Bob waits in vain for D Brown

(repost from the Jamaica Observer)

SEPTEMBER 1980 was a busy month for reggae superstar Bob Marley. He was in the midst of his United States tour to promote the album Uprising, driven by its lead single Could You Be Loved.

He was also booked to open for The Commodores at Madison Square Garden but had one special wish…to surprise his favourite singer Dennis Brown with a guest appearance at a show headlined by the ‘Crown Prince of Reggae’.

Reggae music insider Copeland Forbes was part of the organising team for the Dennis Brown event which was set for Beacon Theater. It was promoted by Ken Williams and would feature other Jamaican acts including Junior Tucker, Carlene Davis and Ruddy Thomas, all to be backed by Lloyd Parks and We The People band.

“Bob was big in New York that year. He really wanted to cut into the black American market and so opening for The Commodores was part of that move. He was really working the New York market and even had a float during the parade on Eastern Parkway that year,” Forbes told the Jamaica Observer.

“He [Bob] was staying at Essex House and I would go over there to meet up with him everyday. So when he heard Dennis Brown was going to be in town he told me he wanted to surprise him and perform two songs on the show. Everybody know how Bob love Dennis…him always said that was his favourite artiste. So he told Lloydie [Parks] to rehearse the two songs, I can’t remember which two songs, so he could be there for his artiste.”


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