February 6, 2015

The Evergreen Music of Bob Marley

Image: Bob Marley, The Official Website
"In ancient times the greatest prophets were great musicians." ~Hazrat Inayat Khan, “The Mysticism of Sound and Music.”

Today would have been the 70th birthday of this musical genius.

Of Marley, Roger Steffens eloquently wrote:
[Y]ou don’t see thousands of Maori and Tongans and Fijians gathering annually to pay honor to Louis Armstrong; you don’t witness phalanxes of youth wandering the world sporting Louis Armstrong t-shirts. In fact, big as the Beatles were, you hardly see any Beatle shirts around anymore, except for those few featuring John Lennon’s sorrow-inducing visage. Can you imagine an image of Elvis sewn onto the sleeve of an armed guerilla? When was the last time you saw a Michael Jackson flag or a Bob Dylan sarong or Madonna rolling papers? All of these exist in Marleyite forms, his iconography well nigh a new universal language, the symbol, as Jack Healey of Amnesty International continues to tell people, of freedom throughout the world. (Read the full 2001 article here.)
Then Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga delivered Marley's eulogy declaring:
His voice was an omnipresent cry in our electronic world. His sharp features, majestic looks, and prancing style a vivid etching on the landscape of our minds. Bob Marley was never seen. He was an experience which left an indelible imprint with each encounter. Such a man cannot be erased from the mind. He is part of the collective consciousness of the nation.
Indeed, Marley is part of the collective consciousness of the world.

Bob Marley Live at the Rainbow, London, 1977

""[I]t is not surprising that the N.Y. Times, seeking one video to epitomize the past century, preserved in a time capsule to be opened a thousand years hence, chose 'Bob Marley Live at the Rainbow, London, 1977.' Or that the same "newspaper of record" called Marley "the most influential artist of the second half of the 20th century."" ~Roger Steffens

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