The World of Reggae and Bob Marley - Rogger Steffens exhibition

Press release prepared 22 Dec 2000

Global Treasures presents

Thousands of artifacts from the rich history of Jamaican music and the legendary career of Bob Marley, the King of Reggae, will go on display in a unique exhibition to be housed in two buildings of the English Village at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, beginning January 20. Selected from the internationally renowned collection of reggae authority Roger Steffens, the exhibition covers forty years of Jamaican musical creativity. Beginning with the birth of ska in the early 1960s and moving through the eras of rock steady, reggae, dub, DJ (rap), lovers rock, two-tone and ska revival, dub poetry, and through the present ascendancy of dancehall and raggamuffin, The World of Reggae and Bob Marley is a stunning aural and visual experience, immersing the visitor in a barrage of sensations that will be sure to illuminate and entertain.

Presented by the exhibition management company, Global Treasures, and designed and created by the Pasadena-based Curatorial Assistance, the exhibition showcases nearly 1,000 individually mounted album covers and a large number of 7" vinyl singles, most of them autographed by the respective artists. As visitors explore some two dozen areas, musical spotlights fall on the major performers. Hundreds of posters from around the world are interspersed along with original photographs, fliers, t-shirts, post cards, magazines, books, banners, bumper stickers, buttons, and scores of other memorabilia from reggaeís most famous figures.

In the introductory area a film depicting the mini-history of the various styles of Jamaican rhythms will be running. In the second, larger structure, a spiraling series of displays leads viewers into a row of bleachers from which they can view a film on the life story of Bob Marley, whose album Exodus was recently chosen by Time magazine as "The Best Album of the Twentieth Century." On an adjacent wall, 144 albums depict the various images by which Marleyís music has been presented to the world. Nearby, two columns are filled with 160 singles by Marley and his former partners in the Wailers - Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.

The spiritual underpinnings of Bob Marley and many other reggae musicians is the way of life known as Rastafari, named in honor of the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I. To its adherents, Selassie is a divine incarnation, and has become an object of veneration worldwide. A repository of near-priceless objects has been loaned to the exhibition by one of the worldís premier collectors of Rasta relics. These include examples of all the medals worn by His Majesty on His Golden Jubilee, items from the Imperial household in Addis Ababa, decorations and orders, paintings, photographs, newspapers and magazines from the coronation ceremonies in 1930 and the subsequent Italian invasion, autographed pictures, and contemporary items utilizing Selassieís image in popular culture.

Another area of the exhibition surveys the internationalization of the irresistible beat of reggae, with items from France, England, Japan, Poland, Nigeria, Brazil, Israel, Sweden, South Africa, and other nations in which the music has gained a foothold. There are even entries from the Hopi and Havasupai Indian nations of North America, cultures in which Marley is regarded as a prophet.

An interactive installation features computer terminals in which Roger Steffens' video interviews with various artistsóincluding his conversations with the Wailers, Peter Tosh, Bob Marleyís mother, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer, and othersócan be readily accessed.

Throughout the year, there will be many special events with Steffens as host. These include several two-day affairs on the Queen Mary that will combine a Friday evening seminar with a Saturday afternoon outdoor concert in the Queen Mary park. Themes include Ska, Reggae Art, Women in Reggae, and a very special weekend to be held on May 11 and 12, the 20th anniversary of Marleyís death. The year 2001 will also witness Marley being presented with the music businessís ultimate honor, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on February 21, in addition to a star on Hollywood Boulevard on February 6, the 56th anniversary of his birth.

Never before has there been an exhibition anywhere in the world like The World of Reggae and Bob Marley. Steffens feels that his three-decade-long, self-described "reggae obsession" is finally coming to fruition. "Iíve always wanted
to share the six rooms of my house that are jammed full of this incredible history with the world at large. I am really grateful to Global Treasures and the Queen Mary for providing me with the fulfillment of this dream of a lifetime."

Jamaica Observer
Steffens shows off J'can music
HOWARD CAMPBELL, Entertainment editor

