An Unforgettable Day

By M. Peggy Quattro, Contributor  ◊  Jamaica Observer, May 11, 2021

BOB Marley’s dead. Wow. It’s May 11, 1981. Around 11:45 a.m. on my first day of my dream job, the phone rings. Freshly hired as Don Taylor’s assistant, I merrily answered, “Good morning, Don Taylor Artiste Management.” Rita Marley uttered one word…“Don.” With slight trepidation, I handed the phone to my new boss standing next to me. By the look of dread on Don’s face, it was obvious that our world was about to change.

Don Taylor’s Miami-based company, D.T.A.M., represented Reggae’s ‘Big Three’ – Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and Gregory Isaacs. Prior to my first day, I had dreams of one day meeting Bob Marley. Even though I knew he was very sick and en route to his home in Jamaica, I had hope. Going in as a huge Marley fan, I never dreamed that this day, this one event, would inexplicably link us for life.

“Why today, Bob?”, I asked myself again and again. There had to be some reason I was chosen to be in this office, on this morning. Within hours, I was witness to – nay, a participant in – Reggae music history. A day that began with excitement, anticipation, and promise ended with sadness, bewilderment, and deception.

The King had gone home to Zion… Long live the King.    

MPeggyQ – 40 Years inna Reggae – Since 1981

From “Reggae Report Runnings” 1984 – Meet:  M. Peggy Quattro

“When one door is closed, don’t you know many more is open.”

May 11, 1981, holds a special meaning for me in two ways. Firstly, it was the day that Bob “Nesta’ Marley left this physical plane to go on to higher heights, and secondly, it was the day that first marked my entrance into the Reggae music business, working with Don Taylor, Bob’s long-time friend, associate, and manager.

The immediate hustle and bustle and activity at the office surrounding such an international event convinced me that this was no “joke business.” Bob had a lot of work left to do, and out there would be certain people “picking up” where he physically left off. I am one of those persons.

Don Taylor and M Peggy Quattro, Montego Bay

Bob was the key to the spiritual door… and he opened it so now everyone can go through. I find I-dren everywhere I go that know, as Jah children, this is serious (yet happy) work we carry on in the name of our father – Jah! Like so many others, I could relate to the philosophies and wisdom Bob left for us in his songs. These same truths hold true today for those of US familiar with his life and times, as it will hold true for future generations who will know him through our records, tapes, films, and books.

Bob will never age past being vibrant, energetic, and 36 – beautifully endowed with dreadlocks from his soul, love from his heart, and truth from his lips.

In 1982, my first labor of love was the Caribbean Sunburst Festival, where, as Director-in-Chief, I made my own solemn tribute to Bob. This 4-day history-making event was soon followed by our presentations of Marcia Griffiths at the Gusman (still keeping it in the family) in ’82, and then various promotional endeavors that eventually led to the creation of Reggae Report.

So ‘wake up and live” y’all…the Reggae Report is here… as a voice, as a rhythm… we shall, ‘till the last syllable of recorded time, honor and hold in reverence our beloved leader, brother, and friend.

“You think it’s the end, but it’s just the beginning…”

Reggae Artists Remember Bob Marley from 1984

In 1984, we asked performers & personalities this same question:

What Was the One Thing That Impressed You the Most About Bob Marley?

Here’s what they said, as seen in V2#5 1984:

“…Bob’s very great…his music is different from all the rest of Reggae musicians…and well put together.” ~Ansell Collins

“…it’s just him…just the man, really… you know, the man.”  ~Beres Hammond

“…a hard-workin’ man, him work for what him have in life, really…and he’s a good singer and good writer, and I respect everything him done…him pave the way for every other artist in Jamaica.”  ~Gregory Isaacs

“…his talent… for me, it was his talent.” ~Jimmy Cliff

..Bob was a great man…he appreciated people and they related to him…he was a champion of the people…a selfless person…he cared on an international scale for the poor, black and suffering…this was the essence of Bob.”  ~Cindy Breakspeare, Miss World 1976

“… a cool runnings man… just cool…that was one of the things I admired.”  ~Lloyd Parkes, bandleader

“…it’s his range…on one hand it was religion, on the other hand, he was a lover… you know, one has a heavy message, the other you could dance to…” ~Perry Henzell, writer/director The Harder They Come

“…he showed people how to move from poverty to riches… (as in) how to move from Babylon to the Promised Land…”   ~Tony King, Jamaica Tourist Board, Kingston

“…it’s how he was a leader…he had a platform and he stood strong…(and) he allowed me to be creative.”  ~Donald Kinsey, guitarist

“…his song “Smile Jamaica” for personal inspiration…(because) I smile a lot!”  ~Andrew Henry, Kingston Publishers

 

Inside the Vaults of Marley – 1990

(As published in Reggae Report V08#04 1990 – this article has not been updated since its original publication. Any updated information is welcome.) 

