On the evening of April 26, 2012, a live multimedia presentation, “The Life of Bob Marley”, was given at Thelma Schnitzer Hall on the campus of University of Oregon.
The speech was given by Roger Steffens, an author, lecturer and photographer. The presentation is called by The New York Times “the next best thing to seeing Bob Marley live.”
As Marley’s biggest fan, besides to memorize Marley, Steffens wanted to tell the true story about Marley, since there are so much missing information and myths about him. Steffens believed that Marley’s story would encourage and enlighten people.
“The true story is phenomenal and so incredible that you don’t have to make up things about Bob,” Steffens said, “just tell people what happened and how this man who came from nothing, from impoverished life out the bush to be a friend of kings, politicians, poor and rich people.”
The speech was the definitive story of the reggae icon, as told through two hours of unreleased films and videos – home movies, rehearsal films, a long-suppressed documentary on the assassination attempt on Bob’s life and previously unseen live shows and interviews over four decades.
“Bob was the avatar of dispossessed of the oppressed on the earth, who created anthems for those people to sing, to give them solace, to give them hope, to give them courage,” Steffens said.
The presentation was free; it was open to general public, UO students, faculty and staff. Approximately 200 audience were attended the speech, aged from 5 to 70s.
“The speech was amazing, and I’m moved by the amount of Bob’s selflessness,” Marian Davis said, an audience of the presentation.
Davis also told a story about her son that how he turned from an aggressive, disrespectful boy to the kind-hearted, loving son she once knew after listening to Marley’s music.
“It was like a miracle to me,” Davis said. “Thanks for Bob Marley.”
In 1996, John Pirelli, the incredibly eloquent pop music critic for The New York Times chose “Burden” – the last album by Bunny Bob and Peter when The New York Times, Sunday magazine celebrated its 100-year anniversary publication and asked each of their critic to choose a work of art that they felt sure that would last at least 100 years into the future, according to Steffens.
“I always remember the sentence that John wrote,” Steffens said, “Bob Marley became the voice of the third world pain and resistance. The sufferer of the conquer jungle who would not be denied forever. Outsiders everywhere heard his voice as their own if he can make himself hurt, so can they without compromise. In 2096, when the former third world has over ran and colonized the former super powers, Bob Marley will be commemorated as a saint.’”
The presentation was sponsored by University of Oregon, School of Music and Dance. Joe Lowndes, professor of Political Science Department, who hosted the speech said, “Bob Marley was an important political figure and the symbol of the third world struggle, so he expanded the notion of what we think of politics, but clearly, there was strong politics in his music.”
Roger Steffens: 323-667-0867
Marian Davis: 541-689-3091
Joe Lowndes: 541-346-1478