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Roger Steffenswho: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.

when:The exhibition, presented by Global Treasures, begins on January 20th, 2001

where:The display will be housed in two buildings of the English Village at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California

what: 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.

Reggae Memorabilia Collage 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.

Bob MarleyAnother 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 lifetime."

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

more info: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.

(Site created by www.iration.com / Text by Roger Steffens)