About Me

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Monday, May 19, 2014

Photographing Legend Bob Marley ~ A short Doc Featuring Photographer Dennis Morris

In 1974, Jamaican reggae singer-songwriter Bob Marley met 16-year old photographer Dennis Morris and was immediately taken with him. Over the next 7 years, the two developed a friendship as Bob went on tour and Dennis captured some of the most iconic images of him at concerts, backstage, and between shows. In this short documentary, Dennis tells the stories behind his famous photographs of Bob, what he learned from his work with him from 1974 to 1981, and his collaboration with contemporary artist Shepard Fairey.


"He was one of the first Jamaican musicians to understand the power of images. Most Jamaican musicians were never interested in photos – just making a record and getting paid. Bob understood the power of the image and what that could do. And I think he realized that I could get what he wanted to portray." ~ Morris on Bob Marley

Babylon By Van:  This is the first photo Morris took of Marley, back in 1974, in the singer's Ford Transit tour van. "When you're looking at it, he's just turning towards the seat I'm sitting in," he says. "He just turned around and said, 'You ready, Dennis?' I got in there and the adventure began."

Whenever he had time off, what'd he always do was go to a sports shop and buy 20 footballs, 20 pairs of boots and whatever. I didn't realize [at the time], but it was for the kids in Trench Town, back home. He was a very generous man."

Morris took this photo at Marley's home on Hope Road in Kingston around 1978

Live at the Lyceum

"This was the gig of gigs – one of the best he ever played," says Morris of this image, which comes from a London show in 1975.

"Going through the photos, it just brings back the memories of being in the presence of such a powerful and influential man," he says. "He shaped my career and my life, in a sense. I was a young kid with a dream of being a photographer, and I remember when they said to me, 'Don't be silly, there's no such thing as a black photographer.' But Bob said to me, 'They will always tell you that you can't do what you want to do, Dennis, but you can do what you want to do. You just have to believe in yourself. The system is to bring you down, but you can rise up.' That was the beauty of Bob Marley, for me. He made me see that there was much, much more than what was out there."
"One of the things that most people don't realize is that the rise of his success was four years: He really took off in '77, and by '81 he was gone. In four years, he conquered the world. He touched every single human being possible in such a short amount of time. It was an incredible feat." ~ Dennis Morris on Bob Marley. (1945 –1981)

No comments:

Post a Comment