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Brief history of Ibiza (3rd part)
CHRONICLE ON THE FIRST (AND PENULTIMATE) CONCERT THAT BOB MARLEY GAVE IN SPAIN.

(by Pablo Burgués)

I swear over and over again. Today I won’t go on and on telling stories about the Rastafarian culture, as I did in the last post. I won’t beat about the bush either, talking about the Dogon funnel hats as I did in the previous one. This time I promise to concentrate and tell you only and exclusively about the matter we’re dealing with: the concert that Bob Marley, the Leo Messi of reggae, offered in Ibiza.

And talking about reggae… This witty musical style was born in the 60s in mischievous Jamaica, more specifically in Trenchtown, one of the poorest areas in the city of Kingston.  There, some youngsters who listened to radio stations of the United States began to merge Jamaican traditional folk music with North American styles such as rhythm & blues or jazz… What has this to do with the performance of Mr Marley in the Pitiusan islands? Nothing or almost nothing, so let’s go on… 

The announcement of the concert of Bob and his pals The Wailers in Ibiza was a national bombshell, because that was going to be the first time those guys would perform in Spain. The day before the concert, the singer was interviewed by two reporters of Spanish Television who were sent to Sant Miquel, the village where the artist and all his troupe were staying at (you can watch this lysergic interview clicking  HERE).

But in spite of the huge excitement created by the event, and in spite of the fact that hordes of native hipsters came to Ibiza to see the show, there was no sign of “Sold out”. Why?

1.     Because at that time there weren’t many modern people in Ibiza, and most of the local people hadn’t the faintest idea who was that hairy guy who came to sing.

2.     Because the ticket price was very high: 1000 pesetas of old times (6 Euros today). Yes, I know that nowadays with that amount you have not enough money even for a quarter of Gin Tonic in Pachá, but at that time 200 Euros went a long way to eat five times the full menu of sandwiches and beers at Töro Bar  in Sant Antoni de Portmany and you still had money left for the down payment for a flat.

Thus, at 10 pm, on 28th June 1978, Bob Marley jumped into the bullring of the Monumental in Ibiza and performed all his hits one by one. The concert got great acclaim by critics and audience and all the people who attended it will always remember the image of the huge Abyssinian lion that decorated the stage. And talking about the Abyssinian lion… This feline subspecies, native from Ethiopia, has the particular feature of its black mane, and for the Rastafarians it’s a sacred creature. In fact, some people consider that the Rasta hair is indeed a tribute to the mat of hair of this animal…

And well, I’m going to finish here because I’m deviating from the issue again and, if you allow me, I’m able to start talking about the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and that’s indeed not necessary.

 

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Pablo Burgués on Instagram and Twitter

Translation: Dora Sales

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