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.
Take a Reggae Journey with Me to Enjoy 40 Years of People, Events, Work, Travel, & Fun!
Since 1981 – from A to Z!
With so much to share, I’m going to spread my A to Z out over a few posts. Enjoy A to O and come back, right here, for more! Trust mi, there’s ’nuff ’nuff history & fun times for you to enjoy this whole year! One Love, M Peggy Quattro
*RR = Reggae Report Magazine
Aswad – The popular UK Lovers Rock trio was inspired by Marley in the ‘70s & later befriended BMW in ’76. Always sweet & gentlemanly, Tony Gad, Drummie Zeb & Brinsley Forde were RR favorites & were featured on three covers, in multiple issues, & headlined a packed Cameo Theater ’91 concert that I promoted & co-produced in Miami Beach. They were my May featured artist in RR’s popular 1995 Calendar.
The Aswad Poster I printed for Cameo show – V9#5 1991 Cover – Aswad checking RR & my ’95 Calendar – Aswad with Princess Di – Click to View!
Bob Marley – Our connection began in 1974 Nürnberg. This intro led to a job in his manager’s Miami office. My first day was May 11, 1981. RR featured annual Bob tribute issues with stories, pics, interviews, & more. I became friends with his mother, children, families; produced two BM Festival magazines; & sponsored several BM festivals. In 1995, I received a BM World Peace Award in Antigua. In 2008, I wrote & coordinated the Bob Marley Tribute that remains atop Mystic Mountain/Bobsled Jamaica in Ocho Rios today. Long live the king!
Me getting BM World Peace Award, Antigua ’95 – RR Article 1990 – BM Vinyl w Logo – Bob Marley Tribute Issues 1983-1998 – Bob Pull Out Poster V6#4 1988 – MPQ w the Marley Tribute I wrote for Mystic Mountain ’08 – Click to view!
Cedella Marley Booker – Getting to know, interview, travel & spend time with Bob’s mother, affectionately known as Ms B, was a definite highlight. Her fierce courage, wisdom, humor, talent, & home-cooking made for unforgettable & inspiring times. A fan favorite, Ms B was featured in RR many times. We shared successes & supported each other through complex times. It was an honor to speak in eulogy at Mother Booker’s fabulous life celebration in 2008. I miss her energy but feel her spirit.
Cindy B, Ms B & Me, Hard Rock, Miami – Me & Ms B, somewhere in the ’90s – Ms B gets key to Houston, ’90s pic by me – Philip Michael Thomas, Ms B, & me at our Time Will Tell movie premiere, Miami – Ms B, Woody Harrelson & Wesley Snipes, BM Fest, Miami, pic by me – Ms B & Ernie Smith perform at Small Axe Awards, Miami Beach ’86 – Ms B, Me, my dawta Arielle, & I Jabulani Tafari at Nine Mile – Click to view!
Don Taylor – I’m so grateful for Don sighting my tenacity & passion, & for hiring me as his assistant. He was managing Bob, Jimmy, & Gregory then & I was overjoyed. On my first day, May 11, 1981, Bob died. The Reggae world changed forever. I changed. Don T & I remained friends after I left. I always rated him a top-notch manager. We saw each other often, in Miami, JA, & at Midem in Cannes ’97 where JA’s showcase stole the show! When I interviewed him about his ’90s tell-all book, we revisited my ‘first day’ & the intense times that followed. I was sad to hear of his passing at only 56 & often think about what he’d be doing if he were with us today.
Don & Me, MoBay ’90s – Don & Bob – Don & Me, Cannes ’97 – Don, Bob, George Harrison ’76 – Don & Me, Kgn – Don, Me, Danny Sims, Kgn ’80s – Click to view!
E-Book – Reggae Trilogy: 200+ 80s & 90s Artist Headshots-Vol. 1 is my fun tribute to the music makers & frontline pioneers who shaped these remarkable decades. With 1000+ Headshots in the RR Archive, I found a way to utilize this treasure trove & share the fashion, culture, & lifestyle of Reggae’s Global era in an educational & entertaining e-book. There are 13 Chapters, my intro & a Foreword by Nadine Sutherland. Have a look – you may be in it! Or maybe your parents…or grandparents!
Reggae Trilogy: 200+ 80s & 90s Artist Headshots – Legends sample – Artist Index – Artis tNames – Singers Chapter Intro – 5 stars! Great reviews! Get yours now! – Click to View!