By Roger Steffens

Reggae historian & Marley archivist Roger Steffens

Bob Marley, Reggae’s prolific king, has been gone for nine years now and for the first time in that period, there exists a growing hope that the protracted legal battles for control of his life’s work are finally drawing to a close. At stake are millions of dollars in royalties, unreleased material, and properties. Nineteen lawyers are currently representing all the different claimants to the estate, including Bob’s children, the estates of the late Peter Tosh and drummer Carlton Barrett, the Wailers band, Bob’s mother Cedella Booker, Bunny Wailer, and various publishers and accountants.

As of the end of April, it appears as if an out-of-court scheme developed by Island Records president Chris Blackwell has met with qualified approval by most of the involved parties, and the way seems much clearer than ever for the eventual release of a treasure trove of unreleased and uncollected Marley and Wailers material going back to the dawn of his career in the early Sixties.

Chronologically, this is my breakdown of what remains to be heard, based on nearly twenty years of following every lead I could. And there is still a great deal of material, some of it stolen from Mrs. Booker’s home after Bob’s death that could yield even more surprises. Continue reading

Bob Marley Interview – After the Boston Show 1980

By Lee O’Neill    *Updated 2020
V11#3 1993

As Bob Marley and the Wailers took their positions on stage for a 1980 Boston concert [at Hynes Auditorium,] they resembled a tribe of Biblical prophets carrying electric guitars. Red, gold, and green spotlights shined on the different members of the band, from the patriarchal percussionist Seeco Patterson to guitarist Al Anderson dressed in military fatigues.

The leader of the tribe walked to the center microphone in complete darkness and slowly began the song “Natural Mystic.” A spotlight finally landed on Bob Marley, whose long dreadlocks suggested a lion’s mane, and the mood for the show was fixed. Whether they knew it or not and whether they liked it or not, the Boston audience was being drawn into a spiritual experience.

Bob Marley with the Commodores, Madison Square Garden, 1980

I had the opportunity to interview Marley several hours after that September 1980 concert. It was to be one of his last. The Wailers [then] traveled to Providence, Rhode Island, for a show at Brown University and went from there to New York. *Following two extraordinary shows at Madison Square Gardens, where the Wailers finally performed before a predominantly African-American audience while outshining the Commodores, Marley collapsed while jogging in Central Park. The extent of his illness became apparent. The Wailers made their final appearance in Pittsburgh a few days later. Continue reading

420 Day DID U KNOWS…

DID U KNOW:

Definitions and meanings:

  • The word “ganja” came from India, referring specifically to the buds of the flower…  
  • Sinsemilla originates from the Spanish words “sin” (meaning “without”) and “semilla” (meaning “seed”) to literally mean “without seeds”…
  • THC is the psychoactive agent in cannabis that gets you high…
  • CBD is the non-psychoactive part of cannabis noted for its medicinal properties…
  • Sleng Teng (a slim spliff) is the name given to one of the first computerized riddims created by Wayne Smith & Noel Davey on a Casio keyboard & released as “Under Mi Sleng Teng” in 1984…
  • The term 420 was begun in the late 70s by four NoCal high school stoners who would link up at 4:20 p.m. to smoke a doobie by a campus wall…
  • Different names for cannabis are weed, ganja, grass, mary jane, MJ, kush, spliff, pot, chronic, herb, kaya, tea, skunk, dagga, collie, to name a few…

Continue reading

Toots & the Maytals Awarded Reggae Grammy Posthumously

THE TOUGHEST

By Kevin Jackson, Jamaica Observer

Second Grammy win for Toots and The MaytalBy Kevin Jackson, Jamaica ObsERVER

Toots RIP by Lee Abel

March 15, 2021 – Singer Leba Hibbert is overjoyed that Got to Be Tough, the last studio album released by Toots and The Maytals, won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album yesterday.

The event was held virtually at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The band’s leader was her father, Toots Hibbert, who died last September due to complications from COVID-19.

“This is so bittersweet. He died and didn’t get to accept the award himself. However, we are celebrating his win and we are grateful,” Hibbert, who also provided back-up duties for her father, told the Jamaica Observer shortly after the announcement

“This signifies more recognition to my father’s work and more fans. This is a great record and the songs speak about the times that we are living in. I’d say his win is historical,” she added. Continue reading

Reggae History…'80s & '90s…Read the Music!