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Rastaman Vibrations at the Esquire

I had a chance to see the Bob Marley documentary at the Esquire Theatre last night, and I’m glad I did.

Strangely, I may have enjoyed the early part of the movie the most. The first 45 minutes or an hour focused on Bob Marley before he broke (Catch a Fire in 1973 was the LP that made the world notice), which means there was none of the excitement of the stage shows that electrified audiences seeing him for the first time (although there was plenty of that in the film, and I enjoyed it as well).

Through much of the period Marley was dirt poor. Although the movie makes clear his struggles, it keeps the emphasis on his music – as did he.

It was interesting watching the people who grew up with him talk about those early days. Some of them were musicians, and some of them were not. Some of them of when on to fame, others did not. Regardless of how their lives turned out, all of them came across as deep, soulful, righteous people.

You can judge a man by the company he keeps, the saying goes, and if that’s true, Marley was blessed.

After he became rich and famous, he continued to live in Jamaica (until the attempt to assassinate him, that is), and while he was there people lined up to ask him for money and other favors, and he was very generous to the people in his community.

That humanity shines through in the film – not just in Marley, but in his friends as well.

And the whole time great music was being played.