The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world









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Bob Marley is one of those rare musicians whose work transcends musical tastes. There is just something timeless and elemental about his work that can touch your soul.




On the eve of the DVD and Blu-ray release of the documentary ‘Marley’ The Rockpit jumped at the chance to speak to his eldest son Ziggy Marley, who was instrumental in getting the project off the ground. He and film-maker Kevin McDonald have done an amazing job in bringing together one of the best music documentaries in many years: one that reveals so much about the man, his legend and his enduring appeal.








Mark: Hi Ziggy thank you for talking to The Rockpit here in Australia. How are you today Sir?




Ziggy: Yessir, good




Mark: Hi, thanks very much for talking to us. We loved the movie; it taught us such a lot about your father that we didn’t actually know. Why did you decide now was the right time to make the film?




Ziggy: Um, well about five or six years ago the idea came up and we decided that we wanted to be part of it, and it really just took that amount of time. That’s how it is sometimes, and here we are now! But we had been looking to make the film for a few years.




Mark: How did the theatrical release go? Did you read any of the reviews?




Ziggy: Yeah man, I’m very happy. We got some good reviews and I’m very happy about how it was received.




Mark: That’s great; it went down really well over here. How did (film-maker) Kevin McDonald get on board? Did he approach you or did you approach him?




Ziggy: We approached him, earlier on we had some director issues before and Kevin’s name came up and we really liked the work he’d done before, so we called him up.




Mark; One of the things that came across really strongly in the documentary was the spiritual aspect of the film. Were there any themes that you had going in to it, or, was it just the essence of Bob Marley that came across in the documentary?




Ziggy: I think it’s the essence, there was no real thought to lay it out a certain way, it was all very organic, you know. When Kevin came along we found stuff and it kind of worked itself out as we went along.




Mark: I think what also came across strongly was, especially for me, that it made Bob very real, so instead of the legend that you read about there were some very personal pieces in there that allowed you to see the real man.




Ziggy: Right, I mean I agree it’s a dig deep into our family so that now you know what we know! Now you know how he felt about family, how the artist looked at it.




Mark: It’s also the first documentary where there has been access to the family archives?




Ziggy: Yeah, you know we’ve spent years collecting things, we’re caretakers of all that material, you know and it’s nice to be able to show those personal things.












Mark: Was there anything that you learnt from making the film, about your father?




Ziggy: I think it was a number of things especially about the trials he went through in those early days, the times in Germany and about the days when he got the cancer.  




Mark: For someone who is such a legendary figure in music, how do you think his music has made an impact on the world?




Ziggy: I think the music… It provides a way of encouragement to people. It’s encouragement, release and is very spiritual. I think his music is in people’s hearts, because it gives them encouragement and strength, makes them richer.




Mark: I think that’s right and a beautiful answer. One of my first memories about music is my father playing ‘Redemption Song’ to me, and it’s been with me all my life, so there is a special connection with Bob’s music.




Ziggy: Nice, man. Nice one.


Mark: What was it like growing up with such a famous father?




Ziggy: I think he was just the same man when we were growing up, we lived pretty normally there was no real sense of growing up as kids of a famous man.




Ziggy: Even in the seventies although he was popular in Europe, we never lived that lifestyle. In Jamaica it was different, there wasn’t the idea of celebrity that there is today. We lived a normal Jamaican family life. Not what people might expect, or what you might think of today.




Mark: Were you pleased with the finished result? It’s probably the best music documentary I’ve seen, but it’s so much deeper that just a music documentary, it’s about the man who made the music, a glimpse of the world through his eyes.




Ziggy: Very pleased, I hope people enjoy it.







Mark: If we can talk about you for a while, I noticed that your son, Daniel, has written some lyrics on your latest album, do you think he’ll follow you and your father in to the music industry?




Ziggy; Yes, yes. Well, he’s trying, so let’s see what will be and hope he will be successful.




Mark: I have read so much about you over the past few days, and am amazed by some of the work that you do. Recently, for example, you have become a radio DJ?




Ziggy: Oh yeah (laughs)




Mark: How’s that going?




Ziggy: It’s interesting, I’m a little…. Well I’m working on my speaking voice! I’m not fully confident at it yet, but I’m working on it! It’s a programme about the history of music and reggae musicians, who added to my culture and the musical world. It serves a purpose you know!




Mark; There was also the show at the Hollywood Bowl recently, the ‘Legends of Reggae’ show.




Ziggy: That went great, it’s good to hear Bob’s friends play music to people so that they can appreciate the generation before them and hear some great artists.




Mark: We would love to see you over here one day. We have a festival called Ragamuffin that celebrates Reggae over here in Australia.




Mark: We know that you also work with Amnesty International, and also with Urge, can you tell us a bit about them?




Ziggy: Well I do a little for Amnesty and my connection to the (Urge) organisation, they are a charity organization, is that we adopted a school and set it up for children in Jamaica, and in other poorer countries where we think education is the key and can reach out to people. If we start with the kids it will help make their life better, give them a future.




Mark: You’ve also got the ‘Little Kids Rock’ project.




Ziggy: This is an organization to keep music in schools.




Mark: Do you get any spare time? You have so much going on with your graphic novel ‘Marijuanaman’: that was quite interesting!




Ziggy: (laughs) Yes, a little.




Mark: and I love the organics range that you have as well, the coconut oils and the hemp seeds!




Ziggy: Everything I do is part of me and my life you know. But I don’t do anything that is outside of my life, you know. I eat organic food, everything I do is part of me, and I love doing it.




Mark: Something also, some friends told me about, which is close to our hearts here in Australia, is the GMO free Boulder campaign.




Ziggy: Yes, I just came from a luncheon today about that. Here, in America, the government doesn’t allow labels on the food that says if the food has been genetically modified or not. So, for my kids and other kids, it’s important what we put in our bodies, so we have to make people aware of that. People need the right knowledge to be able to choose the right thing for their children.




Mark: I think having that choice is one of the most fundamental things that we all must have.




Ziggy: Yessir, that is the perfect word.




Mark: Now, as our time is running out I wanted to ask a few quick questions: if you could have been involved in the creation of any piece of music at any time, what would it be and why?




Ziggy: I think it would be my father’s music actually. I was with my father when he was writing his music, but I would have really loved to be with The Wailers in the studio. They were very special moments, and the sound of that music and the way that they played the instruments is so special, you know. I admire the music of The Wailers and I admire my father’s music, not because he was my father but because as a musician I appreciate it. If I wasn’t my father’s child, I would still be telling you the same thing and it would be equally true.




Mark: He’s influenced so many people and there are plenty of people we’ve spoken to who have mentioned his name, from mainstream Rock to Blues to Heavy Metal musicians.




Ziggy: That’s good (laughs).




Mark: Finally, an easy one, what is the meaning of life?




Ziggy: The meaning of life!! Hmmm, the meaning of life. It has to be love. To love and live a peaceful life and existence with each other and with the Earth. That’s what life is about, if you look at nature everything exists for a reason. We find that what life means to us is to live in harmony with each other and with the Earth.




Mark: That is a beautiful sentiment and something we all need to get in touch with. Thank you so much for your time, I’m sure the documentary will be a great success.




Ziggy: Alright Mark thank you for talking to me, thank you so much. Cool!








By Mark Diggins