Posted by: cantmisssd | February 15, 2010

Tribute to the Legends (Bob Marley Day)

Out at Sports Arena today for all of you swept up by unemployment or the hysteria of President’s Day is the annual Tribute to the Legends concert in celebration of Bob Marley Day. Marley’s birthday is February 6th (he’d be 65 this year), but the celebration has migrated to President’s Day, which presumably carries a more available crowd. The guiding force behind the festivities is Makeda Dread, concurrently known in San Diego as a founder of Balboa Park’s Worldbeat Center and as the organizer of the first Bob Marley Birthday Celebration in 1981.

Second only perhaps to Che and his line of t-shirts, Bob Marley’s legacy as a crusader for equality and social justice has been steadily eroded by every copy of Legend sold to a go-along-get-along suburban toker who heard that Bob Marley is smoking music. But at the time, Marley’s songs exposing the injustices of living in the post-colonial third world made him the voice of hundreds of millions trapped beneath economic imperialism. He became so dangerous to the powers that be that his life was consistently in danger and in 1976, one attempt on his life got close enough to shoot Marley, his wife, and his manager. The protest music crying out for such a simple idea as mutual love and respect is just as relevant today, much (hopefully) to our collective chagrin.

This year, Gregory Isaacs, Martin Campbell, Barrington Levy, and Don Carlos help anchor the lineup for the day. David Isaacs, Vivian “Yabby You” Jackson, and Wycliffe “Steely” Johnson are this year’s honorees. Celebrate the real legacy, try to overlook the tired cliches.

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