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MUSIC ZIGGY MARLEY : Rising Son : The Melody Makers, led by one of Bob Marley's several musical offspring, will perform Saturday.

August 23, 1990|BILL LOCEY

Hey, it's Dave. Or Ziggy. Yeah, Bob's kid. David (Ziggy) Marley. Marley and his band, the Melody Makers, plus enough other musicians to cast a Cecil B. De Mille movie will headline the tree-lined and totally spiffy Santa Barbara County Bowl on Saturday night. Also on the bill will be the Family Stand and Crucial DBC.

Reggae was popularized by Ziggy's father, Bob, who died of cancer in 1981 when Ziggy was 13. The Melody Makers originated around 1979 in Jamaica but became well known on a 1985 Bob Marley Memorial tour.

Ziggy, tall and 17 with plenty of dreadlocks, emerged as the star of the tour and sang mostly his father's songs. Since then, Ziggy and the Melody Makers have recorded four albums, have sold zillions of copies worldwide and received two Grammys.

Ziggy is making more money than Bob ever did. He probably needs to. Bob left 11 children and no will. Rastafarians don't believe in them but lawyers sure do. After all the legal hassles, the estate was basically broke. But the family is very close. In fact, three siblings, Cedella, Stephen and Sharon, make up the Melody Makers. The majority of the backup musicians are from a Chicago-based Ethiopian reggae band, Dallol.

The younger Marley's music is quite different than that of his famous father. It's not as ponderous and it incorporates pop, soul, rock, jazz and good ol' rhythm-and-blues. The current album, "One Bright Day," like the last one, "Conscious Party," was produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, the rhythm section from the Talking Heads.

One thing that all reggae music has in common is its preachiness. Reggae is all about peace, love, justice and harmony--the good stuff. According to Marley, "Reggae is a simple music--but it's from the heart. Just as people need water to drink--and buy it in bottles--people also need music. If it is true music, then the people will be drawn to it. You don't have to worry if the music is filled with life's experiences."

* WHERE AND WHEN: Family Stand, Crucial DBC and Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers will be appearing at The Santa Barbara County Bowl on Saturday. The Bowl is located at 1122 N. Milpas St., Santa Barbara, 966-2727. Tickets are $17.50, $19.50, $20.50 and $24.50. They are available at Ticketmaster locations, the Bowl box office, or by phone, 583-8700. Showtime is 6 p.m.

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