May 11, 1981 was another beautiful Miami Monday morning. The excitement and anxiousness of starting a new job made for some tense nerves, not uncommon with the unknown. I drove to the Datran Center in South Dade to begin my new chapter as Don Taylor’s Assistant Manager. I arrived shortly before my 10 a.m. start time. Don Taylor Artist Management (D.T.A.M.) managed Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and Gregory Isaacs, and this was all a bit much for me to believe. I knew of and loved all three singers since my days living in Nürnberg, Germany in the 1970s; sadlyI also knew these were the final days for Bob Marley on this earthly plane. Tense nerves, indeed.
My initial meeting was with Betsy Berg, the young lady I would be replacing. I passed the first round of interviews with her and she highly recommended me to Don Taylor. That week leading up to my first day had me meeting a few times with Taylor, always on the phone. “Why do you want this job?” was the first question. “Because I love Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff… I love the message, the music, the call for the underdog to “get up, stand up.” S eriously. It was the truth. It worked.
From his fancy hotel room in LA, the street-smart Taylor, a self-made millionaire who grew up in a waterfront East Kingston ghetto, played hardball over salary negotiations with Quattro, the little Italian from Steel Town Ohio. Following a moment of me saying, “Ahhh…no thanks,” we finally (thankfully!) came to an agreement. He filled me in on Bob Marley’s current condition and let me know Jimmy Cliff was flying in that week. He mentioned returning to Miami the next morning and asked that I come in for a meeting. Continue reading →
Since the departure of maestro Bob Marley in May 1981, Reggae industry personnel continue to grope for stability in a rocky music business world.
As the positiveness and righteousness of the prophet’s message become universally accepted, Brother Bob’s own personal estate and the effects have recently come under serious discrepancy.
The sordid details begin as far back as that day, May 11th, when Bob Marley’s earthly career climaxed at Miami’s Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. It was approximately 11am when manager Don Taylor received a call from Rita Marley instructing him to report to Cedars Hospital immediately. It was there he met Bob’s mother, Cedella Booker, who had devotedly been with her son to the very end. Continue reading →
10 Years Gone. M. Peggy Quattro presented an emotional eulogy for the amazing Cedella Marley Booker at Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami, FL
Mother B Went Home to Zion on April 8, 2008.
Greetings brothers and sisters.It is an honor to be here and a privilege to share in this blessed occasion. Thank you Richard and Pearl, Anthony and Bob, Jimmy, Sharien and Rita, for sharing your mother with me – with all of us here – with the world. That could not have been easy.
Ms B once told me that her purpose in life was to be around people, to share thoughts and to share love.That is our purpose here this evening.People at every turn wanted a moment with Mama…a quick visit …a word…a laugh… and those lucky souls, like me, left more inspired and uplifted than when we came. Continue reading →
Wailers’ captain Aston “Familyman” Barrett and guitar legend Al Anderson teamed up in July to tour five cities, in five states, in five days. Following nearly 10 years of performing separately, the two Wailers’ came together for a memorable tour in the Northeast. The talent-filled band included musicians Aston Barrett Jr. on drums, lead singer Josh David Barrett, guitarist and singer Chet Samuel, bassist Omar Lopez, and Dane “Tazz” Cole on keyboards and vocals. Continue reading →
Miami – May 8, 2016 — The weather was perfect, the music was sweet as hundreds of fans flowed through Wynwood Yard for this special Mother’s Day show. The House of Marley, an eco-friendly brand of personal electronics, brought together two Reggae superstars – the genre defying Ky-mani Marley and the hottest new Reggae revivalist, Chronixx.
Wynwood Yard is a slice of Jamaica in the middle of the bustling Miami metropolis. Fab food, merch booths, & bars offering Red Stripe and Guinness surrounded the gravelly yard, while the stage was planted firmly on the NW 29 St. side. I would only request next time that the stage be a foot or two higher so the crowd in the back could actually see the show. Front stage was tightly packed with fans of all ages, shades, and cultures eager to sing and dance along with the eagerly awaited performers.
Ky-mani brought his hottah Konfrontation band, featuring two female singers who were simply entertaining to watch. Ky-mani kicked off with his father’s “Who the Cap Fit” and “Concrete Jungle,” which got the crowd fired up. He talked to the crowd and wished all the mother’s dem a happy mother’s day, which delivered a roar from all the women there. He turned out a super-energetic performance while delivering songs off his latest album, Maestro. Fans sang along with “Keepers of the Light” and “Love Over All” while Ky-mani danced and twirled around the very small stage. Continue reading →
Third World, Marley brothers Jo Mersa and Yohan, and Big Harvest delivered the Roots Rock Reggae, while Miami’s 10-piece band The Baboons brought the hot Latin, Funk, Pop, and Caribbean groove. Between sets, DJ Gravy and DJ Tom Laroc kept the music spilling into the iconic North Beach Bandshell on Miami Beach. This music-filled Day at the Beach was sponsored by CAC, LargeUp, and Blackwell Rum.
The Bandshell is a Miami Beach treasure. It holds less than 1000 people, and offers the opportunity to be directly stage-front, witnessing the performers only a few feet in front of you. As usual, it was a peaceful, fun congregation, similar to a big family reunion. For the $20-30 ticket price, I expected the place to ram. Fortunately for those present, there was plenty of room for skanking and a pre-celebration of the 4/20 unofficial holiday.