Marley: "I man a Farmer Iyah from creation."
This Bob Marley interview was recorded in 1973 in Jamaica.
The interviewer is Neville Willoughby.
Neville But listen, you know a lot of people have a feeling that,
a lot of guys who claim to be Rastas, are really, as one song
Bob Many shall be called, but only a few chosen. And there shall
be sheep and wolf in sheep clothing! But I&I couldn't watch
that, this day. Because I&I have to live Rasta and know Rasta.
I noh come fi judge a man. Jah seh leave all judgemant onto him.
Soh all people who see a man out deh and seh "how him a gwaan
like seh him a rasta". Who is dem fi seh how him a gwaan
so. When God seh leave all judgemant onto him.
Neville But what you think about all this crime and violence going
on though, as a Rasta?
Bob Ha Ha. Is laws cause crime and violence. Well I noh really...
Yuh know what ah mean. Earth a come, earth a forward to how creation
was an how earth fi rest. Is a mind ting. Now all the laws that
we abide by and blaah-blaah-boom-boom-boom, what cause wi fi suffer.
As any man can know that. Them law deh noh must be a must.
Neville Which laws? You speaking of any laws in particular?
Bob Every law! The only law which is law is the law of life. The
law how fi live. Now dig dis. A man build him city and him seh
him want these people fi run it, and him want these people to
live yah soh. Now me don't waan get involved talking like me is
a politician. Mi jus' waan talk 'bout righteousness. Like seh
well then, Jah a earth rightful ruler and him noh run no wire
Neville Am I right in assuming that Rastas don't believe in violence,
Bob Rasta don't believe in violence man! Rasta don't believe,
Rasta know. Yuh see, is when yuh believe, is that mash yuh up.
Yuh must know what yuh know. Earth is earth, within 2000 years,
now is 1973. Like I seh again. I naah do dis ting fi no money
business. Dis ting, is Jah come inna I heart and mek it move,
that I fi goh inna England goh seh these things again. Or say
these things in America, or Australia. I man haffi goh, because
I personnally is a servant of H.I.M. Not doing noh hard work,
just doing wah Jah seh I fi do. And thru him gi I the power fi
play music and him gi I the Inspiration fi seh these things, and
mek the people, who him work through see these things.
Because I know seh Jah inna every life. Now some people ah devil
and some people ah angel. Dig! Jah seh leave all judgemant onto
him. Dig! Soh yuh know, is certain, is plenty tings, ah man haffi
keep to himself and try source it out fi himself. Because yuh
can seh tings. At the time yuh say it, it noh seh right, and maybe
not. Yuh know wah ah mean. Because these things are things Jah
teach yuh everyday, and sometime yuh haffi learn. Yuh haffi know
wah him seh. Yuh haffi source it out.
Neville Now you know, you have your religious faith, right. You
have your convictions. Do you get annoyed by people who don't
understand what you are talking about? Do you get annoyed.
Bob I am sorry for the people who don't understand what we talk
about. Because they bare great tribulations in times when they
don't have to. Yuh see, I personally know my heart can be hard
as a stone, and yet soft as water. Then again... still sorry fi
the people who don't know H.I.M. Because is like my mother used
to tell mi. People head ah goh chop off and dem waan dead and
caan dead. Inna the judgement. And these days yah ah the judgement
days. Yuh know, only the fittest of the fittest shall survive.
Like wah Marcus Garvey seh. Ah jus' so it goh.
Neville Tell me now. As a Rasta, what is your feeling about being
Bob Being Jamaican?
Bob Being Jamaican? Hear how it goh now Neville. Being Jamaican?
I don't see I self as being Jamaican. I see I self as a Rasta
being Rasta! Soh, Jamaica is Jamaica. Africa is Afirca. I man
Neville Aah ha. You don't have any boundaries.
Bob My boundaries. Now, well I must pick a place pon earth where
I know I must live. And I know I waan live near my father and
my father live in Ethiopia. So I must live where my father is.
Neville Literally? In other words, literally you hope to live
in Ethiopia some day.
Bob I don't hope. Wi going. Near, near! Dis is 1973, going near
to 74 now. Jah seh, before one of my word pass away, heaven and
earth crash. Dig! And him seh, him gone fi prepare a place, where
he is I&I shall be there also!
Neville Bob, listen, everyday nowadays you read about famine in
Ethiopia. What you say to that now?
Bob Great! I seh great. If yuh don't know God yuh goin' suffer
and dead! No God Noh Partial, regardless weh yuh deh pon earth.
