Bob Marley – Last Phone Interview November 1980

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

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.