6 Oct 2015

Great NZ Concerts - Bob Marley 1979

From Afternoons, 2:21 pm on 6 October 2015
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Photo: Murray Cammick

We recall Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley's only New Zealand visit.

Twenty two thousand people attended the gig at Western Springs, Auckland on 16 April 1979. The support act was local rock act Golden Harvest.

Jesse Mulligan is joined by music historian Chris Bourke who outlines the significance of Bob Marley's New Zealand gig on local - especially Maori - music and culture due to Marley introducing Rastafari beliefs and his use of music for political protest. At the time, there was disquiet over issues like dawn raids on Polynesian over stayers, the Maori land march, and French nuclear testing in the Pacific.

Other guests include:

Duncan Campbell, who ran Bfm's Reggae Show at the time, wrote about reggae for Rip It Up magazine and was at the Auckland show, and hoped to secure a radio interview...

Musician Tigilau Ness, of the reggae music group Twelve Tribes of Israel, and active in politics at the time came home for the UK to see the Auckland show, and met Bob Marley. He took his five year old son, who grew up to be musician Che Fu. Tigilau hasn't cut his dreads since that concert.

and Toni Fonoti, who was already writing lyrics and went on to be a founding member of Herbs.

Bob Marley and the Wailers with their Gold Discs for NZ record sales

Bob Marley and the Wailers with their Gold Discs for NZ record sales Photo: Murray Cammick