Never-seen-before pictures of Bob Marley with Marijuana
High Times, the monthly magazine that advocates the legalization of marijuana, has dished out never-seen-before pictures of Reggae god Bob Marley with the herb on the occasion of the 420th issue.
The New York-based magazine decided to release the unpublished outtakes from the photo shoot that Bob Marley did for the cover of September 1976 issue ahead of the release of the book – Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae (Titan Books). The book documents “the golden age of reggae.”
In 1975 and 1976, underground photojournalist Kim Gottlieb and her husband, Island Records publicity head Jeff Walker toured Jamaica and held exclusive meetings in Los Angeles with reggae luminaries such as Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Toots Hibbert, Burning Spear, Jacob Miller, Third World, and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, besides Bob Marley.
High Times has released five unpublished photos of Bob Marley with marijuana. In one the artist is examining the “photo props” at the shoot. In two other photos Bob Marley is accompanied by Bob and Wailers percussionist Seeco Patterson. While in the fourth Bob is seen standing as he “chops up herb for another spliff”, the fifth one shows “Bob in contemplation”.
In the piece Jeff Walker recalls, “During some down time between the Roxy and the Santa Barbara County Bowl, Kim and I went to Bob’s hotel to shoot a private session for the now-iconic HighTimes cover that would feature Bob smiling over a mound of herb. His delight that afternoon is pretty evident in these never-before-seen photos of that session.”
“Two days later, as the sun set on Bob Marley as he neared the end of his outdoor concert at the Santa Barbara County Bowl, none of us could have imagined what lay ahead in the next few years – from the attempt on Bob’s life in his home as he was rehearsing for the “Smile Jamaica” concert (meant to help simmer down a very tense political climate in Kingston) to the diagnosis of the cancer that would eventually take his life way too soon. But on that day in Santa Barbara, in an idyllic setting, Bob was at the peak of his powers, and his legend would only continue to grow.”
Bob Marley died on 11 May, 1981.