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Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae

Photographs by Kate Simon

Kate Simon

Genesis is proud to present a major tribute to one of the greatest legends in world music, Bob Marley. Feted by The Rolling Stones, adored by The Beatles, his songs covered by the likes of Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder, he changed the face of popular music and inspired generations of musicians.

'Rebel Music looks (and feels) just magnificent and is done with a real intelligence and savvy... congratulations all around.' Fred Schruers, Premiere Magazine

'Kate Simon has always been one of my favourite photographers. She captures intimate moments that we have never seen.' Cedella Marley, Bob's daughter

'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
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The Photography

Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae

Kate Simon gained unique access to Bob Marley and the Wailers, capturing moments from the candid and intensely personal to events of momentous importance.

Rebel Music presents over 400 photographs from Kate Simon's remarkable archive, most of which are published here for the first time. Simon captured it all: Marley's nightly shamanic performances; birthday celebrations on the tour bus; the endless games of football played in rehearsals and hotel rooms; the group's joyous devotion to the Rastafarian faith; the airports and aeroplanes; the smiles; the occasional frowns; the jamming and, of course, the group's religious dedication to marijuana.
'She had a sort of war correspondent feel to her; she would get right into it. She travelled the whole way on the bus with them, roughed it up with everybody; she was really ready to do that and somehow she had the ability to communicate and to get everybody to relax and to take the great pictures that she got.' - Chris Blackwell

Rebel Music features 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 the opposing political leaders dragging Jamaica towards civil war.

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The Manuscript

Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae

Alongside Kate Simon's photographs are the stories behind the images. Introduced by Patti Smith, Kate Simon's own narrative is augmented by a cast of 24 contributors, including ex-Wailers Junior Marvin and Aston 'Family Man' Barrett; musicians such as Steven Van Zandt, Spencer Davis, Junior Delgado, and Steve Jordan; filmmaker Don Letts and producer Danny Sims; and Island Records founder, Chris Blackwell.

Rebel Music also includes a comprehensive timeline of Bob Marley's life, along with a complete chronology of his recordings, UK and US releases and respective charts placings, put together with the help of the world's foremost reggae expert, Roger Steffens.

'He often seemed to have a kind of melancholy about him. He was serious, pensive.' - Kate Simon

'That man have the blues, ya know? Bob Marley, full up of the blues. And it's the same music, just played in a different way.' - Junior Delgado

'It was almost a spiritual experience. I was blessed to see so many performances. Bob didn't actually perform very often in Jamaica himself, but when he did it was very special. But so many times I've had the privilege of concentrating on different aspects of the performances and it was like a religious experience. He was connecting with your head; he was freeing your spirit; he was teaching you something, not just entertaining. They often say an artist needs to look at the audience to connect: Bob really didn't. His eyes were closed, he was deep in meditation, sometimes almost in a trance.' - Dera Tomkins

The Author

Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae

Kate Simon first met and photographed Bob Marley performing at the Lyceum Theatre, London, in 1975. Soon after she travelled to Jamaica where she photographed the leading lights of the roots reggae scene.

'Between 1973 and 1975, you name them, I shot them; from The Rolling Stones, through Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder and David Bowie to Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper. I photographed Keith Moon being denied entry to the BBC Club. I would shoot offstage sessions all day and concerts at night. It was a great time.' - Kate Simon
'Kate shot in an honest, direct manner. A fellow worker, she could be found in the trenches with her trusted black body Nikon F-2. 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 

The Contributors

Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae

The stories behind the photographs are told by Kate herself, alongside a massive cast of 24 contributors including:

Elizabeth Barraclough, Aston 'Family Man' Barrett, Chris Blackwell, Eric Clapton, Spencer Davis, Junior Delgado, Neville Garrick, Antonio 'Gillie' Gilbert, Randall Grass, Dickie Jobson, Wayne Jobson, Steve Jordan, David Kennedy, Don Letts, Junior Marvin, Glenn O'Brien, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Fred Schruers, Paul Simonon, Danny Sims, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Roger Steffens, Joe Strummer, Dera Tomkins, Steven Van Zandt, Jeff Walker.
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The Collector Edition

Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae

Each collector copy of Rebel Music is quarter-bound in a rich brown leather with yellow ochre page edges and full colour endpapers. Every book is personally signed by Kate Simon.

Produced as a large format volume, this edition comprises 256 pages and over 400 of Kate Simon's photographs stunningly reproduced on matt art paper and finished with image varnish. The text is master printed throughout in two colours - black and sepia - onto five different paper stocks, including one made entirely of cannabis. All housed in a bespoke wooden slipcase with silk-screened artwork on the front and rear.

For Kate's superb photographs, the reproduction process began in New York with the hand printing onto bromide of 250 black and white images. All aspects of this process were carefully overseen by Kate.

From here, the approved prints and colour transparencies were despatched via Genesis to its craftsmen in Milan. All images are faithfully reproduced in fine screen lithography and image varnished.
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The Anniversary Edition

Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae

To mark the 30th anniversary of the release of one of the greatest albums of all time - Bob Marley's Exodus - Genesis Publications released 30 anniversary copies of Kate Simon's acclaimed photo book, Rebel Music: Bob Marley and Roots Reggae.

The 30 anniversary copies - that form part of the limited edition of 2000 - each come with an additional 10x8 inch, silver-gelatin archival print, unique to every copy and signed by the photographer. These prints were used in the actual making of the book.

The additional prints with the Anniversary Edition are 10x8 inch silver-gelatin archival prints and were used in the actual making of Rebel Music: Bob Marley and Roots Reggae.

Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae

Photographs by Kate Simon

Select from the following editions:

Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae

Rebel Music: Bob Marley & Roots Reggae

  • ISBN:
  • Deluxe:
    350 copies
  • Signed by:
    Kate Simon, Eric Clapton
  • Contributors:
    Junior Marvin, Family Man Barrett, Neville Garrick, Chris Blackwell, Patti Smith, Eric Clapton
  • Paper:
    Five different paper stocks, including hemp
  • Binding:
    Full leather
  • Box:
    Sliding silk-screened wooden box
  • Extras:
    Signed print - an outake from the Kaya album cover shoot.
Deluxe No longer available

Marley's life and music as celebrated in the remarkable photographs of Kate Simon and the words of more than 20 contributors.

  • Page size: 250mm x 360mm
  • 256 pages
  • 400 images
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