Roger Steffens is the one of the foremost authorities on Bob Marley & The Wailers and reggae music in the world. Roger is also a lecturer, actor, writer, and co-founder of The BEAT magazine, as well as the author of such forthcoming books as the autobiography of Bunny Wailer, entitled Old Fire Sticks: The Autobiography of Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography. His archives are home to countless numbers of memorabilia, records, tapes, videos, and much more, and finally, many of these treasures will be presented to the public in the world's first reggae museum.
The exhibition, presented by Global Treasures, begins on January 20th, 2001
The display will be housed in two buildings of the English Village at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California
Thousands of artifacts from the rich history of Jamaican music and the
legendary career of Bob Marley, the King of Reggae, will go on display in a
unique exhibition to be housed in two buildings of the English Village at
the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, beginning January 20. Selected
from the internationally renowned collection of reggae authority Roger
Steffens, the exhibition covers forty years of Jamaican musical creativity.
Beginning with the birth of ska in the early 1960s and moving through the
eras of rock steady, reggae, dub, DJ (rap), lovers rock, two-tone and ska
revival, dub poetry, and through the present ascendancy of dancehall and
raggamuffin, The World of Reggae and Bob Marley is a stunning aural and
visual experience, immersing the visitor in a barrage of sensations that
will be sure to illuminate and entertain.
Presented by the exhibition management company, Global Treasures, and
designed and created by the Pasadena-based Curatorial Assistance, the
exhibition showcases nearly 1,000 individually mounted album covers and a
large number of 7" vinyl singles, most of them autographed by the respective
artists. As visitors explore some two dozen areas, musical spotlights fall
on the major performers. Hundreds of posters from around the world are
interspersed along with original photographs, fliers, t-shirts, post cards,
magazines, books, banners, bumper stickers, buttons, and scores of other
memorabilia from reggae's most famous figures.
In the introductory area a film depicting the mini-history of the various
styles of Jamaican rhythms will be running. In the second, larger structure,
a spiraling series of displays leads viewers into a row of bleachers from
which they can view a film on the life story of Bob Marley, whose album
Exodus was recently chosen by Time magazine as "The Best Album of the
Twentieth Century." On an adjacent wall, 144 albums depict the various
images by which Marley's music has been presented to the world. Nearby, two
columns are filled with 160 singles by Marley and his former partners in the
Wailers--Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.
The spiritual underpinnings of Bob Marley and many other reggae musicians is
the way of life known as Rastafari, named in honor of the Emperor of
Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I. To its adherents, Selassie is a divine
incarnation, and has become an object of veneration worldwide. A repository
of near-priceless objects has been loaned to the exhibition by one of the
world's premier collectors of Rasta relics. These include examples of all
the medals worn by His Majesty on His Golden Jubilee, items from the
Imperial household in Addis Ababa, decorations and orders, paintings,
photographs, newspapers and magazines from the coronation ceremonies in 1930
and the subsequent Italian invasion, autographed pictures, and contemporary
items utilizing Selassie's image in popular culture.
Another area of the exhibition surveys the internationalization of the
irresistible beat of reggae, with items from France, England, Japan, Poland,
Nigeria, Brazil, Israel, Sweden, South Africa, and other nations in which
the music has gained a foothold. There are even entries from the Hopi and
Havasupai Indian nations of North America, cultures in which Marley is
regarded as a prophet.
An interactive installation features computer terminals in which Roger
Steffens' video interviews with various artists‹including his conversations
with the Wailers, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley's mother, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny
Wailer, and others, can be readily accessed.
Throughout the year, there will be many special events with Steffens as
host. These include several two-day affairs on the Queen Mary that will
combine a Friday evening seminar with a Saturday afternoon outdoor concert
in the Queen Mary park. Themes include Ska, Reggae Art, Women in Reggae, and
a very special weekend to be held on May 11 and 12, the 20th anniversary of
Marley's death. The year 2001 will also witness Marley being presented with
the music business's ultimate honor, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
on February 21, in addition to a star on Hollywood Boulevard on February 6,
the 56th anniversary of his birth.
Never before has there been an exhibition anywhere in the world like The
World of Reggae and Bob Marley. Steffens feels that his three-decade-long,
self-described "reggae obsession" is finally paying off. "I've always wanted
to share the six rooms of my house that are jammed full of this incredible
history with the world at large. I am really grateful to Global Treasures
and the Queen Mary for providing me with the fulfillment of this dream of a
ATTENTION REGGAE WRITERS AND DJS:
A very special press day has been set aside for Roger to guide media
representatives, writers and disc jockeys through the exhibition. Anyone
interested in attending this day, Wednesday, January 24, should contact: Lovetta Kramer
VP of Public Relations at the Queen Mary - (562) 499-1620
Visit www.theworldofreggae.com, which offers a virtual tour of the exhibit, histories and more. Also check out www.queenmary.com for further direction details, times, parking, etc. For further map details, visit Yahoo!'s Map section, and type in your starting location and also desired destination.