Howard Sweetness meets Bob Marley

by Apr 3, 2024News

Howard Sweetness meets Bob Marley

Living during the 1960s in Trench Town, Kingston, afforded any upcoming artiste one or more sweet opportunities. For Howard Sweetness, it was to see Bob Marley, who became one of the great reggae artistes in the world.

“I was 14 years old and a student at Vere Technical High School in Clarendon. One morning i saw a crowd and wondered what was the reason. Then a man kept saying, Bob Marley! Bob Marley!”

“Bob was dressed in a sweat suit, like that of a cricketer. There was another man close by. He was Peter Tosh, wearing dark glasses.”

“I wasn’t afraid and went straight up introducing myself. Bob was amazing. He encouraged me to continue singing conscious music and I could see the satisfaction on his face.”

“I happen to be at Hope Road sometime after and saw Bob Marley again. It was a Saturday and he was wearing another sweatsuit and juggling a football.”

“I told him I was the same youth he had met in Trench Town some weeks before. We chatted about music for several minutes and I remember Bob telling me he would be going on some overseas tour and that he purchased Federal, now the home of Tuff Gong International.”

“When I was ready to leave Hope Road, Bob called one of his brethren and told him to give me bus fare, which was more than enough.”

I stopped at Half-Way-Tree and purchased from a man hot cornbread and butter, which was delicious and a favourite of mine.”

I did not see Bob for about two years, and when I did he was surprised, saying I grew out of his sight.”

“I was supposed to record on Bob’s label but this did not materialise. The consolation is that I had the opportunity of seeing Bob’s performance on Reggae Sunsplash. He was electrifying. And today I can proudly say that Bob influenced my music career.”

(Photo contributed)

Read more about: