Last weekend I was in NYC working on a couple of film junket, when my friend Enzo Zullo called me up asking me to meet someone very cool.
We jumped in a cab and around 25th street we stopped and entered a sport’s bar where I was introduced to Rohan Marley, son of Bob.
Later on we went to his house in Tribeca and I showed him my Genesis app, on my iPad, now in its final stages of production. Rohan was totally impressed: “What is this? This is great!” he commented as he flicked through the pages. It was there and then that I freaked out as I remembered showing the original book to his father Bob on the steps of Island House in Kingston’s Hope street… at the end of May 1980!
I was in Kingston to interview Bob Marley who was coming to Italy to play the San Siro Stadium in Milan one month later. Those few days with Bob Marley changed my life. I got to know an exquisite man, a sensitive human being, and a talented songwriter. Maybe the most underrated singer songwriter of the 2oth Century. He wasn’t just the King of Reggae, but one of the most gifted songwriter that I ever knew. He asked me how long I was going to be in Jamaica. I told him that I could only stay 3 days as Genesis was going to play a surprise concert at the Roxy in Los Angeles and I could not miss that. I was on tour with the band promoting my Genesis book and had interviews lined up. He looked as me with a serious smile and said: “Three days in Jamaica is like three hours, Mon! Next time try to come back for three week with the woman you love on a night of full moon!”
And so I did, booking a holiday with my wife at Oracabesa’s Golden Eye, on a night of full moon e few months later. Call it serendipity, but imagine my surprise when the day finally arrived and we landed in Kingston only one hour before Bob’s coffin came from Miami where he passed a few days earlier. It was a chilly Monday morning and 5000 people were waiting for their brother to return home. On Thursday we went to the State Funeral, and the following Monday I paid a visit an my respect to St Ann, where Bob was born and where he was lied to rest, next to his childhood home.
Bob Marley has always spelled magic for me. Throughout my life his songs have been like messages of comfort and awareness from an older brother.
That’s why I freaked out when I saw Rohan looking at my new work on Genesis nearly 34 years after his dad was leafing through the book.
Serendipity is here at work ~~~ I see magical trips to Jamaica with a new brother, Rohan and an iTec project to push Bob Marley legacy into the future for younger generation to know, simmer and enjoy.