Premiere: The Story Of Bob Marley And Lee Jaffe

Music Premieres

Citizens of Humanity have launched their own editorial magazine simply titled Humanity. Set to be released twice a year, the outlet promises to profile a mix of interesting cultural people from supermodel Christy Turlington and 3x Oscar winning Hollywood costume designer Colleen Atwood, restaurateur Mr Chow, Mike D from the Beastie Boys, Ed Ruscha, EIC of Vogue Italia Franca Sozzani, Muhammad Ali, and so on in the new issues.

Humanity will be distributed globally through retail partners (10 Corso Como in Milan, Brown’s in London, Aritzia throughout the US), as well as hotels such as the Ace, art galleries such as The Gagosian, Almine Rech, and more.

In honor of what would have been Bob Marley’s 70th birthday, VIBE.com presents an exclusive look at Humanity’s tribute story on his life and artistry seen through the eyes of Bob’s close friend and collaborator Lee Jaffe. The piece profiles Lee’s time with Bob from first meeting him in 1973 thorugh to Bob’s death in 1981.

Lee was present at some of the most seminal moments in Bob’s creative process and career and has an insider perspective that very few people can claim.

When Lee met Bob in New York:
“His [Lee’s] musician pal Jim Capalsi, the founder and drummer of the British band Traffic [said] “Lee this is Bob – Bob Marley. You should really listen to his record.”

“I didn’t know anything about Jamaican culture. Zero. Nothing. No one knew what reggae was.”

“I had absolutely no doubt that what Bob was doing would change the world.”

“All he [Lee] had to do was convince Marley that bringing a white guy with no professional musical experience into his inner circle would be a good idea. Jim had a few cards up his sleeves…Jaffe pulled out his harmonica and the two men began to jam. “My closest friends from college had become the biggest herb dealers in New York…Bob was really very impressed. We bonded over that for sure.” To seal the deal Jaffe played cupid and set up Bob with his Jamaican friend who happened to be in New York.”

(Click Through The Photo Gallery For Exclusive Pics)

When Lee and Bob were living together and recording in Jamaica:
“Behind this old colonial house was this shack, the former slave quarters, and they had turned it into a little rehearsal room. You could feel the vibes, the colonial vibes, the legacy of slavery-just the weight of it.”

“Jaffe server as the [Bob Marley and the] Wailers’ jack of all trades: road manager, booking agent, publicist, harmonica player (he featured on several of the Wailers’ iconic tracks), tour photographer and of course herb connect.”

“One night while watching Jaffe sleep on the floor that Marley was inspired to write the opening lyrics of now of his most iconic songs, “Talking Blues”.”

“It was more than being about one person – it was about making a revolution.”

When Lee supported Bob in his final days:
“Towards the end [when Bob was dying of cancer at the age of 36], there were a lot of people trying to get things from Bob, and I didn’t want to be involved with that, but we spoke every week on the phone. He taught me more about art and music and humility than anyone I’ve ever met.”

“Jaffe has remained close friends with the Marleys and occasionally plays harmonica on stage with Bob’s sons Stephen and Julian.”

“To watch it happen, to be there and be part of it, there was nothing I could imagine myself doing at that time that would be more important, more exciting. And it was happening every day.”

Read the full story here.