search for something...

search for something you might like...

Alarcon on Exodus Following an assassination attempt, Bob Marley decamped to London...

Alarcon on Exodus

Following an assassination attempt, Bob Marley decamped to London...

by Alarcon, Founder / Managing Editor
first published: June, 2022
Marley was scheduled for one song, but heavily bandaged, performed a full 14-song set to 80,000 people

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS
Live at the Rainbow, 3 June 1977
(Tuff Gong)
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite

On the night of December 3, 1976 in Kingston, Jamaica, seven armed men raided Bob Marley’s tropical compound. Four people were shot during the home invasion: Bob got hit in the chest and arm, his wife Rita was shot in the head, his manager, Don Taylor, was shot seven times over his legs and torso, and one of the Wailers’ employees, Louis Griffiths, also took one to the torso. They all survived.

The story is a little fuzzy as to who the gunmen were, but there are varying theories and reports:

1. Bob claims the leader of the Jamaican Labour Party, Edward Seaga ordered the hit. Seaga already publicly declared that Marley’s appearance at the upcoming Smile Jamaica music festival (which was scheduled to start less than 48 hours after the home invasion) was in support of his political opponent, Prime Minister Michael Manley.

2. The American Embassy released a smokescreen-like statement agreeing that people of the Jamaican Labour Party attempted to assassinate the "politically progressive" Marley. Then they threw in that it also may also have been the People's National Party who attempted to kill the local hero in an effort to make him a martyr.

3. Timothy White, author of the noted Catch a Fire says that the Jamaican Labour Party, People's National Party, AND the CIA all worked together in attempting to murder Marley. Admittedly, this one just sounds like a writer trying to tart up a book for sales, but these days, I don’t put anything past the American government. 

Although Taylor claims that he and Marley witnessed the court hearing and execution of all seven assailants, we’ll still never really know who was behind the plan to assassinate Bob Marley. We just know that it was politically motivated. 

Marley had supported the People’s National Party in the past, but if you asked him what party he affiliated himself with in 1976, he’d probably say the Rastafarian party. Still, a bandaged Marley arrived at the Smile Jamaica gig accompanied by Zap Pow when the Wailers went into hiding after the assassination attempt. Marley was scheduled for one song, but performed a full 14-song set to 80,000 people.

Not long after the festival and with the assassination attempt still fresh, Marley left Jamaica. He spent a month writing and recovering at Chris Blackwell's Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, then he flew to London where he’d live for the next two years. 

Once in London, Marley immediately began writing and recording the landmark Exodus, from late December 1976 to April 1977. When Exodus was released on June 3, 1977, Marley and the Wailers kicked off a series of concerts at the city’s hallowed Rainbow Theatre.

The record is warm and loud, listen to it here – Bob’s at the Rainbow on the day Exodus debuted. You’ve heard the songs before, it goes without saying that they sound revolutionary in a city that was going though its own culture war at the time. 

Alarcon
Founder / Managing Editor

Alarcon co-founded outsideleft with lamontpaul (the Tony Wilson to his Rob Gretton) in 2004. His work for OL has attracted the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers, oh and probably the FBI, too.


about Alarcon »»

Marley was scheduled for one song, but heavily bandaged, performed a full 14-song set to 80,000 people
week in music A bumper Bunch of Fives in December

dec 1st Steven T Hanley ⇒
dec 2nd Anthony Reynolds ⇒
dec 3rd Monde UFO ⇒
dec 4th Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard ⇒
dec 5th Alison Cotton ⇒
dec 6th Momus
dec 7th Stephen Coates
dec 8th Songe Riddle
dec 9th K Pontuti
dec 10th Ancient Champion
dec 11th Robert Wringham
dec 12th RM Francis
dec 13th Cara Tivey
dec 14th Kurt Uenala
dec 15th Jacqui
dec 16th Pauline
dec 17th Dan Scrivener
dec 18th + tba
dec 25th - jan5 Tav Falco's 12 Days of Xmas

week in music the weekly guide to new releases

RECENT STORIES

RANDOM READS

All About and Contributors

HELP OUTSIDELEFT

Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]

WRITE FOR OUTSIDELEFT

If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]

OUTSIDELEFT UNIVERSE

OUTSIDELEFT Original Sound Recordings
OUTSIDELEFT Night Out
OUTSIDELEFT magazine
weekend

outsideleft content is not for everyone