Bob Marley is an inspiration for many world wide. His musical stylings and life legacy have touched millions throughout the years, making a grand impact on society as a whole. Personally, I look at Bob Marley as a musical mentor, studying his life to gain more insight on my own personal growth and mission as an artist. His work greatly influenced the emerging social, political and musical revolutions around the world and was the beginning of reggae as a genre. It was innovation with a purpose. So when I heard about an art gallery exhibition of up close & personal photos of Bob by Kim Gottlieb-Walker I was immediately intrigued.
Over a period of 2 years and several trips to Jamaica, Kim documented the emerging reggae artists in her book Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae: 1975-1976 The Photographs of Kim Gottlieb-Walker, now available onAmazon. Each photo told a story of Bob's legacy; revealing his compassion, his determination, his spirituality, his faith in life and people. Kim was one of the first professional photographers to photograph Bob Marley, The Wailers, and other reggae musicians in Jamaica. I got to meet the lovely artist, herself and shared a few words of appreciation and gratitude for her work. She was as vibrant and jubilant as I image she was 40 years ago while taking the photos. She shares a lot of her experiences with Marley in a recent interview with Inity Weekly.
Check out 20 photos from the gallery, excerpts from her interview and inspirational Bob Marley quotes below:
(MR) Talk a little bit about the first time you met Bob Marley. Was it at the Roxy in July 1975?
(KGW) “No…a few days earlier…Jeff and I met with Bob at his motel room where we set up the music press interviews. I set up the chair where Bob would sit during the interviews where the light would be good so I could shoot during the discussions without having to interject myself in any way. Bob knew we were there to spread the word about him and his message and he trusted Jeff, so he was completely on-board.” (via Inity Weekly)
(MR) Do you remember photographing Bob Marley for the first time?
(KGW) “It was in the West Hollywood motel room during and after the music press interviews…it was important to Bob to communicate that the music was just a vehicle for the message about Rastafari …about love and brotherhood and righteousness and equality…and he was very animated and expressive. I also photographed him relaxing with a spliff between interviews. Then we all went off to shoot the taping of the appearance on Manhattan Transfer…first a rehearsal and then the performance.” (via Inity Weekly)
(KGW) “He didn’t like to pose…but I was there to document what was there, not to pose him or interject myself…and he accepted my presence completely and graciously. When we were in his house at Hope Road, at one point I put some colored cardboard on the wall in the colors of the Ethiopian flag and asked him to stand in front of them…which he did…and the first photo was serious (he was trying to be patient even though he wasn’t 100% comfortable posing)…but I peeked out from behind the camera and said,”You know, a lot of people who will see these photos are people who already love you” and he broke out into a genuine smile which gave me my next two frames… and that was the end of that posing session. The only time he actually ENJOYED posing was for the High Times cover…that was genuine pleasure on his face!” (via Inity Weekly)
“Light up the darkness.”
“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”
"Possession make you rich? I don't have that type of richness. My richness is life, forever."
“Man is a universe within himself."
"The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively."
"All these governments and this and that, these people that say they're here to help, why them say you cannot smoke the herb? Herb... herb is a plant, you know? And when me check it, me can't find no reason. All them say is, 'it make you rebel'. Against what?"
"One good thing about music: when it hits you, you feel no pain."
"Me, only have one ambition, y’know? I only have one thing I really like to see happen. I like to see mankind live together – black, white, Chinese, everyone – that’s all."
"Don't gain the world and lose your soul
Wisdom is better than silver and gold."
"Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?"
"The biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her."
"Alcohol make you drunk, man. It don't make you meditate, it just make you drunk. Herb is more a consciousness."
"When the race gets hard to run, it means you just can’t take the pace."
"Excuse me while I light my spliff, good God I gotta take a lift."