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.