Bob Marley – “Like it is” Interview 1980

Interviewers: How did it all start? Has music always been a part of your life from when you were a little boy?

Bob Marley: Yeah, you know? I grew in a musical family- grandfather, mother, uncle, sister, child and everything.

Interviewer: What part of Jamaica?

Bob Marley: Uhm, Saint Ann, you know? As in the country.

Interviewer: Yeah? What town?

Bob Marley: Uhm, a town call Rhoden Hall. It’s not well known, in a little place up in the hills, you know.

Interviewer: How big is your family?

Bob Marley: Well my family is really big family, you know. Malcom- their family name is Malcom- is plenty.

Interviewer: That’s a good name. When did you begin to get involved in music really?

Bob Marley: Around 19…around 19…call it about 1958.

Interviewer: Doing what?

Bob Marley: Well we always interested in music but at that time I was learning trade, you know, and meet up some guys who can sing. One name Desmond Dekker. And so we started out from there and kind of rehearse together and thing, you know, and then one day he went away and did some recording then I followed after.

Interviewer: You weren’t doing the same kind of things then that you are doing now. What kind of music was it in the beginning?

Bob Marley: That music was Ska.

Interviewer: Ska?

Bob Marley: Ska music, yeah.

Interviewer: How does Ska different from Reggae?

Bob Marley: Ska is different- different in sound, different in style, different playing, you know?

Interviewer: Mm-mm

Bob Marley: Ska is a more quicker music than Reggae.

Interviewer: No relation?

Bob Marley: Yeah, is almost the same music break down to go much slower, you know?

Interviewer: Same root?

Bob Marley: Yeah. Is almost the same music- Ska- but only say now if it was playing at 33 it start playing at 7 and a half, you know?

Interviewer: Who were some of the influences?

Bob Marley: Well, I think my biggest influences are Marcus Garvey, Haile Selassie.

Interviewer: From what you heard coming up as a boy about Garvey or what you learned now that you’re grown or what?

Bob Marley: What we hear, what we read, you know, and what we know now about him.

Interviewer: Did you learn much about Garvey in school?

Bob Marley: No, no. You see they don’t teach… it’s the education that we don’t get in school, you know. We don’t get that type of education so that when we grow up we can know who we is. We get more education so that we might know who Christopher Columbus is or who Marco Polo is, you know? But we never really knew who Marcus Garvey is or who Haile Selassie is or any black man is.

Interviewer: Were you born as a Rasta? How did that evolve?

Bob Marley: Well, when I figure now I was born and when born and grown there was a certain amount of consciousness in highself that it was always a lonely world not finding people who might think like me, you know.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bob Marley: Not to say that I think so differently but because of this consciousness about God and the people where I come from is more Christian. We always tried to stand up in the right. But what we used to find out is that one church quarrelling against the next church and I figured that I never wanted any of that, you know? I never wanted to enter into the thing where this one is fighting against that one and everybody talking about God still. So after going on and going on and coming up the thing that was there got more stronger. I came to Kingston, met some more people and those people were Rasta. I talked to them and found out that it is the same thing that I have inside it’s the same thing…