Marley as we've never seen him before

RAS herb mon!

Guardian Unlimited | Arts news | Bob Marley as we've never seen him before: Still silent and watching, the photograph is the private Bob Marley, glimpsed for a stolen moment before he takes the stage in full cry. The picture, shot by photographer Dan Asher during rehearsals for a concert in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1976, was thought to have been destroyed in a house fire until it was rediscovered 20 years later in an attic.

It is among 102 rarely or never before seen images taken by Asher, Jeff Cathrow and Kate Simon which will go on display from Friday at the Sony Ericsson Proud Camden Gallery in north London, marking this year's 60th anniversary of the birth of the king of reggae.

Speaking from New York, Asher recalled taking the picture of Marley in a quiet moment, standing with his back to a mirror. 'I don't think he's exactly pissed off, but he's not that happy about it either,' he recalled. 'He was very photogenic and had an aura about him.'

After Marley's death aged 36 from cancer in 1981Asher donated his negatives for a book, Bob Marley - Reggae King of the World, only for them to disappear. Then last year one of the authors was going through old files and found the negatives in an envelope. 'I got most of the black-and-white photos back, but not the colour. Some where he's practising kung fu are still missing.'

The exhibition's title, Tek a Picture a' Dis, derives from a meeting between the marijuana-smoking Marley and Cathrow, who photographed and interviewed him regularly. In 1978 he presented the star with a gift of home-grown sinsemilla buds, to which Marley replied: 'Ya grow some RAS herb, mon! Here, tek a picture a' dis, mon! Tek a picture a' dis!' Few of Cathrow's intimate images have ever been seen before.

what the heck is RAS herb? I thought it made you mad!

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on January 29, 2005 9:02 PM.

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