‘Skill’ to set the record straight

Richard Johnson Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, February 14, 2013

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ALLAN 'Skill' Cole, the former confidante and manager to reggae king Bob Marley, will present the annual lecture named in the superstar's honour at the University of the West Indies (UWI) today.

Cole's presentation, titled The Man That I Know, is expected to be a personal insight into the life of Marley, who Cole first met in the late 1960s.

He had two stints as Marley's road manager, including for his last tour in 1980.

Marley died in May, 1981 at age 36.

According to Cole, today's presentation is a prelude to what is coming in his book set to hit shelves in July/August. He says it will set the record straight on a number of matters regarding Marley.

"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," Cole told the Jamaica Observer.

The former football star said he shies from matters relating to Marley, but was quick to point out that he knows a lot about the late superstar that most people do not.

"Bob was not a man who talk up to a lot of people, but when the organisers appproached me, I thought about it and then agreed to speak."

Cole promises to keep the lecture light and interesting.

The Bob Marley Lecture forms part of the activities being staged for the International Reggae Conference being held at the UWI, Mona over the next three days.

The conference which is being staged under the theme 'Traditional and Emerging Themes in Popular Music', will also see a presentation by former prime minister Edward Seaga -- Wake the Town and Tell the People: Securing our share of the Music Industry Pie in a Changing World.

Today's presentations also include a roundtable session -- Reflections on Jamaica's Sector and the Click Economy: Technology and New Business Models. The panelists include Clyde McKenzie, Michael Witter, Evon Mullings, Michele Thomas and Georgia Gibson-Henlin.

Tomorrow, Spain's Rototom Sunsplash hosts two panel presentations, while musician Peter Ashbourne and Friends will weave a musical journey with their showcase titled A Musical Overview of the Development of Jamaican Music.

A number of Jamaican music producers — Bunny Lee, Lloyd 'King Jammys' James, Bobby 'Bobby Digital' Dixon and Trevor 'Baby G' James— will form another panel discussion on their roles in the local music industry.

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