If yuh deh ah Ethiopia inna him palace and yuh don't know him
is the almighty, yuh suffer. God noh partial I. Now, I could ah
starve and suffer too, but I know Jah.
Neville Now it's Bob Marley and the Wailers. You write such a
lot of material for the group. You have such a lot to do with
it. Are you committed to the group?
Bob Well yes! The group is the Wailers. Well fi some reason them
seh Bob Marley and the Wailers. I never tell anyone fi seh dat,
from no time at all. But maybe fi some reason why dem do it. Well
I man is a Wailers. An' ah just soh it rest. Right now I&I
ah goh play some music and just gwaan play some music until then.
Until wah fi happen will just happen. Because I&I don't plan
life. Because when man plan, Jah wipeout.
Neville Alright, but what about song writing. You write such a
lot of music. Different people write music in different ways.
Some sit down and write the words and then put the music to it.
Some write the music, then drop in the words after. Do you have
a process, and exactly what is it, if you have one?
Bob Well it grow together. Is like, first time mi try to write
a song is the first time mi try to play the guitar. And soh mi
can write a song without the guitar. But it really grow together.
Mi really like stay with mi guitar. But it just happen, is Jah
inspiration come thru man. Because, I personally, it look like,
could ah write a whole heap a tune, it look like. But I pick special
tune fi write. 'Cause a man can think of plenty things. Yuh know
wah ah mean.
Neville Yes. I understand.
Neville Hey, listen I know you hand a close association with Johnny
Nash, who has done quite a lot of your tunes. And me hear people
talking and saying, "bwoy ah wonder if Johnny Nash ever treat
our Jamaican man right?". What exactly is the situation?
We are quite free on this program.
Bob Well... Dem gi mi some money the other day. And want mi fi
sign another agreement with them. Mi really ah check it out like
(ha ha). 'Cause yuh know...chuh! Is like mi noh waan really seh
nothing bad 'bout dem, and still mi noh have nothing much good
Neville What do you think about Americans taking Reggae and doing
it and making big money out of it? Like Johnny Nash has done and
Paul Simon and a couple of other people. What do you think about
Bob Well dem do something wah thru these people out yah try kill
wi off, wi couldn't do right. Because dem people out yah too wicked.
Now Neville dem ting yah mek mi vex.
Neville I understand.
Bob Look how much good artist inna Jamaica. Look wah it tek fi
a guy, jus' seh because dem is guys, seh alright mi ah goh get
some good recording done and do a ting with it. Jus' ah hustle
off ah people. Waah yuh come in deh come do 15 tune in 3 hours.
And soh ah guy spend $15,000 (JA) mek a album and when the album
come it sell a million. Soh him don't loose, because him really
stay deh and noh guess nothing. Him stay deh and do wah him ah
Neville So you mean that the people here wouldn't want to spend
the money on us.
Bob Dem never waan do that.
Neville I see.
Bob Dem wait until Johnny Nash and dem guys deh gwaan with a ting.
An' certain guys dem si whole heap a guys ah come in now. Dem
hardly want wi even do it to. Yuh ah fi have yuh own studio and
all that. Wah wi ah try get right now our own studio. Because
if wi want it, Jah will mek wi have it.
Neville You want a studio?
Bob Yeah!!! Because wi want to mek music. Yuh have to much man
out deh wah wi ah fi go thru too much other things, just thru
Neville You've spoken a couple time about classes. Middle class
and that type of thing.
Bob Yeah. I've come to realize se dem really divide wi in classes.
Yes, and is true. Dem try fi divide wi in classes weh mi don't
agree with. Because is wickedness. Yuh caan divide people. How
can yuh divide the people? Some ah dem noh have four foot.
Neville Yeah. True, true.
Neville Listen Bob, we've run out of time, but I'd like to ask
you if you have any sought of hope in the country Jamaica right
now. You are a guy getting on alright in your field. You know.
Bob Hope in the country?
Bob Well yes. Jamaica is a little nice great place. Mi really
love Jamaica, because mi walk plenty stone land inna Jamaica and
plenty hills. But ah think we really need a direction. Not a big
ol' signing up this and signing up that, but a direction in your
own country. Wah happen to the earth. An mean wi have to till
the soil. An' it noh call fi slavery fi do that. It just call
Neville Well atleast you have made a start, because you say you
are a Farmer.
Bob I man a Farmer Iyah from creation.
Neville Ok. Bob Marley its been a great pleasure talking to you.