(by Pablo Burgués)

It’s been 40 years since the historical concert that Bob Marley & The Wailers gave at Ibiza’s bullring, currently non-existent. It was commemorated last 28th July. So, there’s no better excuse to delve into the legend of who has been and will always be the musician with the best ‘fro in rock’s history. Let’s go!

On a wonderful and sunny summer morning in 1978, a very young and cheerful Robert Nesta Marley landed at Eivissa’s airport. That was going to be the first time that the Jamaican musician would perform in Spain, and thus his visit caused a great stir. Televisión Española (TVE, Spanish Television) covered his arrival to the island and in their report (that you can watch HERE) you can see a cheerful and absentminded Bob Marley stepping off the plane with his distinguishing rastas and a giant and mysterious funnel on his head!!!!

I’ve been doing quality investigative journalism on Internet and I’ve found that the gadget was indeed the typical hat of a Mali tribe named Dogon people. Though in that case it would have been appropriate to add an “R” after the “D” and change the “O” for a “U”, taking into account the gobsmacked eyes that Mr. Marley showed below the hat.

You can also see how a retinue of 19 figures, all suspicious-looking types, also stepped off the plane behind the singer. If the programme Control de aduanas (customs control) had existed at that time, it would have had enough material to do a 24h special programme with those people luggage. Nonetheless, and as strange as this may seem, none of the many state security members that were there that day at the airport considered it was appropriate to frisk those guys…

The reason, according to the chronicles of the time, was that the civil guard of the island had the strict order not to search any of that plane’s passengers, even knowing that those respectable gentlemen had so much pot with them that it seemed they had been mowing the Santiago Bernabéu stadium.

When eventually the TVE reporters managed to get closer to the singer with the noble purpose of interviewing him, he was just able to say one word: “Rastafarian”, which is the name of the religion Bob and all his cheerful pals belonged to.

This spiritual and political movement, created in Jamaica at the beginning of the XX century, struggled to achieve equal rights between white and black people, and thus put an end to centuries of slavery. The Rastafarian community’s utopian final goal was that all the black people scattered throughout the world came back to Africa, specifically to Ethiopia. Why this country? Well, it’s amazing because, if A Game of Thrones seems a soap opera to you, A Game of Rastas will drive you crazy.

But I’ll tell you about this next week.


Pablo Burgués on Instagram and Twitter

Translation: Dora Sales

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