Festivals – Directing Caribbean Sunburst at Miami’s Marine Stadium was a mixed blessing – awesome 4 days but promoters ran off with all the $$, fi real. Later, RR co-sponsored many Miami Reggae Fests. JA’s Sumfest & Sunsplash Fests-my faves-were jam-packed with locals & global visitors coming together in One Love. I witnessed Cartagena’s Caribbean Music Fest in a bullring (while pregnant) & the Cancun Bob Marley Fest on the beach. Being part of Fests from LA & Miami to NYC & Hawaii, & around the Caribbean was a total blast!
Caribbean Sunburst Poster ’82 – Sumfest Daybreak ’90s – MPQ Reggae Rockin’ in JA – RR Sumfest Co-sponsor ’90s – MPQ, Mikey Zappow, Sudden Impack land in Cartagena ’85 – MPQ with Directors Ron Burke (Sunsplash) & Walter Elmore (Sumfest) – Cartagena 100K Fans at Wall Concert ’88 – Sumfest Daybreak Crowd ’90s -Review Cartagena Fest ’88 – Click to View!
Gregory Isaacs – Didn’t know the Cool Ruler before meeting him thru Taylor in ‘81. He was a real character with a raspy voice that turned silky when he sang. In ’82, I convinced Gregory to headline at Sunburst. He’s featured on RR covers & articles, including an interview I did at his home shortly after his wedding & wild SuperJam ’83 performance. Also, catch his notable performance in the movie, Rockers. We remained friends over the decades, in spite of his expected, charming, fruitless advances. Gregory sadly passed at age 59 from cancer.
Gregory at his peak in the 80s – Me with Gregory at his shop in Kingston – Grumpy Gregory outside a Kingston studio – Gregory’s 1st RR cover in ’84 – Gregory live at SoFla Vintage Show in 2009 – Gregory live at Sunsplash – Click to View!
Haile Selassie I – The influence & teachings of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I has permeated Reggae since the late ’60s. Rastafari believe Selassie is the son of God/Jah. When I met Rasta elder Mortimer Planno in JA in the early ’80s, he kindly answered my many questions. RR featured a So Jah Seh section each issue that presented quotes & highlights of H.I.M.’s many speeches. We also featured historical articles on H.I.M., the beginnings of Rastafari in JA, & insight into the more modern Twelve Tribes sect. Many Rastas moved to Shashamene & the land granted them by Selassie in Ethiopia.
Emperor Selassie represented as the Lion of God – Selassie met by Planno on his 1966 arrival in Jamaica – HIM & his famous hands’ position – His Majesty on Time magazine cover 1930 – A Nyhabinghi drumming session – Bob Marley with HIM backdrop – Click to View!
Inner Circle – Met these uptown-Kingston “bad boys” in ’82 when I worked with producer Joe Gibbs, where their Miami-based pressing plant was nearby. For ‘82’s Sunburst fest, they were the backing ‘Fatman Riddim Section’ & again for our Marcia Griffiths show that same year. The band was featured on several RR covers & reported on & written about countless times, including a tour to Belize I was invited on. Memorable was a surprising offer from the leader I had to decline. We have a lot of history-from Top Rankin’ to Circle House-and were friends for more than 30 years, ‘til we weren’t. C’est la vie.
The Inner Circle band was May in my ’96 Calendar – Caught this backstage pic at White River ’90s – Roger, Me, & Lance somewhere – Cover V7#7 1989 – Cover V16#2 1998 – The Lewis Brothers – Took this at the airport on our way to the Belize fest – Click to view!
Jimmy Cliff – My introduction to Reggae was Jimmy Cliff and The Harder They Come – album & movie – while living in 1974 Nürnberg. I was hooked; my music found me. Meeting & working with Jimmy in ’81 was a true blessing. On a trip to NYC to work his show, I was introduced to Jagger & Yoko backstage! Besides being friends, he was my mentor when RR began in ‘83. He offered his home as a base when I traveled to Kingston. Once on the front stoop, he advised me to put a price on RR: “You haffi get paid for your work.” Good advice.
Me & Jimmy backstage, Miami late ’80s – Jimmy “Bongo Man” Cliff – Jimmy’s 1st RR Cover ’84 – V14#10 1996 Cover – My Jimmy cover, shot in his front yard, V4#2 1986 – V6#1 1988 Cover – Click to View!
