Last weekend, I met some friends at the Guild Theater to see the new documentary, Marley, by Kevin Macdonald. When I got home afterward, I loaded up the CD player with Exodus, Babylon by Bus, Catch a Fire (both discs), and Confrontation. That left five more CDs for round two. Yeah, I’m a Bob Marley fan. I’ve read Catch a Fire, the Life of Bob Marley, by Timothy White a couple of times and have watched Time Will Tell, the documentary on the DVD, Legend, multiple times, too.
It’s kind of hard to see through the curtain of smoke produced by all the ganja Robert Nesta Marley smoked to what might have been his core personality, and I’m not generally in favor of typing public figures, but I’m going to take a stab at it in this case. I think Marley was a straight-up 8—no wing.
In addition to growing up in extreme poverty and violence in Trenchtown (next to Kingston, the capital of Jamaica), he was viewed as an outcast because his mother was black and his father—who he was named after, but who didn’t stick around—was white. As a youth, he was a bit of a brawler. One of his nicknames was Tuff Gong, which became the name of his record label. From Catch a Fire: Continue reading