Bob Marley

Equal parts of; Peppermint Schnapps, Myers

Layer into a Pony or Shot glass

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‘The entire world drinks alcohol, that’s why there are so many wars. Herb is much better for you.’

Robert Nesta Marley (born on February 6, 1954 in Nine Miles, Jamaica) wasn’t only devoted to marijuana, but also to the oppressed, poor population of the world.
He made his debut in the ska-age together with Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and legendarical Studio One-owner Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd, but made his best work in cooperation with Dodd’s assistant, the excentric sound-wizard Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

During the 70's the group gained international recognition after being signed to Island Records in London. There they released their first Island album "Catch a Fire" which rose to critical acclaim.
1973 saw Bob emerging as a solo artist with a newly formed Wailers band which included Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowattnow known as the I-Three. With this new energy Bob took reggae to an international level having a succession of record-breaking albums and tours. On May 11, 1981 Marley died at the age of 36. Later that year the Government of Jamaica awarded him the "Order of Merit", and in 1991 proclaimed his birthday be observed as "Bob Marley Day".

Marley has a striking melodious writing style, which resulted in the evergreen “No woman no cry” and his impressive “Redemption song”. His charisma and power in combination with heavy drums, bass and funk, inspired many artists.
He remains today the greatest legend of reggae music.

Remembering 20 years without Bob Marley

Robert Nesta Marley was born on the 6th February 1945 in the village St Ann on Jamaica as the son of a white British seaman and a poor Jamaican girl. At the age of ten, Bob and his mother moved to Kingston, or more specifically  the ghetto Trenchtown. Bob grew up to become a "ruder boy", a small time street ganster, roaming the dark alleys of the city. This is where he met Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston with whom he started the ska band The Wailers. This was in the early sixties. Soon the famous producer Clement Dodd "Sir Coxsone" heard about the band, and together with him they recorded the song Simmer Down in 1963. In February 1964 it topped the singles chart. 

The term "reggae" didn't exist at this time; it would take until 1968 and the Toots & The Maytals single Do the reggay. During 1965 The Wailers had no less than 5 singles on the top ten chart. This was the first time that the ghetto made its voice heard from the sheds of Trenchtown. 

It took until 1971 before the band started to see any money from their music; they had been thoroughly ripped off until then. They started their own label, Tuff Gong , which was the name Bob had in the ghetto. They started working with reggae legend Lee Perry and released the album Catch a Fire. This was a first attempt in exporting the music outside of Jamaica. Catch a Fire also was the first reggae album not consisting of previously released singles, but was written and produced as an album. 

In 1974 the album Natty Dread came and became an instant breakthrough for the Bob Marley. Both Tosh and Livingston had left the band after their roles diminished behind Bob. The album contains several classics ("No Woman, No Cry") and had very explicit lyrics. The picture on the album where Bob Marley has a joint in his mouth made the tourist board of Jamaica nervous. While still writing about revolution Bob Marley bought a fancy villa in the most exclusive neighborhood of Kingston. Here he brought his sometimes criminal friends, and this caused a great debate on Jamaica at the time.  

By 1976 Bob Marley had become an important political factor, and someone tried to have him assassinated. Seven armed men broke into his home and shot his wife and manager. They both survived, however, and so did Marely with only a minor shotwound. It is still not known who was behind this and as always the CIA has been blamed. The reggae was now world famous and Jamaica was one of the world's largest music exporters, which it still is. 

In 1977 he was diagnosed with cancer in his big toe, but he choose not to follow the doctor's advice to amputate it. He believed that his religion would help him. In 1979 he got drastically worse and he was diagnosed with a far gone brain tumor. Finally he caved in and underwent treatment for his cancer. His dreadlocks fell off and he spent his days tired and weak in a hospital.

Today 20 years ago, the 11th of May, 1981, he died.

Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom
Cause all I ever had, Redemption songs
All I ever had, Redemption songs
These songs of freedom, songs of freedom?

Those were the last lines in the last song on his last album Uprising. His songs do live on and he takes his place in music next to Bob DylanJohn Lennon and James Brown. The first superstar from the third world still has millions of fans and he lives on in them.

Selected discography

Catch A Fire (1973)
Burnin' (1973)
Natty Dread (1975)
LIVE! (1975)
Rastaman Vibration (1976)
Exodus (1977)
Kaya (1978)
Babylon By Bus (1978)
Survival (1979)
Uprising (1980)
Confrontation (1983)
Legend (1984)
Rebel Music (1986)
Talkin' Blues (1991)
Songs Of Freedom (1992)
Natural Mystic (1995)
Dreams Of Freedom (1997)
Songs Of Freedom (1999 reissue)
Chant Down Babylon (1999)
Sun Is Shining (1999)

Source: SvD

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