Sat | Mar 28, 2020

Marley mini docuseries released on YouTube

Published:Saturday | March 21, 2020 | 12:08 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer

Legacy: 75 Years A Legend, the first episode of the promised cinematic odyssey that delves into the life of reggae icon Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley, regarded as one of the 20th century’s most influential figures, was released on his official YouTube page two weeks ago. February, Marley’s birth month, kicked off what his family has dubbed Marley 75, a yearlong celebration of Bob Marley that will see several activities to commemorate this birthday milestone.

Divided into 12 parts, the mini documentary series, presented by Universal Music Enterprises, Tuff Gong, and Island, seeks to discover, through the eyes of a myriad of personalities, the relevance of Bob Marley today while exploring the impact he had while alive.

Audio clips and visual footage of Marley in various settings – unfortunately, no previously unreleased footage – bring to life the legend. In the opening scenes, he clearly outlines his credo of “one love, one heart, one aim, one destiny” in response to a journalist asking him, “What are you really preaching about?” Marley then goes on to outline his philosophy of life: “My life is only important if me can help plenty people. If my life is about my own security, then me nuh want it. My life is for people.”

A fascinating collection of characters with compelling stories drift through episode one, among them Tuff Gong art director Neville Garrick, who points out that “Bob even talk ‘bout climate change”, in reference to a visual in which Marley states, “Dem believe dat man can destroy the earth. Man can only destroy himself.” Also featured are Carlton ‘Santa’ Davis; Lloyd ‘Bread’ McDonald of the Wailing Souls; and I-Three member Judy Mowatt, who speaks about the love that people showed for Bob when the group embarked on its first overseas tour.

Bob’s grandchildren Donisha, Skip, and Mystic; sons Ky-Mani, Damian, Julian, and Rohan; Buju Banton; Big Dread; Kim Gottlieb Walker, an Island Records photographer who describes Bob as “very charismatic and physically beautiful”; Jeff Walter, head of publicity for Island; and Stella McLaughlin, founder of the original Bob Marley fan club, all have stories to share.

In all of this, it is Ziggy who is the constant, asking questions, prodding for more information, and showing his delight at some new revelation, even as songs from his father’s extensive catalogue are played throughout. Since its release on February 29, Legacy: 75 Years A Legend has amassed close to 400,000 views and almost 500 comments. Diehard Marley fans of all ages have had their say and are anticipating the timely release of the other 12 episodes.

Bob Marley, who died when he was 36 years old of skin cancer, accomplished much during and after his lifetime. The most recognised Jamaican globally, he was the world ambassador for reggae music, earning an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and selling more than 20 million records. He is acknowledged as the first international superstar to emerge from the Third World.

Legacy: 75 Years A Legend closes with a clip of a young widow, Rita Marley, speaking about Bob’s transition. “His spirit is even more dominant to us, the family. We share a spiritual life with him, which is natural. It’s just that we can’t see him, but we are sure that he lives.”

yasmine.peru@gleanerjm.com