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“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” ~Billy Joel

Bob Marley’s childhood friend Neville Livingston, who both attended the same school an the love of music;  inspired Marley to learn to play the guitar. After arriving in Kingston in the late 1950s, Marley lived in Trench Town, one of the city’s poorest neighbourhood in Jamaica. He struggled in poverty, but found inspiration in the music around him.

Trench Town had a number of successful local performers and was considered the Motown of Jamaica. Sounds from the United States drifted in over the airwaves and jukeboxes. Marley was inspired by such artists as Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, and the Drifters. Marley and Livingston devoted much of their time to music. Under the guidance of Joe Higgs; while working on improving his singing abilities Marley met another student of Higgs, Peter McIntosh ( Peter Tosh) who would later play a pivotal role in Marley’s life.

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“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”  ~Bob Marley

Though he was raised Catholic, after reuniting with Livingston and McIntosh to form the Wailers in the mid-60s; Marley was exploring his spiritual side and developing a growing interest in the Rastafarian movement. Both religious and political, the Rastafarian movement began in Jamaica in 1930s and drew its beliefs from many sources, including Jamaican nationalist Marcus Garvey, the Old Testament, and their African heritage and culture. A move that influence ALL aspects of his life, including his music.

 

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