Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bob Marley By The Numbers

Bob MarleyIn honor of Mr. Robert Nesta Marley’s 68th birthday, I thought a little numeric homage was in order. You know, for a man who rolled more numbers than the average Joe, if you catch my drift Mon.

So to the rescue, to the rescue, to the rescue
Awake from your sleep and slumber
Today could be your LUCKY NUMBER
Sun is shining and the weather is sweet –
Bob Marley, Sun Is Shining, Soul Revolution, 1971

And the countdown begins…

2-6-45 – Nesta Robert Marley was born (Jamaican Passport official later swapped his first and middle name, telling Bob’s mother that Nesta sounded too much like a girl’s name, thus giving us Robert Nesta Marley)

9-23-80 – Bob’s final live concert at the Stanley Theater, Pittsburgh, PA

5-11-81 – Bob passed away due to cancer in Miami, FL

1,000,000,000 – And a BILLION men a sparking. Rastaman Live Up lyric, Confrontation, 1983

1,000,000 – MILLION miles from reality. So Much Trouble In the World lyric, Survival, 1979 (see also, Stand Alone lyrics)

10,000 – I see TEN THOUSAND chariots, and they coming without horses – Midnight Ravers lyric, Catch A Fire, 1973

2313 – 2313 Tetsnell Street, Wilmington, Delaware. In 1966, the day after marrying Rita (Alpharita), Bob split for the states, alone, where he lived at this Wilmington, DE address with his mother, and worked at a DuPont plant for nearly 7 months earning money to finance his music career

2,000 – TWO THOUSAND years of history could not be wiped away so easily – Zion Train lyric, Uprising, 1980

1994 – Bob was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His induction speech was delivered by Bono. Jann Wenner had this to say:

Bob Marley was the Third World’s first pop superstar. He was the man who introduced the world to the mystic power of reggae. He was a true rocker at heart, and as a songwriter, he brought the lyrical force of Bob Dylan, the personal charisma of John Lennon, and the essential vocal stylings of Smokey Robinson into one voice.

1962 – Bob releases first single, Judge Not

400400 Years. Song title, Catch A Fire, 1973, written by Peter Tosh

100 – We bubbling on the Top 100, just like a mighty dread…Roots, Rock, Reggae lyric, Rastaman Vibration, 1976

56 – 56 Hope Road, Kingston Jamaica – Former home of Bob Marley, and now the home of the Bob Marley Museum

34 – 34 Ridgemount Gardens, Camdentown, London, England. Bob’s London address in 1972.

17 – Shows Bob Marley and the Wailers were supposed to open for Sly and the Family Stone in a US tour in 1973 (See 4 below)

12 – Age Bob moved to Trenchtown

11 – Number of Bob’s children according to Wikipedia and BobMarley.com (from 7 different women) – some sites list 13 children, and others speculate Bob fathered as many as 20

9 – NINE Miles (St. Ann Parrish) – Area in Jamaica where Bob was born and grew up

7 – And I hear the angel with the SEVEN seals… Rastaman Chant lyric, Burnin’, 1973

5 – FIVE days to go, working for the next day…Work song lyric, Uprising, 1980

4 – Shows Bob actually played before being fired – FOR STEALING SLY’s THUNDER! (Fans were actually chanting MAAARRRRLLLLEEEYYY during Sly’s set, and in some cases, more fans were in their seats for the Wailers’ opener than for the headliner)

3THREE little Birds. Song Title, Exodus, 1977

The I-THREES (three back-up vocalist beauties, one of which was Rita Marley, who joined the group after Tosh and Bunny Wailer left the group in 1974)

2 – Three Crows on top TWO is laughin’. Mr. Brown song lyric, song originally written by Glen Adams and released as a single

1 – A few contenders here…

ONE Drop. Song Title, Survival, 1979.

ONE Heart. One Love song lyric, Exodus, 1977

ONE bright morning when my work is over, Man will fly away home.  Rastaman Chant lyric, Burnin’ 1973

ONE good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. Trenchtown Rock lyric, African Herbsman, 1973

But ONE true Champion:

ONE love, Song Title, Exodus, 1977

…..

And a nugget for the road (pun intended). Bob drove a BMW once he started making some money…and why? He used to tell whoever would listen that the letters stood for Bob Marley and the Wailers. He later got rid of the Beemer though, saying it caused him nothin’ but trouble. He bought a jeep.

Thanks for reading. Watch the documentary, Marley, on Netflix, if you haven’t already. Heart wrenching at times. Particularly his pre-show rendition of I’m Hurting Inside, just before his final show in Pittsburgh.

