Bob Marley

Bob Marley
Bob Marley: ’Excuse me while I light my spliff’

Bob Marley is truly a Legend. The Tuff Gong from Jamaica put reggae on the world map, becoming its international ambassador in the '70s.

Born Nesta Robert Marley on Feb. 6, 1945 in Nine Mile, Jamaca, he moved to Kingston and lived in the Trench Town ghetto when he was 12. He started recording with the Wailers - Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Carlton Barrett and others - in late-'60s. Bob gradually become the focal point of the group as they began expanding their brand of roots reggae to reach the growing global audience.

From 1973 to 1980, eight Bob Marley & the Wailers albums - including Catch a FireBurnin'Natty DreadRastaman VibrationExodusKayaSurvival and Uprrising - changed popular music forever.

Marley extolled the virtues of a Rastafarian lifestyle - reggae music, ital food, ganja smoke, dreadlocks and spiritiual uplift. As part of his Rastafarian beliefs, he viewed marijuana as "the healing of the nations." Marley smoked a spliff on the cover of Catch a Fire and appeared on the cover of High Times in 1976. There are dozens of photos of him using marijuana published in numerous books and magazines.

Marley's top four herb lyrics are:
• "Got to have kaya now" - "Kaya"
• "Excuse me while I light my spliff" - "Easy Skanking"
• "I've got to throw away my little herb stalk" - "Rebel Music (3 o' Clock Roadblock)"
• "Take away everything/ And make everyone feel high" - "Get Up, Stand Up" (by Peter Tosh)

His political views led to him being shot in 1976, at which point he left Jamaica and toured constantly.

Stricken with cancer, he last performed in 1980 and died on May 11, 1981. Marley and his wife Rita had three children (Ziggy, Cedella and Stephen). He had nine other children by other women.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.