Bob Marley – Interview with Tyrone Downie 1980



Bob seems tired and sick, this interview was made after the Hynes Auditorium live in Boston.



Journalist: We heard but some people may not understand, hopefully you’ll get a better understanding tonight because with us is Bob Marley and of course the Wailers and with him is Tyrone Downie his keyboard play are here tonight. They’ve performed to sale out crowds and just incredible crowds all over the world in Europe, the Americas and most recently in Africa. The music is infectious and the message is influential and we’re pleased to have with us tonight the great Bob Marley and Tyrone Downie. Hi.

Bob Marley: Alright.

Journalist: Good to see you. Now you just got here from the ?? auditorium tonight, so did you have a good time? Did you have a good show?

Bob Marley: Well we had a good time but we hope that we can do it next time better.

Journalist: You’re really a perfectionist aren’t you?

Bob Marley: Like when it gets right, you nuh?

Journalist: I’ve seen a couple of your shows and I would think that even though people in the audience think it’s the best show they’ve ever seen you’re always trying to get it a little better, get your shows to be just right.

Bob Marley: Yeah we haffi try enuh cause when we try it, it nice.

Journalist: How do you know when it’s right? What makes it just right?

Bob Marley: When it’s right everything mek it right; people right, we right, music right, vibes right, everything right.
Journalist: So it’s a feeling?

Bob Marley: Yeah it feel right.

Journalist: You’re in the middle of a rather large tour right now aren’t you? You opened up in New York city.

Bob Marley: This is the first open up here.

Journalist: Oh so this is the second leg of the tour?

Bob Marley: This is the first leg.

Journalist: What I was wondering about was when you were playing down in New York city we were reading about that when you played down at the Apollo theatre.

Bob Marley: That was last year.

Journalist: This pass year?

Bob Marley: Yeah.

Journalist: What was that like playing at he Apollo?

Bob Marley: It was good, you nuh? Brand new experience.

Journalist: Because I don’t think people up in ?? may not be familiar with the Apollo theatre. It’s one of the famous black, R&B theatres in Harlem in New York city…

Bob Marley: Yeah, yeah.

Journalist: And it’s the first time you ever played up there.

Bob Marley: True, James Brown and all dem people play down deh enuh. So wi figure a good place fi play.

Journalist: Did you purposely want to go there? Did you want to have black Americans…?

Bob Marley: Yeah, yeah want go to Harlem you nuh? So is a good feeling so is like going to Trinidad or in Jamaica or Zimbabwe carry that type a vibe.

Tyrone Downie: It was the first we really penetrated the black community as such because it’s one of the few venues that’s really a communal venue as such. So it was the first kind of experience in that way in America.

Journalist: I know you played in Zimbabwe on their independence day at your own expense that must’ve been a pretty special day.
Bob Marley: Yeah it was you nuh? I mean one a di best we coulda ever a do. We was invited by one a di people who was government went down there and have a show and it was great.

Journalist: What was that like? I mean enormous crowds of 30,000 people saw you at one time.

Bob Marley: Yeah when we go a di stadium, it full up a people from all different place in Africa. Because what happen to that crowd was that I invited crowd enuh. So everyone was like guest.

Journalist: So like a free concert.

Bob Marley: Yeah it was free.

Journalist: Did feel like a dream come true for you yo go to Africa to play on the day that the nation became independent? Was there something special about that for you? That must’ve been

Bob Marley: Yeah, is a strength… A strength really, people really acknowledge di truth and see wi a defend the truth and come help.

Journalist: Did you play in the Apollo theatre after you played in Zimbabwe?

Bob Marley: The Apollo theatre was before I play Zimbabwe.

Journalist: You played in the Apollo first?

Bob Marley: Yeah.

Journalist: Do you find now as you return to America that you see more black faces in the audience; that things have changed in terms of the people you’re reaching? In terms of the message…?

Bob Marley: Well we interested fi reach people, a lot people, all people you nuh? So mi know di black people in America mus get di message to.

Journalist: Because I know that you have been working with Franckie Crocker in New York City and different promoters and I know that that’s important to you at this time.

Bob Marley: True.

Journalist: You spoke about that, the feeling in the Apollo theatre the feeling of… different kind of feeling than the other gigs that you have played.

Tyrone Downie: Me? It wasn’t really different… In the old days with the Apollo right it must’ve been much more intense. Then it wasn’t really an Apollo gig as such it was a Bob Marley gig with everybody coming to the Apollo if you understand what I mean? Everybody coming up to Harlem because I would say it was about 10-20% of the people in Harlem were really aware of what was happening and they were curious. A lot of people were inquiring, a lot of people were like “hey, what’s this… Bob Marley, reggae, yeah.” So at least now they’re aware of it so it’s smething to check about you nuh especially like how Stevie Wonder has done a reggae track I think more black Americans will be opening up to it but it’s not as if we just want to open open to more black Americans as such we would love to know that we’re being heard by them also. We want to be heard by everybody but it would be good to know that we’re heard by them.

Journalist: We have a clip of you performing that we want to show right now. We have to apologize for the lettering under the screen it might be somewhat distracting but that’s the way it came to us from ?? this is Bob Marley and the wailers in concert…


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