IDROS

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My Heartfelt And Personal Shout Out To Ed Koch

King of New York

King of New York

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the passing of my favorite judge, a New York icon, a Jewish and Israeli activist and a lifelong bachelor with “questionable sexuality.” After all, he presided on the bench in my dominant performance in 1998 on The People’s Court, when I took Ramon “I listen to you Hainah” Diaz to the cleaners, so to speak. There are a number of memorable and laugh out loud funny moments from that experience…I will share one:

The Honorable Ed as I Remember Him

The Honorable Ed as I Remember Him

As of 1998, I had never been on a show like The People’s Court before, not even to a taping. Having seen the show a few times, particularly with Wapner in his post-Rain Man prime, I was familiar with the format, the set, the premise and the unmistakable music. But nothing, and I mean nothing, could prepare me for my actual taping. When we (and by “we” I mean myself and my “character witness” Craig) strode through the doors that led to the courtroom set, in boomed the familiar music (bah-dah-dah-dah)…really loud. A) I thought that music would be added in post production/editing – boy was I wrong; B) I was in the moment, game face on, ready to tear my opponent a new one…focusing on my arguments and such; C) I knew this would be on television, so I did all I could to fight back a surge of uncontrollable laughter that was quickly emerging from deep in my stomach; and D) I may have torn a muscle or two in my gut during said struggle, but the laughter was somehow suppressed…not the wry smile, however, which Easy Ed noticed and made reference to during a commercial break – He whispered, “I saw you trying not to laugh, and you should know that despite all evidence to the contrary, my courtroom is a serious place.” He then winked at me, and the rest, as they say, is history. I will miss his Honorable Ed Koch and my “slam dunk” victory.

A few noteworthy facts about His Honor:

1)      Born in the Bronx to immigrant Polish Conservative Jews in 1924, he grew up in Newark, New Jersey

2)      He was a decorated Army Sergeant who fought in the Battle of the Bulge

3)      He began his political career as a very left wing liberal, opposing the war in Vietnam and marching in the South and in Washington during the Civil Rights Movement

4)      In the wake of the Watergate scandal, during which he actually coined the phrase, “The Watergate Seven,” Koch began to lean more toward the right – so much so, in fact, that by his second campaign for mayor he ran on both Republican and Democratic platforms, and by his third campaign, abandoned both parties completely, running as an independent, though he was still included on the Democratic ticket

5)      This shift toward the right played a key role, as after 8 years in Congress, he ran for NYC mayor in 1977 with a more conservative platform than his competitors, and his timing, in the face of the riots that engulfed the city following the blackouts (and Son of Sam’s reign of terror), was impeccable – He won largely due to his hard-line promise to restore public safety

6)      His three terms as mayor were fraught with highs and lows, but his trademark sympathetic maxim, “How am I doing?” bolstered him to popularity

7)      No matter what his ambiguous sexuality actually was, his primary failure during his first term was his failure to act in the face of the overwhelming AIDS epidemic that gripped NYC during the early 1980s – many authors and activists condemned his behavior, including Randy Shilts, who in And the Band Played On, his influential history of the early AIDS epidemic in America, discussed the possibility that Koch ignored the developing epidemic in New York City in 1982–1983 because he was afraid of lending credence to rumors of his homosexuality. (It should be known that In 1986, Mayor Koch signed a lesbian and gay rights ordinance for the city after the City Council passed the measure (on March 20), following several failed attempts by that body to approve such legislation)

8)      He authored and co-authored nearly 20 books from 1980 through 2007, and in retirement started reviewing movies for a weekly web video segment entitled Mayor at the Movies, which was syndicated in the Huffington Post

9)      Ed provoked and maintained an almost legendary feud with Jesse Jackson, which began during the primaries of the 1988 Presidential election. That race had seen Jackson surprising many as he challenged for the Democratic nomination. As the April New York primary approached, Koch reminded voters of Jackson’s alleged anti-Semitism and said that Jews would be “crazy” to vote for Jackson. It continued from there, and played a large role in Koch’s loss to David Dinkins in the 1989 mayoral primary

10)   Koch often wrote in defense of Israel and, also, against anti-Semitism. He also appeared in the documentary FahrenHYPE 9/11 defending President Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and blasting Michael Moore. Koch was quoted in the film saying of Moore’s film, Fahrenheit 9/11, “It’s not a documentary, it’s a lie.”

11)   The very year he and I crossed paths, he penned my favorite quote when asked to comment on his actual sexual experiences, writing:  “What do I care? I’m 73 years old. I find it fascinating that people are interested in my sex life at age 73. It’s rather complimentary! But as I say in my book, my answer to questions on this subject is simply ‘Fuck off.’ There have to be some private matters left.”

Edward Irving Koch, may you rest in peace.

IDROS

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