May 28, 1992 |
It is impossible to watch the stirring, exhilarating tribute "Bob Marley: Time Will Tell" (at the NuWilshire for one week) without experiencing a profound sense of loss. Marley's passionate songs asserting black dignity and equality as well as freedom and justice for all couldn't be more timely for Los Angeles audiences right now. Born in Jamaica in 1945 of a white father and a black mother, Marley said that he didn't take sides--that he was for everybody.
July 21, 1986 |
Ziggy Marley used two of his late father's songs as the pivot of his show Saturday at the Universal Amphitheatre. First he shared the loss in the gentle, bittersweet "No Woman No Cry." Then the band kicked into the firebrand anthem "Get Up Stand Up" with uncommon power. The Bob Marley legacy was clearly in good hands. Like a prince coming of age, the reggae giant's 17-year-old son has assumed his father's role with a telling awareness and no self-consciousness.
June 4, 1989 |
Between the death of Bob Marley, the murder of drummer Carlton Barrett and legal entanglements restricting the group's activities for years, the Wailers Band has faced plenty of trials by fire. But there's little evidence of the reggae sextet's indomitable spirit on this undistinguished comeback album. The songs (all written or co-written by singer-guitarist Junior Marvin) steer a nondescript commercial course that echoes Steel Pulse and UB40. Only "Reggae Love" and "Irie" pack any kind of groove punch, while the lyrics are nebulous social protests or generic tributes to reggae music.
September 19, 1991 |
Children of great parents never have it easy when they try to follow in the family footsteps. Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers do have one advantage. The group's four Marley siblings--Ziggy, Cedella, Sharon and Stephen--are working in a musical field that their father defined and spread to an international audience. If not for Bob Marley, who died of cancer in 1981, it's unlikely that any reggae band, including his children's, would be able to command a large-scale following today.
October 9, 1988 |
It was finding out that Amnesty International's "Human Rights Now!" tour was starting off each show on its five-continent tour with its five principal artists together on stage singing "Get Up, Stand Up" that clinched it for me: We are living in Bob Marley's historical moment. The reggae king died of cancer in 1981 at 36. Had Marley survived, it's almost staggering to imagine how powerful a force he would most likely be today.
May 19, 1989 |
With the death of the charismatic Bob Marley in 1980, reggae lost much of its luster, and its popularity seemed to be on the wane for several years. But with the emergence of such groups as Grammy-winning Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers--a group composed of Marley's children--and such recent hits as UB40's "Red Red Wine," reggae is no longer on the decline. On the contrary, it shows signs of finally earning real, broad-based popularity. Wednesday night at the Universal Amphitheatre, on a program that will repeat tonight at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, the Wailers--formerly Bob Marley's backup band--played an hour-plus set that was long on fire and urgency and even showed an occasional burst of high-spirited invention.