Bob Marley – Last Phone Interview November 1980 – Subtitle



Days after that, Marley go to Germany for treatment of his cancer.



Interviewer: You there?

Bob: Mmhmmm

Interviewer: Listen I’ve got the tape rolling here.

Bob: Yeah.

Interviewer: I wanted to talk to you about a couple of things because I haven’t had a chance to talk to you for a while. So we’re putting together the Warner Brothers music show for you and we’ve got a lot of different material and from the last interview we did things sound real good. Now there’s a couple things that we’re trying to fill in and if you can talk a little bit about these things then it will help us because it will sound that much better when we put the record out.

Bob: Alright.

Interviewer: The first thing that we’re a little vague on and you’d be the best person to fill us in is like the early days in Kingston when you were playing back in “64”, “65” I don’t even know if you remember back that far.

Bob: Yeah.

Interviewer: But what was the music like in Jamaica in the early 60s?

Bob: The music was self-made music, rock steady music you nuh? Music that wi make in the backyard just like today you nah mean? Acoustic guitar we were meking and wi write songs inna di backyard.

Interviewer: So it was acoustic style?

Bob: Well it was electrical style but it was just all songs written by acoustic you nuh? Self-taught kinda ting.

Interviewer: But that point in time you wouldn’t call yourself a reggae artist but more like a soul singer maybe?

Bob: No at dat time wi was only practicing, trying you nuh?

Interviewer: It was developing all the while.

Bob: Yeah.

Interviewer: So the first songs like “Wings of a Dove” and “I’m still waiting” were more soul inflected?

Bob: Well those songs was like strictly Riddim and blues influence because riddim and blues was strongly influence down in Jamaica in those times like uhm, weh dis big fat bredda name? Sitting in the park waiting for you…. “Sitting in the park waiting for youuuuu…”

Interviewer: I don’t remember that one.

Bob: “I’m sitting on a bench with my back against the fence, wonder if I ever gonna show up…”

Interviewer: That stuff was coming across over the radio wasn’t it?

Bob: Yeah dat was big songs down dere… “something tells me am a fool, make you treat me so cruel never the less I say gotta be waiting here sitting in the park waiting for youuuu.” Those type a music was di influence dat time wid Curtis Mayfield and [00:02:42] even Nat’King Cole [00:02:45] I mean you nuh wi was influence by all music down deh weh playing.

Interviewer: Now that progressed into like the Blue beat and Rock steady, true?

Bob: Yeah dat progressed into Rock steady.

Interviewer: Tell me a little bit about that.

Bob: Well, Rock Steady as you know Ska music enuh was like a lot a energy. So ska,ska,ska, ska pass you nuh? And den when Rock Steady come in now, tings get kinda more coola, weh you get a song like “Nice time” …. “Long time wi nuh have nuh nice time do you tink about that”

Interviewer: One of the best, that was one the best with backside with Hypocrites

Bob: Yeah.

Interviewer: That strong stuff.

Bob: That was Rock Steady days.

Interviewer: Now how did they describe Blue beat, what’s that meaning?

Bob: Blue Beat is Ska beat dat is a English name given to Ska. Blue beat you nuh?

Interviewer: So all that was going on, what I heard in the summer of “69” they said that the change took place, that things was getting hot, rude boys was in the streets.

Bob: Well during that time wi was livin in Trench Town there was a lot kinda rude well not rude but militant people who don’t joke a lot.

Interviewer: Was those people musicians?

Bob: No dem wasn’t, like street man.

Interviewer: Like Gorrilas?

Bob: Yeah called dem Gorilla, Trench Town Gorrilas.

Interviewer: How did that affect the development of the music?

Bob: Well, dat help di music you si because these di people who dance to those music during dat time.

Interviewer: So the people started to catch on to it.

Bob: No people call dem rude boys enuh? Because dem was like rude.

Interviewer: But they helped to develop the music?

Bob: Yeah so dem develop the music dem self by anywhere di rude music play dats where the crowd was and it set a trend you nuh?

Interviewer: Can you talk about the early days with Coxson Dodd and King Tobby.

Bob: With Coxson.

Interviewer: He was like the first that recorded you wasn’t he?

Bob: Coxson, yeah. Well I mean during that time him have di best studio during dat time and him still have a good studio now to.

Interviewer: So Coxson had the best equipment?

Bob: Not the best equipment but the best vibe you nuh?

Interviewer: Best vibe right? Now let me see the next thing that we’re wondering talk about like your first travels to Europe. Let me see “72” – “74” you did “Catch a Fire” and “Burnin” which wer the first two albums on the island.

Bob: Yeah.

Interviewer: Chris Blackwell is responsible for that.

Bob: Now when wi record “Catch a fire” was di first time wi really leave Jamaica fi really carry the music outside Jamaica you nuh?

Interviewer: [00:05:51] at what point in time that was, was that in “72”, “73”?

Bob: Bout “73”.

Interviewer: “73” you went to Europe at that time?

