The Genius of Bob Marley

You may be alive… but are you awake?

“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!” – Bob Marley
… and he went on to ask:
“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?” – Bob Marley

This is so profound a thought expressed by Dr Marley. Its interesting that when I returned home (Ghana , Africa) in 1996 in speaking with the Ghanians they could not be convinced by me that Bob was not educated to the tertiary level and was at the level of a professor . When I read Bobs thoughts this mornig Lekim i realised that Prof Bob was indeed educated at that level just that his univesity was his great mind…Respect to Bob everytime – Bert Samuels

” If i did go a school i would be a fool” – Marley…There are some minds which do so much better outside of the the strictures of the formal education system……want a great musician … buy a piano and tell ur child “dont touch it” the great one will hide and play it beyond your dreams …Agutus Pablo’s family is well known to me and he was not “forced” do attend music lessons..he has been recognised as a “genius” in a Time magazine article I read in the 80’s –  Bert Samuels

Who is Marley?

Marley is without question one of the most transcendent figures of the past hundred years. The ripples of his unparalleled achievements radiate outward through the river of his music into an ocean of politics, ethics, fashion, philosophy and religion.  His story is a timeless myth made manifest in this iwah, right before our disbelieving eyes. There will come a day when music and its philosophy will become the religion of humanity. If there remains any magic it is music. Unlike mere pop stars, Bob was a moral and religious figure as well as a major record seller internationally.

To whom does he compare?  In a Sunday New York Times Arts and Leisure lead story  Stanley Crouch makes a compelling case for Louis Armstrong as the century’s “unequaled performer.” Why Armstrong?  Excelling not just in his instrumental inventiveness but in his vocal style as well, transforming the way music was made and listened to influencing performers of all stripes right down to this very day. You 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. As popular as the Beatles were you hardly see any Beatles shirts around anymore except for those few featuring John Lennon . Can you imagine an image ofElvis sewn onto the sleeve of an armed guerilla? When was the last time you saw a Michael Jackson flag or aBob Dylan sarong or Madonna rolling papers?  All of these exist in Marleyite forms.  His iconography is now a new universal language the symbol of freedom throughout the world.  – Roger Steffans

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One Response to The Genius of Bob Marley

  1. Eran Spiro says:

    I have met Bob a few times through my friends Dickie and Diane Jobson, first in Trench Town , in his Hope Road house and last in the National Stadium. “One Love” concert.
    It was in his Hope Road yard that I watched him play football in the side yard, and when the game was over, we sat on the back steps and talked for a while.
    Our conversations were about Israel, the land of my birth, and the bible.
    Bob had a very fertile and imaginative mind and was able to deeply focus on any subject matter at hand. When we discussed how music is to be universal and that it has to be based on universal human aspiration and cognitive psychology, he asked me to elaborate on what cognitive is. I explained the term and referred him to two books by Noam Chomsky and Donald Broadbent, from my reading list at university.
    Bob said that he would get them and read them on his flights between gigs.
    Other ideas we talked about were the utilization in his lyrics of universal biblical metaphors which were already described in the books of Psalms, the Prophets, and universal Judeo-Christian writings.
    I vividly remember his eyes lit up and he smiled at me and said, “Just like children and football, everyone plays it everywhere, same rules same enthusiasm. Irie Man, Jah lives” Then he went back to play another game.

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