On May well eleven, 1981, Colin Leslie, then the taking care of director of the Tuff Gong Team of Companies, was at the Island Documents business in New York when he received the information of the passing of his pal, employer and reggae superstar Bob Marley. For Leslie, who experienced celebrated his birthday two times before, this was not the sort of belated birthday existing he would have wished for.
“I recall that Island Documents experienced by now prepared the release about Bob’s loss of life and experienced remaining the room for the date and the time blank. At that time, I believed it was so insensitive that the guy was however alive, but right here they ended up producing about his loss of life. But hunting back, I realise that I was just currently being emotional, although they ended up currently being sensible. We ended up all anticipating it,” Leslie instructed The Gleaner.
Admitting that talking about Bob Marley “is constantly quite emotional” for him, Leslie shared, nevertheless, that his yrs working at Tuff Gong ended up unique. In point, they ended up intriguing periods.
“We experienced 5 organizations then, 3 in Jamaica and two overseas – in LA and Tortola. Locally, the directors ended up Dianne Ellis, Cecille Wilson (wife of reggae singer Delroy Wilson) and Tommy Cowan. Now, there are about 500 organizations, mainly because Cedella has set up a organization for almost everything. She has completed an superb task,” Leslie observed, adding that he was not surprised as it was Cedella, who as a youthful Vaz Prep college student, would quiz him about the royalties currently being acquired by her sibling team, the Melody Makers.
In his position of taking care of director, Leslie was a member of the internal sanctum and would travel with Marley “to take a look at his dollars in Tortola”. But the visits to the British Virgin Islands expected the scheduling of a master strategist. “Bob was quite private, and I could not guide a straight flight sometimes we would even right away in Puerto Rico. But people ended up unique times,” he claimed, his voice not sounding sturdy.
Lightening his temper, he recalled that Marley, who he explained as “so sort that he would give you the shirt off his back,” was a winner of the bad and that he even experienced a provisional cupboard peopled with all his mates. “I was the minister of finance,” Leslie claimed with a snicker, even as he expanded on Marley’s generosity.
“I really don’t know how word utilised to get about so rapidly people times, but if Bob lands in Jamaica at five p.m., by 7 the lawn comprehensive with men and women, all seeking a thing, and Bob hardly ever hid from any person or turned them back. He would interview them and then inform me how significantly to compose on the cheque he was providing them. I can remember that the moment a guy arrived and claimed he wished to set up a coconut oil enterprise, and Bob turned to me and claimed, ‘Colin, I like this concept. I constantly wished to be in the oil enterprise.’ And he instructed me to compose the cheque. Bob was like that,” he claimed, chuckling.
Leslie was in that room wherever he was privy to all sides of Marley, and as a reliable confidante, it was his car or truck that factored in some of Marley’s undercover moves. “He would acquire absent my yellow Datson 120 and ‘screechie’ and go appear fah Cindy (Breakspeare). Bob really cherished Cindy in point, she was the 1st babymother to get a belief fund set up,” he said.
And, of system, it is effectively documented that Bob Marley cherished girls. “I recall Bob run into my business 1 day, satisfied like a tiny boy, asking if I experienced any dollars. Yuh see, Bob was like British royalty he didn’t walk about with dollars. So I instructed him indeed and asked what he wished it for. ‘Ah tekking a female out to lunch.’ So I gave him the dollars and when me go appear, ‘the girl’ was the then reigning Pass up Jamaica (not Cindy Breakspeare). There was also Pascaline Bongo, the daughter of the President of Gabon, who would fly to Bob Marley live shows all over the environment,” Leslie claimed.
Bongo herself has spoken about her connection with Marley, and there are a number of shots of the two of them together.
Leslie was immensely proud of the point that there was hardly ever ever 1 journalist who could trick Marley, and a lot of tried. “One journalist asked him, ‘Now that you are the Messiah…’ and Bob calmly answered, ‘I hardly ever seh I am the Messiah.’ They tried to trick him with thoughts about dollars and wealth, but they ended up no match for Bob,” he claimed.
Leslie confessed that he experienced no concept, 40 yrs in the past, that Bob Marley would be so revered decades soon after his passing. “Bob is truly worshipped in some parts of Nepal. They say he is the reincarnation of the god Vishnu. Believe it or not, the most celebrated birthday in the environment soon after that of Jesus is Bob Marley’s. There are hundreds of Bob Marley Times globally some are actual holidays, although other folks are observances. It’s the relaxation of the environment that really know about Bob Marley,” he said.
His very last interaction with Marley was sitting down in the Island business in London, although Bob was at a clinic in Germany, and strategies ended up currently being made to fly him dwelling. “I heard 1 of the medical practitioners seh, ‘You are the most harmful black guy in the environment,’ and I constantly wondered why he claimed ‘dangerous’ and not ‘prominent’. In any case, there was a dialogue about the arrangements for a private aircraft, and Bob’s very last words and phrases to Chris Blackwell ended up, ‘No propeller business’. That was Bob’s way of telling Chris Blackwell not to be stingy,” Leslie said.
It was although flying from Germany that Marley became ill and landed in Miami, Florida, for professional medical focus. He died at the Cedars of Lebanon Medical center on the morning of May well eleven, 1981. He was 36.
Bob Marley’s final words and phrases to his son Ziggy ended up, “Money cannot buy lifestyle.”
As a mark of regard, Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley acquired a point out funeral in Jamaica at the Countrywide Arena in Kingston on May well 21, 1981, attended by an estimated six,000 men and women, including scores of foreign press. The songs he experienced offered the environment blared from speakers, even as his physique lay inside of the arena.
Bob Marley was buried in a crypt in his birthplace of 9 Miles, St Ann, with his crimson Gibson Les Paul guitar a soccer a cannabis stalk positioned there by his widow, Rita a ring that experienced been offered to him by Prince Asfa Wossen of Ethiopia and a Bible opened at Psalm 23.
In 1981, Marley was awarded Jamaica’s 3rd-maximum honour, the Purchase of Benefit, for his exceptional contribution to Jamaican tradition.
These days, on the anniversary of Bob Marley’s loss of life, Leslie strategies to put on his favorite Bob Marley T-shirt and social length with mates as they engage in the songs of the legend.