Roger Steffens surrounded by some of the 9,000 records in his Reggae Archives at his Los Angeles home.
RENOWNED reggae and Marley archivist, Roger Steffens, presents his latest exposÈ on the history of Jamaican music in late January by displaying his vast archives at the Queen Mary theme park in Long Beach, California.
The exhibition, which opens on January 20, will revisit 40 years of Jamaican music and comprises a vast display of Marley and reggae artefacts. "I've got 5,000 square feet to fill and frankly I could use more," Steffens told the Observer recently. "We're telling the history of the music from mento through ska, rock steady, reggae and on into the 21st Century."
Dubbed "The World of Reggae and Bob Marley", the exhibition is being promoted by Global Treasures, a company that specialises in archival events; it was created by Curatorial Assistance, a California company. Jamaican music is to form a major part of the Queen Mary exhibits in 2001. Throughtout the year, various shows on reggae's offshoots including ska, art, Women in Reggae and a special weekend to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Marley's death, will be featured. Bob Marley, whom Steffens first met when he interviewed the singer/songwriter for his Los Angeles radio show back in the late 1970s, will be a pivotal figure at the exhibition. Among the Marley pieces that will be on display at the Queen Mary are Selassie Is The Chapel, regarded by collectors as one of the reggae king's rarest records. The song is a reggae spin on the Elvis Presley classic, Crying In The Chapel.
There will also be 144 album jackets depicting the universal appeal of Marley's work as well as 160 singles recorded by Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, his former colleagues in the Wailers harmony group. Videos of Steffens' interviews with key reggae figures such as Tosh, Wailer and Cedella Booker (Marley's mother) are also part of the exhibition so too scores of memorabilia passed on by some of the music's biggest names.
Born in New York City, Roger Steffens -- who is also an actor -- has made a life out of relating the history of the Wailers and reggae music. Like most foreigners, he discovered the music through Perry Henzell's 1972 cult movie, The Harder They Come but was even more intrigued when he heard the Wailers' Catch A Fire album for Island Records the following year.
Over the years, Steffens has introduced reggae to Americans through a variety of mediums: by hosting his own radio show; operating his own publication (he was a founding editor of The Beat magazine) and has written reams of liner notes on Marley, the Wailers and the history of Jamaican music.
Over the years, his archives -- considered the largest collection of Jamaican music in the world -- has drawn thousands of reggae aficionados to his Los Angeles home.
In 1997, Steffens wrote the liner notes for the Columbia/Legacy Records Peter Tosh box set, Honorary Citizen and in 1999 worked with American producer Danny Sims on The Complete Wailers: 1969-1972 album. Earlier this year, Steffens produced the Peter Tosh Live At The One Love Peace Concert set.


Subj: from wendy russell! 559 226 5676
Date: 01-01-25 21:24:41 EST

I watched a dream come true. A grand vision of the future, at first only in ROGER STEFFENS' head, then brought solidly to the 'here and now', and as big as the Queen Mary oceanliner! His dream was to see his twenty eight years of musical memories come alive; to give you Reggae Music's past, present and future right in front of you, to see with your own eyes. "THE WORLD OF REGGAE FEATURING BOB MARLEY, AN EXHIBITION OF TREASURES FROM ROGER STEFFENS' REGGAE ARCHIVES" is a vast and varied collection of almost everything about Bob Marley, reggae music and Rastafari. The exhibit, covering the forty years of this Jamaican musical explosion, is presented and managed by Global Treasures, and hosted by the Queen Mary as part of their Journeys Through Time exhibit series. This great exhibit only runs through October 2001. (You could plan to visit while at RAGGAMUFFIN'S BOB MARLEY CELEBRATION in Long Beach Feb. 17 & 18, because ticket holders get a discount to THE WORLD OF REGGAE, at the Queen's Marketplace in front of the Queen Mary, right across the water from the Long Beach Sports Arena).
I visited the exhibit during the Jan. 24th Grand Opening Media Event, held in the Queen's Salon on the top deck of the Queen Mary. What a grand and regal room it was, with another royal father of reggae, RAS MICHAEL, gifting us with song and drum, plus his memories of the King Of Reggae and the early days of reggae in Jamaica. The audience was a mixture of Queen Mary and Global Treasures executives, city officials, D.J.s, press, musicians, reggae industry and fans...suits and ties mixing with dashikis and dreads, with ROGER STEFFENS presiding happily over all, his dream real, for all to see. Later,
walking the exhibits' spiraling paths through two buildings, I start at the beginning; an autographed poster of early Jamaican Mento pioneers, THE JOLLY BOYS. History unfolds through 1000 album covers, most autographed, and all with a story. DJ BIG JIM (U.C. Irvine's KUCI) showed me one album with LEE SCRATCH PERRY's crudely scribbled autograph condemning PETER TOSH and BUNNY WAILER, also BOB MARLEY'S first 45 single, recorded at age 16, plus another "only-one-in-existance" 1970's album of Bob Marley interviews. There is also a splendid collection on loan to this exhibit of near-priceless Rasta relics from Ethiopia and His Majesty showing the spiritual foundation of Rastafari, plus seventy two 'musical spotlights' throughout the exhibit that highlight an artist or song. You can watch video interviews, a filmed mini-history of various styles of Jamaican rhythms or a movie of the life of Bob Marley...historical posters, magazines, Tshirts, photographs, pins, bumper stickers, banners, letters and books-everything is here in one place. I ended up downstairs in the Gift Shop which sells stuff like Marley Tshirts, Ethiopian medals, hats, books and well-chosen rootsy reggae cds. Even the Exhibit's catalog is a beautiful, jam-packed "must have" collection of everything you can imagine in this reggae universe. I see "THE WORLD OF REGGAE FEATURING BOB MARLEY, AN EXHIBITION OF TREASURES FROM ROGER STEFFENS' REGGAE ARCHIVES" as a 'Reggae Culture' mecca, something we all should see. Something the youth should see also. Bob Marley is a blazing example of the impact one man can have on this world and that shines forth from all these treasures. I was proud of our reggae industry and family at this exhibit's Grand Opening; with red gold and green colors flying high, this culture once again showed itself strong and proud when presented to that greater world outside of our musical family. Many locals, travelers and tourists from the world over will walk through these doors in the next ten months and I know that of those multitudes some will say, "mmmm, I feel something deeper here", proving BOB MARLEY's words; "who feels it, knows it".