Bob: Went to England.

Interviewer: In England. What was the reaction like?

Bob: In England?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bob: Well the reaction was good man.

Interviewer: They seem to catch it quick.

Bob: You see Englan was a place weh dis music was always popular; Jamaican music you nuh?

Interviewer: Right.

Bob: And lot of West Indians; a lot a Jamaicans live dere and suh people coulda communicate wid di music. It was dealing wid sumn dat dem know bout.

Interviewer: Was it “No woman no cry” that was the first hit that broke there?

Bob: “No Woman No Cry”?

Inteviewer: Or was it something before that?

Bob: Well, we was always popular over there enuh? Wi did have a big song ova dere called “Put it on One time.”

Interviewer: That was like the first hit?

Bob: Yeah.

Interviewer: OK.

Bob: But before we there was a lot of other people.

Interviewer: Really?

Bob: Yeah.

Interviewer: Who was some of the other people?

Bob: [00:06:57] King, there was Derrick Morgan, dere was Max Romeo.

Interviewer: Desmond Decker?

Bob: Dere was Desmond Decker. Jimmy cliff.

Interviewer: Jimmy Cliff, hey Bob JImmy’s coming to Burlington.

Bob: Great.

Interviewer: He’s going to be here in November 17th.

Bob: That’s good man.

Interviewer: Yeah we have a group called the “Itones” from Boston that are going to open up for him.

Bob: Yeah?

Interviewer: Some good friends of ours.

Bob: Irie.

Interviewer: So [00:07:23] was after “Burning” Bunny and Peter they didn’t feel that strongly about touring and carrying the message of the music or what was it?

Bob: No dem always feel strong about carrying the message a di music but yuh nuh di whol heap a touring and ting, maybe someone couldn’t really tek it too much.

Interviewer: Yeah well I can understand that but that was all it really was?

Bob: Yeah dats why [00:07:51] yuh nuh?

Interviewer: You think that change things or it helped to progress things?

Bob: Well I think it helped to progress it enuh because at that time you nuh when Peter leave and go wid Rolling Stones or whoever dem was yuh coulda see anoda branch yuh nuh?

Interviewer: Yeah I see what you mean, another road.

Bob: Yeah, not even a noda road but anoda branch grow from di tree.

Interviewer: So you feel that he did his branch…

Bob: Helped to establish the music more wida.

Interviewer: Right make the trunk stronger? True and Bunny still man is hanging in the hills isn’t that true?

Bob:  Yeah well him have a lot a recordings out dere.

Interviewer: Yeah I know he has his own record label; Solomon;Solomonic.

Bob: Yeah.

Interviewer: But him still don’t do no touring?

Bob: Not too much.

Interviewer: So when did the first American tour took place because the way I see reggae it still hasn’t carried the message totally across like they seem to get in England? Like the first time people start to click to it.

Bob: Yuh si America is more influence wit a lot a different muisc dan England yuh nuh?

Interviewer: Yeah that’s true.

Bob: Suh really coming to America wit new music yuh haffi really is more than jus coming with a music.

Interviewer: Now when was di first tour then?

Bob: First tour?

Interviewer: First tour in America?

Bob: Well I think the first tour was during the “Catch a fire” time enuh.

Interviewer: So it was like a first island release?

Bob: Yeah. Den wi play at a place called Max’s Kansas city fi about two weeks two show a night, was opening fi Bruce Springsteen.

Interview: No kidding, bwoi mi neva caught any of those shows.

Bob: Max’s Kansas city.

Interviewer: Right in New York, I know the place.

Bob: Tink it was about 200 people or sumn like dat.

Interviewer: And then you did some shows in Boston at Paul’s’ Mall?

Bob: Yeah wi do a lot a shows in Boston Paul’s Mall and sum odda places to yuh nuh? Wi do sum shows in a place name ahhm… Weh dah place in Englan name again? A small place in Englan yuh nuh, a very small place like it coulda name “Hole in di Wall” or sumn like that.

Interviewer: “Hole in the Wall” that’s a good name for it.  That’s good, so now you’ve been doing this thing for 7 or 8 years about 7 years?

Bob: 7 Years yuh nuh.

Interviewer: So the people is gonna get it Bob? They have to get it soon.

Bob: Yeah wid di help.

Interviewer: It’ll come, it must come.

Bob: Yeah.

Interviewer: And that’s the way you feel about it, isn’t it?

Bob: Yeah man. Di way wi feel is music can neva die yuh nuh? Dis good music come and di music in time and in riddim people love it and if di words nice people can listen to it, communicate with it, and it can be of help. Seen[00:11:00] .

Interviewer: Seen, seen Bob. Mi feel that for a long time you know.

Bob: True.

Interviewer: So how about the next record now? We’re going to be back in the studio soon?

Bob: Yeah wi hope fi be in the studio before April.

Interviewer: You have some good ideas for the next record?

Bob: Well I have a lot a ideas enuh, don’t know how good they are until dem come out pon record cah yuh know how music go?

