographies of Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison and Guns N’ Roses. Along with his photographer friend and collaborator Peter Simon, Davis’ first reggae book ‘Reggae Bloodlines: In Search of the Music and Culture of Jamaica was published in 1977. This book lead into one of my all-time favorite reggae books ‘Reggae International which was published in 1982. No reggae fan’s library should be without this book. Davis lives in Massachusetts where he keeps things nice and peaceful.

Click link below for photos of Stephen’s Biography

Photo Gallery

Buy Now at Amazon

 

14 thoughts on “JOE’S REGGAE BOOKS

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  5. Great question Kiratiana! In fact there is a reason. I have several books that are in various stages of completeness so I can post them here. Catch a Fire is one of those books. But there are so many editions and printings and info, that I want to do it right. In fact, about a month ago I sent dozens of questions to Henry Holt publishers about the Catch a Fire books. I’ve been waiting for a response so that I can finish my profile here about them. Although, I won’t be surprised if no one there can answer all of my “bizarre” questions. Not counting printings, I believe I have every edition from around the world of Catch a Fire except, 3 of the 7 Italian editions, the Greek edition and Czech edition. That leaves dozens more that I do have than I’m waiting to profile. I hope to have the profile up in the very near future. Thanks for reading and One Love–joe

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