1973 was the year the one-two toke of Jamaican reggae hit American hippies. One was the release of antihero crime musical The Harder They Come, starring singer Jimmy Cliff, two was the release of Catch a Fire, by the Wailers, led by Bob Marley. That year my band Laurence & the Arabians (an all-Jew aggregation) went en masse down to Max's Kansas City in NYC to see the Wailers. The rhythm was hypnotic and the music fresh, the latter a quality increasingly missing from rock by the early 1970s. We were knocked out and freaks all over the world were, too. Marley's name soon preceded the Wailers' on album jackets and marquees. Charismatic, unearthly handsome, alternately joyful and intense, and a musical original, Marley sang of justice, spirituality and love. Photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker has published a gorgeous collection of photos of reggae greats called Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae 1975-1976 (Titan Books). We see Cliff, Lee "Scratch" Perry, original Wailer Peter Tosh, Toots and the Maytals, but mostly Marley in Los Angeles, for his legendary Roxy gig in '75, and on his Jamaican home turf. Gottlieb-Walker will share stories, a slide show and music, and sign her lovely book tonight. And while we're on the subject ... LEGALIZE IT!
Tue., Dec. 7, 7 p.m., 2010