There is a new Bob Marley book on newstands. Published primarily for the photographs rather than the scintillating stories about Rastafari, reggae and wranglings surrounding the life of the Jamaican legend, “Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae” arrived in time for holiday gift-giving.
Featuring glossies, portraits and exclusive images by Kim Gottlieb-Walker, the 160-page collectible compiles candid and intimate shots of some of the genre’s most iconic performers at the embryonic stages of their musical development.
Described by filmmaker Cameron Crowe as the first “outsider” to photograph Marley, Gottlieb-Walker became an insider when her husband Jeff was hired to garner positive publicity for all signees to Island Records.
She trained her lens on Burning Spear, Leroy Sibbles, Jacob Miller, Inner Circle, Third World, Lee Scratch Perry, Toots Hibbert, Jimmy Cliff and others but never lost focus of Robert Nesta Marley. She managed to snap him In Los Angeles, California during press interviews; in his hotel room, playing soccer, riding in cars, performing, and at his 56 Hope Road home-base of Jamaica. She preserved smiles, laughs and serious moments. For posterity, she captured images which are now considered paramount in displaying some of the principal movers and shakers that surrounded Marley during the mid 1970’s.
Many of the photographs are making their debut in the deluxe, hard-cover collection.
In a lovely picture, Marley manager Don Taylor exudes care squatting low to accommodate a pint-sized, thre-year-old Stephen Marley.
One gets a feeling that Marley may have been happy sitting in the front seat of an El Dorado in Los Angeles with his friends and collaborators Seeco Patterson, Carlton and Aston “Familty Man” Barrett. Taylor is at the wheel and no one appears insecure without the constraints of seat-belts. Taylor must have been present at key moments featuring Marley. The manager is there beaming with a smile when Marley meets British Beatle George Harrison for the first time.
The keen photographer did not miss the opportunity of accurately freezing in time, images of Diane Jobson holding Marley’s young son Robbie; playful scenes of six talented musicians who emerged a Third World force; Marley best pal Allan “Skill” Cole; his creative graphic artist Neville Garrick, numerous pensive moments displayed by Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer and a collage of memorable treasures.
Gottlieb-Walker thanks Charlie Comer, Chris Blackwell and a few others for allowing her to see the talents through her tiny lens. She has magnified significant moments in their rise to global appeal.
Whether or not the short period — 1975 to 1976 — she covered could be considered an “Age” could also be arguable debated.
The book, introduced by Crowe offers commentary from reggae writer Roger Steffens and Jeff Walker.
An exhibit featuring some of the photographs will be on display at Medgar Evers College, Nov. 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the S Building.
The author will make a presentation at 1:30 p.m. in Room 122, the Mary Pinkett Lecture Hall.