Bob Marley, c1980.
from Wikimedia Commons
And so, we waited. Or, some of us waited.
Convocation Hall (or, from my visual memory, what is more likely to be the adjoining Simcoe Hall) was covered in vines. Several concert goers seized the massive stems of these old creepers — and the opportunity to swing up to the second floor, where they clambered through an open window, cheering and singing. (And, possibly, being quickly evicted by Security. Or, judging by how full the hall was when we finally got in, possibly not.)
Four of us had driven in from Hamilton's McMaster University, squeezed into a streetcar-track-bait Mini. (Two from Jamaica, one from the Bahamas, and me — not long back in Canada from Cayman.)
When the doors finally opened for Bob Marley and the Wailers' late concert, there was a crush. We could only find seats near each other, not exactly together, nor with precisely the same numbers as were marked on our tickets.
But we did not care.
Say you just can't live that negative way
You know what I mean
Make way for the positive day
Cause it's a new day
New time, new feeling yeah!
Say it's a new sign
Oh what a new day
(from Positive Vibration)
Bob Marley claimed the stage. The crowd screamed. The Wailers started to play. The concert began, and what an amazing set list!
1. "Are You Ready?"
2. "Rastaman Chant" -> Lion Of Judah" -> "Keep The Faith"
3. "Slave Driver"
4. "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)"
5. "Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock)"
6. "I Shot The Sheriff"
7. "Rat Race"
8. "Johnny Was"
9. "Roots, Rock, Reggae"
10. "Want More"
11. "Positive Vibration"
12. "Get Up, Stand Up" -> "War" -> "No More Trouble"
As the Toronto Star reported in a recent retrospective (May 6, 2011):Today is the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley's death at age 36.
The (1976) tour was memorable for many reasons, not the least of them being that it brought together one of the most dynamic incarnations of the Wailers’ oft-changing lineups, with Earl “Chinna” Smith and Donald Kinsey on guitar, Earl “Wya” Lindo and Tyrone Downie on keyboards, Aston “Family Man” Barrett on bass and Carlton “Carly” Barrett on drums.
So long ago — so young — so recent.