Life In England

An exploration of Bob's time in London 1971-1980, from his earliest trips with Johnny Nash to his sold out show at the Crystal Palace Bowl

Bob Marley & Johnny Nash at a recording studio in Sweden. (1972) by Alec BymeBob Marley: Legend

Bob Marley and Johnny Nash, 1971-1972

Bob's first visit to London was with Johnny Nash in the early 1970s. Bob had co-written and provided vocals for about half the songs on Nash's most popular album, I Can See Clearly Now, including "Stir It Up," which Marley later recorded for himself on The Wailers Catch A Fire album. Here he is during a vocal session with Johnny Nash in London, 1971.

Bob Marley recording with Johnny Nash in Sweden. (1972)Bob Marley: Legend

Bob Marley in the recording studio with Johnny Nash (1972) by Alec BymeBob Marley: Legend

Bob Marley and Johnny Nash in Leeds (1973)Bob Marley: Legend

Bob and Johnny tour England, 1972

The following year, Johnny Nash brought Bob back to England to tour the album. They even stopped off at few schools around England. Here they are at the Peckham Manor School in South London on March of 1972.

Johnny Nash and the Wailers at the Top Rank Suite, London (1972-07-22)Bob Marley: Legend

The real tour happened that summer, where Bob Marley & The Wailers were both the openers and the backing band for Johnny Nash. It was during this time in London where Bob connected with Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who fronted the band £8000 to record Catch A Fire.

Bob Marley live at the BBC Old Grey Whistle Test (1973) by Adrian BootBob Marley: Legend

Bob's next major appearance in London would be with the Wailers performing live on BBC's "The Old Grey Whistle Test" before heading on the Catch A Fire UK tour.

Bob Marley live in London (1974)Bob Marley: Legend

The Wailers performed live at the Sundown Theatre in Edmonton, North London during the Catch A Fire tour on May 27, 1973.

Bob Marley Live at Leeds Polytechnic. (1974) by Dennis MorrisBob Marley: Legend

Burnin' Tour, 1973

The Wailers were back in the UK later in 1973, having put out their second album that year, Burnin'. Here, Bob at Leeds Polytechnic on November 23rd.

Bob Marley live at the Lyceum Ballroom, London (1975-07-17) by Dennis MorrisBob Marley: Legend

Natty Dread, 1975

Live at the Lyceum Theatre in London July 17-18, 1975. This two-night, sold-out run were the sets used to create the band's first live album, Live!

Bob Marley live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London - Rastaman Vibration Tour (1976-06-15)Bob Marley: Legend

Rastaman Vibration, 1976

Two-night sold-out run at the Hammersmith Odeon in London June 17-18, 1976. Then Bob and the band ended up having two, then four shows in order to fulfill the demand.

Bob Marley relaxing at his London residence (1977-04)Bob Marley: Legend

Exile in London, 1977

Following an assassination attempt on his life leading up to the Smile Jamaica Concert, Bob and the band moved to London for around 14 months. Here, Bob was relaxing at their apartment on 42 Oakley Street in London's Chelsea neighborhood, which has since been given one of the city's Blue Plaque distinctions, noting the building's cultural and historical significance.

Bob Playing Football at Battersea Park, London (1977-04) by Adrian BootBob Marley: Legend

Battersea Park

Bob and the band played soccer at the nearby Battersea Park in Chelsea during the day while recording the Exodus album at night on March, 1977.

Bob Charged with Cannabis Possession (1977-06-05)Bob Marley: Legend

The Smoking Ticket, 1977

Bob walked out of a municipal court house having been ordered to pay a fine for smoking herb. Local police were always searching the band for cannabis whenever they went on tour. This was one of only two times they got caught on April 6, 1977. 

Bob Marley and the I Three Live at the Rainbow Theater, London (1977-06-01)Bob Marley: Legend

Exodus, 1977

Bob closed out the Exodus Tour with a four-night run at the Rainbow Theatre in London June 1-4, 1977.

Bob Marley live at the Rainbow Theater (1977-06-03) by Adrian BootBob Marley: Legend

The shows were filmed and would eventually become Live at the Rainbow, which premiered in theaters around the world in the fall of 1977.

Bob Marley meets with the Peace Concert Committee (1978-02)Bob Marley: Legend

Planning a Peace Concert, 1978

Rival neighborhood strongmen Cladius "Claudie" Massop, Anthony "Tony" Welch and Earl "Tek Life" Wadley come together to London to meet with Bob. They asked him to help put together a peace concert in order to unify the Jamaican people. He agreed, and the One Love Peace Concert was born.

Bob Marley live at the New Bingley Hall, Stafford, UK (1978-06-22)Bob Marley: Legend

Kaya, 1978

Live at New Bingley Hall in Stafford, UK during the Kaya Tour on June 22, 1978.

Bob Marley rehearsing in his hotel room in London (1980-07) by Dennis MorrisBob Marley: Legend

Redemption Song, 1980

In his apartment in London, following a performance at the Zimbabwe inaugural Independence celebrations. Here, Bob played photographer Dennis Morris an early version of "Redemption Song."

Bob Marley Backstage at Crystal Palace (1980-06-07)Bob Marley: Legend

Uprising, 1980

Bob greeted fans backstage during his final performance in London at the Crystal Palace Bowl on June 8, 1980. The event has been noted as a significant cultural event by the City of London. 

Bob Marley & Eddie Grant at a Gym in Hammersmith, London (1980-07-16)Bob Marley: Legend

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