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Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley Paperback – May 2, 2006
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"Probably the finest biography ever written about a popular musician. "-Joel Selvin," San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
One of the most prominent music journalists of the twentieth century, Timothy White wrote extensively on Marley, reggae, and Caribbean music and culture for Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and other leading publications. His close contact with Marley and his family and inner circle of friends led to White being granted access to private papers, photographs, and memorabilia. White died in 2002.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am quite happy with the amount of info provided about Bob's childhood and adolescence. Very rewarding for painting a portrait of the artist. The only thing that was lacking was more color about the ten most interesting years of Bob's life when he was recording for Island! There are less than a hundred pages devoted to this period of Bob's life but more than a hundred devoted to the irrelevant BS that happened after he died. The most important time of his life was certainly glossed over.
That being said I still enjoyed the book (and this was my second time reading it) but if I ever re-read this book, I will remember to stop reading after the time when he died.
Jamaican history and the history of the Rastafarian religion are covered in detail. It's also a ghost story, where as the author tells us how the believe in the supernatural, influences everyday Jamaican life.
Marley, of course is the central character in the narrative. The other characters are highly interesting also. Bob's mother and father (the word father is used loosely) are central characters of the story, as are the member of the Wailers and his faithful wife, Rita
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Marley, the Caribbean or Reggae music.
Originally published two years after Marley's death from cancer, the biography remains a great read due to the exhaustive research by author Timothy White.
White had interviewed Marley from 1975-1981 and projects the development & growth musically, spirtually and politically in his life. White also interviewed musicians, friends, family members, music industry executives and poltical leaders, along with the typical research - newspaper articles and other media outlets - and not-so-typical - CIA documents concerning Marley.
There are also sections on Jamaican history & politics, the history of reggae & Rastafarianism and how White did his research.
Marley projected a militant spiritualism in his music that will remain timeless. Catch a Fire gives the reader an understanding and appreciation on why Marley's message means as much today as it did so many years ago.