'Bob Marley: The Man that I Know' Image

by Biko Kennedy

The name Robert Nesta 'Bob' Marley has become synonymous with varying things as the years pass. From 'A voice of revelation' and 'A new wave of revolution' to 'The King of Reggae Music' and 'The Soul Rebel like no other'

But as much as Bob's legacy has been overdressed with the truth of his life story, like a storefront mannequin postured under the bright lights of various explanations, Allan 'Skill' Cole plans to set the record straight with his soon-to-be-released book, 'Bob Marley: The Man that I Know'.

At the annual Bob Marley Lecture held at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, Campus, on February 14th, Cole shared to the eager listeners an intimate, wide-topical-ranged merriment of his extraordinary friendship with the Reggae Legend.

Cole's stream-of-memories took listeners back to when he first met the icon at a football match in Trench Town to 1980 when he accompanied the ailing singer/songwriter to Germany for cancer treatment and his untimely death in 1981.

The lecture, which acted as a prelude to what is coming in Cole's book set to hit shelves in July/August, warm-heartedly recollected entertaining experiences they shared from rigorous workout regimes to enjoying natures messages at Cain River falls. In the programme's notes Cole explains: "I trained him . . . and we lived a life consistent with being a good athlete. . . . . We would wake up around 4:30-5:00 and train; eat, then go to the studio; then go sell records; come back, play some football and, in the night-time, write some music".

The book is hoped to stop the varying assumptions circling the world about Bob. "When you read my little book that I'm working on, you will be amazed at some of the things that unfold in it," explains Cole. "We've been working on this book for over eight years and it is the true story of Bob Marley; his love affairs, his life, his children. I really want to put things into perspective. Too much damn foolishness is being written about the man. When my book drops, whole heap a people who are writing about Bob will have to stop. When I talk about Bob Marley, is not what people tell me. Is what Bob Marley tell me about himself," he continued.

Allan 'Skill' Cole was at the peak of his football playing career in the mid-1970s when he doubled as Marley's road manager. He is credited as writer of War, from the singer's 1976 Rastaman Vibration album.

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