Bob Marley exhibit opens on anniversary of death

Wed May 11, 2011 5:16pm EDT
 
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bob Marley's battle with cancer ended in a Miami hospital 30 years ago on Wednesday, bringing to a premature close the life of reggae music's most important standard-bearer.

His son, David "Ziggy" Marley, who was 12 at the time and has gone on to reggae stardom in his own right, considers the anniversary a day for celebration rather than mourning.

"It's not the happiest day, but we've learned to live with it," he told Reuters on Wednesday. "The actual day is a day of journey. It's a day of movement. We accept it as that. We're not here to cry or to be sad. We're here to celebrate and be happy."

Marley was on hand at the Grammy Museum where an exhibit about his father opened on Wednesday and runs through October 2. The Marley family worked closely with the museum's curators, lending memorabilia from its personal collection.

Perhaps the most significant item in the display is Marley's primary guitar, a modified mahogany Gibson Les Paul. The curators said it has never been displayed in the United States. The guitar is part of the permanent collection at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica.

"That was his baby," Marley said. "That was his weapon. That's what he held closest to him onstage, offstage. It's made of wood, it's natural. Some of Bob's sweat, whatever, is in that wood, that guitar."

He recalled that he used to play the guitar himself on stage until he was told it should be placed in the museum.

"I was very sad about that," he said with a laugh. "I wish I could still be jammin' on it."   Continued...

 
<p>Jamaican singer Ziggy Marley, the son of legendary reggae singer Bob Marley, performs during a concert at the 23rd annual Stockholm Jazz Festival July 20, 2007. REUTERS/Maja Suslin/Scanpix Sweden (SWEDEN)</p>