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Bob Marley. Get Up, My Friend
In the name of Jah
ZIMBABWE, State Independence Concert. Apr 1980
In December 1976,
six armed men shot me, my wife and the band's manager Don Taylor,
fortunately without serious consequences. It happened at a concert organised by Jamaica's Prime Minister, Michael Manely, with whom I naively hoped to ease tensions between the two warring political groups: Edward Seaga and Manley. They couldn't stop me, of course. Two days later, I played at the big Smile Jamaica concert in Kingston.
At the end of the concert, I flew to England to record Exodus, which definitely brought me international fame. That album was different; love songs and tributes to Ganja, the marijuana of Jamaica, which we Rastas smoked to feel closer to Jah, in an endless spiritual journey.
One day, after a football match I had participated in, I discovered a wound on my right big toe, but I didn't pay too much attention to it... Shortly afterwards, unfortunately, we found out that it was cancer, but I decided not to amputate the toe, to maintain the precepts of my Rasta faith. In April 1978 I returned to Jamaica to play at the One Love Peace Concert,
at the national stadium of Kingston, in front of Manley and Seaga, the two political adversaries. I received the Third World medal coin from the United Nations and I visited Africa for the first time; I saw Kenya, Ethiopia and especially Zimbabwe, where I held a great, epic concert to celebrate its independence in 1980.
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