Seven Awesome Things You Didn’t Know Bob Marley Did in London

Posted on Tuesday February 2nd in

Singer, songwriter, poet, guitarist, and force of nature Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley is one of the world’s best loved musical talents. The reggae icon penned some of the greatest poetry of last century. His songs overflow with positivity, encouragement, and optimism, making him the go-to for that instant feel-good reminder of how wonderful life really is.

But there was a lot more to the man behind the music, and we have compiled a list of seven facts you most probably didn’t know about Bob Marley and his life in our beloved London. Check it out and join us on Friday, 5 February and Saturday, 6 February to celebrate the birthday of reggae’s brightest star!
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1. In 1976, during the Notting Hill riots, Bob Marley helped form an alliance of young rastas and punks, recording “Punky Reggae Party” (at the Roxy, Neal Street, Covent Garden).

2. While in London, he lived with Cindy Breakespeare, who was Miss Jamaica in 1976, and they had a son, Damian, in 1978. Marley wrote “Three Little Birds” as a tribute to Breakespeare.

3. It was in 1972, as an unknown musician, that Marley moved to London after he and his group, the Wailers, found themselves stranded without funds while promoting records on their previous label. Marley lived at 34 Ridgmount Gardens (between Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street). His widow, Rita Marley, erected a plaque at Ridgmount Gardens during Black History Month in 2006. She stated, “My husband had a special affinity with London. We truly look forward to seeing the plaque the next time we are in London. Jah bless you all. One love.”
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4. “One Love” was one of his greatest hits on the Island Records label, which Bob Marley and the Wailers signed with while stranded in London.

5. In the spring of 1977, while living in London, Marley was arrested and fined by British police for marijuana possession. Here is a moment captured of him leaving the Magistrate’s Court. Marley was willing to stand up for his rights no matter what the price.
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6. During the winter of 1972-73, Marley played his first gig in London at the Speakeasy Club (48-50 Margaret Street). Laurie O’Leary, a friend of the Kray gangster twins, ran the venue from 1968 to 1977.
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7. On the eve of a peace concert in Jamaica in December 1976, Marley was shot and wounded in his own home. Despite this he appeared at the concert the next day but decided for his own safety to take refuge in London.

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