But first, when I think back to when I was a young ragamuffin of thirteen leafing through dusty record stores attempting to track down as many Bob Marley LPs as possible, I would never have imagined I would be watching such a well produced biography on the big screen some 17 years later, 31 years after his untimely death. Such a prospect back then would have probably caused me to literally explode with such youthful enthusiasm that I would have left nothing but a red, gold and green mess all around. During that time I had no one to share my interest and enthusiasm with but a few long suffering friends and family members. Consequently I thought I was born too late as I was rather out of touch with my peers regarding my musical taste, if you didn't count Jungle, a version of Drum 'N' Base that was popular in certain circles at the time. In fact Jungle music with it's Dancehall and West Indian influences had a splice of Bob's musical and cultural influence within its DNA. That and the fact that the Jungle and Drum 'N' Bass culture celebrated the smoking of marijuana, something Bob has been overly identified with detracting somewhat from his message of revolution, mental emancipation, love, unity and liberty. So those were the links, spurious as they might be but still links enough to arouse my curiosity when Keep on Moving was released in the UK during the summer of 96.
When I first heard Keep on Moving there was an instant connection to the feel of the music. It was genuinely positive, not in a contrived or happy clappy kind of way, but as I would discover later it communicated positivity overcoming lived adversity which characterised Bob's life, forged his character and enlivened his spirit. The lyrics were imbued with meaning which I found refreshing in a time of predictable music that reflected teenage angst, puppy love or the simple raw energy of Jungle and Drum 'N' Bass. So I bought the single and then soon after my kind mother treated me to Legend. I listened to it back-to-back in order to suck up the strangely familiar vibe as if I was a wilting plant in an arid land that had been experiencing a drought of fresh water. Other albums followed, a general interest in Roots Reggae developed alongside, biographies were read and the odd documentary was recorded onto VHS where I went on to test Scoth's life time guarantee. Sorry Scotch, they did start to fade away!