For Museum information call (562) 435 3511 or Wendy Russell, Radio D.J., Writer, Promoter, USA Bookings for the Twinkle Brothers &
Della Grant. RAW #124,

Re: The Bob Marley/Reggae Museum in LA
Date: 01-01-27 17:43:59 EST
From: (


Small irony was lost when committed reggae media disciples sat in reverence in the salon of the Queen Mary, a ship well known for legendary ghosts and supernatural sightings. Any potential anticipation of duppy visitors was replaced with chanting and singing, celebrating the life of a Natural Mystic, his life revered in the real world instead of the supernatural. Ras Michael spoke eloquently. Rastafari elegance filled the room in colorful contrast against the formal dark wooden antiquity and pristine elegance of the ship's music room. Silver angels hung gracefully over the stage while invocations of Ras Micahel's nyabinghi drums echoed down the hallways and into the hollows of the ship inviting a less formal, tribal call and response from the audience. The Sons and Dawtas of Negus stretched forth their hands in a positive livity inviting everyone, from the formal members of the LA city government, the straightlaced members of the ship's directors, to the dreadlocked red, gold and green audience who clapped and sang in the joy of the moment. The day which began with grey rainy skies began to quickly evolve from sunny rays creeping through dark, thick clouds to colorful rainbows crossing the city of LA.

The largest exhibit of reggae memoribilia in the world included descriptive panels relating the diversity and unique contributions made by most of Jamaica's best known reggae artists. The intense graphic displays are carefully laid out in two buildings starting with the chronological develoment of Jamaican music beginning with pre-ska and clocking through time up through modern dancehall. A separate section of the gallery is dedicated to collected artifacts from the life of H.I.M. Haile Selassie. Lifetime collector, Jah Jim Marshall, ushered television cameras through the history of Ethiopia and the life of His
Imperial Majesty. Later a trip to Jah Jim's house, with my host, Roger Steffens, ingratiated my overstanding of the commitment, if not obsession of music collectors. I had visited Roger last year and saw the archives which then filled multiple rooms of his personal house. Even though a tremendous amount of unique and diverse musical history had been
donated to the musuem, it didn't appear to make much of a dent. Jah Jim's house is equally stacked like the basement of a library just waiting to be culled and organized. My deepest gratitude to both of these collectors who have brought so much of Jamaica's legendary musical history under one roof in an exciting and respectful presentation.

It was an incredible day. Artists from as far away as Nigeria (Majek Fashek) and the UK (Tippa Irie) and a host of Jamaican and American artists showed for the event (Tony Chin, Zema, Zacky and others). A diverse group of media folks including writers, photographers, television, radio and promoters came for the event. The most inspiring part of the show lies in the fact that it goes way beyond the life of Bob Marley. Although Bob, Peter, Bunny, the I-Threes and others have their own special sections, the collections of music, tapes, album covers, carvings, pins, medals, clothing, interviews,etc. gives the highest thanks and praise to all who have made reggae music what it is today.I truly give thanks for the obsessions of people like Roger Steffens and his never ending energy for archiving the history. Jah Jim Marshall and many others have given freely to this exhibit which will hopefully tour the world after the summer.

This exhibit offers incredible recognition of the musical and cultural heritage of Jamaica coming on the heels of the album "Legend" being chosen as the album of the Century. Next month, Bob will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Grammys. Lauren Hill's rendition of the Marley song "Turn Your Lights Down Low" also been nominated for a Grammy this year. Bob Marley will also receive a star in Hollywood during the month of February. Altho there is some controversy over these recognitions, I personally am ecstatic to see the music and artists receive the kudos, especially since they
are long overdue. The Reggae Museum Collection is beautifully timed to enhance the upcoming spotlights on Bob Marley and reggae. It would be difficult to leave this exhibit without renewed faith that reggae music is much more than just a short-lived movement. The continued belief that there are artists alive today and others yet to come who will continue to move the music and the messages forward gives me everlasting energy to be a part of the reggae evolution. This exhibit is one I think Bob, the Marleys and all reggae artists would be proud of and should be praised as one of the best things that has happened to reggae in a long time..much love and respect, sista irie RAW #23

Posted: Mon - February 3, 2003 at 09:40 PM