The Lasting Impact of Bob Marley

Sometimes photographers have to work long hours for days on end just to get a handful of interesting images. And sometimes all it takes is a little quality time with a generous subject. In 1976, Time magazine sent photojournalist David Burnett to Jamaica to work on a story about reggae music, which was becoming a popular addition to radio play lists in the U.S. Burnett started his work by shooting a number of musicians around Ocho Rios, on the island’s north coast.

Sometimes photographers have to work long hours for days on end just to get a handful of interesting images. And sometimes all it takes is a little quality time with a generous subject.
     In 1976, Time magazine sent photojournalist David Burnett to Jamaica to work on a story about reggae music, which was becoming a popular addition to radio play lists in the U.S. Burnett started his work by shooting a number of musicians around Ocho Rios, on the island's north coast. "They all told me that if I wanted to get the story right, I had to go see Bob Marley," says Burnett. Traveling with a writer, Burnett ended up spending a single afternoon with Marley at his home in Kingston.
     Thirty-three years later, the images he shot that day, combined with a number of photographs he took while following Marley's Exodus tour in Europe in 1977, have been collected in a book, Soul Rebel: An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley (Insight Editions, $39.95). The work was also featured earlier this year in an exhibition at the Govinda Gallery in Washington, D.C.