Meeting Marley - A chat with Fabian 'Gong Kid' Marley

BY BASIL WALTERS Observer staff reporter

Monday, February 06, 2012

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IT was a celebration of the life and works of reggae's most famous hero Bob Marley like no other. The reggae icon's Hope Road home-now-turned-museum in St Andrew buzzed with excitement marking his 67th birthday yesterday.

When it wasn't Nyahbinghi drumming, it was the chanting by Rastafari elders, or the pulsating beat of some of the departed maestro's timeless standards that provided the soundtrack to the occasion. It was one of the largest crowds the location had ever seen.

Several entertainers were spotted including Sizzla Kolonji, Tarrus Riley, Richie Spice, Warrior King, Censi Love, and Mikey General, soaking up the vibe.

The Marley family — headed by its matriarch Rita — was well represented.

The Observer, however, caught up with a young man who gave his name as Fabian Marley. The 42-year-old said he is the son of the reggae king and Raphie Munroe.

Fabian is pursuing a musical career.

"Bob Marley has always been seen playing a guitar. But the 'Gong Kid' plays every instrument," said Everton 'Caveman' Moore, producer of the young Marley, who uses that moniker.

However, Fabian was modest in his response.

"I can't compare myself with my father because he also played other instruments. But he was more popular with the guitar," Marley said.

Born in Trench Town, St Andrew, on August 1, 1970, Fabian has put out a few releases with the latest called Gong Kid. On the single, he collaborates with American rapper OS Rapp, who was also at the celebration. Marley is also producing an album for the rapper called Rise Up.

"Today is the birthday of the Honourable, so I and I have to be here," the young Marley, who said he will be putting out an album ahead of an upcoming tour to Europe, declared.

Bob Marley died in May 1981 at 36 of cancer.

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