Interviewer: Right.

Bob: A lot a songs jus get las in di studio.

Interviewer: You’re going to go in with a bunch. You have a bunch a new songs to record?

Bob: Not really a bunch wi going wit some selection yuh nuh? Try get sumn good.

Interviewer: Next thing I want you to do, you know my radio station up here you know what it’s called?

Bob: Tell mi again.

Interviewer: OK because I want you to do an ID for me.

Bob: Yeah.

Interviewer: It’s called WRUV.

Bob: WRUV.

Interviewer: In Burlington, Vermont.

Bob: In Burlington, Vermont.

Interviewer: And all I want you to do… what I want you to do is just send your message out because I want the people to hear that Bob is well and Bob will see them soon.

Bob: Yeah. WRUV In Vermont.

Interviewer: Burlington, Vermont.

Bob: Burlington, Vermont., One love, one heart, one destiny and Bob will see you soon.

Interviewer: OK try it one more time say like this is Bob Marley, listening Trench Town Rock, you know do an ID for Trench Town Rock in Burlington.

Bob: You cya get a pen Jennifer.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bob: One minute.

Interviewer: Hey man I really appreciate you taking the time Bob, I really do cause I know you’ve been busy. I hope that trip to Germany will be good man.

Bob: Irie.

Interviewer: I really love you man.

Bob: Rasta, yun nuh?

Interviewer: Rasta.

Bob: WRUV.

Interviewer: In Burlington.

Bob: In Burlington, Vermont.

Interviewer: Right and emission called Trench Town rock.

Bob: Trench Town rock.

Interviewer: Still there?

Bob: Yeah. Alright mi gweh say it now.

Interviewer: Ok I’m listening.

Bob: This is Bob Marley on WRUV Burlington Vermont and Trench town Rock hope all you fans are feeling good and I’ll be there soon. Sumn like dat?

Interviewer: Something like that’s good and you can just say like one love, one heart, one destiny.

Bob: One love, one heart, one destiny, right dung weh mi seh[00:13:18] .

Interviewer: Or you can say whatever you feel Bob just want you to give it how you feel it.

Bob: Alright I goin get it.

Interviewer: I know you will.

Bob: Yes, howdy Rastafari, this is Bob Marley on WRUV Burlington, Vermont and the Trench Town rock, One love, one heart, one destiny and I hope everything is alright. Sound?

Interviewer: Sounds good.

Bob: But yuh waah sumn betta?

Interviewer: Or just say greetings in the name of Jah, this is Bob Marley you’re listening to the Trench town rock experience on WRUV Burlington, Vermont.

Bob: Alright.

Interviewer: Rastafari.

Bob: Alright good sah. Greetings, yuh ready?

Interviewer: Yes.

Bob: Greetings in the name of his imperial majesty Emperor Hailie Selassie I, Jah rastafari. This is Bob Marley on WRUV and the Trench Town Rock experience Burlington Vermont. Rastafari, live yuh nuh.

Interviewer: Rasta.

Bob: Rasta.

Interviewer: You get it, it’s hard!

Bob: Hard, yeah man rastafari live.

Interviewer: I keep carrying your message Bob.

Bob: Keep it sah, carry it, carry it.

Interviewer: You can always depend on me.

Bob: Mus get to di people.

Interviewer: Well I’m doing my best.

Bob: Widout di message there is no passage.

Interviewer: It’s true, listen Bob you’ve given me more direction than anyone I can see and that’s the truth.

Bob: Burlington Vermont, Trench Town Rock experience , Bob Marley on WRUV greetings in the name of the Imperial Majesty Haille Selassie I.

Interviewer: Jah.

Bob: Jah, rastafari.

Interviewer: Ever living.

Bob: One love, one heart, one destiny.

Interviewer: Yes, Bob.

Bob: Love and inity.

Interviewer: Inity in this time of struggle..

Bob: Yes inity in the time of struggle and don’t take on the world stress.

Interviewer: That’s good Bob.

Bob: Yes good, positive vibration.

Interviewer: Alright.

Bob: For the soul liberation.

Interviewer: Soul liberation.

Bob: Yes sir.

Interviewer: Zion train is coming our way.

Bob: Zion train is coming our way, get on board.

Interviewer: Don’t be late.

Bob: Don’t be late. some time wi short of words.

Interviewer: No the words come good.

Bob: Yeah but slow sometimes.

Interviewer: Well it’s good it’s alright.

Bob: Irie.

Interviewer: Now listen I’m going to say goodbye for now.

Bob: Irie.

Interviewer: And I really appreciate you taking the time. I know that those guys in Los Angeles are going to call.

Bob: Alright.

Interviewer: And you can always count on this DJ here.

Bob: Irie.

Interviewer: So you go to Germany and get well and we’ll see you soon.

Bob: OK.

Interviewer: One love, Bob.

Bob: One love.

Interviewer: Rasta.

Bob: Rasta

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