Bob Marley, David Burnett and George Harrison in 1976…Forty Years Ago

by Chris Murray on September 30, 2016

The September issue of Mojo magazine has a cover story on Bob Marley in 1976, that features David Burnett’s photographs of the reggae superstar. It’s a compelling story as it describes the assassination attempt on Marley on December 3, 1976 at Marley’s home in Kingston, Jamaica. Burnett had photographed Marley at his home just a short time before the shooting, which left Marley, his wife Rita, his manager Don Taylor, and Louise Griffiths wounded from the gunshots.

Bob Marley Portrait #2. © David Burnett.

Bob Marley Portrait #2. © David Burnett.

Burnett went on to photograph Marley the following year on his Exodus tour in Europe. Burnett’s photos from 1976-1977 of Marley and the reggae scene form the book Soul Rebel: An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley. The New York Review of Books commented on Soul Rebel that Burnett “shot a beautiful series of portraits of Marley at his home–smiling in the yard with an acoustic guitar–Burnett’s images captured an idyll that couldn’t last.” Soul Rebel was edited with an introduction by Chris Murray, and the first exhibition of Burnett’s historic photos was held at Govinda Gallery in March 2009.

Bob Marley, Hope Road, Kingston, 1976. © David Burnett.

Bob Marley, Hope Road, Kingston, 1976. © David Burnett.

We love George Harrison here at Govinda Gallery. It was also forty years ago when Harrison and Marley met at the Roxy in Los Angeles on May 26th, 1976 at Bob Marley and The Wailers’ gig there. Along with George Harrison in attendance were Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Billy Preston, Buddy Miles, Jerry Garcia, Ringo Starr and Dr. Hook, among others. I sure do miss Bob Marley and George Harrison…they brought a lot of light into the world, and their music is still very much with us.

George Harrison and Bob Marley, © Kim Gottlieb-Walker

George Harrison and Bob Marley, © Kim Gottlieb-Walker

David Burnett’s photographs are available through Govinda Gallery.

Category: Blog   
  • Comments

    • George Michailow

      Beautiful,
      That was a nice memory trigger. I saw Bob at the Cap Center on his 1978 Kaya Tour and at Maison Square Garden when he opened for the Commodores. I was backstage for that one
      Thanks Chris

    • Chris Murray

      Thank you George.

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