Ky-mani Marley – This talented Marley rocketed into my orbit in ‘94 when the then 18-year-old performed with the Marley Festival tour in TX & Cancun. He struck me as a surefire star, and we became pals as I followed his career. His uncanny similarity to his father’s voice garnered global attention. Albums, a Grammy nod, an acting career, & a published autobiography soon followed. He was featured on a 90s RR cover & in many articles & reviews. Born in Jamaica & raised in Miami, Ky-mani continues to write, record, perform, and act from his South Florida base.
Kymani Cover 1997 – Kymani with Specialist 90s – Ky backstage at Miami Marley Fest – MPQ & Kymani at Bob Marley Exhibit 2013 – Serious Kymani -K y and Tito Puente, Jr. at Midem Miami – Serious Kymani – Damian & Kymani, Marley Fest Tour in Texas ’94 – Ky and Tito Puente, Jr. at Midem Miami – Click to View!
Lucky Dube – This talented Marley rocketed into my orbit in ‘94 when the then 18-year-old performed with the Marley Festival tour in TX & Cancun. He struck me as a surefire star, and we became pals as I followed his career. His uncanny similarity to his father’s voice garnered global attention. Albums, a Grammy nod, an acting career, & a published autobiography soon followed. He was featured on a 90s RR cover & in many articles & reviews. Born in Jamaica & raised in Miami, Ky-mani continues to write, record, perform, and act from his South Florida base.
Lucky Cover 1991 – (l-r) Guy Henderson, Lucky, Antos Stella, Cousin Richard, MPeggyQ – Lucky & MPeggyQ at the Cameo, Miami Beach 90s – Lucky at his 1st USA show, at SOB’s in NYC ’89 – 1st Lucky RR Interview by MPQ after NYC show – 1st time meeting Lucky & Slave members outside SOB’s ’89, that’s Arielle (top) & MPeggyQ & Teri O (bottom)- Click to View!
Marcia Griffiths – I knew Marcia as a member of I Three, but didn’t actually meet her until ’82 when I produced her in concert at Miami’s Gusman Cultural Center. Her unmistakable voice and energetic stage performances are loved the world over; her catalogue of songs seems endless. She hit her stride with the “Electric Boogie” & the accompanying Electric Slide, which I enjoyed dancing with her on stages in the US & JA! Featured on RR covers, in articles & interviews, Marcia is the Queen of Reggae!
Marcia performing somewhere – Marcia & MPeggyQ backstage JA ’90s- Marcia at SNWMF 2013 by Lee Abel – Marcia & MPeggyQ backstage Miami ’90s – One of Marcia’s Covers, V7#9 1989- Marcia & MPeggyQ at Reggae Report’s Kingston Launch 1988- Having fun doing the Slide! – Click to View!
Nadine Sutherland – I first met “Teen Queen Nadine” in 1986. Then 18 years old, she was already singing for six years! Her hits Action & Baby Face brought int’l attention & kept her on RR pages. I enjoyed catching up with the rising star, whether at Reggae shows, the Reggae Awards, or on WhatsApp! When I invited Nadine to write the Foreword for my eBook Reggae Trilogy-Vol. 1, she enthusiastically responded & delivered a tasteful, inspiring essay. Now a Queen with a college degree, Nadine is still going strong writing, recording & performing! !
Nadine performing somewhere – Nadine & MPeggyQ backstage Reggae Soca Awards, Ft. Lauderdale ’90s – Nadine looking stunning! – Nadine with her braids – The young teen queen Nadine – Nadine wrote an excellent Foreword to MPeggyQ’s fun eBook, Reggae Trilogy-Vol. 1 – Click to View!
My Response to “Where Have All the Music Magazines Gone?”
Aaron Gilbreath| Longreads | Dec. 2018
By M. Peggy Quattro
Reggae Report International Magazine began as a one-page newsletter in 1983. However, my interest in, and commitment to, spreading the music and message began years earlier. One day, I promised myself, I would do all that I could to get the word out to a world of fans I knew were there – fans ready for and waiting for Reggae.
Remember, Reggae, as most of the universe knows it today, was born in Jamaica in the late 60s-early 70s, proudly rising on the shoulders of Ska and Rocksteady. 1983 was considered to be in the early stages of this Reggae phenomenon. I knew branching out was going to be a long, hard road to hoe…but hey, let’s get started! Continue reading →