Like the Caribbean, Reggae, Marley …
If you have an affinity for reggae music, Caribbean history, the island of Jamaica or Marley himself, catch a terrific book, Bob Marley, Before the Legend …
Long ago I discovered the power of reggae through Joseph, a loquacious West Indian, and not long ago spent an amazing week in Jamaica … walking, touring, climbing a 600 ft waterfall, following instincts into unique and sensual experiences.
But back to the book … this is the unique tale of a fabulous island, a fabled time and a remarkable individual that has been eloquently crafted by Kingston-born Christopher John Farley, now a Wall Street Journal editor. Here we learn of Nesta (his birth name) Marley’s early village life and into the concrete jungle of Kingston. And we hear him explain, “We used to go to church and hear plenty of singing, and watch people get in the spirit and alla that. That’s what singing is, you know. Singing is a spirit. A Spirit that don’t talk, it sing … Me love harmony. From long time me hear plenty harmonies, even certain times some imaginary harmonies.”
On my trip I was able to visit the Marley Museum, to see his bedroom, even stare at the holes made by bullets that missed him in his kitchen.
But my strangest experience was in Ocho, being yelled at by a Rasta in prayer for taking the picture below. Only time in my life I mumbled, “Peace,” and quickly backed out of the alley I’d strolled into.
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