With the fame and fortune that Bob Marley made from singing the words of great Black men as it relates to the suffering and struggles of Black people, one might think that he would have invested in the progress of Black people, however, there is no record of such.
Now a new book is revealing that even when Bob Marley was looking to the underworld of crime for personal protection, he preferred to spend his money with whites than Blacks.
The book, So Much Things To Say: the Oral History of Bob Marley is written by Roger Steffens and claimed that Bob Marley wanted protection during his opening for the Commodores in Madison Square Garden (MSG) and looked for the most feared gangsters around to protect him.
There were Blacks that could provide adequate security. Like the Nation of Islam or if Bob preferred gangsters there were the Shower posse, who like him was from Jamaica. In fact, during this time, Bob was seen with Vivian Blake who was the leader of the Notorious Shower posse. Marley chose to use the Italian mob, however. Talk about making Mussolini proud, a Rasta making Mussolini proud.
Steffens bases the revelation in the book from an interview with Bob Marley’s former manager, Danny Sims.
Sims, who had known Marley since the 1960s, said the singer feared for his life after an assassination attempt on him in Jamaica and sought protection while in New York.
“I took him to see a guy named Joe Armone, the head of the Gambino (Mafia) organization. Joe Armone was my partner for 40 years before he died. And at the same restaurant that Castellano got killed, I took Bob and Allan to that restaurant to meet with Joey Armone. And Allan told Joey that they wanted protection for the Madison Square Garden.”
Castellano is Paul Castellano, who led the Gambino family for 10 years until he was gunned down in front of Sparks Steak House in Manhattan in December 1985. The unsanctioned hit was ordered by John Gotti, another Gambino heavyweight.
Armone was one of Castellano’s top lieutenants. He died in prison in 1992.
Sims said Marley had been receiving death threats but did not know their source.
“And I don’t think he knew where the threat was coming from, because although you had the Jamaican posse, there was another outfit of bad guys. Then you had another crew of Jamaican Government bad guys. So I think he was a little leery after being shot and he wanted security, and he got it.”
Sims disclosed that there was a Gambino presence at the show.
Maybe there are other reasons while Marley chose to spend his money with the white mafia rather than the Black mafia but he has a history of short changing Black people. The main men that made Marley music what it is, the Barret Brothers were robbed by Bob Marley and Chris Blackwell. Although the Barrett brothers played on every single song on every single Marley album, they are receiving zero in terms of royalty today. That has got to be one of the greatest robberies in this and the last century.