'So much tings to say' - Stephen Marley dismisses Forbes story

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

Sunday, February 19, 2012

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A member of the Marley family has finally come out against a recent cover article by influential financial publication Forbes magazine which questioned whether the heirs to the Bob Marley estate were destroying the legacy of the late reggae icon.


Speaking with the Sunday Observer last Wednesday at function held at The Bob Marley Museum in St Andrew to celebrate his 10 Grammy Award, Bob Marley's son, Stephen, defended his family's business decision.


"Who is Forbes magazine and what dem know bout we and our father?," he blasted before breaking out into song. Quoting a line from one of his famous father's hits, "They've got so much tings to say right now, they've got so much tings to say," the younger Marley chanted. "That me have to tell them."


In a December 2011 article headlined: Are Bob Marley's heirs destroying his legacy? Forbes used the recent court battle between the Marley family and Bob's half-brother, Richard Booker over copyright issues as the springboard. The magazine wondered if the late King of Reggae would have wanted his family embroiled in these matters given his Rastafari faith.


Forbes noted: "... his estate has seen far too many court fights, lawsuits and money-grabs to count. And that legacy of fighting over money doesn't seem likely to end any time soon."


The bi-weekly American magazine continued that given the evidence presented by the fact that Bob Marley did not leave a will, he "wanted all that he built over his career to benefit as many people as possible. He did, after all, believe in the Rastafari notions of equality and rejection of the modern western world due to the corruption."


Stephen Marley, who last Sunday won his latest Grammy for Best Reggae Album with Revelation Part 1: Root of Life, dismissed Forbes' theory, noting that had "Gong"-- Bob Marley's nickname-- been here he would have approved of the efforts to maintain, and improve the family business.


"What Forbes, or whatsoever dem name, don't understand is that my father is a businessman. When he was here, he had a record shop, recording studio, pressing plant and printed T-shirts. So what we are doing is just a continuation of his works," he said defiantly.


"It is important to keep the Marley message alive and reach the fans across the world using various means," he continued.


On the subject of the lawsuit being brought against his uncle Richard Booker, by the family, Marley described it as "an unfortunate situation."


"A still mi uncle and is something that we have to thrash out... we have a difference of views. We are family and just have to sort out that. It nah draw nuh blood," the 39-year-old explained.


A company owned by the Marley family, comprising Rita Marley and some of the late singers children, has sued Booker and two corporations he owns. It is reported that among other Jamaica-based business ventures, Booker operates musical festivals and a company which gives tours of Nine Miles in St Ann, the village where Marley was born and is now buried.



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