Security guard assaults Bunny Wailer at Bob Marley Museum

Security guard assaults Bunny Wailer at Bob Marley Museum

BY VERNON DAVIDSON Executive editor -- publications davidsonv@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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REGGAE icon Bunny Wailer said he was yesterday assaulted by a security guard and told to leave the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, a property that the only living member of the world-famous Wailers said he normally accesses without hassle.


Wailer, known to many people as Jah B, went to the museum with England-based attorney Simon Vumbaca, who has been retained by the Rastafari Millennium Council on a matter relating to the indigenous rights of Rastafarians.


"I never expected anything like that because I just visited the place with the brethren. He wanted to go. He paid the fee. I was just there with him," Wailer told the Jamaica Observer.


According to Wailer, who along with Marley and Peter Tosh formed the group responsible for launching reggae on the world stage, he and Vumbaca drove into the property, parked their car and, after getting out, took photographs at the front where pictures of Marley, his widow Rita, as well as Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths who formed the I-Three, Marley's back-up singers, are displayed.


"There were tourists there also who took pictures with me because it was the first time they were going to see me in that setting," Wailer said. "All of this happened before this guy came up with his attitude."


He said the security guard, who was wearing black and red uniform, started pushing him and telling him that he should leave.


Wailer said the guard gave no reason for demanding his departure.


"This guy was actually chucking me out," added the three-time Grammy winner, whose given name is Neville O'Riley Livingston and who was conferred with the Order of Jamaica in 2012.


"I am surprised. Normally I go into 56 Hope Road at will," Wailer said.


He said that the security guard's colleague sought, without success, to calm the situation.


"He should have followed that security, but he was just bent on getting me out of the place," Wailer said, adding that the incident caused Vumbaca to request a refund, after which they left.


When the Observer called the museum for a comment, we were told that no one was available to speak as they were hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


Vumbaca described the incident as surreal.


"We were a bit slow into the exhibit because there were these tourists who stopped Bunny for pictures, then after that we started to enter, then this happened. It was surreal. The guard had no intention of doing anything else than throwing Bunny out. The guy didn't even come to me, he went straight to Bunny," Vumbaca told the Observer.


He said they are now thinking about pressing a charge against the security guard.



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