Honoring Bob Marley Through the Magic of His Music, Then and Now
I was only 10 years old, but I can still remember bits and pieces about the day Bob Marley died. It was exactly 30 years ago today, and while I don’t remember what day of the week it was, I know for sure that we were at school. I know this because I vividly remember coming home and noting that a few things were amiss.
For one thing, the TV was off. In those days, popular daytime soap operas like All My Children and General Hospital would air during the afternoon hours in St. Croix. My Mom loved them, especially All My Children, but she wasn’t watching them that day.
Instead, she was in the kitchen listening to the radio as the sad news was related out of Miami, where Bob died, and Jamaica, while cooking up ground provisions. This was also a bit odd as we almost always ate provisions on Saturdays.
Ground provisions constitute a wide variety of traditional West Indian vegetables and fruits cultivated, as the name suggests, from the ground. Dasheen, tania, sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, edos – all are part of the meal, which in my house was usually served with fish. There aren’t too many things you can eat that are more authentically West Indian than provisions, which may have been the whole point for my Mom making them that day. I can’t say for sure, and sadly I can’t ask her, but it was certainly an apt day to lean upon our uniquely Caribbean traditions.
We’re doing a bit of the same today by sharing eight of my favorite Bob Marley songs – four featuring the Tuff Gong himself, and four live covers by three of his sons, Julian, Damian and Ziggy. The live songs were performed at a concert honoring Bob held in Central Park on July 7, 1996. I never saw Bob Marley perform live in concert, but I was there, along with thousands of other reggae fans, that warm summer day in New York City. Like the day Bob died, it’s an experience I’ll never forget…
To hear the songs, simply click on the image of the Bob Marley shot above. If you want to know how to make the shot, click here.