Author: Simon, Kate
Publication date: 20/10/2023
Imprint: Genesis Publications
Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae is a tribute to the leading icon in music, Bob Marley. In 1975, after meeting Marley in London, photographer Kate Simon gained unique access to the Wailers, capturing intensely personal moments and momentous events. Rebel Music presents over 400 photographs from Kate Simon’s remarkable archive, most of which are published here for the first time.
Alongside Kate Simon’s photographs are the stories behind the images. Introduced by Patti Smith, Kate Simon’s own narrative is expanded by a cast of 24 contributors, including ex-Wailers guitarist Junior Marvin and bass player and band leader Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett; the Wailers’ cook and close friend Antonio ‘Gilly’ Gilbert; musicians such as Steven Van Zandt, Spencer Davis, Junior Delgado, Paul Simonon, and Steve Jordan; filmmaker Don Letts and producer Danny Sims; and Island Records founder, Chris Blackwell.
Simon captured it all: live photographs from The Wailers’ 1975 concert at The Lyceum in London, where the legendary performance of ‘No Woman No Cry’ was recorded; photographs of the reggae greats of the late Seventies such as Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh; candid shots of The Wailers on the Exodus Tour and the One Love Peace Concert where Bob famously united Jamaica’s opposing political leaders. Finally, in 1981, she rode with the funeral cortege from Kingston to St Ann and Bob Marley’s final resting place.
Marley permanently altered the sound and impact of popular music, and his body of work continues to inspire generations of musicians and fans worldwide.
‘Kate Simon has always been one of my favourite photographers. She captures intimate moments that we have never seen.’ – Cedella Marley
‘When I took the Kaya portrait. It wasn’t a formal photo session or anything. I was wearing my swimsuit, that’s how informal it was.’ – Kate Simon
‘Kate shot in an honest, direct manner. She did not seek to expose, but to shoot the picture her subject pictured – the joyful, mutable moments. How fortunate we are to have these images…’ – Patti Smith
‘She had a sort of war correspondent feel to her; she would get right into it. Somehow she had the ability to communicate and to get everybody to relax and to take the great pictures that she got.’ – Chris Blackwell