Natty dread's ride again
Marley's Land Rover returns to museum for birthday
Two years ago, Bob Marley's Land Rover made its first trip through the gates of the Bob Marley Museum at 56 Hope Road, St Andrew, in 25 years. It did not move under its own power, but was carefully placed on a tow truck to be taken away for full restoration.
On Friday, Bob Marley's 70th birthday, the Land Rover will be heading back through the gates of the museum one more time, making a grand entrance for a permanent parking spot on display. The organisers of the annual Bob Marley celebrations held at the museum and Tuff Gong International on Marcus Garvey Drive have announced that the vehicle will be returned during the event at 56 Hope Road, which is free and open to the public.
The 1976 vehicle is a treasured artefact. In January 2012, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, general manager of the Bob Marley Foundation, told The Gleaner that the Land Rover was "very popular" with visitors to the museum. As a stand-in, she said, "What we will have to do is take a photograph and show people that it has been sent to be refurbished."
Lynch-Stewart said that ATL, dealers for Land Rover in Jamaica, had been contacted to restore the vehicle, which had been exhibited outside under a covering, although there were no sides. Then, Lynch-Stewart told The Gleaner, "We made contact with them (ATL) to see if it could be restored. They then contacted the headquarters in London, so this discussion has been going on for some time."
When it was taken away two years ago, Marley's Land Rover was taken to ATL's Montego Bay, St James, offices for assessment.
In 2009, Paul Kelly, operations manager at the Bob Marley Museum, told The Gleaner that Bob Marley "mostly used this (the Land Rover) to make his country run to St Ann". It was also used to handle chores and make regular pickups as required.
Musically, Bob Marley's live 1978 album Babylon By Bus makes a vehicle reference, the title capturing the overseas treks to perform at various venues. And in Rebel Music (Three O'Clock Roadblock) Marley sings about an encounter with the law while driving through the country - although he does not specify a vehicle, he sings:
"Why can't we roam this open
Oh why can't we be what we
want to be
We want to be free
Three o'clock, roadblock,
And I've got to throw away
My little herb stock."
Bob Marley is lacking documents, but he makes it a matter of personal papers in the memorable line "hey Mr Cop, got no birth cerfitikit on me now."