April 22, 2008


Today Marks the 30th Anniversary of Marley's Legendary Concert for Peace in his homeland Jamaica.

Portions taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The infamous One Love Peace Concert was held on April 22, 1978 at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. This concert was held during a political civil war in Jamaica between opposing parties Jamaican Labour Party and the People's National Party. The concert came to its peak during Bob Marley & The Wailers' performance of "Jammin'", when Marley joined the hands of political rivals Michael Manley (PNP) and Edward Seaga (JLP).

my portrait of Bob Marley

Also performing at the event was Bob's former Wailer's bandmate Peter Tosh, who played a blistering set that included: "Igziabeher"; "400 Years"; "Stepping Razor"; "Burial"; "Equal Rights"; "Legalize It"; and "Get Up, Stand Up". ("Get Up, Stand Up" was very often performed at Marley's concerts, often as the last song, it was also the last song Marley ever performed on stage, on September 23, 1980 at the Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)

Other artists that shared the bill that day: The Meditations; Althea and Donna; Dillinger; The Mighty Diamonds; Junior Tucker; Culture; Dennis Brown; Trinity; Leroy Smart; Jacob Miller and Inner Circle; Big Youth; Beres Hammond; Ras Michael and The Sons of Negus.

When Bob and the Wailers finally took the stage, they treated the crowd to: "Lion of Judah"; "Natural Mystic"; "Trenchtown Rock"; "Natty Dread"; "Positive Vibration"; * "War"; "Jammin'"; "One Love / People Get Ready"; and "Jah Love".

Bob Marley said (sang) the following as he called the two politicians onstage, and while he held their hands above his head and said while improvising on "Jammin'":

"Just let me tell you something (yeah), to make everything come true, we gotta be together. (Yeah, yeah, yeah) and through the spirit of the Most High, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, we're inviting a few leading people of the slaves to shake hands. . . To show the people that you love them right, to show the people that you gonna unite, show the people that you're over bright, show the people that everything is all right. Watch, watch, watch, what you're doing, because . . I mean, I'm not so good at talking but I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. Well, I'm trying to say, could we have, could we have, up here onstage here the presence of Mr. Michael Manley and Mr. Edward Seaga. I just want to shake hands and show the people that we're gonna make it right, we're gonna unite, we're gonna make it right, we've got to unite . The moon is high over my head, and I give my love instead. The moon is high over my head, and I give my love instead. "

The last time Bob was in Jamaica was 14 months earlier for the The Smile Jamaica Concert held on December 5, 1976, at the National Heroes Park, Kingston, Jamaica. Only 2 days before Marley had almost been killed by gunmen in his house, but survived and was driven up in the Blue Mountains. Nevertheless Marley agreed to perform one song for the 80,000 people in attendance, but it turned into a whole 90-minute performance despite his injuries. The set list for the show was as follows 1. War/ No More Trouble/ Get Up Stand Up 2. Crazy Baldhead/ Positive Vibration 3. Smile Jamaica 4. Rat Race 5. TrenchTown Rock 6. Keep on Moving 7. Want More 8. Them Belly Full 9. Jah Live 10. Rastaman Chant 11. Rebel Music 12. So Jah Seh

The One Love Peace Concert was captured on film, it's available on DVD, and is called Heartland Reggae. Altough it's a fascinating document, it's a rather poorly made film.

One of my great music related regrets is not having seen Bob at any of his Miami appearences. Below are a few tunes from the One Love Concert (including "Jammin'" with the above speech), "Get Up/Exodus" from Miami '78, and a rare take of "Redemtion Song" with a full band.
There is tons of great Bob Marley CDs out there...if you don't have some, do yerself a favor mon, go get'cha some.






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