RAS TAFARI STRUGGLE IN FOOTBALL: Bob Marley…Allan Skill Cole…Jah B…Jack Ruby

The STRUGGLE of RAS TAFARI   IN JAMAICA FOOTBALL : The HOUSE of DREADLOCKS…ALLAN ‘Cherry’ COLE  BOB MARLEY  BUNNY WAILER   JACK RUBY   According to co-producer Allan ‘Skill’ Cole of football fame,  BOB MARLEY played football daily to improve his physical condition, which according to ‘Skill’ Bob himself said, “allowed him to perform longer, sing better, give him a clearer view of everything and relieve bodily stress.”.  Before going on tour, “we would start training on the road for hours in the morning for weeks”…in preparation says Skill. Football became a part of the whole scenario. Skill continued; “At first Bob was wild and lots of time we would have to pay for the furniture damages, but after a while Bob stop drop tne ball and could give me a thousand (juggles); he became perfect.” Cole continued: […]the first thing Bob wanted to do in the morning was to get up and run and go play some football then head to the studio. Anywhere Bob travelled he had a football in his bag. Sometimes as we reach the hotel Bob start juggle the ball in the hallway, sometimes before the performance he would be inna de rass hotel warming up with a ball.”[interview conducted  November 1999] For Bob Marley, the FOOTBALL and GUITAR became the closest thing. When asked what he thought was the link between Music and Football,  ‘Skill’ was quick to respond “RIDDIM” . Football is rhythm. Coordination is essential. Just like in music.” Other Reggae artistes including the Burning Spear started to follow the trend of playing football in tandem with music.  The WAILERS started to play six-a-side football matches in Germany, Holland, etc. And :Skill” smilingly described how “we played team everywhere and beat them up”. Former KC and national striker, Trevor ‘Jumpy’ Harris recalled: […] between1978-79, Bob Marley wanted to start a four t eam Professional football League in Jamaica with Marley owning the four teams that would play in the league. He lamented that after Bob passed off…Bunny felt as though the idea should continue”. At another level of culture , Bob Marley initiated the revolution in music business when he became an Independent Producer by forming his own business company named Tuff Gong, allotting shares to Peter Tosh 33%, Bunny Wailer 33% and Bob himself 34%. Previously, artistes had to be aligned to the large music companies such as Khouri, Dynamics, Duke Reid, Coxsone, etc. to get a song released. Bob and the Wailers had experienced Clement Dodd, Beverley’s and Duke Reid. In 1981 another celebrated Reggae giant original “Wailin’ Wailer” Neville O’Reilly Livingstone a.k.a. ‘BUNNY WAILER’ attempted to get one of the  FOUR teams together  by setting up a semi-professional football Unit under the umbrella of  SOLOMONIC SOUNDS. JAH B  strongly believed in recruiting  and rewarding ‘the best football talent including coach’ available for promoting the novel trend of  “paying players” for playing football in tandem with developing music. The players recruited by  JAH B actually started training under the supervision of legendary KC striker Trevor ‘Jumpy’Harris. Harris would be  inducted in Michigan State University (MSU)  Athletic  Hall of Fame . He  represented MSU in soccer from 1967 – 1969. The SOLOMONIC FC outfit eventually ‘folded’ with the majority top players ( Peter ‘Jair’ Cargill, Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis, Deon .Messy’ Wilmot , Anthony ‘Badas’ Corbett, et al …moving to  KSAFA’s first semi-professional outfit…  Swallowfield United F.C.…the brain-child of Israeli investor and coach Mark Mendell. Swallowfield was vigorously opposed by the KSAFA governors who held the view that Mark Mendell was “spoiling the local players” with the exchange of  ‘money’ for playing time / labour. During the late 1980s, legendary record producer JACK RUBY brought ‘resources’ to the game and became the main sponsor for the outstanding BLACK STARS FC based in the Garden parish of St. Ann. By the beginning of the 21 st century the Ras TafarI ‘model’ of the 1960s – 1970s was displaced by  gunmen, drug-dons and  “Dreadlocks” as a hair style …able to be  bought at a department store while some who wear “dreads’ CAN ALSO BE BOUGHT/RENTED/ OR sold. Ras TafarI continue to ‘struggle ‘ for legitimacy on this I Land  of Nanny of the Moors, Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle, Leonard Howell, Marcus Garvey, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh Burning Spear and Bob Marley’… while the alien Mormon religion  of Utah have gained legal acceptance on an island dominated by a Majority Black  population,.